‘Homeland’ season 3, episode 4 review: Carrie, Saul, and the ‘was it a dream?’ moment?

See Carrie -Did “Homeland” shock you with its ending tonight? We imagine that right now, the emotion that you are feeling is possibly somewhere along the lines of either joy or frustration. The show turned on a dime in just a few short minutes at the end of tonight’s episode, and the reaction that we feel is almost akin to the reaction we felt back in “Dexter” season 6, where it was revealed that Professor Gellar had been dead the whole time and Travis Marshall was working by himself.

We really want to buy that Carrie and Saul had formed some sort of plan in secret to work together, and to try and lure out Javadi (who ordered the bombing on Langley) by having a mysterious lawyer try to bring Carrie on board using her mass humiliation as a form of motivation. Everything was orchestrated, whether it be Carrie freaking out to Saul admitting what he did to the Senate. It was all part of her being a “good soldier,” and we’ve been lied to for most of the past three episodes.

Our general feeling right now is that “Homeland” decided to be cute with us by showing how clever they can be with a twist that you wouldn’t see coming … and to be fair, we didn’t. But, this is something that yields too many questions that force you to connect the dots. When, for example, was this plan hatched in the first place? We know that the producers are coming out and offering their explanations in various interviews, but we shouldn’t have to read an interview, it should all be laid out in the episodes. The timing of the plan forming is very important, since the are many moments that make no sense otherwise. If Carrie knew about the plan in advance, then we completely don’t buy her melting down when watching Saul at the hearing on TV; there’s a good explanation for her watching there, but if she already knows about what is being said and is alone, why bother to put on a performance. This entire scheme has also asked a great deal of Carrie in term of her acting ability, and that is tough given how much we have seen her go “rogue” or be emotional as a reaction to events.

Maybe this twist turns out great in the end, but for now we’re being asked to buy into something that is a little too far out of left field. We could have been told about this plan in the premiere, and it would have diminished nothing for us at all. As a matter of fact, it would have been almost even more engaging since the tension would have been raised. Carrie would have had more to fight for and we would be cringing in fear of it blowing up in everyone’s faces.

Let’s talk about Dana – The first two weeks of season 3, we defended the move to have a lengthy Dana storyline, since the romance does make some sense given how broken she was within her own family, but this one was almost a little too much. Maybe it’s just a chemistry thing, but we just don’t completely enjoy watching the relationship between her and Leo; also, when it Sam Underwood going to get to play a character who is not psychotic? This is the first time where this story started to not work for us. Also, Mike’s back! Where has he been?

“Homeland” has long been one of the best shows on TV, and the quality of the performances is what’s sparing this review from being worse. It’s not that the writing was bad for “Game On,” but it was that the decision-making that was just off. With a few tweaks, this twist could have worked better, but as it stands it’s almost as confusing as trying to understand the inner workings of the CIA as an outsider. Grade: C.

You can read more on next week’s episode by clicking here, and be sure to come back soon for more news.

Photo: Showtime

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