TV Recap: Homeland, ‘Red Wheelbarrow’

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SPOILERS AHEAD

The Debriefing: The CIA puts the squeeze high-powered attorney Bennett (Martin Donovan) who may know the identity of the Langley Bomber and may have even hired him. Saul (Mandy Pantinkin) mends fences with his wife Mira (Sarita Choudhury). Carrie (Claire Danes) has her first baby doctor appointment but is hell bent on clearing Brody’s (Damian Williams) name in the Langley bombing.

America’s Most Wanted (Best Overall Performance): Mandy Patinkin stole the show again. First, the opening scene where he was making Mira breakfast in bed was a really sweet, completely out of character move. The marriage of Mira and Saul has always had this undercurrent of love and affection…the remnants of a passionate relationship have been seen in a fleeting glance or two, but it’s never been fully explored. We also got to a little bit of pep back in Saul’s step when talking with Senator Lockhart. Then, we see the devious side of Saul as he leaves Carrie in the dark, flies to South America and uncovers her dirty little secret.

The Sleeper Cell (Best Supporting Performance): Nazanin Boniadi really shined tonight as CIA financial analyst/newbie Fara. Tonight we learn a little bit more about the character and I think Boniadi did a really fantastic job portraying a woman torn between two worlds, two cultures, two lives. She adheres to her Iranian roots and values but she’s firmly believes in her American-ness. She will fight for her country and her new job (the CIA) despite her cultural ties but she has also seen the ugly side of her new gig. She has seen that the CIA will get into bed with the man who bombed their building (Javadi) in order to serve the “greater good.” It’s interesting to see how Fara’s going to evolve within the world of Homeland.

A “BOO” Nazir (The Worst Part of the Episode): Still not a huge fan of the whole Carrie pregnancy thing. She’s 12 weeks in and isn’t showing in the least? Somehow that seems highly improbable, but I am guy so I might be out of my element here. Regardless, I just think this is a bit of cliched story arc that has been employed in this season for no real reason other than to heighten the drama for the sake of heightening drama.

The Key Evidence (Best Part of the Episode): There’s a reason we told you spoilers lay ahead. The end of the episode was a true holy shit moment. Saul’s mysterious “trip” that Carrie couldn’t know about had me scratching the ol’ noggin. Was he headed to Iran to meet with Javadi again, maybe he would find out the bomber’s true identity? Nope. He went to The Tower of David to find a heroin-addled Nicholas Brody. My jaw was agape during the entire sequence. I couldn’t believe Saul had found Brody and that he coughed up $10 million for him. One has to wonder what the play is here. Why does Saul need Brody? How did he even track him down? How is Carrie going to react? Man, so many questions here. Then when you see Brody all strung out just like he was when we first met him at the beginning of the series…wow. Homeland knows how to hit you right in the gut with scenes like these.

The Analysis (Overall Thoughts on the Episode): This was an episode filled with shocking, jaw-dropping moments — the discovery of Brody, Quinn shooting Carrie, Mira’s lover turning out to be a spy — these were all big, game changing moments. Homeland has not lost a step since they’ve turned the page on the Abu Nazir storyline or having killed off/written off a healthy chunk of last season’s cast. I do find the shorter run times of this season a little off putting and I hope now that Brody has returned they give the show enough time to redevelop Brody as well as continue the storylines established in this season.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site’s podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites