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Completely agree that the Dana story was better before they introduced "did the hunky teen kill his brother?" bit. 

 

So far I'm okay with the Saul twist.  I mean, Carrie did try to run out on the meeting with Iran, so it's not like Saul's plan went without a hitch.  And I liked the creepiness of Saul being all fatherly to Carrie in the scene where we learn that he's using her and putting her through hell to get back at Iran.

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The swerve was sorta like the swerve in season 3 of 24 where they didn't clue in President Palmer on the happenings because he'd never authorize it.

 

And I really fucking hate that annoying little shit from Dexter.

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Faith restoring twist. I really like how they pulled it off. Carrie has also been ungodly committed so to go undercover so deep like this makes sense. Then remembering her main goal now is clearing Brody's name in the CIA bombing. Well done Homeland.

The kid shit I don't care about but I've grown accustomed to boring B characters. I will say Dana is quite the shithead of a sister. That poor brother of hers. Dad is a crazy traitor, sister tries to kill herself. At least he's got Mike and his great head of hair.

Oh and another circle jerk Showtime casting as Nancy's DEA husband from Weeds showed up. I hate when networks do that. Any Fox show I'm just waiting for Chi McBride to show up. If they wanted to use a Dexter alum they shoulda brought in Joey Quinn, Peter Quinn's detective brother.

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I dont wanna steal one of FSW's gimmicks, but any show will immediately be made better by the inclusion of this former Dexter alum:

 

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Not to me. I had a hard time seeing how this show was going to get back on the rails. Now there is a definite direction.

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I just don't see how Saul and Carrie working together perfectly and expertly to bring down some Iranian dude is more compelling than Carrie being isolated and abandoned by the system that produced her and wondering whether Saul will come around and help her, or whether she can even stay alive and somehow fight this massive system.

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She can't fight that massive system alone and it would be so implausible to see her even try. Carrie being with the CIA leaves the show so many more options going forward.

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I just don't see how Saul and Carrie working together perfectly and expertly to bring down some Iranian dude is more compelling than Carrie being isolated and abandoned by the system that produced her and wondering whether Saul will come around and help her, or whether she can even stay alive and somehow fight this massive system.

 

It'll make more sense when Carrie takes off her makeup and reveals.... she's actually JACK BAUER!  IN DISGUISE!  AND SHE TYPES ALL EMAIL IN CAPS FOR NO REASON!  DIDN'T SEE THAT LAST PART COMING, DID YOU?

 

She can't fight that massive system alone and it would be so implausible to see her even try. Carrie being with the CIA leaves the show so many more options going forward.

 

This.  The system should defeat her fairly quickly, so I was kinda dreading the implausible plot twists they'd probably have thrown in to keep things interesting,  I don't love the new direction, but it's ok. 

 

The stuff with the kids needs to go away.  They seem to have repeated 24's issue of keeping people only tangentially connected to the main plot on the payroll - then struggling to find a storyline for them in order to justify the salary expense.  My wife summed up the teen-boyfriend-is-a-murderer thing by saying "I guess the cougar is busy?".

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This is where I have to give credit to the Breaking Bad writers. They realized early on how weak a character Walt Jr. was and instead of making him a huge part of the show anyway, just kept his contributions to a minimum. People might have found him hanging out at the breakfast table a bit annoying, but at least he wasn't on the run from a cougar while contemplating suicide and pursuing a relationship with a potential murderer.

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I just don't see how Saul and Carrie working together perfectly and expertly to bring down some Iranian dude is more compelling than Carrie being isolated and abandoned by the system that produced her and wondering whether Saul will come around and help her, or whether she can even stay alive and somehow fight this massive system.

 

I don't view them as working together either "perfectly" or "expertly".  Barely even "together".  Carrie knows that Dar Adal (and by extension, the agency generally) wants her dead or institutionalized.  Saul is giving her a lousy option, but it's the only option she's got.  And she's right on the edge of balking on it anyway, as she showed by trying to bail on the meet with the Iranians.  That wasn't part of Saul's master plan; that was Carrie trying to escape Saul's master plan.  Same with her contacting Virgil.  Saul has no clue she was doing that shit. 

 

When Iran-guy was saying how the CIA would OD her on lithium, the angst on Carrie's face was no act.  She knows that that's a real possibility, and that this stuff with Saul might just be delaying the inevitable.  Carrie is still absolutely isolated, and Saul is only "helping" her to the extent that he can use her. 

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Not to me. I had a hard time seeing how this show was going to get back on the rails. Now there is a definite direction.

 

I was actually digging on the Enemy of the State vibe the show had developed where it seemed all eyes were on Carrie and there was no escape, except death.

 

It all feels very contrived and asking a bit too much of the audience because of what tigertooth said. Carrie went through and did all of this shit with Saul completely in the dark, but in the end, Carrie has her secret check in with Saul, the guy who setup the trap at Virgil's house. That's an amazing roll of the dice by Saul to hope that Carrie would figure it out and not get captured. I understand that Saul thinks Carrie is brilliant, but that's just nuts. What if Carrie just dropped in on Virgil? Why didn't Carrie go to Saul before seeking refuge with Josh Homme's imposter? Saul is also relying on a Carrie who is severely emotionally compromised. That's why I'm having a hard time buying the twist.

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Not to me. I had a hard time seeing how this show was going to get back on the rails. Now there is a definite direction.

 

I was actually digging on the Enemy of the State vibe the show had developed where it seemed all eyes were on Carrie and there was no escape, except death.

 

It all feels very contrived and asking a bit too much of the audience because of what tigertooth said. Carrie went through and did all of this shit with Saul completely in the dark, but in the end, Carrie has her secret check in with Saul, the guy who setup the trap at Virgil's house. That's an amazing roll of the dice by Saul to hope that Carrie would figure it out and not get captured. I understand that Saul thinks Carrie is brilliant, but that's just nuts. What if Carrie just dropped in on Virgil? Why didn't Carrie go to Saul before seeking refuge with Josh Homme's imposter? Saul is also relying on a Carrie who is severely emotionally compromised. That's why I'm having a hard time buying the twist.

 

 

I took it as Dar Adal who set up the trap at Virgil's house, not Saul.  Saul was likely aware that Dar Adal was trying to get to her, but at this point I don't think he knows that Carrie contacted Virgil. 

 

Carrie went to the boy-toy because she was trying to escape from the entire situation, including Saul.  She was running away (at that point she wasn't aware she was on a no-fly list and her passport was revoked).

 

Saul is indeed using a broken Carrie, but what's it to him?  It's not his only way he's trying to get at Iran -- he's got the money angle as well.  It's just another way he's trying to get what he wants.  If she gets killed or put back in the institution, that was pretty much her fate anyway.  If Carrie tells Dar Adal/CIA that Saul was working with her, Saul will just say she's crazy and is trying to cause problems for him in retaliation for him throwing her under the bus in front of Congress.

 

BTW, I'm assuming that Carrie and Saul agreed on the plan after Carrie was already institutionalized.  If anybody is assuming that Carrie agreed to go in for the sake of the plan, then I can see why that would be tougher to swallow.

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Carrie and Saul had no communication though, as Saul only showed up once and then Carrie wasn't allowed any visitors until the meeting with the man in the suit.

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I assumed they worked it out during that one time that Saul was there.  IIRC, the scene ended with Carrie saying "Fuck you, Saul", but Saul stayed sitting by her.  So after that.  Or maybe even before - maybe she was saying "Fuck you" because she knows that he's using her and that his big plan involved hanging her out to dry in the institution.

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So the whole thing wasn't part of the plan?  Her going off her meds and looking crazy, the newspaper thing, Saul scapegoating her, all to make it look convincing?

 

I don't which seems more insanely unlikely, that everything we've seen this season was orchestrated by the two of them (even her private reaction shots) or that he somehow pitched this idea to her while she was in a demented lithium haze that he put her in after publically criminzlizing her...like "Hey, so...guess what...yeah this was all sort of a crazy idea I've got!  Oops didn't mean to say "crazy"  Wait, Hear me out!!!!!"

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Alex Gansa gave an interview where he said Carrie and Saul were in on it together all along, that they hatched the scheme in between seasons 2 and 3. So, you know, total bullshit all around.

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Ugh.  That takes away the last thing that separated Carrie from Jack Bauer.  She was really really brilliant, but unlike Jack we had genuine fear for her.  She wasn't fucking bullet-proof or infallible.  Her and Saul were closer to normal, okay brilliant people in a game that could still overwhelm them.

 

But taking her down to these depths and then pulling the "HA!  She was totally pulling all the strings herself." just makes it impossible for me to ever believe her in jeopardy ever again.  They're pretty much reveale as incincible now...able to expertly play the CIA, the Congress, Iran all at once with their total mind control over every aspect of their own actions and other people's reactions to them.  Hell, even off her meds, she is able to Hulk up and do what she needs to do and not actually freak out and ruin the plan.

 

If I have no fear for these characters, and all the scary terrorists, and all the scary politicians, and the CIA, and the vice president, and everyone else is so easy to play...then there isn't much left here to worry about.  24 was never "Will he get there" it was always just "how many twists will it take?" and that's kind of what this does to HOMELAND.

 

And here I was the only one who liked the previous two weeks.

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Alex Gansa gave an interview where he said Carrie and Saul were in on it together all along, that they hatched the scheme in between seasons 2 and 3. So, you know, total bullshit all around.

 

Oof, well alright, that sucks.  From an interview:

 

"[saul] was clearly the one who leaked the information to the committee about her having an affair with Brody (Damian Lewis) But she was aware that was going to happen."

 

She knew?  Yet she still freaked out?  Good grief.

 

ETA another interview quote:

 

"I was an amateur magician when I was a kid, and for me, the best tricks were the ones where the magician convinces the audience that he's made a mistake – only to prove at the end that he's been ahead of them all along."

 

Yeah... this was the opposite of that.

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I think basing this show in reality is why I have so much issue with this show now.  The one thing I call total bullshit on the "plan" is Saul outing Carrie to the committee.  In the real world, the press would be all over that.  Granted, her name was never referenced in the hearing, but how many bipolar female CIA agents could there be?  The reporter Carrie went to would easily be able to put two and two together. Her name would be made public in a matter of weeks if not days, making her the laughingstock of the nation if not the world, which would ultimately destroy her career  (the CIA agent who had sex with the most wanted man in the world.)  But that risk is taken just in the hopes that the right people get the right idea and one man comes out of hiding?  Total bullshit.

 

That being said, I think the twist could have worked.  They just went too far with it for me to buy it.

 

And I realize the endgame is clearing Brody's name, and I'm sure they will, but even that's ridiculous at this stage.  He's a man linked with killing 200+ people with a video admitting that he's a terrorist.  In the real world that would never go away.  There are still people who think Richard Jewell was the Olympic Park Bomber after sixteen years just because of his being there at the wrong time.

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I love the lawyer for the bad guys.  His first meeting with a CIA agent he thinks maybe might be turning. and he divulges

 

1) I work for a terrorist in the Iranian government

2) Iran attacked the CIA

3) Here is why they did it!

4) Did I mention my boss' name specifically yet?  No? Here let me tell you who he is and some other stuff he did!

 

Teamwork!!!!

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I'm okay with #1-3.  I can buy that when trying to turn somebody, they'd reveal stuff that they assume the person (and/or the CIA) already knows.  It's a way to build up trust.

 

#4 is stretching that idea, though...

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