Homeland: Rebel Rebel
February 19, 2018 3:58 PM - Season 7, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Carrie continues her crusade against Keane, Saul takes up his new job, and even Max can't save Carrie from her own cyber stupidity.

Alternate recap: This is what happens when you ask 4Chan instead of AskMe, Carrie.
posted by penguin pie (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Another strong ep. I thought it was all going to fall apart mid-episode when Keane released The 200. So what's Carrie angry about now, then? Thank God for the rather lazily-drawn creepy geek archetype, who gave her someone else to rail against at just the right moment. Though I can't decide what he has to do with anything - I'm guessing that laptop Carrie's just taken from him is maybe going to contain something rather more interesting once Max delves into it?

I'm duty-bound as resident Quinn fanatic to say I was pleased to see him referenced in the titles and hear Carrie say outright how much she missed him. It's nice to see the gaping hole he's left used as a plot point, rather than just papered over as they try to move on. Really emphasises how alone Carrie is now, without anyone to fight her corner.

Delighted to see O'Keefe whack himself in the head with a handgun, both for the physical pain and the humiliation.

And some good stuff from Saul, deploying his super-heartfelt voice (the same one he used to say "You're the smartest and the dumbest fucking person I've ever known") on the young cop to win him round.

The plot still all feels a little bit thin, but hopefully as ever they're just laying long fuses that will soon lead to an almighty plot explosion in another couple of episodes.
posted by penguin pie at 4:11 PM on February 19, 2018

Well, my personal reaction was: why in the hell am I still watching the show? I was close to just switching it off when that scene began, but instead fast-forwarded.

In addition, I just cannot manage the suspension of disbelief anymore. As the President said, a conspiracy within the IC and others attempted to assassinate her. I really have no idea what would happen in that event, but absolutely no one would be willing to just go back to business as usual. I can't accept this whole series of events as plausible . . . although that's been a problem since VP treason and Pakistan betrayal. I have no idea what this world would look like, but it wouldn't have any resemblance to our own by this point. Probably the US would already have turned totalitarian whilst Pakistan and India had a nuclear war.

And although it was amusing to see a 4chan asshole getting his ass kicked by Carrie, the whole thing bothered me. I can't take Carrie seriously if she goes to 4chan for help and, anyway, my suspicion is that the point of this is that guy's laptop and his ransomware. Which is all dumb if she has Max. We've been asked to take his skillz seriously for a long time now. I mean, that's the generous interpretation -- otherwise that whole gross and stupid storyline was completely gratuitous.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:05 AM on February 20, 2018

Max is such a problematic character. He's been in the show since the beginning, and dutifully follows Clare around like a useful puppy dog. But he's not really a character himself, we're seldom shown his own motivations and personality. He's entirely passive. The closest we came was the end of last season when he got raging drunk in Carrie's basement. That sort of set him up as a Quinn analog but he's still not given the screen time to be that. He's more of a deus ex machina.

I'm fully on board with the show, dumb stuff like Carrie hanging out on 4chan aside. (Dear Homeland: don't try to be Mr. Robot with insidery Internet culture. You will fail.) The plot turn I had the hardest with is Saul coming back to the administration. And Carrie misreading it immediately as if he's a collaborator. It just feels like they're setting up a lot of dumb stuff to happen.

Speaking of which, I guess this is an other "Carrie has problems with her meds" season. Not looking forward to that.
posted by Nelson at 8:47 AM on February 20, 2018

I just cannot manage the suspension of disbelief anymore

I think I long since relegated Homeland to the levels of enjoyable fantasy, which helps considerably. Or at least to mostly being a vehicle to contain Claire Daines' acting and Mandy Patinkin's super-heartfelt voice and some clever plot twists, which is enough for me.

Interesting about Max, Nelson. Maury Sterling was promoted to the paygrade of 'series regular' this season, from previously being an occasional supporting role, but it remains to be seen whether that will have an effect on his character development, or whether his promotion just happened as he was sucked into the void left by Rupert Friend. Max did show a little agency at some points in season 6 - telling Carrie not to make a big deal to Quinn of his seizure; insisting on going to work at the basement of doom when she didn't want him to. But as you say, they're always plot-driven rather than character-driven. Will be interesting to see if he becomes more fully-rounded as her only real ally. (Oh, and I hated that 'Max shows up drunk at Carrie's house' scene - it felt so hammy, and so out of character, as if he suddenly thought he and Quinn had been bezza mates and he couldn't cope with losing him, rather than being his belligerent, pain in the ass colleague. I mean, I know he took care of Quinn after his seizure, but sobbing over the newspaper coverage? Really?)

Speaking of which, I guess this is an other "Carrie has problems with her meds" season. Not looking forward to that.

Ha - yeah, I saw someone recently refer to this as "the odd-numbered Homeland season plot".
posted by penguin pie at 6:43 AM on February 23, 2018

The previous few seasons started off horrendously, but I found myself turning around on the show near the ends.

I'm kind of hoping that's going to happen again, but I'm also kind of tired of wasting my time with the first half of seasons.
posted by porpoise at 12:19 PM on February 23, 2018

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