Homeland: Standoff
February 26, 2018 3:04 PM - Season 7, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Carrie and Dante investigate the woman in Wellington’s house; Saul heads for O’Keefe’s backwoods hideout; Keane's struggle for power comes closer to home than she expected.

Alternate recap: We reach Homeland’s inevitable “this person is an unreliable narrator - but SURPRISE! S/he’s right!” moment already. We spend a while trying to remember what O’Keefe actually did wrong enough to warrant the Head of National Security being sent on a personal mission to find him. And O’Keefe flashes increasingly mournful expressions over his shoulder as the heavies arrive, making him look like the eight-year-old kid who talked his gang-fighting chops up to his much harder schoolmates and now finds them expecting him to chib the big boy from the next school on their behalf.
posted by penguin pie (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, I was actually a bit bored in this one, which is unusual for me - I'm usually a total "I just love it alllll" person when it comes to Homeland.

Carrie - great performance by Claire Danes, but we've seen the character go down exactly this avenue before. It also feels a little odd that in the previous episode they touched on the whole "She's out of control because she's greiving for Quinn" motif, which seems to be a huge thrust of the title sequence. But now it's back to just "the Lithium is crapping out" and not a mention of him. Seems weird to just drop it completely like that. And less interesting - they can solve it by finding the right new meds, whereas grief would be more complicated and challenging and interesting. Though of course I guess she's done that before too, with Brody.

Dante - it's great that Carrie's finally got an ally, but a bit of a dick move on his part: "Oh? You're really sick with bipolar because your meds aren't working? I know how serious that is because I had a girlfriend with bipolar. But still, never mind, come and join me on this dangerous mission anyway."

Saul - when he asked to go and speak to the cop one-to-one in the last episode, you could see why when he got in there: He was persuasive, soulful, clever. So I was really looking forward to his sit-down with O'Keefe. But he had nothing. I was bored listening to them. And I still don't understand who would have thought it was a good idea to demonstrate to O'Keefe what a big deal he was to them by sending Saul down to deal in person rather than just letting the FBI swoop and haul him in as standard.

O'Keefe - I do kind of like that O'Keefe is becoming a little less one-dimensional, though. Seeing that he maybe feels out of his depth, was ready to do a deal with Saul, is all much more interesting than the gung-ho attitude he had before, makes me wonder what twists and turns that's going to lead to down the line.

Wellington - I just do. not. believe. that Mr Gold Shoulder Military Whateverhisnamewas would say "I need to hear this command from the President. Really? You're sure? Oh, OK then, no problem, I'll take it from you instead."
posted by penguin pie at 3:21 PM on February 26, 2018

With you on this one, penguin pie. Some of the cracks in the Homeland formula are showing. The est scene for me was the standoff after the reinforcements arrived and they briefly hold Saul hostage. Intense, not stupid, believable. I loved the way the militia dudes just turned their backs on the FBI and walked away. Chilling.

Really don't like Carrie-off-her-meds. What I hate is how it makes her doubt herself. I mean that's her whole character, so it's wrong to deny it. OTOH it's annoying and confusing. Agree that Dante is the worst ever boyfriend / spy partner.
posted by Nelson at 1:42 AM on March 3, 2018

It feels like it's really suffering from losing so many series regulars. Quinn, Dar, maybe Astrid - they all added to the complexity so that you could afford to have a slack episode plotwise because that slack would be taken up by some of the complex interpersonal stuff that really crackled.

But there's none of that any more. The only people left that we've cared about for years are Carrie and Saul, and they're apart (and it's not the first time Homeland has committed the sin of having characters that are great together... and then keeping them apart. You'd think they'd have learned that lesson by now). I guess there's Max, but he's yet to become much more than an extension of Carrie's laptop, no real conflict or emotion involved.

Maybe we can start campaigning for Lockhart to be brought back, he was always good fun.
posted by penguin pie at 3:14 PM on March 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

This season has been plain bad so far. I don't like anybody. Maybe the Treasury scab brother-in-law LOL (who seems to still have a job after the release of the 200, by the way).

Two things have stood out to me so far:

The president does not actually seem to be very good at fascism. Her so-called fascism has amounted to a desire to see coup plotters brought to justice, an attempt to dismantle the military-industrial complex, an aversion to unnecessary foreign military intervention, and a distaste for Alex Jones. None of these are particularly objectionable to me; indeed, some are quite desirable. Would that there were such fascists in our actual government! I'm actually beginning to feel a little sympathy for her after the "oh she's sick" chain-of-command subversion.

As bad as the president is at fascism, Carrie and Saul both seem to be worse at strategic thinking. I know the story is that Carrie's mental health is not great, but she was making bad decisions at the end of last season, too. She let herself get used by the president, remember. Then this year, she's opening attachments from 4chan randos and breaking into houses in upscale neighborhoods in the middle of the day. That's not mental illness, just stupidity. Saul, his part, isn't doing much better. Was there any preparation for approaching the O'Keefe hideout? Either they failed to secure a perimeter, or they went in without knowing how many people were actually on the land. Both are elementary mistakes.

Also, Carrie is just not very likable.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:07 PM on March 3, 2018

I'm hoping my tried-and-tested "The season always catches light in episode 4 of Homeland" maxim will hold good again...
posted by penguin pie at 11:33 AM on March 4, 2018

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