Homeland: "Shalwar Kameez"
October 12, 2014 6:32 PM - Season 4, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Carrie is back in the field, sneaking around, sharing information selectively and playing tricks. Back home, Quinn is stuck in a vicious cycle of alcohol and youtube until he spots what could be evidence for a major conspiracy. And we see a beloved character return for a short but meaningful stint.
posted by travelwithcats (12 comments total)
Unlike a lot of other people, I loved all three previous seasons of Homeland. This one, I dunno so far. I know that if this were a brand new show and I watched the first three episodes, I probably wouldn't continue watching (or even after the first two). But since I liked it so much in the past, I'm sticking with it…
posted by primethyme at 10:55 PM on October 12, 2014

Just added some recaps and noticed the A.V.Club rated this episode with A-. What did you love about the last three seasons that is different now, primethyme? Is it that Brody is gone, or something else?
posted by travelwithcats at 7:36 AM on October 13, 2014

Chalk me up as the opposite of primethyme. I thought seasons 2 and 3 were noticeably weaker than season 1 but that this season has started off very strong.
posted by Justinian at 12:43 PM on October 13, 2014

Apparently a lot of people feel like Quinn's feelings for Carrie are coming out of nowhere? That seems ridiculous to me, since he once failed to kill Brody because of what it would do to Carrie. He's been hung up on her for a while.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:19 PM on October 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

It’s hard for me to put my finger on what it is I don’t like. I wouldn’t say that I was consciously attached to Brody, at least in the sense that I expected his death to ruin my enjoyment of the show. But I guess I would say that my primary interest in the show was based on the original storyline, of a US soldier who has been turned (or has he?). And even if it was a stretch to say that same storyline was continuing in season 3, it very clearly is not now. Maybe part of it is a personal bias of mine. I tend to be more interested in story lines that have at least some direct and visible connection back to the “home land,” and thus far this season doesn’t really have that. In other words, the plight of American intelligence people in Pakistan is much less compelling to me than a terrorist in the US trying to kill the president, or whatever. At least as long as Brody was around, there was some tiny thread of that stuff remaining, but it all seems to be gone now.
posted by primethyme at 2:13 PM on October 13, 2014

It's actually working for me because it's not so outlandish (sorry for the pun), although it still is very unrealistic in many respects. But almost everything after the first part of Brody's story always tested my suspension of disbelief and I'm relieved to get away from that stuff. And I say that as someone who actually didn't dislike Brody much and who actually cared about his family's storyline (which I think most people really disliked).

I think the thing that's hurt Homeland from the very beginning is that it's always tried to be two incompatible things at the same time -- a more traditional, almost literary character examination of how personally distorting it is to be involved in espionage, and why people do it anyway; and an over-the-top 24 type thriller. I've never thought those things go together well and I feel that the two brought different audiences to the show, each of which have periodically been made unhappy.

But I think the show has always been best at the character stuff, and arguably because of the acting talent involved. It's basically impossible for Danes, Lewis, and Patinkin to not bring a lot of subtlety and emotional depth to the characters they portray, even when the writing for those characters isn't worth it. And other people involved in the production have also often seemed to feel they were making a more serious and thoughtful show than an absurd thriller so it's managed to be such a thing more often than it has any right to have been.

With scenes like the Ambassador and Carrie on the roof, with that long, quiet beat at the end, the show in these three episodes has really tried to move solidly into something more thoughtful and on a slow burn. I prefer this.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:54 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

the show in these three episodes has really tried to move solidly into something more thoughtful and on a slow burn. I prefer this.

Me too.
posted by homunculus at 12:01 AM on October 14, 2014

I'm really liking the show so far and think it's very strong. So, so much better without Brody, that character was such a dead end. Carrie is terrific, it's nice having a vulnerable woman be in a Le Carré novel for once, you know?

But I'm troubled by how far they're pushing the characters. I don't like Quinn being set up as being puppy dog in love with Carrie. He's far too smart and distant for that. Also he cared for her like a big brother in previous seasons, I hate to see that retconned into romance. Also Carrie is playing very hard, tough-as-nails, a bit too much for me. In previous seasons she had such a touching vulnerability and self doubt to her. It's good that she's grown up, and we still see her questioning herself, but it's just a bit off for me.
posted by Nelson at 5:40 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure the tough-as-nails Carrie thing is a facade.
posted by Justinian at 8:56 PM on October 15, 2014

Carrie showed some emotions when she was back home and with her baby. Now she has this crazy energy that most of us will know, the energy that comes from breaking free (from a stupid job, bad relationship, ridiculous situation etc.). Perhaps mixed into that there is a bit of fear of fucking up and being send back home that is fueling her fire.
posted by travelwithcats at 4:50 AM on October 16, 2014

Welp, Quinn's dead at the end of this season I guess. He wanted out, but she's pulled him back in. That beat they ended this episode on was foreboding.
posted by nushustu at 4:00 PM on October 17, 2014

3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
So hell-bent is Homeland on depicting Islamabad as a Third World "shit-hole" that it has somehow managed to make even Cape Town — one of the most beautiful cities in the world — look ugly, dirty, and characterless.
posted by Nelson at 7:43 AM on October 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

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