Homeland Series review: episode 4

Have you simply been toying with us creators of Homeland? Had you planned this from the very start? Or was this a change of heart to rescue your beloved programme from the depths of nonchalance?

There are a few things still unexplained if we're to believe this Eastenders-esque plot twist… Carrie's deep visible distress as Saul sells her out to the Senate, despite being alone in her living room, for example. The 'fuck you Saul' still works and I defy anyone to not be angry at the guy who presumably persuaded you to throw away your entire reputation and be sedated and abandoned in a mental hospital.

Things might not add up, but I was totally shocked at the revelation that the entire series so far was actually a sting thought up by Carrie and Saul to catch the next big bad guy. (But when??) I was also slightly hurt that Saul would put Carrie through that, so I’m still wary of what happens if this doesn’t work out, then Carrie is really screwed.

A revelation nonetheless, which warmed the very cockles of my heart as we saw Saul return to the cuddly bear father role and Carrie finally get a display of solidarity and approval that she so desperately craves.

Other good news is that Virgil is back – yey! The not quite rogue, but always willing to bend the rules for Carrie, surveillance guy who probably lives with his mum and eats only pizza is back on the scene and what's more, he is already making coded phone calls as Carrie is on the run from the CIA and the bad-guy lawyers who want her to betray her nation. This is more like the Homeland we know.

On the other hand, I'm going to make a list of all the characters Homeland doesn't need: Dana, Dana's probably murderous boyfriend, Jessica, that friend Mike who makes an unwanted return this episode, and as things currently stand, Brody. We didn't see anything of Brody this week, but since he's in that hole in Caracas taking heroin, he's not going anywhere.

Unlike Dana, who checked off a few more teen clichés this week: running away to a cemetery, reciting famous poetry to a boy band lookalike boyfriend, revisiting symbolic places from her childhood and clinging to a fence. Although to pause the Dana hate for just a moment, after she finished her speech, her childlike expression made me feel really sorry for her for about thirty seconds. After all, she does think her dad killed 200 people. And she doesn’t know it yet, but Magic Mike unearthed information implying her boyfriend murdered his own brother. Well done Dana, picked a good’un!

I’ll not bother with the CIA stuff this week. There wasn’t much of it and it seemed to be a lot about football.