Homeland Series Review: episode 5

 I must never blaspheme against Homeland again. There is something perfect about a show that can end so menacingly on the line, ‘you’re in good shape, must be all that yoga’. Homeland is back. In the spirit of credit where credit is due, the music of this episode deserves a mention before anything else frankly; but there was some other stuff too…

For starters, I had taken some time out of Homeland viewing for university related reasons so for once, that endless “previously on Homeland” thing was actually helpful. We started well. Now there was so much in this episode, you’ll have to forgive me for skipping some of it. Aside from the fact that it is incredibly helpful for the plot, the fact that Quinn is now in on the sting is great because it results in possibly my favourite line ever from Carrie, ‘shouldn’t you be hiding up a tree somewhere?!’. It is all too easy to forget the fun in Homeland when our heroine is, you know, getting a hood placed over her head and kidnapped!!

This episode is possibly so enticing because we are finally introduced to our new supervillain, Javadi. And there is no ambiguity this season, except for the fact that when he spills sauce down his shirt he has a very normal ‘oh bother’ reaction to it. But I don’t know what else we’d expect… him to seek revenge on all ketchup? Oh, and the moment preceding that when he is watching the mother and child from the car, is this meant to be creepy, or touching? Either he is plotting this young mother’s death or he is remembering his own dead family. Maybe I’m just a silly scaredy cat who needs to calm the fuck down and remain rational despite the new bad guy getting directions… DIRECTIONS! DIRECTIONS TO WHERE?!

I was right to be scared though, wasn’t I. This episode saw the return of me jumping and screeching at my computer as Carrie is stripped, kidnapped and taken to the man that makes yoga sound scary. Worth pointing out that Carrie is off her meds again – why, Carrie? Which provides some explanation for the reckless decision to risk everything thus far to go and shout at an FBI man. Although I did enjoy getting another chance to recall Claire Danes in Romeo + Juliet as she pointedly asks him if he remembers how Romeo and Juliet ends; don’t worry Claire, Dana and suicide pact boy got nothin’ on you and Leo. Dana steps out of her delirium for now, and I end up feeling both sorry for her, and relieved about the end of that plotline in equal measure. More interestingly however, we can note that Morgan Saylor (Dana) is rivalling Claire in the wrinkley face stakes.

Quinn remains my biggest interest in this season, taking on Carrie’s usual role of ignoring Saul’s orders and getting emotional about an officer in the field. I know it has been there for a little while, but I can’t resist, Quinn and Carrie anyone??? Saul begins to think he is joining the ranks of the duck shooting, but no, his hopes are shot down like the goose so very plainly killed by semi-baldy for that sole purpose. Then we understand semi-baldy’s earlier remarks… ‘goose season’s nearly over… chance to bring down a big guy’…Har har, Homeland. However, Saul gets his own back by making the most dignified fuck you speech to them all before striding off, effectively saying ‘I’ve got some real work to be getting on with!’. By the way, we know semi-baldy is evil (not only because he was unpleasant to Carrie), because he drinks some spirit which he developed a taste for in Kosovo. If there is a byword for someone shady, it is Kosovo. That is in American t.v. terminology, not in real life obviously. That would be a little harsh.

But best of all, Homeland knows why I still love the show, and in the conversation between Quinn and Saul, I groan with acceptance and despair at Saul’s final line about Carrie… ‘she’s always been on her own’…