Rolling Stone, after assessing the first three episodes of Showtime's Homeland season 3, issues seven "action items" that need to be implemented, stat:
Homeland Season 3: Episode 5 Clip - 'The Yoga Play'
Carrie seeks Max's help.
Homeland Season 3: Next on Episode 5 Promo VIDEO
HOMELAND Episode 305 – “The Yoga Play” Synopsis
Premiere Date: 10/27/13
A mysterious man enters the country at the US-Canadian border. In DC, Carrie puts her mission on the line to do a risky favor. Saul is forced to rub elbows with his adversary, Senator Lockhart, on an elite hunting trip. Still on the run, Dana makes a shocking discovery that could end her getaway for good.
Directed by Clark Johnson
Written by Patrick Harbinson
Three episodes into the series' third season, it's clear that Homeland hasn'tgotten back on track following its Season Two swerve off course, with plot holes, implausible character moments....(in) what was once one of the smartest and most provocative shows on TV. Can this show be saved?... Its performances are too strong, and its core ideas too compelling, to write it off outright. So if a manic Carrie Mathison were to put together a bulletin board full of ways to rescue Homeland, here are seven action items you might find on it.
To recapture the genuine tension of the bulk of Season One, the show needs to nix the theatrics and get put the "psychological" back in "psychological thriller."
(G)ive Sarita Choudhury, a.k.a. Saul Berenson's wife Mira, more to do.
Rather than continue to stretch out her increasingly implausible romance with Brody, a story the show's creators and network erroneously believe is the center of the show, Homeland should hook Carrie up with Peter Quinn. ...Quinn's not a secret terrorist, he's a resident of the CIA's dark side. It'd provide Carrie with fresh ammo for her battle with her bosses, since Quinn knows where the bodies are buried (figuratively and literally, most likely). It'd give Quinn something more interesting to do than he's done so far this season... If Showtime's so determined to make Homeland a sexy romance, so be it – just let it be this romance instead.
Claire Danes and Executive Producer, Alex Gansa, sat down to discuss Carrie and Saul's clever ruse (http://s.sho.com/1gF9hIy
More on Homeland From TVGuide:
If something has seemed off about this season of Homeland, there's a good reason for it: That's exactly what the writers wanted!
"I was an amateur magician when I was a kid, and my favorite magic trick was always the one in which the magician convinces the audience that he's made a mistake," executive producer Alex Gansa tells TVGuide.com. That's what we were going for this season. [We wanted the audience thinking,] 'How are they going to dig themselves out of this hole? ... They're killing the series right in front our eyes!' And yet you lay down that final card, and you realize that the magician, the writers, have been one step ahead."
Sunday's episode revealed the writers' magic trick as Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) was mysteriously released from her psychiatric hold and allowed to go home. Carrie eventually learned that it wasn't the CIA that arranged her release, but the representatives of Majid Javadi (Sean Toub) — the same man Saul (Mandy Patinkin) has been chasing — who wants Carrie to share information about how the CIA is tracking him and his associates.
After Carrie does the unthinkable and tells Javadi's lawyer Martin Donovan she'll be a rat, Carrie sneaks her way to Saul's house. Once there, she reveals her plan to be a double agent, but the audience also learns that everything that's happened this season — Saul's testimony before the senate, Carrie's hospitalization — was a master plan to lure Javadi out!
Alex Gansa: I think they decided the very next day after the bomb went off. Carrie and Saul were culpable in what happened, and they were looking for some way to make good, to make it right, to get the guy who was ultimately responsible. They began to hatch the plan right then to figure out how to lure the bad guy of the season, Javadi, out of his anonymity in Iran.
Q: So, Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) and Quinn (Rupert Friend) don't know about this?
Gansa: For the first four episodes they were totally outside the circle. This was a ruse and a plot that was hatched just between Carrie and Saul.Q: There were a lot of machinations to this plot. Saul continued to pursue Javadi on his own, for example. Was that just to throw the audience off or was it a backup plan?
Gansa: One of the things that our intelligence officer consultants [told us] is that the most effective intelligence operations are 95 percent true.Carrie and Saul were largely to blame for what happened and [they knew] the CIA would be looking for a scapegoat to take the blame. How would they turn that into a silver lining? This was a huge gamble, and Carrie was asked to sacrifice a lot in that gamble. ... Saul was really playing all sides of the equation here. And you will see that he's got a Phase 2 of the operation in mind, which he is not sharing with Carrie. Saul is very much the puppeteer here.
Q: Where do Carrie's feelings about being committed fall?
Gansa: That's part of the 95 percent of the con that's true.... she is wrestling in an honest way with whether or not to take the lithium... it's a real, honest struggle that will propel her further into the season.
How much, if anything, does Saul know about Carrie's involvement in helping Brody (Damian Lewis) escape?
Gansa: Carrie has not told Saul that she shepherded Brody across the border.... So they are withholding things from each other and that will come to a head as we move further along into the season.
Q: Speaking of Brody, what can you say about how you want to work him back into the story?
Gansa: I can't say anything except to tell you that Brody is a very big part of the architecture of the rest of the season...
Q: Do you worry about whether viewers will trust what they're seeing on screen moving forward? Or is that the point on a show about spies?
Gansa: That's the entire point...
Q: The audience has been pretty vocal about the Dana story line...What are your thoughts on the reaction that plot has gotten so far?
Gansa: You have to watch that story play out. The truth of the matter is that the Dana-Brody story, that father-daughter relationship, is very important to the series...it was important for us to set her emotional table.
Homeland airs Sundays at 9/8c on Showtime.
After the jump: Sneak Peek and Promo Videos of Homeland epsiode 305 "The Yoga Play"