TV Review: Homeland S03E06, Still Positive

How one of the greatest shows of the decade is being brutally slayed by it’s writers

Deborah Cornelious November 5, 2013
  • Acting
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
  • Cinematography

Homeland

We’ve got to be honest, “Homeland” is going nowhere. They might be moving forward in their strange little plots but when it comes to making progress in terms of quality television, we’re afraid, Showtime is losing yet another strong runner. While we’d like to abstain from spoilers, we’re not to going to mince any words on how the mighty seem to be falling. There really isn’t much of anything worth keeping mum about when reviewing “Homeland” any more. With that, let’s talk about the sixth episode titled “Still Positive.”

Oh no, no, the title is not a play at the larger issues in the universe of “Homeland” such as terrorist captures and protecting the State against enemies. It is, in fact, in reference to a positive pregnancy test that Carrie Mathinson (Claire Danes) pees on. After she’s got her results, much to our and perhaps every viewer’s horror, Carrie promptly stores the stick in a drawer filled with other positive tests. This new soapy turn is going to mean nothing but an emo fest for the viewers while Carrie grows maternal instincts and wants a family. Who’s the father though? There was Brody (Damian Lewis) more than two months ago and there was also random gingy (is that racist?) from the supermarket.

While we were momentarily transfixed (in the worst way possible) with the breeding ground of pee bacteria, other things happened during the 50-something minutes. What should have been sweet agony over the capture of Majid Javadi (Shaun Toub) where Carrie and Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) inched towards getting him became almost a blink-and-you’d miss it moment. Our bi-polar protagonist was captured and within minutes she revealed the dope America has on Javadi. Soon he was riding in the car with Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) and Carrie, but not before he brutally murdered his ex-family members. For all his ruthlessness and callousness, Javadi is seen too little for us to be able to invest any potent hatred towards him. All that we know about him is revealed through conversations. For instance we wondered how Saul knew some pretty private details like Javadi’s childhood hero’s identity.

In this episode we learned the truth about their relationship and what a two-faced slimeball Javadi is. But we never get to see his personality other than the stoic and calm exterior that’s just a one-dimensional façade. When he does murder his daughter-in-law and ex-wife, the monster we see cannot be paired with the monster he truly is.

Then of course, there’s Saul and the mega beating his life is taking. Mira (Sarita Choudhury) admitted to having a squeeze on the side who made her laugh. Ouch. Saul’s resigned smile while talking with his wife did tug at our heartstrings for a bit. No one deserves a life imploded like that. And to add insult to injury Senator Andrew Lockhart  (Tracy Letts) is opening his mouth wide to swallow the entire Agency. If his talk with Dar Adal (F Murray Abraham) is anything to go by, drastic change is afoot. Dar is Saul’s right hand man, so he could be feigning his alliance with the senator. But no one is to be trusted and this friend could just turn into a foe. What situation that leaves Saul in is widely unknown. Perhaps, he will become a one-man vigilante army and go looking for Nicholas Brody (who still hasn’t appeared since his heroin-fuelled episode).

As always, Homeland has to squish one of their characters’ faces into inhuman features. It was Carrie before in the mental asylum and it’s been Dana Brody (Morgan Saylor) for a while now. We weren’t left disappointed (we actually were since she made an appearance) with this episode either. There she was slyly tricking her mother Jessica Brody (Morena Baccarin) into believing that their talking and a simple request like a name change could mean good things for the family. Alas, she just had to cause more drama (damn you, Dana!) and moved out before we could say hallelujah. Believe us when we say this, that if this was really a spoiler, it wouldn’t be revealed. But “Homeland” now, we believe, is way past redemption. Anyway, Dana’s gone for now leaving her mother and brother who gets absolutely no screen space despite coming from the loins of Brody too. Because responsible parents do just that, let their underage children leave home when they clearly need help and give them money to help get started. Wow.

The over-the-top plots aren’t as brave as they are just silly now and the characters’ development seems to have hit a wall. Even the new folks brought in aren’t adding to the melting pot that is the strong mix of personalities in the “Homeland” universe. For instance, we would like to know a bit about Fara Sherazi (Naznin Boniadi) or even Quinn. They matter to the story and when we have to sit and watch Dana’s teenage angst unfold instead of important information being delivered, it’s just sad what it’s come to.

  • Watch the next episode of “Homeland” on October 11, 2013, 10 pm on Star World Premiere HD.

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