TV Review: Homeland S03E03, Tower Of David

Let’s forget spy action in this season as show creators are hell bent on taking this melting pot of deranged characters on an emotional roller coaster ride. Oh well

Deborah Cornelious October 16, 2022
  • Direction
  • Acting
  • Screenplay
  • Cinematography


After escaping Washington, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) was on the run. After two episodes of almost no sign of him, he surfaces in “Tower Of David.” We don’t know where he’s been. We don’t know what happened to his hair. And we most certainly don’t know how he got to Caita La Mar, Venezuela or why he’s been shot and is shaking as if seizing from by an epileptic attack. But here he is, in all his glory, finally making an appearance after playing continuously with the audiences’ patience. During the one hour, we didn’t see Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) or his partner in crime, Dar Adal (F Murray Abraham). There were no Agency operations to scrutinize. Neither was there any focus on teenage angst in the form of Brody’s fidgety daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor) or her mother Jessica (Morena Baccarin).

The episode was essentially just pure Brody, which in our opinion didn’t have that much character to keep us glued. So he’s a wanted terrorist all over the world with a US $10 million bounty on his bald head. Yet one of Carrie’s (Claire Danes) old associates El Nino (Manny Perez) rescues him after which there’s a crude surgery involving shooting up drugs instead of anesthesia. But wait, he’s then held captive and then, whoa, made to shoot heroin. And our hero, who survived war, became a terrorist, then a double agent whilst holding himself together, lost it all and went for heroin when he was left all alone in a cell with a kit. The episode dealt with his healing, emotional situation and attempts at freedom.  If the show is going to focus on his newfound junkiedom in the next episodes, we’re afraid, “Homeland” will be going down a very slippery slope.

Then halfway through the episode, just to break the monotony perhaps, the screens cuts to Carrie. She’s a prisoner of the hospital too. She’s helpless and trying so, so hard to prove to everyone she’s lucid and is taking her meds properly. A particularly pitiable scene is when she begs a nurse to not tell “them” when she bleeds after banging her head against a mirror. Carrie is the poster child for emotional instability, yes,  how much longer are they going to make her suffer? It’s a bit tiring to watch her frown in anger, sadness or even frustration. Cut her some slack, please!

We’re not questioning the creator’s ability to evoke empathy for the characters. We’re already emotionally invested which is why we’re sitting through ho-hum episodes like the first three, that are no way comparable to the brilliance of the first two seasons. But it seemed a tad overdone when the episode was entirely focused on Brody with Carrie just thrown in for good measure. Is he perhaps complaining about the reduced screen time? We’re three episodes in and we still can’t figure out what the core of the season will be. From what’s aired so far, it seems Showtime is trying a different, emotional approach. They’re focusing entirely on the upshot of what happened at Langley. People are still grappling with their situations, the agency is trying to avenge their lost comrades, Dana is using sex as a coping mechanism, Carrie is still guilty and Brody, well, he’s got himself in a druggy pickle. We’re all waiting for this unsubstantial emotional turmoil saga to end and for the real action to begin.