TV Review: Homeland S03E08, A Red Wheelbarrow

Showtime waited for this episode to bombard us with multiple twists and turns, plots and sub-plots leaving us feeling overwhelmed

Deborah Cornelious November 19, 2021
  • Screenplay
  • Direction
  • Cinematography
  • Acting


So far we’ve been watching “Homeland” expecting only the unexpected to either confuse us more or make us chuckle in amusement at the cray-cray shenanigans of its characters. For the most part, we’ve got a pretty good handle on what’s happening. Ah, children, that is where our problem lies. “Homeland” is a show about lies, deceit, upmanship and all things cunning. Turns out they’re also using these lovely virtues to troll with their audiences.

Last week, we inched closer to what was supposed to be the main theme of the season. Majid Javadi (Shaun Toub) was turned and set loose in Iran. “A Red Wheelbarrow” (in reference to some ancient poem, as was “Gerontion”) began with yet another burn for senator Andrew Lockhart (Tracy Letts). We thought this episode will be all about Javadi, how he will take his new role forward. Instead, we were treated to a whole new can of worms. Word got out, from Javadi’s moth no less, that Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) was not the Langley bomber. In a bid to clear her baby daddy’s name, a slightly showing Carrie Mathinson (Claire Danes) has made it her mission to find out the identity of the bomber, who apparently is American and is still in the country. What followed next, reminded us why we loved this show in the first place. Carrie, Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), Dar Adal F Murray Abraham) and the rest of the CIA worked together, tapping Leland Bennett ( Martin Donovan) and his associate Paul Franklin’s (Jason Butler Harner) conversations to get to the traitor. As annoying as her character is, Danes really works Carrie. When she’s about to throw away the entire mission, we’re recapping all that she and we have been through to get here and are significantly happy when Quinn manages to thwart her attempts.

Then there’s Saul (Mandy Patnikin), who should have been present during this very high-profile op, but is instead on a plane headed to a secret location. Up till now, we’ve been viewing Saul with a sympathetic head. Poor guy’s going to lose his job, his wife is going to leave him and he’s not really making any progress anywhere. But like a sly little fox, the gent slides the rug beneath our feet. He’s so deep within a web of deceit that he himself has woven, it’s hard to keep track of what’s happened so far.

So many plots and twists just for the sake of proving their competency is just downright overcompensation. You’re not a guy with a huge car and a small appendage, you’re Showtime, you’re “Homeland.” Saul’s chameleon ways are disturbing because he’s been building Carrie up and now he’s going to crush her yet again. His secret location, when revealed, was a slap in all our faces. It wasn’t Iran, like we imagined it to be. He wasn’t meeting Javadi. Instead, he had a bag full of US $10 million as a payment for a very sinister transaction.

Apparently, the show’s creator Alex Gansa had revealed that this season has been created in pockets of four episodes. The fourth episode unveiled the supposed Carrie-Saul rivalry to give way to an alliance behind the curtains. The eight episode too provided a glimpse of some very unsettling plots. Albeit it is reassuring to see how scattered story lines are now coming together. But the next three episodes will be spent playing out Saul’s backhanded actions before we hopefully reach an exciting finale.

In other news, Carrie went for her first pre-natal exam 13 weeks in and has, oh my god, been drinking heavily after finding out about her bundle of joy. Does that make her a terrible mother already? We won’t slice our words, yes it does. But she’s showing signs of growing maternal feelings, wanting to get back on track. We’re not sure how this emotional turn of events are going to go down. How is she going to run after terrorists with a belly full of baby or worse still, what are Saul and the rest of the CIA’s reactions to this supposedly good news?

Also, what’s happening with Mira Berenson  (Sarita Choudhury). First her squeeze — who, let’s be honest here, was really out of her league — tells her he’s in love with her and then proves himself to be a probable terrorist? Come on, there are already way too many things happening already. Perhaps, he’s also working with Bennett’s corrupt law firm, or he could be another antagonist all together. We can’t put anything past the show.

It was an episode of good and bad in unequal proportions, but it has got us eager to see what the creators have in store for us next week. Let’s just hope they do not make us wait 45 minutes before ending on yet another cliff hanger.

  • Watch the next episode of “Homeland” on October 25, 2013, 10 pm on Star World Premiere HD.