Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: Homeland 2.12 - The Choice

The final episode of season 2 for me to geek out and review. So, let's get to it!

 Homeland Episode 2.12- The Choice

A little pre-terror attack make-out sesh.

Spoiler Free Synopsis: Carrie and Brody contemplate a real life together, but she also contemplates staying at the CIA and dropping him. Quinn is sent to kill Brody, while Saul is still trying to get Estes back for throwing him under the bus.

STOP READING IF YOU PLAN ON WATCHING THIS EPISODE AT A LATER TIME (the caps make it official and serious, yo.)

What I liked: 

  • 2nd week in a row...Quinn. That guy is the fucking man. He grew a conscience, because he legit cares about Carrie and how she would be ruined if Brody were killed. The scene between he and Estes in the dark bedroom was some of the best television I've seen in ages. I don't know if he will be, but please, Homeland writers, bring that guy back. I would accept a love story on this show if it were between he and Carrie. Sorry, Brody. 
  • "You're the smartest and dumbest fucking person I've ever known." Preach it, Saul.
  • The relatively slow pace of the first half, mixed with the what-the-what of the second. It was like ugh, ohh, gosh, ohh, what?! for the last 15 minutes and I loved it.
  • The end when the man was asking Dana how she knew that Brody wasn't saying goodbye for good and the audience knows that she has seen what that looks like from season one, but couldn't say. Wonderfully written/acted and I'm no Dana fan. 
  • Check ya later, Estes. Never liked you.
  • Saul's bizarre looks at various points along with the call with his wife. Is it just me or were they trying to make you think he knows a little something-something about the bombing? He probably doesn't, but he's the new Galvez-is-the-mole of the show.
  • Even though Brody had nothing to do with the bombing (we think!) you have to love the writers' decision to still make you wonder if he knows what's up. The subtle question that Carrie has for him about why he looks sad twenty seconds before he happens to realize his car isn't where it was parked? Delicious. 
  • Similarly and maybe why we know Brody didn't do it, Brody's look at the screen when he realizes he is screwed with the release of the old suicide vest tape was awesome. Of course, he still could be a terrorist and is just upset he didn't get away with it this time, but let's assume Brody is innocent for once.

What I loathed:
  • Not a ton to loathe, but the declaration of love in the forest was more funny than romantic for me, but I'm a hater of the Brody/Carrie L-O-V-E, so I'm biased.
  • The fact that Brody and Carrie both left the memorial seconds before the bomb was a bit gimmicky, but hell, the episode was so righteous that I can overlook that.

Dana's annoyance level:
I actually liked Dana. I know! It is bizarro world. She was understated and not overly mopey and you have to love the fact that she put together to whole bombing thing long before her mother. Her scene with Brody was similar to some of the great scenes in season one. Also, the scene where she says he didn't do the bombing was perfectly done and you can read above for a further explanation on that.

The Brody/Carrie Chemistry Factor:
They had a bizarrely normal relationship for the first part. Then she thought about killing him after the bomb. Then she helped him escape into the Canadian forests.

Max and Virgil-ness(easily the best two characters on the show):
ZERO. Two weeks in a row. For shame.

Overall grade:
It was a solid A. It gave me faith in the series and for season 3. Looking at Brody and Carrie in a domestic lifestyle was so incredibly awkward and exactly why they should never be a couple. Saul was awesome and I'm sorry, but can someone recognize Rupert Friend (Quinn) as the shining spot of season two? I read a lot about the show and rarely see this being discussed. The guy is a revelation. In a season full of ups and downs, he never wavered and was always pretty while doing so. Win, win. 

The one major disappointment for me was the fact that Brody escaped into the Canadian wilderness. I cannot be the only one who thought when they kissed in the forest that Carrie was going to shoot him or even post the blast. For a minute when he said you gave yourself over to me or something, I thought he was going to kill her. Is it bad that I assume one will always kill the other? I'm nervous about how they will work him into Season 3 without getting over the top and if he is only going to be in some of the episodes, then I think a poetic send off from Carrie would have been the ticket. I suppose there are too many Brody fans out there for the folks at Showtime to even entertain that idea, but it would have elevated a great finale to a level of excellence.

Big questions for next season:
Where to begin? Obviously, how will Brody figure into season 3? He can't be in every episode can he? Where are the writers going with Saul's wife? Bringing her back for a few seconds felt like the subtle mention of Brody's favorite tea in season one. She has to figure into some larger plot, no? I'm so skeptical of everyone on the show. The biggest question is how will I go 9+ months without this wonderful show? Even with its weakest efforts, it is miles above 99% of the other shows on TV.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Review: Homeland 2.11 - In Memoriam

Only a week late! Started this on Monday and posting the day before the finale. I rule.

 Homeland Episode 2.11 - In Memoriam

Spoiler Free Synopsis: Carrie is close to getting her target, while Brody is close to biting the dust at the hands of Quinn.

STOP READING IF YOU PLAN ON WATCHING THIS EPISODE AT A LATER TIME (the caps make it official and serious, yo.)

What I liked: 

  • Quinn. Is he going to be on this show long term? I like the development of the character and the fact that he legit seems to be questioning his mission, which involves killing Carrie's man. Because I have grown to thoroughly enjoy his character, he will likely be killed next week.

  • Brody and Jess laying it all out there in the driveway. SO. MUCH. EMOTIONAL. IMPACT.

  • Loved Saul being a prick during the lie detector. Dude rocks.

What I loathed:
  • Carrie for a majority of the episode. It is becoming almost laughable when a superior gives her an order, because she never listens and I find it to be highly annoying.

  • The culmination of the TWO SEASON Galvez-possible-mole storyline is that he isn't a mole and he blew out some stitches. A bit weak.

  • Dana's screaming in the condo. Read more below.

Dana's annoyance level:
HA! Being a nerd about this show, I do read reviews after the show to see what other people think and I love how polarizing this chick is. I have to say, I don't get the defenders. She yelled a bit about being pretty much a shut in and then dropped her obligatory f-bomb and shouted a lot about Mike being a better father than Brody. Hilariously inappropriate since to your knowledge, your Dad was being tortured for 8 years, but I guess we are supposed to forgive her because she's a teenie bopper. Her shouting was a bit reminiscent of Carrie shouting all the time, which is great! (Heavy on the sarcasm). 

The Brody/Carrie Chemistry Factor:
Brody loves Carrie. Jess called him out on it and it was almost like a light bulb went off in his head that said, "Yes, actually I do." Still not into it, but I guess it is where the storyline is headed (til one of them is killed). That being said, the scene at the end was pretty decent.

One point: remember a few episodes back when I'm pretty sure Brody NEVER told anyone, even Carrie, the full story of what happened with Nazir? Was that just the idea of killing the VP or was it more? Is this love for real or is Brody still playing Carrie? I don't think we will ever know, but for the love of God, please do let these two have a happily ever after ending. I love Brody as a character, but good lord, Carrie, this guy made you a joke to your colleagues and put you through shock treatments that weren't necessary, because you were right all along. Even if you can look past the whole HE IS A TERRORIST thing, have some self respect. 

Max and Virgil-ness(easily the best two characters on the show):
ZERO. I can't take it.

Overall grade:
It was just ok for me. I would say a B-. The death of Nazir was pretty lame, as was the Galvez plotline. I did enjoy Brody and Jess finally putting it all out there and Quinn's new layer of becoming a legit friend to Carrie. He is like the younger, prettier Saul these days.

Big questions for next week:
Will Quinn kill Brody? Or the other way around? Or no one kills no one? How will Saul factor into it all with Estes wanting him out? So much to learn!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Homeland Episode Recap - 2.10 Broken Hearts

So, in my time away from the blog, I found pretty much the most amazing TV show ever. Everyone had been hyping Homeland for so long that I wrote it off. I generally hate when a show is overhyped, because it never lives up to the standards that other people have made it out to be. Case in point: Mad Men. Sorry, but I just don't get it. It is a decent show, but is it THAT great? Not for me.

Homeland, on the other hand: SO WORTH THE HYPE. It is seriously the best show I can think of in recent memory. I don't watch many new shows, as I often find myself watching old re-runs of woefully canceled too soon shows a la Freaks and Geeks or the Black Donnelly's. I digress. Homeland=so good. So, I think that from now on I will be recapping episodes. There are only 2 left in this season, but maybe I will start with last night's and then revisit the old ones? Who knows?

Let's get to it. In case you're living under a rock, the show concerns a former POW who comes home and one specific female CIA agent who believes he may have been "turned" and is now working for the enemy. Also, they have a bunch of sexual chemistry, he has an annoying family, and she is bipolar. Anyways, the show is much farther on than that, but that's the premise, so assuming you know what has happened since the beginning, let's continue. Amazing. Seriously, amazing show. Did I mention it is AMAZING?

Episode 2.10- Broken Hearts

Just playing some cards, yo. Keepin' it cas'.

Spoiler Free Synopsis: Brody comes "home" to the safe house condo and is contacted by Nazir who has caused a car accident and kidnapped Carrie. Brody flips his shit (a trend) and Nazir says he will trade Carrie for access to the serial number on VP Walden's pacemaker (sneaky!).

STOP READING IF YOU PLAN ON WATCHING THIS EPISODE AT A LATER TIME (the caps make it official and serious, yo.)

What I liked: 
  • I guess Brody does love Carrie. It has been a recurring theme in the series on just how much he actually loved her vs. how much he was just using her for information. The guy was legit concerned about her well being and even though he hated Walden, I still think his actions were controlled by his feelings for Carrie. Trust me, while I will admit they have insane chemistry, I'm not into the love story that the writers seem obsessed with between these two, but it was refreshing to see Brody showing some signs of love for another human being, even if it was followed by letting the VP die right in front of him. 

  • And to that scene, how amazing was the delivery of the line, "I'm killing you"? It gave me the chills. Brody flips his switch from concerned lover of Carrie to evil hater of Walden so seamlessly and believably that I have to say he is the most compelling character on television.  He is never one thing, which I guess is the point of the show, in that no one person is all of one thing, but rather the gray area that so many fans of the show discuss.

  • "The New York Times, believe it or not." Awesome Nazir quote. Also, kinda hilarious with the face timing rather than just calling. That Nazir. Too bad he is an evil terrorist, because his scenes are generally aces.

What I loathed:
  • Wow, there were some sloppy plot lines in this episode. I generally can look past small things and allow for creative license, but some of them were so HUGE that I couldn't stop thinking about them. After Carrie's accident, are we really supposed to believe that they would just leave Brody out in the world without either bringing him in or at the very least tapping his phone? Saul standing around asking where she was and why hadn't they heard from Nazir was laughable. Umm, you should probably be checking in on oh I don't know, THE GUY WHO WAS WORKING FOR HIM. Seriously, last week Quinn secretly had a gun pointed at him and no one is following his every move when his lady friend goes missing and Nazir is still on the loose in America?? HOMELAND, YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS. Shape up.

  • Similarly to that point above, could Brody really just wander about the VP's place undetected? Could he shout the name Nazir any louder? 

  • Also, what is up with Galvez? That guy should be dead. Sorry, but was peppered with a machine gun and he just waltzes in slight banged up with a sling? Nope. Not buying it. Writers, we get it that you want us to think he is the mole, but give it a rest. Unless he is the mole and you want us to think there's no way he's the mole because you're shoving it down our throats only to be like, hey, he actually is the mole at some point. My brain hurts.

  • How about Carrie running back to the warehouse? So Carrie of her. Also, so ridiculous. I guess she is such a great CIA agent (is she actually working there again?) because she never listens to her superiors and 100% of the time does her own thing. Oh, wait, I think that makes her terrible.

Dana's annoyance level:
She wasn't in it a lot, but when she was, yep, she had the full on pout and monotone in full force. So many fans want her written out of the show and while I appreciated her character and connection with Brody in the first season, this season has just been too.much.Dana.  What was the point of Finn coming to see her? If they need some filler for episodes how about the drunk old soldier buddy. He is always infinitely more interesting than a Dana story.

The Brody/Carrie Chemistry Factor:
They had some sappy talk on the phone prior to accident where Carrie said it was great to hear Brody's voice. Didn't they say the same thing last week? Something similarly sappy. Sweet soap opera style mush. Slightly redeemed by the fact that I guess Brody loves Carrie. Or something? 

Max and Virgil-ness(easily the best two characters on the show):
Sadly only a couple of small appearances by Virgil. No Max. Siiiigh.

Overall grade:
I give it a solid B+. I have to say I didn't think that the VP would bite it (he is dead, right?) like he did and Brody's spine tingling portrayal in that scene redeemed some utterly ridiculous plot lines that still have me shaking my head. It was pretty decent for shock value and emotional value, but again, how are they not tracking Brody's calls? No,

Big questions for next week:
What the eff is up with Saul and being whisked away for questioning? Will they believe that Carrie was really with Nazir? She certainly can't tell them about Brody's involvement, so what's her deal? WHAT IS IN THAT TRUNK? Or should I say who?

Catch you dudes next week for another sweet recap.