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.