Homeland Review: “Good Night” (Season 3, Episode 10)

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Suffice to say it doesn’t end well for the Iraqi police. In what amounts to a further act of terrorism, unbeknownst to Brody, the US sniper back-up takes out the police on Turani’s – one of the special ops soldiers – signal. The murder of those officers is merely the first of many catapults of shit to hit the fan, but when it happens, it hits hard. It dawns on Brody what’s just happened, and he rightly freaks out. Of course, it’s the one moment when it’d be great for him not to freak out – he didn’t freak out when that guy was pushed off the roof in Venezeuala, or when Javadi shoots Turani right in front of him later on (oops! spoiler!), but when it is of utmost importance that the guys escape quietly, he panics.

This is an incredibly annoying aspect of Homeland – it’s almost like they’ve only used such messed up characters as a quick narrative shortcut whenever they need some extra tension. Just make Brody or Carrie freak out whenever there’s a lull in the action, that’ll do it. It just didn’t feel real, which everything up to then kinda did. The police circling the car had me on the edge of my seat, as did the tense negotiations between the soldiers and the Iraqis. It just wasn’t enough though.

Not that this killing, the first of many terrible things to happen to basically innocent people, wasn’t foreshadowed by the show. Like in the trailer for the classic film Westworld, where robots claim that “nothing can go wrong… go wrong… go wrong…,” as Brody was preparing with the others to make a move towards the border, there was a technical hitch with the images from the drone. No big deal, you’d think, and the technician even said so, but that was the sign. It became painfully clear at that moment that everything was going to go tits up. Not that I ever thought it’d be a smooth operation, nor that Brody would get to Iran completely unscathed.

So there’s a few cops dead, and a few Iraqi families with no dad coming home tonight because of Saul’s plan. Surely that’s the worst that could happen? Well, you’ve seen the show, why the hell are you asking so many stupid questions? And if you haven’t, why the hell are you reading this? Fun? Of course that’s not the worst that could happen. Idiot.

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When Brody’s SUV drove over the IED, I had a terrible thought. I wanted Brody to be dead. In that instant, I wanted Brody to have been killed in the explosion. I really didn’t see that coming, and it was the first thing since whatever the last thing was that shocked me to shock me, if that makes sense. I just read that sentence back, and I think it does. It was shocking. I couldn’t believe it. That SUV really flew right into the air, and actually exploded into two separate pieces. Impressive, for an IED. Good work. Like I say, I really wanted Brody to be dead – I thought that Brody being dead would give the show back some credibility and really mix it up just before the penultimate episode next week. Imagine the scenario – Brody’s dead, Saul’s plan is done, Javadi is stuck in Iran, Carrie is pregnant with Brody’s child, Quinn is as hollow as ever – I just think Brody getting exploded in such a pointless way would give the show some edge.

It’s too staid though, and although it is tense, it’s not really doing anything mind-blowing. Homeland could be the Breaking Bad of political/action thrillers, but it stays too close to 24 territory to ever really escape its shadow. Anyway, Brody doesn’t die, he makes a last ditch run for it during a drone strike, which was still genuinely tense. Although having the full omniscient might of the US military behind you would probably serve as something of a mitigating factor in any heroic battle sequence, it was exciting to watch. I didn’t think the Iranians would buy their story so quickly though, and I didn’t think Javadi would just straight up murder Turani right there in front of Brody, but I suppose he’s a mean dude. This fact has repeatedly been established. But what’s Javadi’s next move? Will he use Brody as leverage against Saul? Will he make an example of him on television? Will he manage to become the bigger man?

Where was Fara in all this? Sitting in the dark. Carrie found her though, and now it seems that Fara’s uncle might just be the “big man in Tehran” that next week’s episode is named for, after Carrie appeared to persuade her to get her family involved. You just know her dad won’t be happy about that. Ah well, like I said before, the ends justify the means. Apparently.

Random Robservations

  • Good to see Javadi has kept a hold on his fine moustache/soul patch combo in his time in Iran.
  • Carrie has well and truly nailed that “elated/worried/psychotic” face.
  • If Brody pursed his lips any further, I think they’d fall off.
  • Just how powerful is Saul’s lucky gum?
  • Carrie. Just tell Brody already. Sweet Jesus.

Until next time, Homeland fans!