Homeland Review: “Staying Positive” (Season 3, Episode 6)

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To say that over the course of these seasons we’ve also seen Carrie become more human, more fallible, would be an understatement. Given she toileted her meds last episode, she seemed pretty together, not cracking at all under the weight of Javadi’s interrogation (or the kidnapping for that matter). The reveal that Saul intends to turn Javadi into an asset himself seemed obvious in retrospect, but it was a twist that I just didn’t see coming. I’d like to think that I didn’t anticipate that twist because I was more involved with the story than past episodes, just enjoying the ride without thinking critically about the show, rather than me just being an idiot. In reality, it’s probably both of those things.

The revelation that she’s pregnant, on the other hand, was where the episode took a turn for the worse. It’s so obvious to give a female character an unwanted pregnancy to create cheap tension. It doesn’t make that much sense story-wise either, considering she was only just in hospital. Did nobody know she was pregnant? Did she never get a blood test? That’s without confronting who the father could be – she had a hell of a lot of pregnancy tests in that drawer, was it her ginger one-night-stand? Was it Brody? If Homeland‘s most recently developed storytelling technique of just hiding details about the story we’re being told for cheap dramatic effect later on is anything to go by, there’s a very real chance that she’s slept with Quinn. What her pregnancy does do is put the dumping of her meds down the toilet in a very different light.

Her pregnancy revelation also gave a different slant to that gut punch of an ending, culminating in Javadi slaughtering two innocent women in cold blood. The initial shot through the head was shocking enough, but seeing him kneeling over his ex-wife Fariba’s body, thrusting the broken bottle into her neck, was completely horrifying. The crying of little baby Behrooz, echoing through the earpieces of Saul’s team as Carrie placed him deftly into the cradle, his mother lying in a pool of blood only feet away, was haunting. I’d say it’s a leading contender for Homeland‘s Bleakest Moment, with Brody lying in the corner of a Venezuelan squat, surrounded by mercenaries and paedophiles coming in a close second. Brutal.