Homeland Review: “Uh… Oh… Ah…” (Season 3, Episode 2)

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homeland Season_3_Episode_2 1

If he is insane with power, it’s a very subtle madness. Not like that demonstrated by anyone else in the show – Carrie stumbles from one paranoiac delusion to the other; Quinn looks positively haunted from his actions last episode; and Dana is still Dana, still maybe just a normal teenager and yes, acting a bit crazier than your average teenage girl, but still not quite bad enough to be sectioned by Saul and drugged.

For my money, the whole “Dana” debacle is the least interesting part of the show, but it’s the one that holds the key to understanding the world in which it takes place. As baldly stated by Dana, the world is crazy. Everyone is a bit crazy. That appears to be true, as not a single character acts in a way that is at all helpful, or logical. Dana’s actions throughout the episode veer from crazy to completely sane, often the most sane in the room, and it’s difficult to find a throughline and work out her motivations. Is she upset? Is she OK?

Liam seems like a good influence, but it really feels like he’s going to turn at some point. It’d be an interesting move if they made him a Brody-alike, giving Dana nobody to rely on, acting as a “double agent” in their relationship. He still has that embarrassing selfie that she sent him, remember. Dana would be an extremely realistic character, inconsistent and full of angst, if she wasn’t so frustratingly written. If she could escape from the grumpy teenager tropes, she’d be fantastic.

Unfortunately, the writers want to keep her slamming doors and looking at old photographs, and it’s not helpful. She could be the heart of the show, but she’s usually the annoying… I don’t know… a buzzing in the ear of the show. And the ending they give her is difficult to interpret – is it the first step down a newly-found path of calm? Or is it just another aspect to her psychosis? Or a way to get close to and understand her still-absent father?

Brody returns next episode, and not before time. It’s only been two episodes, but there’s a gaping void where he should be, and the show is becoming a vacuum without him. No character is interesting enough to hold the series together, and without an anchor, Homeland might just veer off course altogether. Unless it finds a way to reconcile its various spinning plates, this could become the new Dexter – far too convoluted for its own good, and verging on the plainly ridiculous.

A final note – what the hell is that title about? “Uh… Oh… Ah…”? Is that a reference to something in the episode? I couldn’t link it to anything. It’s such a stupid title that it almost impacts negatively on the episode. They think we don’t understand that not every Muslim is a terrorist. They think we need our mental patients slobbering or psychotic, sitting childlike in a white gown before we recognise them. They think so little of us that they name an episode “Uh… Oh… Ah…”? Am I missing something? Please, Homeland, try harder next time. Credit us with some intelligence.

Sorry if that’s a bit harsh.

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