Why is "Homeland" so bad? Is anyone else staring at their TV screen in utter shock and awe? And just so Showtime is aware, we are not shocked by its unbelievable story revelations and plot twists, we are in awe of how annoying Brody's incessant breathing is. Really though, does anyone have a solid grasp on the story line of Season 3? Is there a direction? Because if there is, it's completely lost on me. Now let me explain my genuine frustration with "Homeland," it's a jumbled mess of a story, lacking identity. "Homeland" was such a thrilling and fascinating show to watch in the past two seasons based on its underlying theme: connections and trust.
The "Prisoners of War" based series focused on a core group of characters, namely Carrie Mathison and Nicholas Brody that continually questioned their relationships and determined what connections could be trusted. The crown jewel of the series is the psychological questions posed by the thrilling interactions between characters, can this CIA operative trust her source? Is a former U.S. Marine Sniper really going to forego all previous relationship to seek revenge for a known terrorist? This is when "Homeland" hits the mark, the constant questioning and the characters desire to trust while also considering a time when they should have doubted. While "Homeland's" theme obviously affects the CIA characters like Carrie, Saul, and Quinn. The desire to trust but the tendency to doubt reigns true for Brody and his family as well. Brody's wife, Jess wanted to trust her husband after his return, but was "proven" to be too trusting, while the audience is under the assumption that the bomb was in fact not Brody's fault, Jess still feels betrayed and now doubts everything.
"Homeland's" back and forth in trust, and the possiblity of deception is now gone. Replaced by an awkward and predicatble love story. How did "Homeland" become a modern day "Romeo & Juliet?" Someone tell me because if Dana doesn't pipe down then I am going to reach through the screen and slap her myself. The recent turn away from trust and connections, has opened up "Homeland" to a new theme, unrequited love. While you probably think that these two themes must intersect, they don't, not necessarily, we watched the unrequited love between Carrie and Brody, and while certainly romantic, the story line never veered so far from its goal of possible decpetion. Now following episode 4 "Game On," I'm not sure I want to play the "Homeland" game anymore. Dana and Leo are not an effective parallel to Carrie and Brody, the young teenagers are obviously connected and trust eachother inexplicably, thus eliminating the portion of doubt that once charcaterized every relationship on the show. Dana fully trusts Leo, and never second guesses the relationship. The same seems to go for Leo, who breaks out of the psych ward, trades a car, and takes nap, all in one love filled afternoon with his new girlfriend.
The fast-paced infatuation of Dana and Leo may be entertaining for the young on-screen couple, but it is boring and uncomfortable for the audience. The physical relationship between the two is difficult to watch on screen, even more awkward then their steamy romp in the laundry room, was Dana's impromptu photo shoot. What does this seemingly irrelevant plot line teach us about the characters or more importantly about their world? Nothing, mostly what we learn through the relationship is that Dana is a naïve young girl who is vulnerable, but we knew that already after she slit her wrists at the end of Season 2. Dana and Leo will never be Carrie and Brody, mostly because the relationship has reached it's boring fruition, we have nothing left to see or learn. The aspect of Carrie and Brody's romance that was so interesting, was the audience's speculation as to whether or not this was for real? Is the relationship actually what he or she is feeling, or is this for some personal gain?
My final gripe with "Homeland" was its big reveal at the end of episode 4. And by big reveal, I mean, simply duping the audience. The audience was completely mislead by multiple actions that occurred off-screen, therefore our plotting and planning as to who was secretly keeping Carrie locked up was for nothing. The more frustrating part of "Homeland" misleading the audience with vital off-screen developments, was Carrie's notable distress throughout the first 4 episodes. Why, if Carrie knew that she was going to get out of the hospital and finally make it back to Saul, would she be desperately apply blush and brush her hair? Why also would she be hastily packing her paintings and belongings in order to run out of the hospital, and finally why would she confront a bank teller so aggressively after "learning" that her accounts had been frozen? Was this all acting, to lead people to believe that was actually bound to the mental hospital by the CIA? And if it was, why react so bizarrely after Virgil signaled her that someone was on her trail? After Carrie hung up the phone with her friend, she was alone, no need to act for some nearby onlooker, so why would she continue to suffer in anguish?
The success of "Homeland" certainly looks bleak, and even the interesting plot lines are basic. Does anyone else find it a bit too convenient that Carrie's new employers have ties to the Iranian operative Saul is tracking? And let me guess, both of these groups launder their money through an organization in Venezuela. And in that building, they will find an eerily looking bald man who can't stop huffing and puffing.