Homeland recap: The Edge of Reason

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December 13, 2012 by Susan Miller

When Carrie probably should be crying...

When Carrie probably should be crying…

Here we are, folks.  The penultimate episode of Homeland season 2 and it feels very, very different from last year.  Last year I remember being so anxious all week long about whether Brody would live or die.  I couldn’t imagine how they were going to keep the story going for another season.  I cared about the characters and knew the stakes and had a very clear understanding of what was going to happen next.  Now?  Now I’m just grateful that there’s only one episode left.  I’m anxious about what they’ll do with it, and I hope to be pleasantly surprised.  But after all the hyperplotting and implausibility circuses, I’m just kind of… exhausted.  I don’t care whether Brody lives or dies, or if Saul stays in the CIA, or who the mole is, or why no one seems to care about the VP dying under extremely suspicious circumstances.  More than any of that I just want to know where we’re going and why it matters.  I need it to matter again.

We don’t typically do a play by play recap on this blog, and I don’t intend to start now.  But for those of you playing along without a Showtime subscription, this article is a great summary of events and WTF moments in this season.  She pretty much covers everything, so I’ll try to get off my implausibility soapbox for the rest of this post.  (No promises.)

Where do we go from here?

Susan: Things look pretty rough for everyone right now, don’t they?  Saul’s essentially out of the CIA, Peter’s about to kill Brody, Walden’s dead, Nazir’s dead, all of his men are in custody and all of the show’s initial conflicts are resolved or forgotten.  So what now?  I would say that casting F. Murray Abraham as Dar Adal means that the storyline has legs past this season, but this is the same show that brought Carver on for 30 seconds and didn’t even give him any lines.  So… I’m hesitant.  I suppose it would be interesting to see Peter have a change of heart about assassinating Brody, and then he, Saul, Carrie, Virgil and Max can all join Dar Adal on a new super secret CIA mission.  Would they team up against Estes?  A domestic threat instead of international?  It is called Homeland after all.  I’m cautiously optimistic about a reboot.

Steven: I think Estes is going to have a change of heart and call off Peter.  Brody, newly freed, decides to run off with Carrie to a small town in Wyoming called Homeland.  The show then follows their life together as they try to fit into a new surrounding, forgetting their old CIA lives.  Instead of an homage to Hatufim, new episodes of Homeland are shot-for-shot remakes of episodes from the 1990’s series Northern Exposure.  This is the only logical direction I can see the show moving in.

Can Homeland get back on the reality wagon?

Susan: One desperate internet theory is that this entire season has existed in Carrie’s mind during one of her electroshock treatments and at the end of the season she’ll wake up and murmur Issa and we’ll basically do the entire season over again.  This would eliminate all of those pesky improbabilities this season is riddled with, but would also be a gigantic waste of time.  I can’t imagine the already fuming fan base putting up with that from the writers, but at least it would show an overriding plan to the season.  I would love an explanation, but in a post-LOST world, I’m not holding my breath.

Honestly, I think this season is a result of the writers falling in love with Damian Lewis and, in particular, his chemistry with Claire Danes.  They absolutely should have killed him in the season one finale, and the chaos of this season is a constant reminder of that mistake.  By letting him live too long, the rest of the show got sucked into servicing the impossible and it became increasingly hard to get back on track.  If they do finally kill Brody, then yes, I think the show can go back to reality.  If not, I don’t see how the show succeeds without a major reboot.

Steven: Yes by having all new episodes be shot-for-shot remakes of episodes from the 1990’s series Northern Exposure.

Stray Thoughts

I will be attempting to live tweet the Homeland finale on Sunday, 9 pm CST.  You should follow along, because I really need more twitter followers.  Also, the Homeland finale will be crazy and following a twitter feed will just heighten that completely.  Agreed?  See you there @ksusue.

Now that Brody and Jessica have finally declared their marriage dunzo, is that the end of the Brody clan?  Poor Dana.  You had your shot at significance and wasted it on a hit and run with the VP’s son.  Who knew Xander had more narrative potential?  At least  you got more screen time than your constantly shunned brother, Chris.  Godspeed, gentle Brody’s.  May your mornings be filled with Mike and huevos rancheros and plenty of milk for your cereal.

Susan’s Finale prediction: Nazir and Walden’s deaths were planned ahead of time.  Something big will go down at each of the funerals.  An assassination attempt at Walden’s?  Some sort of bomb at Nazir’s?  If it’s not that, then I’m sticking to my earlier guess about Brody not being the real Brody.  Bonus: Nazir isn’t the real Nazir either.  Bazinga!

Steven’s Finale prediction: Subtle clues will surface in Carrie’s mind – “Wait, Roya was wearing Chanel No. 5.  What’s the 5th stop on this bus line?” – that will prove instrumental in stopping the ghost of Nazir from succeeding in his plan to blow up V.P. Walden’s coffin.  Brody will act super conflicted and then mysteriously not die.  (I wish I were bazingaing.)

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