Homeland: 3.05 - The Yoga Play - Review
Considering that Dana Brody's lovestruck adventure with her new boyfriend has been widely derided by every reviewer on the internet, you'd be correct to guess that we really wouldn't want it to take over the rest of the show as well. Unfortunately, the Homeland writers have decided we'll take that and eat it.
Oh well. At least we got some signs of a wider plot kicking in last week, right? So that ought to go somewhere? Find out below, spoilers included so catch up on 4OD first.
Terse chats about nothingShowing considerable restraint on the part of said writers, Nick Brody is absent yet again this week - so only one episode out of five has featured the evil Congressterrorist. His shadow looms though, as Carrie lets herself get dragged into trying to help Jessica find Dana, almost scuppering her own longrunning operation in the process. Considering her singleminded stubbornness and extensively established feelings for Brody, it's reasonable that Carrie would do this, but it led to a slightly flat episode until the final scene, as Carrie went to a lot of trouble to quickly threaten one guy.
The titular Yoga Play was still good fun though, a nice window into the more routine world of spies that Homeland likes to think it represents, rather than the ridiculous cartoon antiterrorist yelling of other TV shows. I also enjoy Quinn's newfound role as the exasperated older brother to both Carrie and Saul, growing impatient with her recklessness and his manipulation. Quinn just wants everyone to sit down and hug, really.
Still, this storyline trailed off a bit, ending when Dana... found out about Leo's dark secret and went home. It wasn't a very exciting storyline in the first place, so maybe an anticlimax was inevitable, but couldn't they have a more lively showdown? Let Carrie get involved to talk them down? The Dana/Leo yelling session in the street didn't quite make it all worthwhile for me.
The Magician > Abu NasirHappily, the background business was more interesting - Saul discovers the CIA is getting taken over by an obvious baddie! Virgil and Max are back again! And, at the end, Carrie gets dragged out to meet with The Magician, in a way that makes us think the next episode will be properly intense. If the ultimate goal of this season is to re-establish the series as a viable CIA show revolving around Carrie/Saul/Quinn, with a better villain than Abu Nasir and Brody as some kind of wildcard, they're getting there. Ditch the inane teen angst stories and there might be hope.
Still, this particular episode did suffer from being built heavily around such a storyline. At least that appears to be over now, and we can either move Dana on to entirely new material or finally get to the point. Fortunately, they have good actors, so even the lamer storylines seem more compelling than they deserve. Next week on Homeland - a tense chat with The Magician, I guess, and surely we're owed another pop-up from Brody by now? I mean, I don't even want the character to appear that much, but I can't help wondering what the hell his role is now.