Homeland: 3.10 - Good Night

This week on Homeland, it's Nicholas Brody - Lone Commando! Can the disgraced, nothing-left-to-lose former terrorist marine redeem himself in some small way for his past screw-ups? Or will he die in the process? It looks like that'll be the big question of the remaining three episodes, along with whether Saul's massive Iran operation will succeed. Carrie is also there, being either dutiful or heartbroken depending on circumstances.

Can Action Brody survive a string of close encounters and complete the mission single-handed? Spoilers follow, catch up on 4OD if need be.

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ACTION-BRODY SAVES THE WORLD

As discussed before of late, I'd been worried about what the return of Brody would mean for the show, and now we've had two episodes with him as a major character... I still am, but the stories themselves have been pretty good. Brody's fragile, determined persona is easy to root for and it's nice to get a reminder that Damian Lewis is a great actor regardless of the storylines he's thrown into.

The entire of this episode is the story of Brody's mission to infiltrate Iran with a small team. Unusually for the dangerous-to-know bastard, only one of his comrades ends up dead, which has to be a personal best. Not a lot of plot advancement, but so much of this series has been about meaningful whispers and mutters, they can get away with an episode-long character/action sequence at this stage, particularly one as well-filmed and tense as this. A few sequences where the darkness made it hard to tell exactly what was going on, but never to the point of losing the overall plot.

So, yes, I liked this. Carrie's hysteria was played to an acceptable level, the new improved resigned-to-his-own-toxicity Brody is working for me, the Evil Senator shows a shred of depth, and even if part of me did sigh when Brody took off to complete the mission alone, thankfully the show held back from making him into a one-man army, and to be honest, it does fit with his motivation to achieve redemption at all costs.

Peering into the Homeland crystal ball

Good episode. Still no earthly idea where all this is going - now that Brody and Jivadi are together, more understandable how they can resolve all the remaining plots in two episodes, but in terms of the broader future - will Saul stay in charge at the CIA? What about Carrie's baby? And... Brody? I enjoyed this episode, so would I like seeing him re-imagined as some desperate suicidal commando on an ongoing basis? Do these sort of missions happen often enough in Homeland for that to be sustainable?

They've got me wondering if a main character might die, which is a nice place to be at for a mainstream drama, simply because where else could they go with him? Would Showtime ever let them finish him off? Were the first two thirds of this season basically an extended demonstration of how a NO-BRODY version of Homeland would work, before bringing the man back, knocking him off and continuing to make that show in season 4?

I kinda hope so. Certainly, I'm intrigued, entertained and will be back for the next two weeks to find out.

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