Tag Archives: theories

‘Homeland’ 4.11 or “Failure Protocol” or Carrie Talks Someone Off A Cliff Part 3

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Last night’s episode of Homeland (“Kreig Nicht Lieb” — “War, not Love”) was brought to you by the letter B. B stands for Bummer. Was the entire penultimate episode of the season a bummer? No, but penultimate episodes have a reputation for being the strongest of a season, and this week Homeland showed a chink in it’s new shiny armor with a weaker, and slightly misguided hour of television. It wasn’t the worst episode of Homeland, or of the season, but the characters were all around inconsistent and several plot devices felt forced. In my best German pun, they were doppelgängers of the characters we’ve come to know and recognize. Also, yes, I totally called it last week that Dar Adal would be making a play for Lockhart’s position as CIA Director. I think.

So first issue: Carrie’s father’s death. It’s certainly believable that Carrie would be deeply affected by the news, however I would have appreciated something (even if it was very early in the season) to have built up the emotional impact of this considering that Carrie and her father have not been in contact in well over a year, nor has the matter weighed on her. Yes, Carrie is sad and Claire Danes is to chin-quivering what Meryl Streep is to accents, but it felt just a little cheap to throw an extraneous tearjerker in this episode. Did it make some of us cry? Sure. Did it have any meaningful impact on the season, characters, or plot? No. Therefore, cheap.

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‘The Affair’ 1.05 or Ladies First or It’s A Family Affair

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Last night’s episode of The Affair was brought to you by my new Twitter handle: @SkankHoJodyManko. But seriously though, I forgot how much NOT fun it is being a teenage girl.

For the first time last night, we heard Alison’s side of things first.  And yet again, we didn’t see the same thing unfold twice.  Instead we are seeing certain bits from each of their perspectives but mainly how their personal lives are unfolding when the two are not together. If you’ve been keeping up with my reviews on The Affair, you will have guessed that I was thrilled about both these changes. Not because having Noah’s story come first, or watching the same story twice, had created a problem, but because it would have skewed opinions in his direction and gotten redundant — respectively — had it gone on too long, or worse, permanently. The switch was perfectly timed! In fact, according to showrunner Sarah Treem, a gifted playwright, she saw the season as a three-act play, and Sunday’s episode (no. 5) was the first episode of the second act (via Twitter). If you know anything about story structure, you’ll recognize the truth in that statement as it relates to last night’s episode, and realize that things are going to get very complicated and very dark, very quickly.

And so this week I’ll touch upon what seemed important here, their separate stresses of their home lives, and finally recap the differences and links between Noah and Alison’s stories and “bunk-ups” as well as what has become my new favorite show within a show “Revelations: Hosted by Detective Jeffries“. Let’s not forget we finally learned who died this week (BOOM! I got it right!).

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‘Homeland’ 4.06 or The One Where Carrie Pulls A Walter White

drone queenLast night’s episode of Homeland was brought to you by the letter D and the letter Q. That stands for Drone Queen. (I just had to bring back the cake [above] from the season opener to drive the point home.)

This brilliant episode says everything about why Homeland is so important on television right now. Carrie quite literally had to be restrained from pushing the button that would kill, Saul Berenson, the closest thing Carrie has ever had to a loving family, in the name of her country. Right.  Sure, Carrie has been utterly irrational and lost her shit many times in past seasons — no argument there — but when she has it’s always been in a manic state consequential of her bipolar disorder. And last night this was not at all the case, at all.

I’ve not seen something this demoralizing and low from a series lead since Walter White started using children as pawns and body shields to get ahead in his own war.  Certainly Carrie blew Don Draper getting caught banging his downstairs neighbor by his daughter, out of the goddamn water.  In other words, it’s somewhere up there with Tony Soprano asphyxiating Christopher Moltisanti. Tell me I’m wrong (I dare you). The only difference being that Quinn was there to stop her because no doubt Saul would be a pile of dust in the Pakistani desert otherwise.  The de-evolution of Carrie Mathison is happening just as it has with the greatest television characters of all time.  Just when you think she’s getting better, she’s actually just learning how to be a more terrible and selfish person than you even gave her credit for.

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‘The Affair’ 1.02 or Getting Into a (Raspberry) Jam or The Victim Card

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Sunday night’s episode of the The Affair was brought to you by the letter J. J stands for Jam.

Those of you who saw The Affair pilot when Showtime previewed it two weeks ago may have felt the same anxiety I did in having to wait a whole 14 days to catch the follow up episode this past Sunday night.  I was so excited I started to wonder if perhaps I had hyped it up too much. Sunday’s episode confirmed that I had not.  In fact it twisted the premise up even more so with some curious reveals about what we hear, what we see, when we hear/see it and how we should interpret the validity of each.

Brits Ruth Wilson and Dominic West continued to captivate as married American caught in wave of lust and longing in Montauk, Long Island.  For those who’ve never been to the popular seaside New York town out on “The Island”, Montauk may still ring a bell as the setting of Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, in which the town represented a similar sense of longing and escapism to a pair of star crossed lovers who met there.  Montauk is it’s own character in The Affair, its history, landscape, scenery, and culture serving as vehicles for most of the twists and turns which lead Noah and Alison to each other.  It always adds something very authentic when a television show is filmed on location, rather than just another “New York street” on a Burbank lot, and that is certainly the case here.

Oh and, still no sex.  I think there’s a third date rule in here somewhere.  Good call, writers.  Who doesn’t love some good old fashioned foreplay.

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