Homeland threw open the doors for Season 3 last night. Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) had some tough decisions to make. The first was about covert operations on three continents with 6 six high value / high priority targets, and the other about personnel under his direct command. Throughout all of the show, Saul looked lost. Depressed.
Or as his wife Mira (Santa Choudhury) told Saul, You’re paralyzed. To which he could only reply dejectedly, Apparently.
But that malaise was present elsewhere too. In fact I’d say that this case officer in the national clandestine service, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is, from the jump, a mess.
When she was being grilled about Nicholas Brody, and her relationship with him, and what she knew, and when she knew it, by a Congressional Select Committee, it was a more than just a witch hunt. Carrie’s off her meds, and her quivers, tics, slight trembles combined with the fear which she struggles to conceal, does not put her in a good place.
Peter Quinn is back too. He’s actually seen in the opening shots. He’s assembling a bomb. We don’t know where he is, but we will come to learn that he’s in Caracas, Venezuela.
And we will find out that he’s good with munitions, motorbikes, infiltration, as well as small arms.
In yet another carryover from last season, we find that Dana Brody had attempted suicide, and that she’s about to be released from a rehab center. This is/was more than teenage angst. As the doctor told Mrs. Brody, Dana meant business.
Overall, as a carryover from last season, when Brody’s car was used to bomb the CIA HQ in Langley resulting in the deaths of 219 Americans, we have two huge craters. The actual physical one in the earth from the bomb blast. Saul says We [the CIA] are being punished is an apt description for this crater which has yet to be even touched by even a shovel two months after the blast. The second is the metaphorical crater that all of the lead characters find themselves in emotionally.
This CIA is not a place filled with happy agents. Nor is the congressional investigation room where Carrie and her lawyer played by Amy Morton (seen last year in Boss) sit alone facing the committee.
What we have in this Season 3 Premier which is entitled Tin Man Is Down seems to be a course correction made by the Homeland show runner and writers. This is going to be a more contemplative season. Apparently we will have more character development than action. At least to start the season. Without Brody, who did not surface in this episode, we are lacking the Brody/Mathison dynamic. There’s no Abu Nazir either, so who do we hate?