Homeland is still good, so let’s stop talking about how surprising that is and get to this week’s episode, huh?
A lot happened this week, but the best avenue in may be this rather conspicuous observation: Quinn is the new Carrie. Or, rather, he’s assumed what used to be one of Carrie’s defining functions: the rogue agent. He’s out on his own now, working to track Haqqani down with no backup and against Carrie’s direct orders. That puts Carrie in Saul’s old role of the level-headed skeptic whose responsibility it is to reel in the passionate underling.
Another solid episode this week solidifies the upward trend in quality. And, I think, highlights how spoiled we are with 100 percent serialized shows like “Breaking Bad” or “Mad Men” (and on and on) boasting near-perfectly toned, highly intricate season-long stories that bely how difficult it is to sculpt a satisfying narrative over the course of a dozen, hour-long episodes.
Two weeks ago, “Homeland” gave us its craziest episode this season, and this week, we got by far this season’s best episode. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. It’s kind of like the show finally sneezed and out of relief was able to relax into a tight, tense hour of very enjoyable television.
Surprise! “Homeland” has a trick or two up its sleeve. In the form of a one legitimately surprising and significant development, yes, but also an all-around solid, enjoyable episode of television marred mostly by damage the show has already done to itself this season rather than any specific transgression in this week’s episode.
It’s not easy to sit down and complain about the same TV show every week. Or very fun. It stops being fun pretty quickly in fact. “Homeland” and a lot of TV shows out there are often disappointing, but fellow “Newsroom” fans know there’s more to this medium than what is strictly speaking good or bad. And that almost nothing is 100 percent terrible, and even when it is, it’s probably still a lot of fun to watch. “Homeland” has a lot of problems, yes, but it’s definitely not all bad, so I want to start by highlighting something I really love about “Homeland” right now.