Homeland: Season 2, Episodes 9&10

Only 2 more episodes left of this gem of a show. Is it just me or has this season seriously flown by? I love Showtime programs so much because 1) they never take random breaks like CW or NBC decides to do out of the blue and 2) no commercials! ah such a breath of fresh air. I love that I can watch the show in peace and not have the remote glued to my hand ready to fast forward every time the scene ends. So thank you, there's my little shameless plug for how much I love Showtime. Now, regarding the past two episodes... um WHAT?!! I seriously don't even know where to begin?! First off, I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that the show would decide to bring Abu Nassir to the US this early on in the show -- and then to have him kidnap Carrie and be face to face, communicating with her?! WOW. Of course even though it hadn't crossed my mind, it was still definitely very believable. And I love that Brody did what he was asked in order to save Carrie's life. Now Carrie on the other hand is just plain dumb because of course she decides to run back into the abandoned warehouse and have a 1:1 battle with a terrorist. Sure, nothing insane about that at all. Come on girl, he just let you go! Run AWAY. But in typical Carrie fashion she thinks about the state of the country first and puts herself second. I love that the second she got her phone and called Saul it was to tell him about Nassir's location, not the fact that she had been taken ransom and attacked by him. She's so selfless in that respect.

I'd like to take a moment at this point to share my joy in the reappearance of DANNY Galvez! Ah, thank you Lord that they didn't kill him off! Such a minor character, but I still love seeing him on the show and his little one-liners. Poor guy comes back in with a broken arm after being shot but he still wants in on the rescue mission to save Carrie.

Regarding the Mike/Jess affair.. to be honest I like the two of them together and I really love Brody/Carrie together. But for some reason I get so ticked off at Jess for cheating on her husband. I'm ashamed that I'm pretty much buying into a stereotype and getting more mad at the girl than the guy, but I don't know what it is. I think it's the fact that the audience knows that Carrie understands Brody more than Jess at this point. And even though we see Jess trying and trying repeatedly to get into Brody's head and comfort him, I think I just feel like she needs to try harder. Instead of rushing into bed with Mike, I would expect her to hold out longer and stay committed to Brody, especially because they've been apart for 8 years. But that's a touchy subject and I'm still iffy on what I think exactly. All I know for sure is that I see so much more chemistry between Brody and Carrie. You almost lose sight of the fact that he's involved with a terrorist and you want to cheer for the two of them to get together.

Anyways! Lets get to the side story with Quinn! Very, very interesting sub-plot. I can't tell you how stressed out I was watching last week's final minute. Seeing Quinn as Brody's driver, show up to pick him up, and then wait patiently holding a gun waiting to shoot Brody...?! Speechless!!! I never would have guessed Estes would concoct a plan to overrule Saul and get a black ops guy on this case, and we're still a bit confused exactly why, but it has added so much tension to the show. And I love it. I really feel for Saul though, I couldn't believe that Estes ordered him to be kept at the CIA offices while everyone else went after Carrie. I want to know exactly why Estes is so against having Saul on the front-end.

This episode and last week's were both truly two that made this season. I'm so sad that there are only two left! All my favorite shows are ending by mid-December :/ Well okay, only like 4 of them, but still! This was an amazing season and I know that the last two will have us on the edge of our seats and provide some serious cliff hangers. [I don't think I've ever been more antsy than I was when Season 1 ended with Carrie about to go through electric shock therapy! -- okay, yes, probably during every LOST finale, but still this one is a top 5 moment].

Next week we see Roya is in with the CIA getting interrogated. I'm curious to know if she will feed them lies or if the honest truth will come out. As of now, Nassir has gotten exactly what he wanted; the Vice President is dead (easiest death possible if you ask me), and he's on fire to complete his mission.

Until Sunday folks, that's it for Homeland!

Homeland: Season 2, Episode 7

Sunday night's installment of Homeland was again, mediocre, in my  opinion. I'm getting annoyed that every other episode is semi-boring, especially because I thought that Season 1 was pure gold - every episode. But, I'm trying not to be too picky. First order of business: we finally get a mention of Galvez! LOL. Even if it comprised only 2% of the episode, I'm glad we got confirmation that he's alive. Well, in Quinn's words he's, "still dying" -- but hey that's way better than the writers randomly killing him off. I can't wait to see what happens. I'm starting to like Quinn more and more with each episode. I love his spunk and "take-no-crap-from-anyone" demeanor. It took some getting used to in the beginning but I really like him now. In fact, I wouldn't even mind some more interaction between him and Carrie for that matter! They seem to have some chemistry. I wonder if they'll decide to take the show in that direction. But it's pretty obvious that for now they're keeping Carrie's love life completely centered on Brody. I was absolutely shocked that he's still maintaining his affair with her! I honestly can't read him whatsoever though. One minute he's talking about how good he feels when he's with her and then the next second he's borderline about to shove her aside. I'm not complaining because it's keeping me on the edge of my seat but I'm dying to get an inside scoop on where he's at. Meanwhile, a majority of the episode was centered around Dana and Finn's hit and run accident. I really like that Dana is showing so much concern about this. It was a little predictable that Finn's parents of course were hoping to keep this out of the public eye and just "dispose of it" like most people high up do -- but I'm curious to see how things will turn out because of how adamant Jess and Brody are about going about this the right way.

Of course the second that things are starting to unravel, with Faber putting two and two together about Brody's involvement with the terrorism acts, he gets shut down by Carrie. GAH! No closure in sight. I love it. And again, exhibit B, Saul's interrogation with Aileen didn't go anywhere. I wasn't too shocked that she lied, but I was super shocked that she ended up killing herself. After all that trouble to get her above ground & get her the beloved window cell -- she kills herself?! It was definitely sad. I was surprised to see how emotional it made Saul. I think the biggest thing for the CIA at this point is keeping Brody close, but not letting him in too close. Which scares me because every episode we see Carrie letting her guard down more and more with him. Truthfully, I can barely tell where her head is at anymore. It seems like she's forgetting this is the guy who has a deal to bomb your country with a top tier terrorist.. Girls. Always.

Well, the preview for next week looks appetizing as always. Lets see where that takes us! I'm so excited that after two weeks, Parenthood is back on tonight. Be sure to check back in the morning for a review!

Homeland: Season 2, Episode 6

"A Gettysburg Address"


THANK YOU, Homeland! You gave me exactly what I wanted on Sunday night. I have to admit I was a little "meh" when I started watching Sunday night's episode because of how mediocre I felt Episode 5 was for the viewers. Way to flip me upside down and leave me begging for more!! No exaggeration, when the episode faded to black in the last minute, I literally yelled "ARGH!" at the TV, haha. I wasn't expecting it to end there and I absolutely LOVE when the full hour passes by in an instant and you're left wondering where the time went and how it ended so quickly. That's how you know the episode was great.

I was reading another blog yesterday reviewing this same episode, and I really enjoyed what the author was saying. He mentioned that we are beginning to see a lot of Season 1 type of uneasiness now, in regards to Brody's motives and where his head is at. It's true, the entire time I was watching, all I wanted was an aside of Brody, maybe even talking to the mirror or something and venting about where he's at. At this point we have no idea if he's really given in, and come on board fully with the CIA -- or if he's playing them too and gaining even more intel to provide to Abu Nazir. My mind is absolutely boggled at this point.

Most shocking moment of this episode? The shootout in the tailor's store!!! Um, WHAT?! I was absolutely shocked seeing that, and even more so, I am dying know what happened to Galvez! (yeah, so what, maybe I have a little crush).

But seriously, I think that took everyone by surprise and it takes us back to the scene with Brody and Roya chatting in the hallway. Did he somehow give her a message to lead her to the tailor's store shootout? Did he somehow inaudibly warn her of that? I mean, how in the world would he be able to convey that through body language? Again, I'm just honestly confused but in the best way possible. I am completely satisfied.

Another question I'm left with is the fear that Carrie is really starting to fall for Brody hard, and in a way where she is about to believe him more than the CIA/ what her job is asking of her. In the preview for next week, we see the two of them getting more intimate and it only starts to worry me because she is the key to this entire operation. The second she gets vulnerable, it's done. And not to mention, who knows what his intentions with her are?! We have no idea at this point what he even feels for her. One minute he's holding her the next minute he's running home to his wife.

I don't know but Homeland has won me over yet again and I publicly apologize for being a doubter simply because of one episode!

Homeland: Season 2, Episode 5

"Q&A" What do you get when you mix a CIA agent who is in love with a terrorist, simultaneously trying to bring him down, with a terrorist who is trying to trick the CIA into thinking he's actually "good"? Well sounds like a mouthful right? That's what Homeland has come to as it's embarked in it's second season. I'm not sure what I thought about Sunday night's installment. I sadly think the show is starting to run out of ideas with where to take it from here. Not sure if it's too soon to make a statement like this, but I almost think the show would have been better off as a mini-series, as opposed to a regular TV show.

Don't get me wrong, Season 1 was gold. I think the transitions were perfect, the build-up was exciting, and it was enough realism to keep you hooked until we got to the finale. But then season 2 started up and everything kind of went for a spin. As much as I love that Carrie (thank God), is back in the CIA, I think it's a little unbelievable that she would be given her job back as well as all this authority in such a short time. Was it not just 4 episodes ago that her entire team was calling her crazy and Saul himself being the sole agent to encourage her to go for the shock therapy?!

Now all of a sudden they're referring to her as a genius and letting her run the show. I love it and I think she deserves this, however, I'm not quite sure how believable this is in the long run.

In addition to that, I know I tend to rag on Dana's character a lot, but really? The hit and run accident with Finn? We. Don't. Care. I'm sorry this isn't a high school drama where we need weekly cliffhangers and murders and kidnappings -- this is an adult show centered around the government and homeland security. Why are we mixing the two?! I was honestly really surprised that they dedicated half of this week's episode to their story arc. Not sure where they can take it from here, and sure it will buy them some time for maybe 2 episodes max, but really? I would have much rather seen more from Carrie and Brody's time in the interrogation. That part of the episode, I definitely enjoyed. So much emotion, so much raw vulnerability from both ends. I got super teary eyed watching Carrie as she kept asking him if he ever really felt anything for her.

I still can't put together my discernment on his true intentions. We see him reaching out and grabbing her hand for comfort and then telling her that night in the cabin that she's the only one he can talk to -- but then we also see him calling her crazy and obsessed. I really want to know how he truly feels. I have a huge feeling she cares way more about him than vice-versa though, and I'm really scared that she might let her emotions get the best of her. Typical girl syndrome.

Time will tell. I'm not a huge fan of this new spin with "Brody working with the CIA" now -- but lets see, maybe next week's episode will salvage my distaste and give us some fresh info.

Homeland: Season 2, Episode 4

"New Car Smell" I'm a really big fan of episode titles of shows where it's always something minor and detailed that forces you to pay close attention to the whole episode to figure out how they came up with it. Remind me a lot of Breaking Bad in that sense. In my opinion, this week's episode of Homeland was one of the best the series has had so far. I never thought that Carrie and Brody would reunite this soon in the game -- and then to see that the meeting led to Brody's arrest?! I was floored. I mean obviously there is an entire season left to cover so I doubt the CIA will find any real evidence to keep him locked up, but still. Just the fact that they have him locked up, in hiding, and the flash drive to use against him really places the odds against him.

The writers did such a good job with the scene featuring Brody and Carrie in the bar. They didn't have to say too much, but their body language and emotions gave it all away. I kept thinking, "Is Carrie going to crack?" the whole way through. And in typical Carrie fashion, she did crack in a way. But thank God they at least had some sort of grounds to arrest him upon. But was it just me, or did we all think that the hotel room scene was going to go a whole other direction than it actually did?!

New character alert -- I absolutely love Kevin. I'm so glad they've introduced someone new and I love that he adds somewhat of a light comedic touch to the show. The way he is so dead on about everything, he just reads people perfectly. I can't wait to see more of him as the show continues. In addition, thank GOD that the CIA is finally giving Carrie her credit when it's due! I feel like Estes needs to man up a lot more and give her a more legit apology, but hey, we can't expect too much from him. I'm so happy to see her back in her element and secure in the fact that she was right this entire time. Finally feels good to see her happy. Which, sadly, is only half true, because although most of her identity is back in tact, she's still really heartbroken. It was painful seeing that last scene with her fighting back tears in the hotel room. That last line where she yelled in his face, " I LOVED you" -- wow, sent chills down my spine. I wish the CIA had given us at least one more minute to hear Brody's response to that, but of course, they pop in right at that moment.

I can't imagine where her mind is at. On the one hand, she's the only person who's known that this guy is a fake, phony, and terrorist. On the other hand, she's managed to block off that side of him and fallen in love with him! And it honestly looks like even up until Sunday's episode she was STILL hoping that there was some humanity left in him or something to save. She even goes so far to expose herself 100% and admit she's been in love with him. That's heavy.

Other than that, it was cool to see some other aspects of Dana's life rather than her rants and rude one-liners to Jess, but really? Spending a whole 5 minute segment on a 16 year old's crush on the VP's son? We don't care. Kind of added the high school appeal to it though, so maybe they're trying to broaden their audience base?

Finally, I love this entire arc with Lauder's character. He's the only "layperson" who really knows what's up, but of course no one believes him because he's the town's obnoxious drunk. It's interesting seeing his discernment in putting the pieces together. I'm glad Mike finally at least has lent an ear to this and he's sort of being pulled in. At least a bit! I'm curious to see how the writers will develop these guys' story lines to figure out more of Brody's real identity and what he's up to.

Homeland: Season 2, Episode 3

Shame on me! How late am I on this review?! I promise, I promise I will get better. Things have just been so weird this week with the transitions I'm dealing with & pretty much trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.Which I feel like is way too early to even think about, so I don't get why I'm stressing. Anyways, moving on to Homeland! I always want more Carrie air time. I was annoyed that I didn't get as much as I wanted, but nonetheless, Sunday night's episode was jam packed. Let first talk about Brody and his ordeal with the bomb-maker (yes, thats what I want to call him).

I thought it was a little weird that Abu Nazir's crew chooses Brody as the sole rescuer to get this guy to a safe house. Didn't they think that it would be suspicious that they guy you just made a bomb for is the one that's supposedly getting you out of danger? I don't know. But that side story was really enticing. I was absolutely shocked that Brody ended up breaking his neck. It was so random!! But I guess that's what happened when push came to shove in a stressful moment. I don't think Brody even expected the guy to run away from him! But come on, leaving him alone in the car? Kidnapping 101, sweetie.

Anyways, back to Carrie. My heart broke this episode just seeing her ups and downs. The fact that the CIA lied and told her the meeting was an hour later than it really was -- and on top of that taking her 18 page report for the intel first -- come ON! That was low! I can't even imagine being in a situation where your whole identity was defined as being in the CIA.. and then you're told that you are fired because of a mental instability.. and THEN they change their minds and want you back for one last operation because you're the only one who can help! I mean that's a lot to put on one person. On top of that, she delivers and not only that, she ends up being right about everything. She succeeds in Lebanon, she leads you to Abu Nazzir, AND risks her life to grab that backpack from the home!

And then you won't even let her into the debrief?! Ugh. All I can say is thank God she gets her job back next week (or so it looks like). It's about time. I think my favorite part of the episode was the last 15 minutes. For some reason I could totally put myself in her shoes in those moments. She's home finally for the first time in months, but her self confidence is out the door. So she thinks of the one thing that could really boost her confidence -- dolling up and going out. The second she wants to go out, I almost felt like she was thinking, "This isn't going to satisfy me permanently." And she does a 180 and runs for the pills. Obviously we all knew she wasn't going to kill herself because she's the main character! But still that scene was hard to watch.

Flash forward to her throwing up the pills and taking a few breathers and enter Saul! The best ending this episode could have. I had no idea that he hadn't shown the CIA the memory stick yet! I think they totally tricked the audience with that one, because we were all expecting that David had all the information once he spoke to Carrie. I got shivers all up and down my spine as she plugged it in and watched Brody on the screen. Her body language and her emotion as she said, "I was right?" over and over killed me. Finally. Yes. Closure. Poor girl -- you WERE right! And you can finally rest in the fact that you are normal and sane.

Wow. It almost felt like it was me! Haha. Other than that, we have the usual bickering between Jess and Brody and I think she's slowly coming to realize that something's not right with him. I'm curious to see how long he can keep up the white lies before Dana or Jess finally put the pieces together. It's going to be a great season, and with the preview for next week I'm even more excited.

On the one hand, the CIA knows that Carrie is their only link to getting close to Brody. On the other hand, the terrorist group wants Brody to get close to her for more CIA intel! So it's a mess on both ends & I can't wait to see it all untangle.

Happy Hump Day!

Homeland: Episode 202

"Back to Beirut"


I'm ashamed to be posting at this hour, on a Tuesday. This post was supposed to be up yesterday morning, but shame on me! I've been lagging on my posts. I'll get into the why's and whatnot in my next post, but lets give Homeland its credit for delivering a promising sophomore episode on Sunday night. At first, the excitement that had built up from the premiere had me thinking that Sunday's Episode 2 would either be a flop, or totally a mix of too much information. And I'm so happy I was wrong! Claire Danes... can you just get an Emmy PER episode?! She was amazing. The montage of the music while she walked in her room in Beirut, hyperventilating, crawling on the floor, and seeing the dust particles gather around her in the sunlight had me shaking. I literally felt her emotions as she walked up to the roof and just took her breaths. Those scenes were powerful.

I can't explain how realistic these writers are. I love when you are unable to predict what's going to happen. Sure a lot of us love screaming out, "I CALLED THAT!" while watching movies with a big group sometimes, but for a show like this, it's that much more intrinsically rewarding to be in complete shock and awe when seeing the final scenes. I honestly was torn both ways, wondering if Carrier's informant was indeed trustworthy or playing them. It wasn't until I saw Abu Nazzir's face come out of the car that I was like "done deal." It KILLED me that they let Brody into the CIA room to view the secret op. I think that's the only part that I was like.. um, really now? Would they really let a random congressman into a secret operation's film sesh? I don't know. That bugged me a little but honestly the whole time as he started to break a sweat, I was like wow, what are you going to do next? And of course -- all he could do -- a warning text. It was so awesome watching all of that go down. Milliseconds before we hear Estes give the go ahead on firing, Abu Nazzir's men get Brody's text.. and of course they get away just in time. Rightfully so, too,because of course we need him around for the duration of this season!

I love Carrie's fire and 110% attitude. Not only is she PISSED about this (doesn't even take a moment to bask in the fact that her informant led them directly to Nazzir), but she goes above and beyond and decides to run her own suicide mission into Farida's old home! Gosh, watching her grab those bags and run up and down the stairs was incredibly intense. The camera angles were perfectly shot in those scenes. And I kept thinking, watch, she won't even grab anything meaningful... but hey, I bite my tongue! Of course the last 2 minutes were the most intense of all! The disk drive in the backpack. GOLD. Seeing Brody's face on the screen.. double whammy. I literally screamed at my TV. Now, I know, it won't give away too much, but even that little reveal satisfies me. It'll hold me off until Sunday. Who knows what is yet to come, but I like it. And I can't wait to see how they will incorporate Carrie's return to the CIA. I want Brody done with. Season 1, I was awkwardly a fan of his. Probably cause his M.O. was undefined. But now, even though he's that character they want us to love and hate; at this point I don't really like him at all. Like come on bro, you have a wife and kids and you're in the government.. and here you are calling your ex-Marine brother a fake because he turned on the US... yeah well you are doing the exact same thing hypocrite! I know he has to cover his tracks, but he is seriously brain washed. Gah.

Homeland: Season 2 Premiere

FINALLY! Ah I am so sorry for being late on this post! But better late than never, eh readers? (you like what I did there.. pretending like I have readers?) :D So WOW.. I can't believe I waited until tonight to watch the Sunday night premiere of Season 2 of Homeland -- the incredible show that swept the Emmy stage last week with all of its wins. I could not have been happier with the premiere. I don't even know why I was a bit skeptical before I watched, but I was glued to my couch the full hour. Can I mention how awesome it is to watch a show with no commercials/ no need to fast forward through commercials even?! Thank you Showtime!

The writers did an excellent job in setting the stage for what is to come in the next 12 hours of this program. Although I'm not a huge fan of time jumps (especially between seasons), I was still satisfied with how things began at the start of this episode. Claire Danes you are a goddess... I don't know how she does it, but her acting is TOP notch. I'm so happy they didn't make her a couch potato or even completely forgetful about her past. I kept thinking the electroshock therapy at the end of last season would lead to her completely forgetting everything about the Brody/ Abu Nazir case. But she was almost normal, even!

Yeah, she's a bit shaky, but she seems to be doing really good... and this sets a perfect ground work for her to get even more involved with the CIA/ this case as the season progresses. Did they really think they could just fire her and it would be permanent? Come on, this girl is your lead eagle people. It won't be long until Estes and Saul are apologizing to her and calling her back onto the team for real.

Side note -- I can't even imagine the pain she must feel. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people don't believe you... and you KNOW you're right, so all you're trying to do is convince them, but they end up thinking you're crazy. Case in point: Carrie. So I truly feel for her. One quote from her from the teaser trailer for this season was, "I've never felt so right and been so wrong before." AH, all I want to do is just yell at the TV to her and say YOU. ARE. RIGHT. But of course that's what gets us hooked!

Back to the home front -- I'm not a huge believer in the fact that the current Vice President so suddenly is such a strong advocate of Brody running for VP in the next election. Really now? I mean, okay yes he's a war hero but what is all the fuss in bringing him into power? Obviously that's great for him in the long run so he knows the insider scoop on the government's plans, but still. That part is still a little unbelievable for me. Other than that... the Roya character. Wow. Shivers down my spine in the moment that she revealed to Brody she's working with Abu Nazir. Another great actress.

I haven't been a huge Dana lover since starting Homeland, but the premiere made me like her a little more. Maybe because her relationship with her dad really reminds me of my dad and I. They're more like BFF's than anything, and they both have one another's back no matter what. I really believe their relationship. As much as I despise her attitude, it's completely typical of any 16 year old girl.. especially rebelling against her mom; it's a given. I wonder how things will turn out with the reveal of Brody's Muslim conversion. I was thoroughly impressed with Jess' performance as she ran into the garage and began throwing things around. She's been an underdog for me in this show, with the other actors all surpassing her with their ability, but her monologue in that scene was awesome.

Of course, the show cuts RIGHT when we're about to find out if Carrie met up with her old spy. My favorite scene was her little smirk to herself as she threw off the guy chasing her, almost as if she's thinking, "Hey, I'm back in the game/ I got this." I'll give her props, that was one hell of an escape plan. Good for her.

All in all, such a packed episode. I'll admit though, Carrie's half of the storyline was a lot more exciting than Brody's.. but I know it will get even more intense as the show gets underway. Solid.