Homeland Review: See You On the Other Side

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This is the Homeland that I've known and loved. 

For the most part, I've enjoyed Homeland season 3. Despite a few weak spots, most notably Dana's post-rehab adventures, I've been enthralled by the story. It began with believing Carrie was betrayed by Saul and the CIA, then finding out they conspired together to get to Javadi, and in the background of it all was the knowledge that Brody was out there living in horrid conditions. 

Carrie at the Hospital

Homeland Season 3 Episode 9 brought all the key players together to work on the next phase of Saul's ambitious plan to disrupt the Iranian government. Every minute from when Brody opened his eyes until he stepped onto the helicopter, Saul's plan was a moment away from disintegrating into thin air.

"One Last Time" was a suspenseful and intensely affecting hour of television. When it ended, I felt emotionally drained and I sat on my couch and watched it all unfold. I can't even imagine how difficult it was to film, especially for Damian Lewis, but also Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin and Morgan Saylor.

As brilliant as Lewis was in Homeland Season 3 Episode 3, this should be the episode he submits for the Emmys. Yes, Brody made some horrible decisions in his past - as Saul shoved in his face - but it was impossible to not feel bad for his condition. He appeared to have been treated better when he was a POW than he was in Caracas. At least this most recent imprisonment only lasted a few months.

The time restraint on Saul's leadership made the situation worse. For the plan to work, they had to take the physically decrepit and drug addicted man and turn him back into a Marine. That pressure led to Brody giving up.

It broke him. Brody lost all desire to live. After attempting to kill himself after the visions from the quick detox meds, he had no will left. He was a broken man. When he was thrown into the water, he was given his final escape. He would have died if they hadn't saved from the water.

Saul's plan and Brody's situation were greatly improved when Senator Lockhart's arrogance and interference changed things up. Lockhart had Mira's lover bug the Berenson household in order to find out what was going on. The Senator messed up by approaching Carrie and mentioning that Saul was in Caracas.

Lockhart's stumble provided the leverage to get Saul the breathing room he needed for his plan to be successful. Instead of only a few days to get Brody ready for the mission, he had weeks. Win. Plus, if Saul's plan works then he will have a chance to keep the Director job permanently. And, Lockhart is still in the dark.

Brody needed a reason to live. He was given reassurances from Carrie and brought back to life after seeing Dana working at the motel. The combination of the two helped Brody come back to life and motivated him to get on board with the plan. The training program helped him both physically and mentally recover.

Though, Brody and Carrie reconnected, they didn't get nearly as close as they have in the past. The lack of any physical contact was off-putting to watch, but then they would give each other a look that said more than any words or touch could. The connection had changed but it was definitely still there.

Carrie proved her loyalty to Brody by breaking protocol and taking him to see Dana. For good or bad, it was a reunion that was necessary to give Brody a reason to make it back home. And, even though Dana said she didn't want to see him then or ever again, she'll certainly change her mind.

I hope Dana reaches out to Carrie to have contact with her father again or at least find out if he was telling the truth. She loves him and needs him just as much as he needs her. After all the pain that she's been through perhaps seeing Brody will help her move on. I'd love to see her take control of the situation by trying to prove his innocence. 

Dana will feel even worse if she does nothing and something happens to her father. Part of Saul's plan is for Brody to infiltrate the Iranian regime as the Langley bomber and for that government to use Brody for propaganda. That most likely will put Dana and her family back into the spotlight. With his declaration of innocence, she will have something to hold on to this time.

The plan is risky, but with risk comes reward. Brody has nothing and if he can pull this off ... he could become the American hero he was destined to be before Abu Nazir destroyed him. By killing a top Iranian leader and helping Javadi gain power, Brody would be getting revenge on those that framed him for the bombing and decimated his life.

 Brody's a man who wants to take his life back, "I will come back from Tehren. Not just for her." He needs to succeed in order to make things right for Dana and return to Carrie. 

For all of their sakes, this mission must succeed. If they fail, it will create a huge international incident while potentially costing Brody and his four team members their lives. The stress and intensity level will not skyrocket into the final three episodes of the season.

Odds and Ends

  • Brody's memories during his detox were horrifying to witness. Not only that he was haunted by his dead friend, but that his current situation with the CIA was reminiscent of what Abu Nazir did to him. Saul is basically reprogramming Brody in a similar manner to what Nazir did. 
  • Senator Lockhart has no clue about the CIA, does he? What an arrogant fool to think he could show up in Carrie's hospital room and that she would just blurt out Saul's plan. How is he supposed to run the CIA if that's how he operates? And, then to spy on Saul through an Israeli spy? Stupid.
  • The situation with Mira's lover played out a little suspect to me. If he got involved with Mira in order to spy on Saul, why didn't he have a listening device in their house already? He had plenty of opportunity before she broke up with him. Unless he was getting enough out of her that he didn't need surveillance until she broke it off with him. Though, he would have to know it would be found.... It came across as a contrived way to get to Lockhart.
  • Brody and Dana's reunion was heartbreaking. Absolutely broke my heart. At least Carrie came clean about Dana's actions after he left.
  • Way to go, Carrie! She finally stood up for herself to Saul. Without her there wouldn't be a plan. She sacrificed herself for her country. And, Saul needs to give her the respect she deserves for that. 
  • Carrie's pregnancy remains an odd situation. She knows she's pregnant, but seems ambivalent about it. She didn't ask about the baby's status in the hospital, she smoked a cigarette and ... she never told Brody. No one knows. Not that there was a good time to tell him, but why do I fear it will come out at the worst time possible?

Were you on the edge of your seat throughout the episode? Even though Brody has done some horrible things, did you feel bad at all for him? Is Saul's plan a good move? Or, is it a disaster in progress?

One Last Time Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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