Over the past few episodes, for the first time, Homeland has begun to wear a bit thin on me.
"I'll Fly Away" certainly had both its interesting and its entertaining moments, but it also grew tiresome much more than I ever thought Homeland would at its height last year.
I'm sure other people have mentioned it, and Saturday Night Live sure made its opinion clear a couple weeks ago, but Carrie's shtick really got to a tipping point this week. That was never more evident than on that dark and scary road in the middle of nowhere.
Sure, she might have been correct in thinking that leaving those three minions of Nazir out in the open probably wasn't a smart idea, and taking the three of them down right then and there may have severely crippled Nazir's plans for the near future, but watching her freak out about the whole thing couldn't have been more difficult to watch.
Whining and complaining that the whole mission had been blown, deciding to go out on foot to see what was going on, and then screaming and yelling as the helicopter flew away all added up to a Carrie Mathison that I had a really hard time feeling sorry for when everything seemed to fall apart at the seams.
Now that just raises this question. Is being slightly annoyed by the protagonist necessarily worse than if Carrie continued to be awesome week after week, season after season? I'm of the opinion that too much of the same thing gets boring, so if my love of Carrie begins to dwindle, maybe that change of pace actually holds my interest more.
It's not like she wasn't completely awesome a few scenes earlier when she did everything she could to keep one of Brody's bridges from burning. The man was on his last leg, and just as she has done time and time again, Carrie worked her magic to get him to get back to work for the CIA.
Telling him that she envisioned their future where Brody played the hero and all of the bad stuff he did before that was forgotten was genius, but it was this give and take that made me smile;
Brody: Will you visit me in prison?
Carrie: I'll probably be in the cell next to you?
It's still so unclear how much of Carrie's game with Brody is an act and how much is her actually having feelings for the guy, but that all night sex sesh seemed to make her CIA brethren lean towards the latter.
Which led to the coolest moment of the episode as Saul so calmly asked her about her motives with Brody at the motel. He was hostile, he wasn't stern, he was just asking, and he was just cool.
Another impressive moment was at the very end. Homeland could have gone for the shocking. They could have gave us another twist, where the person Brody met after being swept away on the helicopter was some mole or a high ranking U.S. official that would have made us all gasp. But no, after a long, dark drive up and walk to Brody's face that gave us all a chance to make numerous guesses of who it may or may not have been, it turned out to be the obvious choice.
Abu Nazir showing up to see Brody wasn't shocking, but it was a great moment. This is the guy that in one way or another, almost everything on this show has been about. It was subtle, but that was a huge appearance, and it was done well.
Something that wasn't done well, as opposed to how I felt about it last week, was Dana's story line. That thing went back to being completely awful as I just waited for the camera to cut every time, she, Mike, or Jessica were on screen.
So all in all, "I'll Fly Away" wasn't one of my favorite hours of Homeland, but that's still a very good episode compared to most shows on television. We're grading on a curve here, people.
What did you think of it? Is Carrie Mathison still your favorite CIA agent? What did you think of Brody getting flown away on the chopper? And do you care about Dana and the hit-and-run?
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.