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Homeland Review: Tailor Made

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"A Gettysburg Address" was the first time that an episode of Homeland could have very well been an episode of 24

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the Kiefer Sutherland drama as much as anybody back in the day - for what it was. Homeland aims higher than just the action packed, energy filled, real-time drama that filled my college nights. It still succeeded in doing so in this sixth hour of season two, but there were a couple of things that felt a bit too familiar.

Brody v. Carrie

The introduction of, the surveillance on, and then the power play by this new bad guy felt right out of the 24 play book. So much of Homeland to this point has focused on Brody and Nazir as a combined big bad, from the view of the audience and from the characters within the show.

Seeing some new guy come out of the woodwork, seem so important to the surveillance crew and then take out seven dudes in Gettysburg on his way to picking up what could have been a weapon of mass destruction felt exactly something I saw in every single season of 24.

It was exciting, it was intriguing, but it wasn't quite what Homeland has been in the past. Nor was it what Homeland can be at its best.

The other aspect of this week's episode that may give me nightmares was how many times I felt like Dana Brody was the new Kim Bauer. I couldn't have cared less about this story line than if a cougar jumped out of one of the hospital rooms and dragged Dana to a cabin in the woods.

As much as the issue was that Dana crying about the woman was annoying, I think the real issue is that the story really has nothing to do with the main arc, and I don't think it ever will.

To this point in the series, every story has revolved around the main issues, and Dana's current arc feels way too auxiliary. If I'm wrong, and those two kids killing that lady have a major impact on what is currently going on with Brody and Carrie, I will retract these comments. However, I don't see this paying off in any way.

Again, those were just a couple of gripes from an otherwise quality episode of television. The personal stuff between Carrie, Saul and Brody continued to be fantastic. Saul telling Carrie that he was worried about her being close to Brody again was not only nice to see as a human being, but it also made me think about whether it would come back to haunt her in the future.

Similarly, when Carrie sprinted into Brody's office, and yelled at him all up and down the walls, I could help but wonder if this situation was doing more harm than good for everybody.

Brody told Carrie that he had no idea the Gettysburg massacre was going to happen, and it seemed like he was being honest (we also had no evidence to the contrary), but who are we or Carrie to actually know? Brody has proven that he will lie like a penny in a parking lot, so will his involvement ever really be worth it? Will an untrustworthy asset help the end game?

I'm not so sure. What I am sure about, though, is that Homeland continues to be the most exciting and thought-provoking drama currently on television. What did you all think of "A Gettysburg Address?" What was your favorite moment? And did you have any gripes?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (81 Votes)

Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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I believe that Quinn survived the shootout. He opened his eyes, saw the box being carried out, didn't he?, and clutched his belly. Didn't he appear in the promo for the next episode? As for the hit and run story arc, I see a connection between the VP's apparently-unfeeling involvement in the drone strike that killed Issa and so many other children and other innocent people, and the VP's son's callous disregard for his victim. The VP's son fears his father's disapproval so much that he seemed almost suicidal. Political power trumps justice.

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@Feedback @Enkeli Mike doesn't know about the day Brody shot the deer, so given the heat of the moment and his investigation of course he would assume the missing bullet was the one who killed Walker. And yes, Brody did killed Walker with the latter's gun so he has only one bullet missing - the one used on the deer - not two.
I can't believe they killed Quinn off the show. That character was really growing on me.

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Disappointing. Tailor shop massacre unbelievable and overblown. This is, after all, the USA. Things like that don't happen here. No terrorist who could get that much c4 into the country would want to risk his/her being made or having some of his/her people being captured just to secure ordnance. I've noticed other times the writers have taken the easy way out. This is just another example.

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I am not a fan of the little poor rich kids. Jack Bauer was not a rich guy. I've said it before, and I will say it again. Damian Lewis and Claire Danes freaking ROCK on screen together. nuff said! Maybe Brody will turn Carrie's sexy ass? I'll be watching. The guy w/the phone in the hallway while Brody was chatting w/the reporter was classic 24. Brody should take Mike out for going through another mans garage.

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Random thoughts:
The episode was not too exciting til the last scene when every one got killed
Totally agree that the Dana plot drags down the story. Maybe she and the VP's son are there to attract younger viewers.
Even when the killer at Gettysburg pulled off his helmet I didn't know who he was. He has one of those forgettable faces.
I can't help but wonder if Brody will end up a triple or maybe a quadruple agent. More twists than a corkscrew!

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Compared to the last couple of episodes of course this episode pales in comparison. Its still good, I just would like to see more Carrie and Brody scenes. I am confident that the next episode will be good. Looking at the promo pictures it seems as if Dana, Brody and Carrie have some sort of scene together. Still a good episode

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The comparison to 24 is because they share the same producers/showrunner(s)...one or the other, I believe. Thankfully, Homeland's managed to maintain a much more cerebral narrative, not reliant on action-movie shootouts and explosions. It's a mystery thriller, and I hope it doesn't go away from that and start turning into another 24, which I watched and enjoyed for what it was, but it wasn't an incredibly smart nor well written production. Homeland doesn't need to dumb itself down to appeal to 20 million viewers, just the handful that appreciate these kind of high-concept cable shows.

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I agree with @Feedback. I also thought it was ridiculous to assume Brody killed Walker because he was missing a bullet. Also, didn't he use Walker's gun to kill him? That's what I remembered and what I thought again when I saw the "previously". I also hate it when people compare shows to other shows, especially on things like this. I don't think the "a random guy appears, everyone's surprised and he's suddenly he-man" was invented by 24. I also haven't seen 24 (not once), so feel free to disagree. But sometimes I feel people try too hard. Homeland's not perfect, but it's as good as it gets.
No, I'm sorry... It gets better.

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Can we say epic fail on the tailor shop being taken down like that? So the CIA had people watching the shop, no one attempted to get in. The science forensics geeks doing a sweep, no one notices the painted wall doesn't match the rest of the shop, and clearly been drywall'd and spackled. No, they wait for 7-10 agents to do another sweep, and don't have appropriate warning or car outside? Hello! Abu Nazir's bomb maker and you didn't think they might die to protect the box of c4? Other than that, another jaw dropping, heart pounding wtf week with the writers and awesome actors. Amazing what we choose just to shrug off based on the biggest picture show every week!