Homeland Review: Is the Damage Worth It?

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Is the sacrifice of a few worth the protection of the many?

Homeland Season 3 Episode 7 tackled the perpetual question of whether or not the ends justify the means in two very distinct ways. Is the loss of innocent lives acceptable? And are the old-school methods of using human assets to gain intelligence antiquated and ineffective?

Saul's Gamble

Saul's grown tired of the undeclared war between the United States and Iran and desperately wants to end it. He wholeheartedly believes that turning Javadi into a double-agent for the CIA is the best way to stop the violence. He's willing to put his career on the line for it. And, now this plan will either make or break it.

Saul's methods to gain Javadi's agreement to his terms were in many ways similar to what Carrie did with Brody in Homeland Season 2 Episode 5. Though, as a whole "Gerontion" wasn't nearly as riveting as that Emmy award winning Homeland season 2 hour. In both interrogations, they used fear, their personal history and even physical pain to win over their captive.

The sacrifices for Saul's plan have already been high and will most likely continue. Carrie withstood her worst nightmare when she was committed in order to lure Javadi. The initial phase of their plan worked, but it wasn't without an even higher cost. The Iranian's arrival in the United States and anger towards Saul resulted in two innocent women's brutal deaths.

In Senator Lockhart's opinion those sacrifices aren't worth gaining a high ranking Iranian official as an asset. Instead, he wants to put an end to the use of human assets and rely almost exclusively on high technology intelligence gathering. The face-off between the old and the new provided insight into what could be the future of the CIA.

Saul wasn't about to back down, which would have made the sacrifices in vain. Instead, he stood his ground and reminded the Senator who was in charge. Lockhart may be confirmed down the road, but Saul's the man at the head of the CIA for at least two more weeks. I'm not sure the Saul of Season 1 would have been as forceful.

It's been a pleasant surprise to see this new Saul. He has the perseverance and strength to believe in himself and follow through no matter the cost. He put everything on the line when he locked Lockhart in the conference room. As questionable as Saul's actions may be, props to him for his commitment. 

Even though Dar Adal was initially irritated at being kept in the dark about Quinn's activities and Saul's plan, he put aside any anger or resentment when he was read in on the plan. As a long time CIA operative, he understood immediately the reason and supported Saul against Lockhart

That support could be fleeting, but for now, Saul has a strong team behind him and two weeks to make progress. I'd love to see Saul re-emerge as the front-runner for the permanent CIA Director position overtaking the arrogant and ignorant Lockhart. Or, at least, get the support to continue.

Saul's successes at work crossed over into his home life as well. He's been so easily crushed and passive in the past in his personal life.  It was telling when he put himself out there with Mira. Is it too late for them? She's moved on with the guy from Mumbai, though she seemed receptive to a reconciliation. 

Despite the deaths, Saul's satisfied that his plan is moving in the right direction. At the same time, Carrie's sacrifice hasn't been in vain as she got Javadi to comply and then also received additional intelligence about the Langley bombing. As a bonus, Saul now has support  for Carrie's belief that Brody was not responsible for the bombing.

The loose canon right now is Quinn. He continues to struggle with killing the child during his raid on the Iranian terrorists. When he was asked to confess to the two women's deaths, it was cathartic for him. Though, he's questioning whether the damage they do is worth it. Despite his reservations, he agreed to help Carrie track down the bomb maker.

"Gerontion" wasn't an edge-of-your-seat episode, rather it was a transitional hour that shifted the plan from the cultivation phase into  the action phase. Will Javadi follow through with his end of the deal? And, if he strays will Saul be willing to pull the trigger and expose Javadi's theft of funds?

And, how will Carrie approach Bennett in order to find the bomb maker? It would be a major win if they could bring him into custody. The added bonus would be clearing Brody's name and getting him back.

Have the sacrifices made so far been worth the potential to end the violence? Or is Saul naive in his plan? Were you happy to have a Dana-free episode?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.0 / 5.0 (50 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


This is a welcome change in reviewers. Dan Forcella was being unnecessarily severe.

@ John Smith

Yes, I so agree with John Smith!


To tell the truth, I have not enjoyed Season 3. I am less interested in the rest of the characters with Brodie absent except for the third epsode, which wasn't particularly compelling.
Not sure why I am still watching this show. I'm still interested who is the mole inside the CIA. But that's about it. The villains in Season 3 are not the least bit subtle- evil Iranians. If Brodie is killed off in Season 3, I will not bother with Season 4; for me the interaction between Claire Danes and Damian Lewis is what made this show stand out above others.

@ Myrna

I thought I was the only one who felt that way! I can't stand the fact that Brody has made just one appearance. I mean, Claire is great but their screwed up relationshio is what made show so good. I cant eait for next week just to see thepromo of carrie and brody reuniting!


This Veterans Day is a good time to reflect on the theme of "duty" in Homeland. Saul said "we are not assassins, we are spies". But Quinn IS an assassin, in the service of his country, and it is weighing on him. Many of our "heroes" in the military suffer in the same
way. Serving your country by
killing people is no small matter

@ Laurie Spezzano

I am SO glad that I am not the only one that feels this way. I miss Brody terribly. And, I feel the exact same way that if he is killed off that I might want to watch next season. Damian Lewis and Claire Danes made this show!


This Veterans Day is a good time to reflect on the theme of "duty" in Homeland. Saul said "we are not assassins, we are spies". But Quinn IS an assassin, in the service of his country, and it is weighing on him. Many of our "heroes" in the military suffer in the same way. Serving your country by killing people is no small matter


Very good episode, and I was pleased to see Saul so confident and strong willed. I really dislike Lockwood, so I was thrilled to see Saul lock him in the conference room. I did not miss Dana at all, but I am hoping to see Brody again soon.

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