After the attack on Langley left 219 dead, and the CIA virtually decapitated Saul Berenson is now the acting head of the agency. Nick Brody has vanished. Meanwhile, Carrie Mathison has effectively been handed a burn notice a second time, and is off her meds again.
A lot was wrong with “Homeland’s” second season, turns out Carrie didn’t lose her mind last season, but her show did. “Homeland” needed to take a deep breath, count its blessings, and figure out how many blessings were left. This episode showed me there are still plenty.
Getting Brody off-screen turns out to be an inspired move (he’ll be back this season, but producers have decline to say when). In his absence, there’s a lot disorder, with many people left to put back the pieces, including Saul, Carrie, and most of all, Dana. Some fans might get annoyed by this episodes slower pace but I found it to be the right move. This series desperately needed to be grounded.
The premiere episode doesn’t give us any hints of where Brody might be but we feel the impact of his actions by seeing the fractured state of his family. His wife, Jessica, is trying to survive media scrutiny on the family of the “traitor,” there’s little money coming in, and daughter Dana is still trying to recover from everything that’s happened.
It doesn’t seem necessary to spend so much time on sulky teen Dana (she really annoys me), but her situation definitely speaks to the pain that has come down on the family because of what Brody has done, and the secrets he kept.
By the time the first episode of the season is over; its heroine may be on shaky ground, but it feels like “Homeland” has found its focus. 7.5/10