'Homeland' Changes the Rules in 'Game On'


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The fourth episode of Homeland, titled “Game On”, felt like the previous bland episodes in season three. We had scenes of terror with Carrie in the psychiatric ward, and then “As The Dana Turns” with Dana continually upset about things. A show once focused on espionage now felt more like the TV version of “Girl Interrupted”. However the last few minutes of the show completely flipped the script, but does this new revelation make much sense?

Needless to say if you haven’t seen “Homeland” then why are you clicking on any article that mentions the show. Get a clue.

Carrie was all primed for her release hearing, but of course Saul and the CIA had other plans. Right before the decision is made Carrie is labeled an enemy combatant and remanded back to her hospital room. Saul and the CIA have decided that Carrie must remain in a facility due to her ability to hurt the agency. She’s even referred to as a cold germ in the episode by Dar. She returns to protection, but not for long.

The next day brings the husky nurse who helped Carrie last week. She’s got big news. Seem the appeal court ruled on her case, and now she is free to go. To emphasize her point she brings along a ceremonial garbage bag for Carrie to pack her stuff into. Carrie is now free, but by whom? That’s quickly revealed when the attorney who met with Carrie is sitting in her apartment when she gets home. He got her out on a 24 hour furlough, and can provide permanent freedom. All he needs is for her to meet with a partner at his firm. Carrie reluctantly agrees to the meeting.

While all of this is going on Dana is being dramatic. She’s driving around her Mom’s Subaru as a getaway car for her Tilda Swinton looking boyfriend. He breaks out of rehab and off they drive into the Virgina forest. They drive the station wagon while smoking a joint. Both of them have, like, really tough lives. Tilda then throws her cellphone out the window so her family can’t track them. How romantic is this guy who looks like an A-list actress? But really, who cares about Dana and her problems. Just give me a five minute scene when Mom yells at her for all the problems she’s had during the episode. Mrs. Brody can just list the infractions and save us the pain of watching her be miserable.

Dana is on the run, and so is Carrie as the CIA is out looking for her. She’s keeping to anonymous places, and spends the night at a previous one night stand’s place. She eventually crosses path with the attorney who freed her, and ends up taking a meeting with the guy’s boss at a wonder McMansion in suburban Virgina. The boss is a lawyer named Leland Bennett. This guy looks like a member of the Bush administration, but talks for a foreign power. That turns out to be Iran and their terrorist elements.

The lawyer even defends the attack on Langley as a proportionate response to the CIA’s work in the Middle East. He has a proposal for Carrie. His Iranian friends want to pick her mind to get information on the who killed the six Iranians earlier in the season. They want revenge, and Carrie to provide the intelligence. Bennett pitches to Carrie that the CIA has turned on her, and this deal is her best way to stay out of the mental ward. She agrees to the deal, but refuses to name specific agents. She also demands to never see the lawyer again, and that she’ll only meet face to face with the Iranian. This is a sticking point in the deal. Carrie won’t deal with middle men. The deal is forged, and Carrie leaves the house.

She then arrives at Saul’s door, and rings the bell. The door is answered by Saul’s wife who users her inside, and to the back. Saul is sitting with his back when she arrives, and upon seeing her demands to know if she was followed here. Carrie assures him that she took hours making sure there was no tails before coming to see him. At that point we expected a final screaming match between her and Saul. Here was the man who pushed her to the brink. It was Saul’s forced hand that drove her into the arms of Iranian agents. Then she threw us a curve.

“It worked Saul” being the gist of it.

The whole thing. Carrie’s mental breakdown, and subsequent fight with the CIA. All of it had been a smoke screen to draw out the Iranians. This was just a plan to get her a face to face sit down with the group responsible for the Langley murders. Just exactly when the deal was hatched we aren’t sure. The episode ended shortly after the plan’s reveal. It hurt my favorite moment of the show this season, when Carrie told Saul “Fuck You”. Was that a real moment or just part of the plan?

We still don’t know how Brody is going to work his way into the show, but we’ve seen a complete change of focus now in episode four. Carrie is on her way to break open an Iranian terror operation, and Saul is still her best friend/father figure. The family still loves each other. Let’s hope this new focus on terrorism leaves Dana no more screen time. I wouldn’t care if Dana was captured by Somali Pirates who are into EDM. Just leave her off the show. The tension will be on when Carrie makes her meeting, and not when Dana is grounded for stealing the Subaru. All that and more next week on “Homeland”.

Tags: Carrie CIA Game On Homeland Iran Saul