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Holy Sh*t Ranking Last Night's Homeland: Who's Your Daddy?

By Cindy Davis | TV Reviews | November 4, 2013 | Comments ()


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Just last week we watched as the Homeland table was carefully set, patiently hopeful our favorite dishes (panic, shock, tension) would return. Now we all gathered round, wondering what was in store as the covers were lifted from each dish, and not a damned thing was what we expected. Like Quinn said, “This is only the beginning.” “Still Positive” began nearly right where we left off, with Carrie nervously waiting for the Magician to appear; hooked up to a laptop biomonitor/polygraph machine (hey, can I get that app on my iPhone?), a couple of thugs standing guard. Javadi made his entrance, and our thoughts swirled nervously alongside Carrie’s—would she have to make a run for it? Knock someone out and grab a gun? How the hell is she going to get out of this mess? And bingo, Gansa and Co. pulled a fast one again. These writers have found their niche in rescuing characters from impossible situations, but the question is, how long can we be dazzled by the same trick? My first “Holy shit!” of the night came when in the space of a few minutes, Carrie turned that whole mess around. And they just kept coming.

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Carrie Escapes Relatively Unscathed: Though the will-she-or-won’t-she-be-able to-pull-it -off game played out a few times this hour, Carrie actually did quite nicely for herself—and Saul. After it became obvious that yet again, Mentor Saul and Protege Carrie were a step ahead, Carrie gleefully showed her cards to a stunned Javadi: Yeah, we know all about your little goalkeeper alias and the money-skimming and laundering; if the Republican Guard finds out, you’re as good as dead. Javadi is so momentarily shaken, he needs a cigarette, so he and Carrie step outside where he congratulates her on his entrapment. Carrie lets Javadi know Saul would like to speak with the not-so-magical man, and the two broker an acceptable deal for Carrie to recover some important information, so as not to arouse suspicion among Javadi’s men. A few moments after Javadi goes inside, Carrie follows; the guards rush her into a vehicle and drive her to a clearing, giving Carrie a few moments of panic before unceremoniously kicking her out. She’s free to run home. As soon as Carrie arrives back at her place, she calls Saul to let him know how things went (and again, I question the idea that her pace wouldn’t be bugged); Carrie has a jarring moment of reality when she realizes no one knew where she was, but Saul tells her to “Move on, please.” He’s convinced Javadi will meet up when and where Carrie directed, and advises Carrie to get some rest. Cue the next “Holy shit” moment, when Carrie steps into her bathroom and grabs an item immediately recognizable as a pregnancy test. I realize my initial inkling about the episode title earlier was spot on…our girl is completely and utterly preggers. But don’t even waste your time wondering who Daddy is; honestly, I have no doubt. (More on that later.) I don’t know if it’s a regular thing for someone with bipolar disorder to keep retrying pregnancy tests—a kazillionty times—and saving them in a drawer, but for Carrie it rang true.

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As Saul once noted, Carrie’s both the smartest and the dumbest fucking person; she just keeps hoping—hey, maybe it’s a mistake. It was a lovely touch to see how quickly her maternal instincts have kicked in; when things went where they later went, her first concern was for that poor child.

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Nothing Escapes Saul?: Our suddenly emotionless Teddy Saul isn’t so snuggly anymore. He doesn’t seem to give a shit about Carrie’s well-being, and does his best to keep his hard outer shell from cracking as Mira delivers bad news: she’s hot for the man she met in Mumbai. But the look in his eye and sarcastic remark (“Oh how French of him” [not to spend the night]) belies Saul’s stoic exterior. Mira uses Ross’ “We were on a break” defense to no avail (seriously, does that ever work?), and even though he tells Mira about Lockhart’s CIA Director nomination, Saul saves his emotional outburst for much later on. While he waits for Javadi updates at the covert mission headquarters, Saul explains his complicated history with Javadi to Fara: The two men became what Saul considered “friends” while Saul was stationed in Iran during the country’s upheaval in 1979. Saul needed safe passage out of country for four people—Javadi offered help. But when Saul showed up at the safehouse, he found four dead bodies laid out side by side; he’d offered protection from the U.S. government and instead they’d gotten bullets to the head. After having watched Javadi “become an animal before his eyes,” Saul went back to D.C. and handed in his resignation. Saul tells Fara bringing in Javadi is not for revenge; he’d already achieved that by helping Javadi’s wife and son escape to the United States.

Despite all the madness that follows, Saul mostly holds it together…until the very end. But after Javadi makes his play, Saul finally lets his feelings out in a very physical way.

Holy Shit x 3!: We watched along with the team to see how everything would play out; would Javadi be as predictable as Saul believed? Even if I thought I knew better—of course, something would go wrong—I had no idea just how wrong. Carrie had instructed Javadi on when and where to meet her, Quinn dutifully drives her to Jaffi’s Coffee shop, and the gang stands by. A drone watches over Javadi’s stateside home and the team monitors as his car seemingly heads in the right direction. But the plan goes awry when Javadi’s car heads off 270 several exits early, and I get that sinking feeling as he pulls up to a house with baby paraphernalia outside the door. My guess at who Javadi was stalking last week (when he enjoyed that greasy burger) was only in the ballpark. It wasn’t Javadi’s kid, but rather, his grandchild who lives there. Still, nothing could prepare for the scene that played out when calm, mild-mannered Javadi—just like Breaking Bad’s Gus—goes completely psychotic. Javadi shoots his daughter-in-law, plays coochie-coochie-coo (at least, I believe that’s the English translation) with his grandson, and without missing a beat, breaks a bottle and viciously stabs his ex-wife over and over…creating a horrific mess that’s going to be hard to cover up. Of course, Carrie and Quinn arrive just seconds too late. They apprehend Javadi, who raises his bloody hands and chillingly says, “Now I’m ready to see Saul.” Quinn and Carrie relay the situation to Saul. Saul orders them to get the murder weapon(s), leave the baby and get out—they were never there. Mama Carrie’s maternal distress kicks in, but all she can do is offer the baby some calming words and safe haven inside the fabric and plastic playpen walls. Leaving the child clearly haunts her.

Crescendo: Quinn and Carrie transport Javadi back to the covert site where Saul’s anger at everything is finally ready to boil over. When he walks into the room where Quinn has cuffed Javadi to the table, Saul stares down his nemesis and orders Quinn to take the chains off—and the Magician to stand up. Javadi is empowered by his vengeance—smirking and sarcastic as Saul tells him to stand—and completely unprepared for Saul’s explosive blow. Javadi didn’t think Saul looked like a man who just landed the biggest asset because he underestimated the man who’d also underestimated him.

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Who’s Your Daddy?: “No more Brodys, no more Carrie Mathisons,” which most definitely refers back to Carrie’s pregnancy, and confirms there is a little bi-polar ginger on the way. But how bad is this whole idea? Hint: Very, very bad. Come on, Homeland, the last thing we need is more ridiculous soap-operatic family-related hijinks. We want our spy show to be a taut and tense and sometimes terrifying espionagical thrill ride—not the Maury Povich hour.


Holy Shit Ranking: 9 out of 10, Code Red.


Other thoughts:

Senator Lockhart and Dar Adal go together like porn and the interwebs, all dirty and nasty, we feel icky after we watch them. And F. Murray Abraham is way too valuable an actor to be promoted to regular cast member, only to rate these little throw away scenes. When Adal called to give Saul a false report on his meeting with Lockhart, he most certainly heard Fara’s urgent call for Saul to return—and he’s smart enough to realize there’s something going on behind his back. So here’s hoping Abraham gets more screen time; love that thing he do(es).

Speaking of underutilizing the talent, come on Homeland, give us more Quinn. Rupert Friend is magnetic every second he’s on screen, and he certainly deserves our attention more than…

Dana and Jessica. Okay, are we done now? Thank you very much ladies—both Saylor and Baccarin are fine actresses and they squeezed every proper emotion out of the goodbye scene. Dana’s need to change her identity and leave made perfect sense, Jessica had no choice but to agree, and now we can all move on. Right?

A Homicide crew is already at the Javadi murder house when agents drive by, begging the question: Were the Iranians watching and who was seen?


Cindy Davis, (Twitter)







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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Dominic

    Cindy I thought she'd have to fight her way out too . But i had to admit it was MY fault - and all of yours - for not seeing the ( enemy of your own state , JUST like Danes is to the Senator ., so they bond on that some ) blackmail they could use against Javadi . . we just never saw a scene where Saul told that info to Carrie . We know it tho . Realized it late ..
    "Chouchie chouchie coo" was to show that baby talk is universal ..
    Not being able to 'clean" the scene sets up next week's fallout from Quinn's picture putting him on the scene . and for the Senator to ask Saul what the hell is going on .
    Remember people this season focuses on the interpersonal lives of this crew FIRST . Which is why Javadi's killings weren't a shocker for me , as a terrorist who THOUGHT he might be dead soon will settle any scores they have , that they can . Or maybe that's EVERYBODY ..
    Plus them trying to figure out whose house it is told you what was going to happen . Events ( CIA bombing ) prompted behaviors ; now behavior prompts events ( Carrie has a miscarriage right ? partially because she's been denying it so long ).. ...
    Maybe Adal has people shadowing people with known terrorist connections . Behind Saul's back . which is why the pic of Quinn is found easily . Quinn and Carrie got so emotionally involved they forgot Saul's SECOND command , so the writers gave themselves an easy out ..
    C'mon don't you wanna keep seeing Baccarin's chest heave so attractively , when she's getting emotional ???
    I don't really get the hate for those two . I hope it's just the lines they got not them . Jessica's still grieving for her WHOLE family , so this could almost break her . Dana had a serious event happen to her ; so while it hurts it also matures . So of course she'd wanna get AWAY from that house , in a mature way NOW . it's all a LOGICAL outcome . Guess the overlying theme is a tease that Brody may come back to them . Someday .... Writers will prob have to make it backfire to keep Dana present

  • John W

    I always knew Saul could inflict damage with one hand.

  • Deb

    P.S. The pregnancy plot line doesn't fit as others pointed out. I will be hugely disappointed if this show goes all soap opera on us.

  • Sean

    It went all soap opera on us in the first season.

  • Dominic

    more to the point EVERY TV show is a soap opera . In that the stories are formatted in those ways . Hopefully better than daytime soaps , that's all ...

    Movies too ..

  • Deb

    Enough DANA. Loved this episode....so ready for her to be gone.

  • Sean

    #1 The baby daddy has to be Brodie. Anything else makes no sense. As ridiculous a subplot that is.

    #2 How fucking maternal can Carrie be? She clearly has known that she has been pregnant for months. Yet she allowed herself to be drugged stupid in the hospital. I can't believe thorazine is that great for fetal development.

    #3 F.Murray Abraham. Clearly they are going to have him do something cool. Otherwise, what is the point of hiring him?

    #4 Morena Baccarin is clearly the best looking pregnant woman ever. I stated this a while ago..but she looks amazing with some more flesh on her.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    The pregnancy subplot makes no sense. How likely is it that they did not discover it while she was in the clinic?

  • Dominic

    Ahhh EXCELLENT point .
    cause . any blood test shows that .. she has to be at least 6 months pregnant ...

    Ok that's a legitimate writer's F-up

  • Melissa D

    I was thinking that, too. I can't believe they'd force her to take meds like that without a pregnancy test. Jesus, I can barely go to the doctor for a cut on my hand without having to do one.

  • Sean

    Right. I had not thought of that. Not a single blood test?

  • Parsnip

    I also felt Carry's the sort of person that'd take precautions against getting pregnant because she's obsessively dedicated to her job. For me, it doesn't fit with her character and to have her cradling a baby, so soon after we witness her (many) positive tests, lacked subtlety. Seems motherhood and children are the underlying theme this season. I could be wrong of course.

  • Sean

    I also think that a woman with a family history of mental illness who also has an extremely dangerous and demanding job would do more than take precautions. Seems like getting her tubes tied is the only rational action in this case.

  • Samantha Schltr

    Maybe she got pregnant later (if it was Brody's she would be showing by now). And not taking precautions seems to fit perfectly with Carrie's behaviour. And with the disease.

  • SottoVoce

    Didn't she have a one-night stand when she first got out of the hospital? It was with some guy in an apartment .

  • Sean

    But that was only a day or three prior to this episode. She had dozens of tests in that drawer. She clearly has been pregnant for months.

  • SottoVoce

    Good point. I've lost a sense of time with regard to the events of this season.

  • This whole pregnancy thing is dumb. She was on Thorazine and Lithium, both of which are very bad for pregnancy. I foresee a miscarriage in her future, there's no way that kid would be normal.

  • sailboat

    That open palm strike, is that why they call him the bear? MAUL HIM SAUL, MAAAAAUL SAAAAAAAUL

  • Art3mis

    This episode was SO CLOSE to convincing me that the show was back on the right track, and then the fucking pregnancy test had to show up and made me more worried than ever. It promises more of all of the things I want less of: (a) Brody, (b) Brody and Carrie's screwed up relationship, and (c) over-the-top complications in her personal life that distract from Carrie just getting shit done.

    But the rest of the episode was great. Spycraft, holy shit moments that felt real and non-ridiculous, and lots of Saul. All good! Do more of that, writers!

  • Samantha Schltr

    Yeah, but they could play it right, use it as a way to complicate her job, get her out of the job in the end, lose her shit because something happens and she miscarries. There are endless possibilities that have nothing to do with Brody drama. At least that is the way I hope it goes.

  • Dominic

    art I've said it after every show : It's the PERSONAL dramas that are bringing the " panic shock tension " this season not JUST the terrorists .

    if u don't like Brody why ARE you watching the show at ALL ?? , as every plotline goes back to him or the bombing . Carrie's fake disgrace and Saul needing a win ARE the two main plotlines right now both go to Brody .

    If Carrie had turned him in instead of getting him out the country , NONE of these plotlines would be happening , except for the Brody family and it'd be WORSE with him in custody ...
    ( and this Season would have nothing )...

  • lowercase_ryan

    DUDE!! That stabbing. Fuck that was BRUTAL! So you think Quinn and Carrie hooked up and that's the bun in the oven? Something bad is going to happen to Lockhart and I can't wait for it. I actually feel like he's being set up by Adal and Saul. There was something in the previews that made me suspect the Senator had something to do with the 12-12 bombing but that has to be a HUGE red herring, right? Right?

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    If we were subjected to the hideous sex scenes that were NOT AT ALL gratifying for the ladies, I would DEMAND that we at least see a sex scene with Quinn in it. His butt-flash when he was in hospital is NOT ENOUGH. Not nearly enough.

  • Yeah, but not with Carrie, please.

    Oh and I forgot to mention/ask, does anyone else get the feeling Saul and Fara may end up having an affair?

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    YES WITH CARRIE. She seriously just gets the short end of the sex stick! NO FOREPLAY. Brody *shudder*
    Quinn? *vagina shudder*

    …I have no idea what I'm even writing any more. BUT QUINN. USE HIM MORE. BECAUSE HE IS EXCELLENT AND HIS CHARACTER IS INTRIGUING.

  • Kate

    And he is hot. So very, very hot.

  • Jenn TheYellowDart

    Hooooooo yeah he is!

  • Dominic

    of course it's Brody . they may tease the 2-night stand but she's got too many pregnancy sticks in the drawer for it to be anyone BUT Brody

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