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'Homeland' -- 'Tin Man Is Down': I Hide the Truth Behind a Lie

By Cindy Davis | TV | September 30, 2013 |

By Cindy Davis | TV | September 30, 2013 |

Say what you will about whether or not a series can successfully carry a storyline over multiple seasons; the fact remains that we’re starting Homeland’s third, still not completely sure where Nicolas Brody’s loyalties lie. For that matter, Tin Man Is Down left us looking sideways at more than one character, at times staring slack-jawed as Carrie Mathison, hoping things aren’t what they seem. Do we know who the good guys are anymore?

Two months after the Langley bombing that left 219 people dead, the physical destruction outside CIA headquarters remains and Saul Berenson is frozen in inaction, seemingly afraid to make the wrong move. F. Murray Abraham returns as Dar Adal in a more prominent role, re-channeling his inner Salieri and easily manipulating Saul.


Though it’s strange to see him so unsure, it’s not difficult to understand Saul’s shell-shock. After David Estes’ death, a ranking Saul now stands as Director of the Counterterrorism Center with the the agency’s future resting squarely on his shoulders. The President and all of America is waiting for justice, and Saul has to decide whether they should get it rare and bloody. It’s a contemplation he doesn’t make lightly; “We’re not assassins, we’re spies.” Intelligence has located six high profile targets who are part of a network presumed to have been involved in the attack, and there’s a mind-bogglingly short window of opportunity to take them all out at once. Saul would rather go after Iranian mastermind Javadi, aka “The Magician,” but he’s also the only one who believes Javadi is still alive (Saul thinks, therefore, so do I). Advised by Adal, the team of agents and his wife, Mira (Sarita Choudhury), Saul works his way toward making the “right” choice. Meanwhile, Carrie faces the Senate Intelligence Committee wolves, headed up by Senator Andrew Lockhart (Tracy Letts). Under intense questioning by the aggressive chairman, unmedicated Carrie lets loose with a few things better left unsaid, leaving the door to attack her credibility wide open.


Homeland is at its best ramping up the tension and Quinn delivered the goods beautifully; first with his opening bomb building scene—oh how the writers love to play with our ideas about each character’s intent and motives—and again, when he’s sent after one of the six targets. Given the opportunity to take out his guy, Quinn balks when he sees a kid in the car, forcing him to have to go after the target at a more secure compound. Of course the kid gets it anyway; a sly reminder of how we got into this whole mess in the first place.


Damian Lewis’ Brody was nowhere to be seen this episode, and yet his presence was felt throughout. Carrie defended him as she testified, and mapped Brody’s movements across her wall. The after effects of his actions rang out at his daughter’s group facility where Dana recovered following her suicide attempt and then again, at the family home. A photo quickly found its place in a drawer, two mothers stuffed their feelings all the way down, and worthy scapegoats met their ends to nobody’s real satisfaction—it’s Brody that everyone wants. And perhaps because no one knows this better than Saul Berenson, it’s rather shocking when at the end of this hour he does what we never thought he would; what his protege couldn’t believe he could: he served up Carrie on a plate.


Additional thoughts:

It seems all too obvious for Adal to have leaked the documents and information to the Senate committee, so once again, we’re left wondering about a mole. Then again, this show seems above the whole mole thing.

There are no words to express the thrill each time Mandy Patinkin and F. Murray Abraham appear onscreen together; I have to fight an urge to cheer.

I’d like the name of Carrie’s alternative medicine physician. I mean, tequila is way cheaper than prescription drugs and goes better with chips, salsa and a good staircase f*ck.

It was surprising to hear and still makes no sense that Carrie could ever have been officially reinstated, but Homeland (as with many great shows—even Breaking Bad) has always required some suspension of disbelief.

Nobody gives a shit about any of Dana’s boyfriends or her antics—her first five minutes home from the hospital and already she’s sending the topless photos? Did Kim Bauer teach us nothing?


On the other hand, James Rebhorn is so good as Frank Mathison, I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more of him.


I’m guess I’m okay with targets being labelled Wizard of Oz characters, but if I hear one peep about a Von Trapp, I’m going after Gordon and Gansa.

Cindy Davis, (Twitter)

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