Even after I felt that the second season of Homeland fell a little flat, I was still interested in watching the third go round. Despite season 2 not being as good as the incredibly good first season, it was still excellent television, and I wasn’t yet finished watching Carrie, Brody, and Saul, get things figured out and keep America safe.
Season 3 starts off where the second left off, right after the bombing of the CIA building in Langley. Brody, looking extremely guilty, needs to get away as fast as he can, and he disappears, going off the radar for an extended period of time. We don’t even really see him until a couple of episodes in, when he resurfaces.
The central plot of the season is to find out who was behind the CIA bombing, and then doing something about the increasingly hostile situation in Iran.
A couple of very good things about the third season:
- The story of the Brody family, and how they have coped with the lies and deception of their patriarch was very good, I thought. Much of this focuses on Dana, the teenage daughter of the disgraced Marine, the man thought of perpetrating the attack on the CIA, and known to have wanted to bomb himself and the Vice President during Season 1. Her trauma is good, and the story doesn’t seem out of place in an espionage thriller. It gets a little far reaching when her boyfriend gets involved, but it’s still pretty good.
- We again get to see Carrie go off the rails. Claire Danes has been great throughout the series, and she really nails it for the majority of this season as well. She plays the role of a woman suffering from bi-polar disorder to a T, and we can’t help but believe her plight. We can understand her problems, we feel bad for her, and we silently curse some of her stubbornness. While her crying and yelling does get a little tiresome at points, she is very good, as her multiple Emmys for the series can attest.
- There are a couple of good new characters that are introduced to the show, including Fara, a new analyst with the Agency after the bombing wiped out a major section of their manpower. The great Salieri appears in this season as well (F. Murray Abraham), as a friend and co-worker of Saul’s.
- Saul is in it a lot more than usual, and he is awesome as usual. He is perhaps my favorite character on the show, and he shines again in Season 3.
- There is a shocking ending, which Homeland has become known for. The end of the season definitely leaves us wondering about the direction they are going to take in the current fourth season.
Aside from all of the positives, the series still hasn’t managed to recapture the delicious tension from the first season, which I found to be edge-of-the-seat viewing. While the events of Season 3 are interesting and sometimes exciting, it sometimes causes weariness with the continued, Is Nicholas Brody a good guy or bad guy? story line. But it still works, just not as perfectly as it did during their first run.
Homeland Season 3 is definitely worth watching, of course. It isn’t perfect, but it still holds plenty of intrigue to keep viewers interested if they are trying to get caught up so that they can watch the fourth season that is currently airing. For those who enjoyed Season 2, keep on going with Season 3, as it won’t cause much disappointment, and there isn’t a ton of drop off from the excellent television they have got us used to.