Sasha McBrayer is taking a break from her reviews on video for Thanksgiving.
Based upon the Israeli series “Prisoners of War,” Showtime’s American spy thriller “Homeland” is in its third season and has the green light for a 12-episode fourth season, set to premiere in 2014.
“Homeland” has become a highly honored series. It won the 2012 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series and took home both the 2011 and 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series — Drama. Both of the show’s stars, Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, won Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress and Actor.
Does season three live up to the high standard set by the award winning drama?
First, here is some background on the show. The word interesting doesn’t seem to do justice for “Homeland’s” first season. Danes plays Carrie, an obsessively driven, caring, capable and intuitive CIA case-worker with a secret. She suffers from bipolar disorder and has kept her condition under wraps until Nicholas Brody (Lewis) hits her radar.
Brody started the series as an American military hero. After being a prisoner of al-Qaeda for eight years, Brody was rescued and returned to his family. However, Carrie and the audience quickly began to suspect that Brody had a secret of his own: He seemed to be working for the enemy, either willingly or thanks to torture.
Only Carrie seemed sharp enough to prevent Brody from playing his part in a massive attack on U.S. soil, but her trustworthiness was questioned when her mental illness came to light. (Never mind that Carrie started to develop romantic feelings for Brody!)
Along the way, two other more minor characters really grabbed me. Brody’s teenage daughter, Dana, amazingly well-acted by Morgan Saylor, and CIA assassin Peter Quinn, played by Rupert Friend, couldn’t get enough screen time, if you ask me. Of course, Mandy Patinkin could do no wrong as Carrie’s mentor, Saul.
In the third season, Carrie appears to have been chosen to be the CIA’s public scapegoat. The CIA, along with Saul, abandon Carrie to a psychiatric hospital.
She stays there just long enough for the viewer to get annoyed, and then a twist (that you may see coming) reveals that Carrie and Saul were in cahoots the entire time, setting up the next leg of the season in which Carrie is, for lack of a better term, undercover.
So how does season three fare in the grand scheme of things? Honestly, the first few episodes are a little bit of a letdown. I’ll keep watching, though.