Wednesday, 5 November 2014

TV16: Homeland, Season 3

As I was saying, the CIA is one of the greatest evils the world has ever known, so ... let’s put Mandy Patinkin’s character (Saul Berenson) in charge! In theory that might not be a bad idea, because we know that Saul (like Patinkin) is a man of tremendous integrity and surely the CIA could use a man of integrity at its helm. But in practice what this does is legitimize an organization that deserves no such legitimacy. While Saul was an underling, challenging the corruption and duplicity among the powers that be, there was an opportunity to expose and challenge the evil machinations of the CIA. That opportunity is now lost and thus Homeland is in danger of becoming a show that legitimizes the existence of an organization responsible for countless crimes against humanity.

In the third season of Homeland, Saul as CIA chief is determined to prevent a U.S. attack on Iran, suggesting that such military intervention will only make matters worse. Good stuff! I couldn’t agree more! BUT! What is Saul’s plan instead? He wants to assassinate his counterpart in Iranian intelligence, a man who has been working to undermine talks which could lead to an improved relationship between Iran and the U.S. (something the CIA would never do!!!). Well, at least it’s consistent with typical CIA strategy to assassinate foreign leaders. Bad stuff!

I promised to keep an eye on Homeland, so this is my update on season three. The acting remains at the highest level TV has ever produced. The writing remains intelligent and tight. Production values are top-notch. But the overall plot is going downhill and we know where that takes us. I’ll probably watch at least one more season of this show to see if the slide continues, but if it does, I’m getting out.

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