'Homeland' Review 3.9: Perfect Timing
Well, Homeland 3.9 was the episode we've been waiting for. And, in an exquisite feat of perfect timing, the episode reveals and revolves around Saul's plan for the guy he turned and his role in Iran. Brody will assassinate this guy's superior, putting Saul's turned spy into one of the top three positions in Iran. With Saul running him, Iran will at last be in position to abandon its aggressive stance and sit down with the U.S. and the rest of the world in peace.
Does this sound familiar? It's almost precisely what has just been announced about Iran on other television screens - screens of real news not fiction - in the past few days. There's no CIA plot or assassination involved - though for all we know there was - but the result is the same: Iran appears, in our reality, to be embarking perhaps on a path to peace.
Homeland's show runners couldn't have asked for better timing, and they provided a superb show which was every bit up for this unintended command performance. Brody's back in the picture - loving his daughter Dana, who of course still spurns him, and feeling something for Carrie, who hasn't told him (as far as we know) that she's carrying his baby. As Carrie tells Saul, she's the reason Brody has agreed to go on this nearly suicidal mission. And when Brody tells Carrie he's going to come back, and not only for Dana, we believe him. We believe that he'll come back - or do his best and die trying - for Carrie, too. This will be television well worth watching.
Meanwhile, I've been saying for weeks that I was suspicious of Saul's wife's boyfriend. I thought he might be an Islamist spy. I was geographically almost right - the boyfriend is an Israeli spy. He's of course no danger to the U.S. in the way an Islamist spy would be, but this puts Saul's relationship with his wife in a whole new dimension - the guy, in other words, was using her to get info about Saul. And when Saul learns that he was giving this info to Senator Lockhart, Saul is able to use this to get Lockhart to back off for a few weeks, or enough time for Saul to proceed with his Iranian play. Why doesn't Saul get Lockhart to withdraw totally? Saul says a public fight over this would embarrass his wife. I don't know if I quite buy this, but I like the quick turns of tables between Saul and Lockhart.
And I like where Homeland has finally arrived. The mission to Iran is under way. Bring it on!