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Review: Homeland - 2.07 - "The Clearing"

As good as "Homeland" is, there are scenes in this series where I scratch my head and wonder what in the holy hell the writers were thinking. What was the point of that scene? Why is this character asking these ridiculous questions? What prompted this logical leap? We had a few of these kinds of scenes this week: an airheaded rich woman stupidly questioning Brody about his torturous P.O.W. years; a pointless tangent with a prison warden on a power trip.


Really, Saul's entire visit to the prison could be lumped into this, as he talks with Aileen, the better half of the terrorist couple from last season. The prisoner is less than sympathetic, mentally and physically broken from her long confinement, eager for a cell with a view in return for identifying the mystery man from last week. The subplot seems geared toward reinforcing how emotions can negatively influence important decisions, but comes off as a clumsy means of padding out the the episode, the only real highlight being the unintentional comedy relief of Saul's "saywhatnow?" reaction to his visit with the Evil Prison Warden.

A band of armed mercenaries massacring a crew of intelligence agents can't derail a weekend political fundraiser for the Brodys and the Vice President Walden's family. Jess confronts Brody about Mike's accusations from last week, and the lies just keep on coming from Brody. He ties Walker's death into his work for the CIA, explaining that the agency asked for him to meet with Brody after the assassination attempt and things got messy. Brody is inexplicably irate with Carrie after this -- well gee, sorry we couldn't cover every one of your messy tracks, Mister Domestic Terrorist, we'll do better next time. With Brody's nerves on edge, Carrie pays a visit to give him some semblance of control... with a makeout session! What's that about emotions getting in the way of important decisions?

At the weekend getaway, Dana's conscience continues to weigh on her after her 'Fast & Furious' experience turned fatal. In a bit of a twist, Finn himself caves and agrees to spill the beans to their parents, despite the political tailspin he knows it would throw his Presidential-candidate father's career into. As we find out, Finn is truly his parents' son, as they express similar trepidation in going public with all the details and insists to Jess and Brody that they'll "handle it." Brody and Jess, not yet fully indoctrinated into the Capitol Hill mindset, are insistent on taking Dana to confess to the police -- a good move as a responsible parent, but a bad move in alienating V.P. Walden and blowing the CIA's investigation.

This week, "Homeland" continues in its exploration of off-the-rails storytelling, offsetting the fantastic suspense from the first half of the season with some hackneyed melodrama. Unfortunately, this episode didn't have the benefit of a shocking ending. With all the talk of the terrorist plot and its corresponding investigation "moving faster," hopefully we can see a return to suspenseful form next week. 

Final Grade: C-

- Homeland
- Claire Danes
- Damian Lewis
- Mandy Patinkin

Written by: kyleiam
Nov 12th, 2012, 8:55 am


Level 2 (24%)
Points: 34.2
Since: 03/Jan/10
Message Posted On Nov 13th, 2012, 3:34 pm

Seems more like a play-by-play or act summary than a review of the episode...?

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