TV

'Homeland,' we might have to quit you

Dec. 1, 2013 at 11:02 AM ET

Image: "Homeland"
Frank Ockenfels / Showtime
Both Carrie (Claire Danes) and Brody (Damian Lewis) seem totally unbelievable this season.

When “Homeland” swept the 2012 Emmys after its first season, taking home statues for outstanding drama, drama writing, lead actor and lead actress, the show was among countless must-watch lists. Now in its third season, “Homeland” is more likely to be among a “can’t believe I’m watching this” list.

Twists and turns are part of any good drama, but the ones “Homeland” has taken its viewers through have become so onerous, even the most loyal, patient fans of the show are fed up. EW.com went so far as to ask, “Are you bored with Season 3?” Salon deemed Brody’s much-debated absence and then return part of “the worst episode of ‘Homeland’ ever,” and over at Vulture Margaret Lyons put it blunty: “You’re Killing Me, ‘Homeland.’”

Most of the pieces decrying “Homeland” for losing its focus on major plot points (Brody’s exile in the tower of hell, Saul’s insane plan, Fara...) but what can’t be discounted while we’re having breakup thoughts are the smaller threads in between that are so nonsensical they can’t possibly hold the show together. Here is just a handful. Please pile on and add your own.

(Editor's note: The same author last season begged fans to suspend their disbelief and keep the "Homeland" faith. She would like the record to reflect that she's officially eating her words.

Dana moves out
We get it: Dana is really, really mad about what her life has become. Say what you will about the tiring, dating-a-mental-patient-slash-secret-murderer plotline she was part of, but what irreversably pushed her whole arc over the edge was the scene where she moved out of the house. Apparently, there’s not a single parent on the writing staff, because no scenario in the world exists where a parent would allow their high-schooler to drive off to live with a “friend” — one whose name Jessica Brody didn’t know.  

A drawer full of positive pregnancy tests
The idea of Carrie being in denial about her pregnancy is totally plausible. But keeping a drawer full of used pregnancy tests? That’s a brand of crazy that seems to be even a bit much for off-her-meds Carrie. Not to mention, if you’re in the business of not leaving tracks and making evidence disappear, this is the opposite of what you’d do to keep a pregnancy discreet.

Saul’s house is broken into, bugged … and no one really notices
Is it really that easy to break into the home of the Director of the CIA? The answer is no. The director and even incoming directors have 24-hour security at their home. So the idea that Saul’s wife’s ex-paramour might break in, bug his home computer (and what appears to be a totally non-secured home PC at that), and sneak out totally unnoticed is absurd.

Brody everything 
When season two ended with Brody getting smuggled over the Canadian border, that was kind of cool, maybe even plausible. But the descent into addiction, his lightning-fast recovery from the same and then complete buy-in into Carrie and Saul’s totally absurd plan (we can't even begin to explain it; but did she need to stay in the mental hospital for so long?) has none of the hallmarks of something a former terrorist would do. He’s either broken, or he’s not. And if it’s the latter, you’d think it would take more than a glance at his daughter playing motel maid to get him there.

“Homeland,” if you want to win us back before it’s too late, maybe try doing a little fact checking. Make the smaller parts believable, and then it’s a little easier to get your audience to buy into some of the totally nutty plot twists — like trusting Iranian intelligence officer Majid Javadi to go back to Iran and act as a double agent (which interestingly, sounds a lot like real-life CIA scheme that’s recently come to light). 

And speaking of Javadi, Carrie was at her best this season when she turned the tables on him. Let Carrie go back to being CIA Carrie, the one who takes more calculated risks and knows how to do her job.

Until then, there are only three episodes left. Here’s hoping for a big fix. Otherwise there’s little hope for season four.

"Homeland" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

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