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Homeland - Like Bad at Things -Review: "Fake News"

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This week’s Homeland was beyond great. It was fast paced and intelligent. It was complicated and tense. The character interactions were spot on. Also, how hilarious is that title? Who do you think it refers to?

In the beginning of the episode, the president learns that the airstrike on Syria was orchestrated by her chief of staff and she isn’t happy about it, but she doesn’t have time to dwell on it, and neither do we. There are a lot more fires to put out this week.

Last week, Saul got played big time by O’Keefe but in “Like Bad at Things,” he is the true lead. This episode still wasn’t a win for Saul, but it was the most competent he has looked in a while. He was calm and collected, and completely in his element. The showdown between the journalist and the ex-CIA continues this week. While Saul tries to keep control of the situation, things quickly escalate. Bruno the dog is killed (You DO NOT shot a dog!) followed by his 16 year old master who is shot (Ok, so you do not shot 16 year olds either) and an FBI agent is taken hostage by the militia.

“What are you talking about? A kid is dying.” -Saul

This causes uproar within the population, and within the compound. As it should. Saul is almost on top of things, he’s on top of things for a big part of the episode. He continues to be the voice of reason through this whole ordeal. In contrast, O’Keefe seemed extremely overwhelmed. At some point he seemed to be regretting his choices, while at other instances, it was just the opposite. He’s hot then he’s cold. He’s yes then he’s no. Either he has another agenda, or he’s a coward. O’Keefe saying he would give himself up before anyone would get hurt was load of crap, a load of crap I actually fell for. He was likable in the season’s first episode, and I thought I would be rooting for him. How wrong I was.

He caused everything to end up like this. Why wouldn’t he tell them that the report had their facts wrong, why would he want this to happen? There was only so much that Saul, even with the President’s support, could do. He got the Jay-Jay transferred to the nearest hospital and treated, and almost managed to get the mothers and children out of the compound. Almost.

Before that could happen, hell broke loose. A journalist sneaks into the hospital where the teen was being treated and takes a picture that starts the cycle of fake news. No one could stop from spinning, and O’Keefe did nothing to stop it. Beau killed the FBI agent, and the army came marching in, stopping at nothing to get O’Keefe and terminate the standoff.

The ending was graceful, and poetic. It was poignant. It truly was beautifully done. The emotions displayed on Mandy Patinkin’s face in the final scene were phenomenally poignant. He failed to secure everyone, and we could feel it.

On another less dramatic note, Carrie is still listening in on Wellington, like the little stalker she is. In this episode, Carrie got equal help from Max and Dante, and it helped a lot on the storytelling aspect of the show. She needs to be surrounded, they keep her grounded, and they keep her from spinning. She needs them. At one point, Carrie forgets she is supposed to come back for Frannie, until Max reminds her. That is just another instance of why she needs a support system that gets her, and supports her.

Carrie goes to Hazelton in the hopes of finding out what Wellington’s girlfriend was up to before the General died. In order to get the Dash Cash to reveal some information, Carrie told her story clerk, from a third person’s perspective, and that was incredibly well done. Carrie calling herself crazy was revealing. That is how she thinks her sister sees her.

“You sound strange. Is something wrong?” –Dante
“Yes. My sister.” -Carrie

Maggie and Carrie are still having trouble. Maggie just wants Carrie to get better, and she’s seeing that her sister isn’t doing well, and it’s scary. Carrie has been to some pretty dark places, especially last week, when she had meltdown in the kitchen. Now that Carrie has stopped taking her “reset meds,” Maggie is even more worried, so she forced her sister to take them. The dynamic between the two is really interesting.

This episode was really great, and I expect more great episodes to come now that more spy with Carrie and Dante teased.

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