Homeland: “The Yoga Play” Season 3 Episode 5 Review

Photo Credit: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/10/28/homeland-the-yoga-play-review

Though mostly filler, this week’s episode had a number of captivating moments and concluded in shocking fashion.

After last week’s twist ending clued viewers in on Carrie and Saul’s secret operation, I was left wondering exactly how long their plan had been in motion.  Certain things didn’t seem to fit with the idea that the two had been working together this whole time, and so I thought it might have been a recent development.

Well, so much for that theory.  In the beginning moments of this week’s episode, Saul confides in Quinn that everything–publicly outing Carrie, the mental institution–was part of the elaborate ploy to draw out Javadi.  Furthermore, in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Alex Gansa explained that Carrie’s emotional state in the mental institution was very real, but it was more about her contemplating the gravity of her mission and the consequences it would have on her reputation.  The look on her face when Saul rats her out on TV is more of a look of “okay, this is really happening,” as opposed to a look of surprise.

I’m sure you could go through each of the previous episodes and find justifications for everything that went down.  Carrie’s “f*ck you” moment to Saul could have been precautionary in case anyone was in earshot of their conversation.  Or, seeing as how she was upset she was to have been kept in the psych ward for so long, perhaps this moment was genuine in that this part of the plan wasn’t going as intended.  Truthfully though, it’s not plausibility I’m worried about, it’s necessity.  I’m very glad to learn that Carrie and Saul have been working together; that Carrie isn’t actually going crazy and Saul isn’t selling her out to save his own skin.  This is good news, but did it have to come as a surprise?  Would this season’s emotional moments have carried any less weight if we had known what was going on from the beginning?  I don’t think they would have.

Anyway, it’s probably best not to wallow in this for too long. This week was a lot quieter that usual, and unfortunately spent way too much time dealing with an unfulfilling subplot.  Still, there were moments of brilliance that made everything come together.

Saul got a considerable amount of screen time this week, and for once it didn’t involve him pacing around an office and staring at a cork board.  Invited to go goose hunting with Senator Lockhart, the President’s Chief of Staff, and a bunch of other politicos, Saul is put outside his comfort zone.  Of course, things only get worse when he learns Lockhart, the man he outed Carrie to, is being appointed to be the new director of the CIA.  His speech at the end of the night was powerful, and reinforced the show’s theme of favoring personal intelligence in an increasingly mechanized world.  Additionally, he has an intriguing incident with Mira when he comes home to find her having dinner with a supposed co-worker.  The dinner seems a little more intimate than that, and I’m curious to see where this goes because their relationship dynamic is very interesting.

Carrie, meanwhile, is back on track to proving just how capable a CIA agent she really is.  It’s a little discerning to see her flush the rest of her medication down the toilet, but the rest of the episode worked to show her resourcefulness.  She also shares a tender moment with Quinn, who’s now been brought in on the plan to watch over her.  Their relationship has always had a bit of an underlying spark, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it developed into something more.  I’m sure fans of Carrie and Brody are dying to see them reunite, but I think Carrie and Quinn would be an excellent avenue to go down.

All of this would have been okay, had most of the episode not been about finding Dana.  I was really rooting for her character to gain some maturity this season, but she continues to get herself into an obnoxious amount of trouble.  Her fight with Leo felt so melodramatic and overdone that I was thankful it ended so quickly.  I’m not sure why so much focus was put on her story this week. It’s starting to feel like the hit-and-run accident all over again, and I just hope she doesn’t spend the rest of the season moping. The one bright spot that came out of this was short scene between Jessica and Carrie.  I highly doubt those two will ever be able to form some sort of a bond, but it’s affecting to see them share the screen together.

As per usual with Homeland, the episode’s final moments were the most thrilling.  After a truly unsettling strip search, Carrie is taken by Javadi’s henchmen to meet with him in an undisclosed location.  The next phase of her and Saul’s plan has been put into motion, but this time Carrie is completely on her own.  I can’t wait to see their interrogation next week.  As long as it isn’t interspersed with scenes of Dana crying, I think it’ll be very exciting.  Grade: B


By Mike Papirmeister

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