Why do I do this to myself? The same thing happened with Breaking Bad. Friends were going on at me repeatedly about this US-based drama, “you know – the one with Malcolm’s dad from Malcolm in the Middle!” I had wondered to myself all those months ago what on earth would possess me to want to watch Malcolm’s dad as a Chemistry teacher who was fighting cancer? But then it became ridiculous. I was made to feel embarrassed because I began to feel like the only person on the planet who hadn’t watched an episode of Breaking Bad. So when I decided to have several catch up sessions on Netflix over the early summer, sitting up late into the night with my partner and only coming up for air and snack breaks, I realized what an idiot I’d been and what an incredibly well-written and gripping show I’d been missing. Now it’s hard to believe that there is only one episode left. Being from the UK, we were always one day behind where “BrBa,” (as Bryan Cranston refers to it) is concerned, but with Homeland, we will be seven whole days behind this next season. Seven whole days are all I now have to catch up on the previous two seasons.
I do realize what a great following Homeland has developed and I am probably putting my head on the block with hard-core Homeland fans – your President Obama included, so he says – by openly admitting that I have not had the inclination to watch the show. I was tempted last season, but after the angry comments I was hearing from disheartened fans, I decided not to bother. Now, however, I am intrigued. It promises to be darker than ever. I like dark. As a fan of crime and espionage thrillers over the decades, from Noir of the 1940s and 1950s, to Bond, through to today, I have always been drawn to twisted pretzels of plots and sub-plots, complex characters and edge-of-your-seat action.
Now it looks like I’m going to have to duck and dive like a ninja from any stories or news of the Homeland Season 3 Premiere all week, to avoid any spoilers. The other issue we have to deal with in the UK is the fact that Netflix UK is not the same as Netflix US, which makes it all the more difficult to keep up with without spoiling the plotline of anticipated episodes.
From what I have surmised from Homeland Season 1, which has been arguably better received than Season 2, we have two complex personalities, a CIA officer who suffers with bi-polar disorder, Carrie Mathison, played by Clare Danes, and a former Marine-turned-Prisoner-of-war who eventually turns out to be an al-Qaeda operative, Nicholas Brody, played by Damian Lewis, and both seem to be smitten with each other. Yes, well right there, one can see how this would cause complications when both are caught up on opposing sides of a War on Terrorism.
It seems that action was ramped up even further in Season 2, by Homeland creators, Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, as they moved the plot forward quicker than expected, it seems, by revealing aspects of the plot before the audience was prepared, with Brody’s forgotten confession tape turning up out of the blue, and all written within a more extreme 24-style storyline, which some have criticized. One has to wonder what Obama made of the second series finale, vis-à-vis Abu Nazir and Vice President Walden. Ouch.
Will Season 3 continue down the 24-style route, or will it resume according to the steadier pace of Season 1? And incidentally, what did happen to Brody? And who is this Adul everyone is speaking of?
All I know now is that ‘intrigued’ is no longer the operative word. I currently possess the same childlike eagerness reserved for Breaking Bad that I have now to clear my schedule and sit down to watch back-to-back catch up episodes of two Homeland seasons, without re-surfacing until I am ready for Season 3 next Sunday. But for those of you who are already way ahead of me, with my sad self and seven days to catch up on Homeland, I can only wish you all a very happy and enthralling viewing for the Season 3 Premiere of Homeland tonight. From what I am hearing, you are all in for a treat.
Written by: Brucella Newman