Homeland Season Three Episode Seven Recap: Is there a Country For Old Men in “Gerontion”?

In my latest recap for Slant Magazine, I question whether it’s possible for anybody to do good, given our complicity in the acts the CIA does to ensure our safety. After all, as a police offer points out in this week’s episode, we fund the CIA with our tax dollars, and even if we exasperatedly throw our hands up in the air and proclaim ourselves to be innocent, we’re not. Even Peter Quinn, consummate black-ops agent that he is, is having second thoughts about covering up murders in the hopes that this will somehow lead to peace in the Middle East (diplomatic immunity, anyone?): once we abandon our code, for any reason, then we become the very thing we fight against. When Saul looks for a new way to end the conflict–this “you hit us, we hit you” cycle–he’s really only unconsciously continuing the same-old same-old, just with a new tactical twist. In any case, all that’s really just a way of saying that there are some weighty issues being discussed around the episode’s interrogation-table centerpiece (much like in Season Two’s “Q&A”), and it’s a positive step for Homeland, which is better as a thinking man’s spy drama than an action-paced thriller. Also, as some other critics have pointed out, the weaker and less plausible parts of this season–Dana Brody and Carrie’s pending pregnancy–have been omitted entirely from this episode, and that streamlined focus goes a long way. (I disagree, too, with people like TVDW of the A.V. Club, who asserts that Senator Lockhart comes across as a cartoon villain. Just because we may disagree with the big-ball-sack-swinging politics of Republicans doesn’t mean that they’re inherently ridiculous, and Tracy Letts sells his character’s outrageous convictions.)

 

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One thought on “Homeland Season Three Episode Seven Recap: Is there a Country For Old Men in “Gerontion”?

  1. Pingback: Homeland, Episode 7: Sam Lim and I discuss “Gerontion” | the first casualty

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