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Homeland: Season 3 [Blu-ray]
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As Carrie (Emmy(R) winner Claire Danes) and Saul (Emmy(R) winner Mandy Patinkin) search for the truth behind the bombing of CIA headquarters, lines are blurred between friend and foe and no one can be trusted. While hiding a stunning secret of her own, Carrie helps recruit Brody (Emmy(R) winner Damian Lewis) for a dangerous mission that could offer him a chance at redemption. But when the plan unravels and Brody is targeted deep inside Iran, he must put his life in Carrie's hands, leading to one of the most suspenseful and shocking season finales in TV history.
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I don't get why so many people were so hostile about Dana and her storyline...she's a fifteen-year-old trying to come to terms with the fact that apparently her father, her hero and the person she was closest to, decided to blow up 200 people. How would you deal with such a thing?? I might slit my wrists, too. She's Brody daughter, a major character in this show, and they aren't just going to forget about her. I think what they wrote for her is great, and I think she's a fabulous actress, too. If you can't deal with the storylines the writers have created for the characters, stop watching the show, because now that Brody is dead, I'm sure there's going to be more of the same.
It's clear from reviews here and in the UK press that many have been disappointed by season 3 of Homeland, no doubt because of the conspicuous absence of Brody for several episodes. But I want to make the case for this season. To me, this was where Homeland grew up and showed real grit.
Season 1 with its simple proposition of "had-he-or-hadn't-he-been-turned?" and "is-he-or-isn't-he?" working for the other side was compelling but clearly had nowhere to go in terms of development. Season 2 lost its way completely. But season 3 rewarded the patient viewer with a brilliant twist and a multi-layered depth. It exposed a more nuanced web of relationships, the moral element of decision-making in the eternal ends-and-means dilemma and a mature understanding of the politics at play in a cruel world.
This was the season that made us realise that Homeland wasn't really about Brody at all; it was about Carrie. It was always about Carrie.
The third season is good, but kind of disjointed. The plot lines seem to jump around until you get toward the end of the season where everything comes together. The first half of the season was really about the aftermath of the CIA bombing at the end of Season 2 that was pinned on Brody. An elaborate plan between Carrie and Saul was hatched to get the person responsible out in the open, but if you think about it too hard it was a plan hatched to catch someone they did not really know was involved with 100% certainly, relied on information they did not have when the plan was set in motion, or that the bait would be taken. So it takes a lot of suspension of disbelief to buy into the whole thing. If you can put that aside however, the rest of the season is compelling and dramatic, much like the prior seasons were.
The other main point this season was the wrap up of Brody's story line. For much of the first part of the season Brody was not even around or only appeared for most of 1 episode and a few minutes in a few others. Then his story converged on the other story line. The one unfortunate part of ending that story is that the great story surrounding Dana's response to finding out her dad was a terrorist was also wrapped up, and it was pretty clear that his family will not have a large role in the show anymore. That said, it was definitely time to bring that story, as good as it was for the first season and a half to a close.
As far as extras go, there is a behind the scenes feature on filming the final episodes, deleted scenes, commentary on the final episode, and a feature on Brody's story from the first part of the season. Not a ton, but okay for what is there. All in all, it is not as good as the prior seasons, but does an adequate job resolving some story lines and moving the show forward.