Some pure ideal of a noble life
That once seemed possible? Did we not hear
The flutter of its wings, and feel it near,
And just within our reach? It was. And yet
We lost it in this daily jar and fret,
And now live idle in a vague regret;
But still our place is kept, and it will wait,
Ready for us to fill it, soon or late.
No star is ever lost we once have seen,
We always may be what we might have been.
-Adelaide Anne Procter, The Ghost in the Picture Room, 1859
'One Last Time', the ninth episode of Season Three, brought about yet another opportunity for Brody to earn some measure of redemption for himself, this time by infiltrating the Iranian government and assassinating one of its top three men, opening the door for Javadi to ascend to power.
I'm not sure what it says about the CIA that it continually has to turn to such compromised and fatally flawed characters as Carrie and Brody to carry out its missions, but I don't think that's a good sign.
What you thought of 'One Last Time' probably hinges on your ability to suspend disbelief and your willingness to see and accept the plot devices continually used to bring Brody and Carrie back into play for what they are. They are just plot devices. They aren't meant to be scrutinized and dissected
If you can accept that, then it's totally beleivable that there's a rare African plant that can stem the brutal side effects of heroin withdrawal. It's perfectly reasonable to assume that a recovering heroin addict, so weak that he couldn't jog a quarter mile, could be transformed into a dangerous killing machine in a matter of two weeks.
It's also totally believable, then, that Dana Brody wouldn't alert the police that the world's most wanted man, that she wants nothing to do with, had shown up at her doorstep.
If you can accept those things, then it's totally believable that Saul wouldn't have his second-most valuable asset under guard just minutes before he's scheduled to fly to Iran, and that he would allow the loose cannon agent that sometimes takes anti-psychotic drugs, who just endangered another mission because of her blind loyalty to the asset, unfettered access to that asset.
All of those absurdities were simply used to set things into motion for the season's final act. Absurd? Sure. But if you understand their purpose, you shouldn't be too bothered by them at this point.
A more glaring issue to me, and one that seems to be eroding the foundation of the show, is the way that Saul Berenson is being written. From week to week, and even scene to scene, Saul is alternately a crusading do-gooder so blindly loyal to the people closest to him that he's almost certain to fail, and a conniving survivalist that will do whatever it takes to achieve his objective, consequences be damned.
No, those traits are not mutually exclusive; it's absolutely possible to be so committed to people that you will do anything to protect them, as we saw here when Saul blackmailed Lockhart in order to spare his wife public embarrassment. But I do see a tendency to write Saul very erratically.
I'm not naive enough to believe in "good guys" and "bad guys" on Homeland. In fact, one of the things I've always enjoyed most about the show is its willingness to challenge xenophobia. Remember when Homeland showed us Brody living with Abu Nazir and tutoring his son? But in all good storytelling, there are antagonists and protagonists, and homeland can't seem to decide which one Saul is.
This is the story we're being told: Saul and the CIA will use Brody and Javadi to bring about a new regime in Iran, causing a breakthrough in international relations, and, for once, tangibly making the world a better, more civil place.
Whether or not they succeed is of more interest to me going forward than whether or not Carrie and Brody's most recent goodbye, where Carrie ominously promised to see Brody on "The Other Side" (of mortality?), was actually their last parting, or whether or not Carrie will miscarry her baby, as she seems intent on doing.
The ridiculous plot devices were ridiculous. Now we're here, back to an espionage story, one where Brody has yet another chance to be what he might have been.
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