TV Review: “Homeland” Episode Five-“The Yoga Play”

Written by Spencer Sterritt October 29, 2013

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I know last week I said that I wouldn’t talk about the Dana plot line on “Homeland” anymore, but since her running away on a fuckfest is the main plot in “The Yoga Play” I must comment on how stupid, stupid, stupid it was.  It’s a crying shame too because everything else around that plot provides me with the thrills and intrigue that I really want from “Homeland.”

While Dana is out galavanting around Saul goes on a goose hunt with some political bigwigs, most importantly with Senator Lockhart (Tracy Letts), the Senator who was trying to bury Carrie at the beginning of this season. The behind the scenes CIA politics have been interesting so far, and to me is one of the most compelling plots.  Having the Senator become the next CIA director, Saul’s current position, gives Saul a real antagonist instead of a terrorist halfway across the world.

“If I was a duck I’d be worried.”

He’s not halfway around the world anymore though. Javadi, the terrorist behind the bombing in last seasons finale, is in America! Seems Saul and Carrie’s plan to draw him out worked in the most convenient way possible. The “Homeland” writers still have many opportunities to twist this plot around and make it more complicated, but for right now Javadi showing up is far too convenient for me. The scene leading up to it, where his goons strip search Carrie while Quinn sits in the dark outside and suspicious, was a fantastic scene with a classic “Homeland” feel.

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The very last scene where Carrie meets Javadi face to face though, is not. Having the terrorist threat appear in America and play head games with Carrie and the CIA was exactly what made the last half of season two such a mess. Clearly the writers haven’t learned their lesson or listened to their critics. At least this time we get to see the terrorist enter the country instead of just appearing out of thin air at a farm in the middle of fuck all nowhere.

“All an act. Part of the plan.” “Fuck me.”

As much as I like spy games, the in the field stuff, a plan that Carrie enacts called the yoga play, is all about how Carrie is trying to find Dana, so that soured me to the idea. I like seeing Carrie do her thing, and it was a good demonstration of how capable and sneaky Carrie can be in the field. Also it brought Virgil and Mike back into the fold, which is always welcome. I was worried after last episode that Virgil would only pop up in that episode, but thankfully after this it looks like he’ll be sticking around.

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There is still one major problem with “The Yoga Play,” and that’s the fallout from the twist at the end of “Game On.” Namely there is none. Saul brings Quinn up to speed at the beginning of the episode before he heads off to hunt, and that’s it. Saul put Carrie through the wringer since apparently her whole trial against Senator Lockhart and being institutionalized was the longest con ever to show the Iranian terrorists that Carrie could be turned.

My head still spins at trying to figure it out. There were so many scenes, private scenes between Saul and Carrie, that don’t make sense if they were both in cahoots the whole time. Carrie’s “fuck you Saul” was an incredibly potent statement in “Uh.Oh.Ah.” and now that scene has been ruined. Why would she ever say that? Did she not think she was actually going to the mental hospital? Keeping the audience in the dark about something like that, a scene that gave us no reason to suspect ulterior motives, is a cheap twist and it soured me against all of the episodes so far this season.

“The old games are proving less and less effective. Obsolete even.”

The issues I’ve had with this season keep building in “The Yoga Play,” but I still can’t help but like the episode. There were some touching moments between Carrie and Quinn, and I liked all of Saul’s scenes. Let’s just hope that Dana’s story is nearly over, and that the writers don’t pull any more cheap stunts.

My Rating: 7/10

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About Spencer Sterritt

Spencer Sterritt

Spencer Sterritt: former Editor-In-Chief for We Eat Films, future President of the Men With Beards Club, and hopefully candidate for ruler of the world.

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