Homeland ended season 2 with Carrie and Saul coming back together as they stood over the bodies of their dead colleagues from the CIA. A viewer would figure this season would be about them, as they worked together -- that's the key word -- to find out who was responsible.
Nope. Season 3 seems to be about the dissolution of their friendship and their partnership. Because Saul screws Carrie in a way I never would have thought possible. This kind of plotline brings emotions and story angles that can be exciting -- the problem is, however, I don't buy that Saul would do it.
Catching Up with Other Characters
It has to be said up front that "Tin Man," the season 3 premiere of Homeland, is a bit of a bore. Compared to the first episode of last season, not a lot happens, which does tend to happen in season premieres as producers have to reshuffle the deck.
Early on, we learn that Quinn is back out in the field, ready to kill again.
It's been 58 days since the "second 9/11" attack in which 219 Americans were killed. Congress is furious, demanding to know "How can the CIA be expected to protect this country if it can't even be expected to protect itself?"
The two great beards of the CIA -- Saul and Dar Adal -- seem to now be working together to help craft a story that will help stave off the death of the CIA -- something Congress seems to be leaning towards.
On the homefront, Carrie is off her meds again. She's got a new "wall" in her house and is tracking Brody's movements. She's also back to sleeping with random guys as she meets one in a liquor store and brings him home to screw him on the stairs of her house, of all places. (And it can't be a coincidence that he has red hair, just like Brody.)
As for Saul, he and his wife are sleeping in separate bedrooms, though that looks to be, oddly, at Saul's request.
The Hunt and the Testimony
At the same time, Saul is in the middle of the hunt and eventual assassination plot of the terrorists suspected of being behind the CIA attack.
The remaining analysts at the CIA have been able to pinpoint where the targets for the assassination are, but Saul isn't convinced. He doesn't think the CIA should be leading the way in an assassination scheme. Quinn, meanwhile, is on the ground in Caracas, Venezuela, tracking one of the targets.
He is about to place a bomb on the car of his target when he sees there's a kid in the car. He misses his opportunity, almost jeopardizing the entire mission.
He follows his target back to his house and gets him, but not before he accidentally winds up killing that kid anyway.
With the phrase "Tin Man is down" given by Quinn, Saul orders the other five terrorists killed throughout Yemen. The CIA apparently is going for a Wizard of Oz-styled theme because we also hear the phrase "Cowardly Lion is down" when someone else is killed.
But that's not the end of Saul's mission. After someone (likely Saul) leaks to a newspaper that a CIA officer had a sexual relationship with Brody, he testifies at the Senate hearing. Unlike Carrie's testimony, which was given behind closed doors, there's plenty of cameras and a crowd as Saul goes directly after Carrie -- though he doesn't name her -- and calls her unstable, lies about her concealing her affair with Brody and even diagnoses her as bipolar.
Saul screws Carrie to save the CIA. He makes it seems like she's the one solely responsible for the attack, as opposed to the CIA failing to miss it while they worked together with Brody.
Did something happen in those 58 days that made Saul realize he had no other choice? (One has to assume the slimy Dar Adal helped encourage this idea.) Because otherwise, this reads as necessary for the plot, but not something Saul would actually do.
The Brody Family
And unfortunately, we are yet again saddled with boring plotlines concerning the Brody family. While it can be fascinating to see how an accusation that a father is a mass terrorist destroys a family, the show paves over the initial, interesting part of that story because we flash forward nearly 60 days.
We miss the moment the cameras show up -- though they're still there. We also miss the moment when Dana decides she's had enough and tries to commit suicide. (We also miss the moment when Brody's son has a massive growth spurt.)
Instead, we see her sexting pictures to her group therapy boyfriend, Liam. Snore. Wake me up when it's over.
Homeland airs Sundays at 9pm on Showtime.