Homeland “The Vest” Review

(Note: Your usual reviewer is out this week, so I will be reviewing Homeland in their stead.)

After last week’s explosive ending, I was really hoping for Homeland to return this week with “The Vest” and really hit the ground running. I mean, there’s been a freaking explosion in the middle of a crowded Washington DC park! You’d think there’d be mass pandemonium and panic, but it seemed like the CIA members were kind of sitting on their hands.

I guess all of the panic was just hitting Carrie, though, as we see her flipping her wig over not being given a green pen. We’ve known since the premiere that she has some pretty serious psychological issues, but we’ve never really had the opportunity to see her off of her medication until now. Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin were both in top form here, as Danes played the manic bi-polar/OCD patient perfectly without going overboard. This an easily affliction to over-act as an actor, but Claire was absolutely killing it. Patinkin was also great here, as his understated performance has been great all season. His face as he stared at Carrie in her bed, rambling on about a far-reaching pen color conspiracy, was wonderful.

Meanwhile, we got an interesting little scene between David and the vice president. After finding out last episode that Brody’s original plan to kill the vice president was a completely conscious decision, and that he actually wanted to kill him to avenge the death of Abu Nabir’s son, I thought this scene really just served as an opportunity to make the vice president more unlikable, so that if and when it comes down to Brody having the opportunity to kill him, we might accept it more as the viewers.

Speaking of Brody, he was taking a fun little family trip to Gettysburg. The stuff in the car was fun, and seeing him recite the story of the Battle of Gettysburg was nice, but it all felt like it was leading up to these two scenes at the end. His scene with Dana came first, and it was interesting hearing him say that she needs to watch out for her mom when he’s gone. You’d think that he was just referring to him being gone on this campaign all the time, but it really seemed liked Dana thought he was talking about something more serious.

It turns out he was talking about something serious, after all. In this week’s big “What the heck is going on?!” scene, we watch Brody slowly and methodically putting on an explosive vest! While donning this ominous vest, he’s just casually talking to the vest maker about the methods behind blowing yourself up in order to keep your head intact. While we aren’t quite sure what’s going on here, it was a great counterpoint to this scene to have Brody walk into a diner and be immediately approached by so many of his supporters. I’m not sure if the end goal here is for Brody to blow himself up, but it was great for him to see how many people depend on him and would be positively affected by his being in office. Definitely a good reason to keep yourself alive, if the hot wife and loving kids wasn’t enough of a reason. Also, hooray for Brody and the wife for having what appears to be their first night of sexual activity! You’d think being married to somebody who looks like Morena Baccarin would be enough to keep any guy from blowing himself up!

It was another great reveal to see that all of the colors that Carrie was yammering on about were actually related to Abu Nazir’s timeline, and that each color corresponded to a period in his life. Not only was it a clear timeline, but it was even in order of the colors of the rainbow! I was a bit disappointed that it seemed like Carrie just woke up one morning and she was all better. You’d think that it would have been a gradual decline from all out crazy to the semi-crazy Carrie that we know and love. I mean, I’m not a doctor or anything, but I’m pretty sure that medication doesn’t just work by taking one, waiting a few days, and then BAM you’re all better when you wake up one day.

I was also a little disappointed by how everybody was acting towards Carrie during the whole episode. I mean, sure, she’s bi-polar and can be a little crazy, but it isn’t like there hasn’t just been a major act of terrorism on US soil or anything. Lest we forget, somebody blew up a freaking park a couple days ago, and Carrie seems to be the only one who seems to understand the gravity of the situation. Doesn’t David have anything more important to be doing than going to Carrie’s house and stripping her wall and destroying a potentially very helpful timeline of Abu Nazir’s life. Just because you’re crazy doesn’t mean that you’re always right and that everybody should be shutting you down, so the way she was being treated just came off forced and unfair.

With only one episode left to this stellar first season, I’m really hoping we get something major developing next week. Not only do I hope that this Tom Walker story gets resolved satisfactorily, but that we’re also shown how this show will be spun out into season two. I can’t wait to find out!