'Homeland' Makes a Big, Obvious Mistake

If you didn't watch last night's Homeland because you were too busy watching the same hurricane news repeated over and over again for hours, stop reading now!

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If you didn't watch last night's Homeland because you were too busy watching the same hurricane news repeated over and over again for hours, stop reading now!

Last night's episode of Homeland was pretty good, right? It answered the question of where does the show go from here pretty well, with Brody possibly switching sides and working for the big bad CIA after being cornered by Crazy Carrie and the frown gang. The two had a tense, terrific, emotional scene together in the interrogation room and then the show did what it does best, elegantly zagging when you thought it might zig, giddily pulling us along with it down a new dark corridor. So, well done, Homeland. You make Showtime proud.

And yet. And yet, this is still Showtime we're talking about, so nothing can be HBO-level perfect. Amidst all this wonderful Carrie/Brody pas de deux-ing, we got the answer to the Dana/Finn/Xander love triangle, and of course wise old Dana chose Finn. Because he's the cute dangerous one with the cool car. The one who picks her up in said cool car and recklessly shakes his Secret Service tail (he is the VP's son, after all) and then... Well, you know where this is going. In a moment of stupidity that rivals the great Landry/Tyra oopsy of Friday Night Lights season two, the writers chose to have Finn run over a lady and then drive away. Yeah, we're doing that tired old plotline. To which I say: Really, guys?

On a show that frequently surprises and surpasses expectations, you're gonna go and do the "Oh no we hit someone now we have to keep a dark, terrible secret" story? The I Know What You Did Last Summer shtick? We've always tolerated the fact that Brody's soapy family is for some reason a part of this clever spy game, but now it's gone a bit too far. Sure, the writers might eventually feed this plot into a bigger story about the VP or something—maybe Dana will use it as leverage somehow, when her dad needs it—but for now we have to deal with all the high school shrillery of "OMG what did we do??" that this show should really be better than. And, as evidenced by the other plotline unfolding last night in the bottle episode environs of the interrogation room, typically is better than. Again, we don't know where the writers are going with this hit-and-run story just yet, but right now it feels like a huge and completely unnecessary misstep. You're only in season two, guys. You can't afford that many unforced errors.

It was fun to joke around about how Emmy-winning CIA drama Homeland was mostly about a teenage love triangle, but now they're really investing in Dana's teen drama in a serious way, and that feels a bit dumb. Doesn't it? Am I the only one who groaned loudly and wanted to throw something at the TV when the big bump happened last night? My viewing partner spotted it coming a mile away, saying, "Oh, he's gonna run someone over" the minute they got into the car. And my friend was right. You really should not be able to predict twists so easily on a show like Homeland, which relies heavily on being a canny and inventive twist machine. So here's hoping that, like that awful Tyra/Landry please-watch-us ratings stunt (suggested by NBC, we have to believe), they quickly do away with this annoying story and return to what really matters: Jessica's haircut. Will she ever get it right??

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.