5 sentence review of Homeland finale

Season 1, Episode 12: “Marine One”

5. Claire Danes was magnificent in the finale of “Homeland,” playing Carrie with perfect tone of a brilliant CIA analyst besotted by bipolar disorder but still right about a larger plot against the Vice President (Jamey Sheridan).

4. Saul (Mandy Patinkin) finds the truth in Carrie’s madness and confronts an amoral VP about his order of a drone strike on Abu Nazier’s (Navid Negahban) compound but ills Nazier’s kid who was learning English from POW Brody.

3. As revenge for the boy’s death, Brody (Damian Lewis) contemplates jihad against the VP and other top government officials, but gives up when he gets a call from daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor).

2. “Marine One” deserves recognition for exemplary and accurate portrayal of mental illness — including the use of electroconvulsive therapy as a humane tool in the treatment of some disorders — and Danes truly deserves an Emmy on the strength of her performance as a woman on the edge throughout the series.

1. “Homeland” started slow and wandered off into subplots that became nothing — Saul’s marriage problems, for example — but it picked up in the final six episodes and turned into an outstanding thriller series that earned the preseason praise and beyond.

Claire Danes does not smile much as her character in Showtime's "Homeland," which is kind of a bummer.

5 sentence review of Homeland

Episodes 9: “Crossfire”¬†

Episode 10: “Representative Brody”

5. In “Crossfire,” Brody (Damian Lewis) is taken captive and drugged by Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban) goons, relives his captivity — which he apparently spent as an ESL to a Nazir’s son, converted to Islam and embraced terrorism after the kid is blown up in an U.S. military strike — while Carrie (Claire Danes) tries to pressure the FBI and a Iman (Sammy Sheik) of the mosque that Walker (Chris Chalk) used to escape.

4. In “Representative Brody,” Carrie and Saul (Mandy Patinkin), who seems more and more edgy, squeeze a diplomat (Ramsey Faragallah) serving as Walker’s contact, the Vice President (Jamey Sheridan) gets Brody to run for office — a gig wife Jessica (Morena Baccarin) is not on board with — until a suicide bomber paid by Walker blows up the diplomat in Farragut Square.

3. I’ve been very lukewarm to “Homeland” throughout its run, but the plot is finally thick enough to match the quality of acting and the story feels like it’s moving somewhere rather than wallowing in the inertness the series struggled with in the early episodes.

2. Three of the last four episodes have been markedly stronger and much more engaging, giving promise for the final pair of the first season.

1. I’m done trying to predict who is a good guy and who isn’t — that was a folly that gave me headaches early on — and I’m willing to let the story take me where it goes as long as the journey stays as intense and high-quality as recent outings.

5 sentence review of Homeland

Season 1, Episode 8: Achilles Heel

5. OK, now I’m just annoyed with “Homeland.”

4. Showtime promoted the show as a mystery of is Sgt. Brody (Damian Lewis) a terrorist or isn’t he?

3. The open the series by showing he obviously has been turned into a terrorist after eight years as captive of Al-Qaeda.

2. Then last week they dedicated a whole episode to proving he is not only to undo it a week later and show he’s actually on the terrorist mission.

1. I’ve decided “Homeland” is just a better-acted “Ringer:” a weekly jerk-around soap opera with more graphic sex scenes but a plot that makes me year for Jack Bauer to come in and start torturing everybody, especially super-annoying CIA operative Carrie (Claire Danes).

Reasons to love Brazil: No extradition treaty and birthplace of Morena Baccarin of "Homeland."

5 sentence review of Homeland

Season 1, Episode 7: The Weekend

5. Up until last week’s “The Good Soldier” and this week’s “The Weekend,” the Showtime drama “Homeland” had been a viewing chore — a joyless weekly exercise that I watched mostly out of loyalty to my friend Paul, a devout follower of premium cable channel programing, and, well, the occasional topless scene with¬† Morena Baccarin.

4. But finally, after all the salad, we finally get to the hamburger with a pair of episodes that make the painfully slow drama finally click into place.

3. Carrie (Claire Danes) and Brody (Damian Lewis) play house during a weekend getaway, but she while off her medication accidentally reveals she was spying on him and he dishes on his time imprisoned by Al-Queda, including his jailhouse conversion to Islam, beating his fellow Marine, Tom Walker (Chris Chalk), to death and being truly, deeply, spiritually broken by his tormentors.

2. Carrie still believes Brody is a bad guy, but Saul (Mandy Patinkin) calls: Walker didn’t die — he was turned and he was working with Aileen (Marin Ireland), the rich girl homegrown terrorist in league with big bad Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban).

1. “The Weekend” is a relief on several levels: First, it releases the viewer to finally cheer wholeheartedly for Lewis’ nuanced portrayal of Brody, Carrie’s megalomania gets a much-needed comeuppance from Brody and the cliffhanger, at long last, leaves me looking forward o the next week.

Marin Ireland plays a terrorist on "Homeland."

5 sentence review of Homeland

Season 1, Episode 6

5. Carrie (Claire Danes) pursues Brody (Damian Lewis) all the way to the backseat of a car for a drunken sexual rendezvous in the latest episode of “Homeland.”

4. A memorial service is held for the other Marine captured with Brody, the one he apparently beat to death, and Brody pounds Mike (Diego Klattenhoff) for grinding with Jessica (Morena Baccarin), Brody’s wife, during his eight-year captivity.

3. Everybody takes a lie detector tests after the terrorist kills himself and Brody passes despite obviously lying about being unfaithful to his wife and Saul (Mandy Patinkin) struggles, possibly due to nerves over his crumbling marriage or is it some darker reason.

2. It turns out bored, spoiled rich girl Maggie (Amy Hargreaves), rather than husband Afsal (Waleed Zuaiter) is the terrorist plotter in the family, but it doesn’t stop him from getting gunned down in a cheap motel while the couple is on the run from the feds and their fellow plotters.

1. This might be the turning point for “Homeland,” a show I’ve dogged for a while, but for the first time this season I found myself consistently engaged.

Morena Baccarin n Showtime's "Homeland."