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Melody Breyer-Grell

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Homeland Season Finale: Picking and Choosing 'Reality' (SPOILER ALERT)

Posted: 12/19/2013 10:59 am

Note: Do not read on if you have not yet seen the season 3 Homeland finale.

There are many people on Facebook who wish there was a thumbs down setting to express that they "hate" a subject, as there is one for "like."

I have never hated a television episode as much as this season finale of Showtime's Homeland. Yes, I am a female who harbored a romantic desire for Carrie and Brody to ride into the sunset, but that inclination started to fade away as soon as the couple "coupled" in their unappetizingly animalistic, non-sensual reunion during the fast declining second season. Things turned from hot to icky within that episode. So I was not completely heartbroken by the ultimate termination of their relationship.

Also, one could make a fine argument for Brody's ultimate demise, but it was not "fair and balanced," well-written drama that was provided, but a lazy and lop-sided "coverage" of the two characters.

Some people are claiming that the show needed a realistic portrayal of what goes on in the Middle East -- blah blah blah -- and that the death of Brody was appropriate, boding well for the show's future. But what about the unrealistic or skimmed over portrayal of Carrie's mental illness, a cornerstone of the show's relevance.

Let's consider Carrie's admitted bipolar condition was frequently unchecked, even though she was mostly correct in her decisions when it came to her work with the C.I.A. In a particularly questionable scene, she had offered herself up for ECT (shock-treatment) while in a manic phase. Manic folks hardly make that kind of decision on their own. That might have been more acceptable if she was in a depressed state and could not get out of bed, leaving this viewer to deduce that the writers took dramatic license as a convenient plot device.

In addition to that possible misrepresentation, in no way did the script provide a solid scenario dealing with the premise that in her pregnancy, the discontinuation of her meds would have unavoidable consequences as she went about saving the world without pause.

On the other hand, the execution of Brody was so paced out, so brutally disturbing that it actually was emotionally scarring.

The unyielding violence committed on the audience that emanated from Brody's prolonged and excruciating execution was unearned by the writers, considering the poo-pooing of what Carrie would have actually endured (perhaps a psychotic breakdown) if the writers were going for "realistic." I enjoy my share of TV violence (The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, etc.), but most of if it was ironic and artful, exampled by the way they took out the "Chicken Man" in Breaking Bad. That was entertainment.

Perhaps the genius of Breaking Bad has spoiled the medium to me for the present. Time to brush up on my Shakespeare.

 
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