Saw It For You: Homeland, Season 3

WARNING: I was very lucky to get an advanced look at the entirety of Season 3 of the hit Showtime series Homeland. I stayed up late and watched every episode in one sitting. I kind of felt like I was a spy double-agent! Because to watch Season 3, I had to betray my friend who was fired from his job at the network.

As with all Saw It For You articles, the following contains major spoilers.

Episode by Episode Synopsis

  • Episode 1: “Angry Sally.” With the death of all public officials in front of him for succession of the presidency, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) uneasily takes office. His wife Jessica (Morena Baccarin) has sex with his best friend Mike (Diego Klattenhoff) during the swearing-in.
  • Episode 2: “The Pizza Man.” Saul (Mandy Patinkin) quits the CIA and is re-hired as a CIA consultant to the vacant position he just left, at three times his salary. During a breakdown, Carrie (Claire Danes) yells at a pawn shop saxophone.
  • Episode 3: “Horse for Broke.” Brody is instructed to perform an assassination during a State of the Union speech.
  • Episode 4: “That Old Devil Moon.” Saul loses a thumbdrive containing time-sensitive intel somewhere in his beard. Meanwhile, terrorist leader Abu Nazir’s (Navid Negahban) chicken restaurant cover operation becomes so popular he’s forced to run it like a real business.
  • Episode 5: “Snips and Snails.” Nazir delays plans to blow up the Washington Monument as he revamps Clucky’s value menu.
  • Episode 6: “The Pact.” Jessica discovers a new way to sort-of-but-not-really trust her entire family.
  • Episode 7: “Caribbean Queen.” CIA Director David Estes (David Harewood) becomes suspicious after finding a blasting cap in his Clucky’s Dollar Chicken Snackers.
  • Episode 8: “Temba, His Arms Wide.” Brody is forced to concoct an elaborate “Weekend at Bernie’s” ruse after Carrie finds him with a senator’s dead body. Carrie is unconvinced they are merely having a “pretend to be asleep” contest.
  • Episode 9: “Hospital Song.” Despite being unable to find the intel thumbdrive, Saul refuses to shave even under threat of torture by Quinn (Rupert Friend). Later, Quinn discovers Saul is immune to waterboarding due to the vast network of natural air pockets inside his beard.
  • Episode 10: “Packed With Peanuts.” Carrie has a major freakout episode when her doctor accidentally refills her anti-psychotic prescription with an illegal race horse stimulant. Estes, however, is impressed with her new go-getter attitude.
  • Episode 11: “The Ghost and Mrs. Brody.” Jessica and Mike vow to stop having sex in her marital bed. Later, Brody comes home early to find Jessica and Mike having sex on the roof of the garage.
  • Episode 12: “The Death of Abu Nazir.” We won’t spoil it for you, but a major character dies in this two-hour season finale.

Revealing Mistakes

  • The CIA is not in possession of handguns which only fire when “user craziness” is detected.
  • A full-size spy plane could not secretly patrol the interior of a family home, undetected, for eight months.
  • Continuity. During the interrogation at CIA headquarters, Nicholas Brody is handed a scrap of yellow paper which reads “you are now the head of both Al Qaeda and Hamas.” When it later falls out of his pocket onto the teleprompter, the scrap is now white.
  • Intelligence officer rank has never been related to beard length.
  • Dialogue goof. Jessica Brody accidentally refers to her husband by his first name instead of calling him “Brody,” implying that she is more than an acquaintance of his.
  • Continuity. At the barbecue where Brody hands his son Chris (Jackson Pace) a hamburger, Chris’ eyes dance with childishly-idyllic worship of his do-no-wrong war hero father. When the camera pans to Chris a second time, his eyes dance with slightly less worship.
  • Plot hole. Despite high levels of security in the Oval Office, Brody casually uses a wasp knife to open a bag of potato chips.
  • Before dinner, Brody’s daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor) is seen doing her homework instead of exuding an all-encompassing, disdainful ennui.
  • Continuity. Very very briefly at the 12:06 mark in Episode 4 (you may have to pause frame-by-frame to catch it), Carrie Matheson stops looking like she’s trying to take a sudden, emotionally-charged number two.

Saw It For You: The Newsroom, Season 2 (2013)

Good news for fans of Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series The Newsroom: it’s been reported that Season 2 begins filming on November 12, 2012. Better news: Saw It For You has already seen all of Season 2, and can reliably report its highs and lows. We have double confirmation.

The Newsroom, Season 2 (2013)

Synopsis. Will McAvoy and the crew of ACN’s NewsNight face all new challenges as they become the most popular news program in history while simultaneously retaining the status of lovable underdog.

Trivia

  • Creator Aaron Sorkin remarks about Season 2: “Once Will McAvoy is able to trust his subordinates to help shoulder the mantle of his genius, we’ll really see there’s no limits to Aaron’s brilliance. I mean, Will’s.”
  • Actor Jeff Daniels underwent eye surgery between seasons in order to have the same vision problems as Sorkin, so that his character would need to wear the same glasses.
  • “Will McAvoy” and “MacKenzie McHale” were named by Sorkin after he had eaten a Big Mac in 2010, during the series development phase. In Season 2 we learn that all the other characters also have either “Mc” or “Mac” somewhere in their names.

Mistakes

  • Continuity. In Episode 3 (“Land of Confusion”), a male character says something to a female character. When the camera angle changes, the female character is not having a ridiculously-telegraphed emotional outburst.
  • Aaron Sorkin in frame. During Charlie and Will’s shouting match in Episode 6 (“A Rush of Blood to the Head”), Aaron Sorkin can be seen behind the potted plant, holding actor Jeff Daniels’ hand and smiling.
  • In Episode 8 (“DC Talk”), Will McAvoy tells MacKenzie McHale that he’s a classically trained pugilist. However, during the assassination attempt on President Obama, he disarms Ann Coulter with a Muay Thai overhead double knee strike.
  • Medical inaccuracy. A hydrocodone addiction would not allow Rush Limbaugh to live with his heart outside of his body, even after MacKenzie’s discovery that the Tea Party possesses a “heartbeat energy transmitter.”
  • Episode 9 (“Where’s The Beef?”) features no characters correcting each others’ pop culture references in the middle of an argument.
  • Historical inauthenticity. Rick Santorum did not violently burst into green flame upon the discovery of President Obama’s birth certificate.
  • At various points throughout the season, both Will McAvoy and Jim Harper respond to the following names without incident or correction: “Will McHarper,” “Will McAaron,” “Jim Sorker,” “Aaron Harpin,” “Young Aaron Sorkin” (to Jim), “President Bartlett” (to Will).
  • The Large Hadron Collider does not contain an abortion clinic.
Incorrectly Regarded as Goofs
  • It appears at first that all ten episodes of Season 2 of The Newsroom fail the Bechdel Test. However, in Episode 1 (“The Beat Goes On”), Will McAvoy offhandedly mentions that cartoonist Alison Bechdel died in 1983 before she could even formulate the test.
  • There is no proof that Mitt Romney doesn’t own an army of “horror golems.”
  • Will McAvoy’s stirring speech that unites the country in Episode 10 (“Call Me Maybe”) seems to be inaudible over the incredibly loud and dramatic orchestral performance of The Newsroom theme music. McAvoy is actually speaking the theme music.

Memorable Quotes

Maggie Jordan. Are you the one who told Will I volunteered for the debt crisis pre-interviews? Do you have any idea of how busy I am already?
Jim Harper. (smug, half-lidded, sleeves-rolled-up bemused smirk and glance down bridge of nose, tinged with a distant longing)
Maggie Jordan. AARRRGHH. (kisses Jim) 

Will McAvoy. Leona’s going to fire my ass for this. Charlie, I said I was willing to compromise, not bend over.
Charlie Skinner. It’s better than lying down. Sometimes a compromise means bending over.
Will McAvoy. Only if I get to decide which way I’m gonna bend. And I’m not talking like Beckham.
MacKenzie McHale. What’s David Beckham have to do with this?
Will McAvoy. You know, Bend It Like Beckham? The 2002 British dramedy starring Parminder Nagra and a young Keira Knightley?
MacKenzie McHale. The girl from Star Wars?
Will McAvoy. You’re thinking of Natalie Portman but I’ve made that mistake before.
Neal Sampat. Actually Knightley appeared in Star Wars alongside Portman.
MacKenzie McHale. AARRRGHH.

MacKenzie McHale. I am sorry. I’m so sorry, Will. I’ve been an asshole and a fuck-up, and I have destroyed your career and your dreams. But maybe… maybe I can earn some respect once more. From you, and from myself. (hands Will a CD)
Will McAvoy. What’s this?
MacKenzie McHale. Here is a complete exposé on the Tea Party’s corruption. It’s one you always wanted to do. It’s done except for a byline.
Will McAvoy. Mac, you just gave me my kokoro wish. (smash to black, end of Season 2)