‘Homeland’ season 2 review

6:30 pm EDT, December 19, 2012

After Sunday evening’s thrilling finale, where will Homeland go from here?

Homeland concluded its second season on Sunday evening with a thrilling episode begging fans for more after such a roller-coaster season. Some fans will ask the question of whether Homeland lived up to its first season’s expectations, after that Golden Globe and Emmy-winning season, as Alex Gansa hits back at some of the critics.

Gansa, the executive producer, has described that it’s “natural” that critics would attack such a successful television show. However, Gansa has already ignored the criticism and is already plotting season 3 with his writers, saying that, “Dana will get another pair of boots [and] I imagine the cork-board wall will return next season!”

The success of the show has been overwhelming for Homeland‘s network Showtime, who has boasted record-breaking viewership with Homeland as well as television fan favourite, DexterIn light of Homeland‘s recent success, it is great news that Showtime has tied Damian Lewis down for an incredible seven-season contract, but insists that Nicholas Brody could be killed off at any point. This move gives flexibility for all parties, and is great for Homeland. If Lewis moves on to newfound territory from the limelight of his starring role in Homeland, the writers have the freedom to act quickly, and whether in the seasons to come, Homeland could of course flop, the contract negotiations would be relatively simple. What matters most is that the writers have excessive freedom, and sharp plot directions need to be more frequent to keep Homeland fresh.

But, this post is a season review, and what has happened this season with Homeland? We’ve seen the true side to Nicholas Brody, finally. Brody, the main protagonist, is the heart of Homeland, and thus, carries the main plot that at times has dragged, but has kept the fans keen for more. For many of the episodes, including the first season, we feel that Homeland did a brilliant job at prompting questions, but only hinting at the answers. Nicholas Brody is not a terrorist, but came exceptionally close to working solely for Abu Nazir. There is no question that he loved Issa, and that becoming a Muslim made him a character who appeared to be on both sides. 

Brody also finished ties with Jess, finally. We feel a little sorry for Morena Baccarin, whose character, Jess, the wife of Brody, hasn’t exactly changed whilst still being an integral character, she’s undoubtedly an incredibly good mother. Yes, she got a bit more feisty and confrontational, but she is still written into the hands of Mike Faber. Jess, who has stuck through the turmoils of her family life, and her on-screen affair with Brody’s ex-best friend Mike, just weren’t enough to keep us fans wanting more as this was always inevitable and too predictable. It felt too familiar to season 1 between the pair and the writers could have done much more.

However, staying within the Brody family, Dana and Chris have had more airtime and character development has flowed. Dana has had her own sub-plot, with an interesting storyline within Homeland. Dana was involved in a hit and run incident with Finn Walden that has given fans an insight into the potential Dana, played by Morgan Saylor, has as an actress, and definitely has the attitude to carry Homeland for such a mature 18-year-old. She’s definitely a keeper for the Homeland producers.

Our main female protagonist, Carrie Mathison, played by the cultured Claire Danes, turned up the volume on her struggle with bipolar disorder. Dispatched from CIA, Carrie becomes a “freelance” CIA agent. She’s mentally unstable, but she’s knows the score. Saul drafts her back in, and she’s absolutely all over the place. Carrie soon calms down, and her crazy theories and leads take her from looking like a complete fool in front of her colleagues, to the woman who solves the puzzle.

She’s onto Nazir from early on, with a little help from Brody, and eventually catches on to his plans before tracking him down in the abandoned warehouse. Carrie’s love for Brody goes from strength to strength and she is desperate to see him at any given moment. Brody is spending more and more time away from his family and he is constantly cutting them out in favour of Carrie. Brody undeniably loves his children, but he does not love Jess any longer. A huge result for Carrie. However, the writers haven’t been creative enough with Carrie and Brody’s love life, as it is almost identical to season 1 again, even revisiting the cabin for some romantic sex. We all knew it was coming, but it was just a long wait for it to happen. All Carrie wants is to be with Brody for the foreseeable future, but this just isn’t to be.

Season 2 also unravelled the supporting cast with David Estes, head of operations for the CIA. Estes, who had been quite a cool head within the CIA, turned out to be a power-hungry snitch. Estes constantly interrupting Saul’s effort to help bring in Nazir and wanting to assassinate Brody were Estes’ highlights of the season. Eventually, both scenarios ended in failure, but what we did not see coming was the surprising end of David Estes. Estes died at Vice President Walden’s funeral, when Brody’s SUV is parked up outside of the venue, with a bomb blast killing almost everyone inside the funeral.

Estes had become an important part of Homeland, being the character who directed Carrie, Saul and Quinn primarily, and helped the plot move along at the pace he dictated. It was a complete surprise that he was killed off, when trailers and interviews hinted it could have been Brody. But the deaths of Estes, Nazir and Walden do give room for other characters to blossom and new characters to be introduced. Cue, Peter Quinn.

But what can we expect from season 3? Alex Gansa is quoted as saying, “Before I start talking the particulars of season 3 in terms of the narratives and the story, but we will begin filming season 3 sometime in the third week of May and the show will air in the last week of September 2013. Everyone is going to have to just take a chill pill during our time away.”

No surprise there’s no leaks as of yet as the series hasn’t even begun to be written, but the promos and the rumour mill will begin around May. The setup for season 3 looks pretty mouth-watering, with Brody on the run from the CIA, and the media pinning him as a terrorist after getting ahold of his suicide-note video earlier seen in season 1. Now he’s being framed. The man they all thought was a hero seems to be gone in their eyes. The writers have six months to decide the fate of season 3 and the pressure will be more than ever to deliver, especially with Homeland‘s Damien Lewis and Claire Danes nominated in the upcoming 2013 Golden Globes.

But what did you think of the second season of Homeland? Will you return for the third season? And if so, what do you think will happen? Let us know as always in the comments below.

Be sure to check out Hypable, for all the latest fandoms, and Homeland will return in 2013.

Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

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Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

Netflix’s ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ episode count

neil-patrick-harris-series-unfortunate-events-netflix

“They truncated all of the books into a two hour movie,” Harris said of the Unfortunate Events movie starring Jim Carrey, noting that it just wasn’t a great adaptation. “And there’s thirteen books in the series. So [Netflix’s take] is more spread out. Each book is going to be two episodes. We did the first four books, the first eight episodes of the show.”

As for the tone of the show? Great news: “It’s super dark,” he said. “It’s a much darker on the take on the material than has been seen before.”

When Kelly asked Harris if her kids could watch it, the actor dropped some interesting information about Neflix’s plans:

“I hope so!” he replied. “It’s not Rated-R dark. It’s the most expensive show that they’ve ever done. It’s the first one they call a four quadrant show, so they’re try to get four different quadrants to like it. So in addition to being for adults and for 20-somethings and teenagers, they want it to be for kids as well.”

Dark, appealing to all ages, and two episodes per book? We are so down.

Netflix has yet to share a premiere date for A Series of Unfortunate Events, but we’ll keep you posted.

Jessica Jones introduced us to Marvel’s live-action Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has his own show debuting on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.

The mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rich and complicated. Not only do you have to remember what’s happened from episode to episode and season to season, it’s also important to keep in mind what’s happened in other shows and movies.

But that’s why we’re here. Looking forward to Luke Cage premiering on September 30? Us too. Having a little trouble remembering what happened in Jessica Jones and not feeling up to rewatching the show from start to finish? No problem.

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Jessica Jones introduced us to Marvel’s live-action Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has his own show debuting on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.

The mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rich and complicated. Not only do you have to remember what’s happened from episode to episode and season to season, it’s also important to keep in mind what’s happened in other shows and movies.

But that’s why we’re here. Looking forward to Luke Cage premiering on September 30? Us too. Having a little trouble remembering what happened in Jessica Jones and not feeling up to rewatching the show from start to finish? No problem.

Everything you need to know about ‘Luke Cage’

The man

luke cage premiere date

We first met Luke in the series premiere of Jessica Jones and he was in the majority of the episodes for the season. He owned a bar in Hell’s Kitchen and made it a priority to stay away from complications. Too bad Jessica Jones is the definition of complicated. Sweet Christmas.

With chemistry pretty much off the charts, it didn’t take long for Luke and Jessica to start hooking up. Unfortunately, between Kilgrave’s manipulations and Jessica’s lies, the situation came to a head and Luke found out it was Jessica who was responsible for his wife’s death way back when Kilgrave was livin’ large with Jessica at his side.

Luke left after that, but not before he ran into Kilgrave with the intention of killing the man. Instead, Kilgrave used his power of mind control to plant Luke back into Jessica’s life and keep an eye on her until it was time for Kilgrave to use his trump card. He even forced Luke to blow up his own bar.

In a final confrontation, where Kilgrave once again played with Jessica’s emotions, Luke said he didn’t forgive her for killing his wife and, under Kilgrave’s power, attacked her until she was forced to put a shotgun to his head and pull the trigger.

Thanks to Luke’s powers, he survived, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t some damage. Luke was unconscious, and Jessica was forced to bring him to the hospital where Claire used her position as a nurse to sneak him back to Jessica’s apartment and keep an eye on him.

By the end of the series, once Kilgrave was killed and Jessica was arrested, Luke recovered from his injuries and left Jessica’s apartment when Claire wasn’t looking.

The myth

luke cage mike colter

Luke Cage’s powers are not unlike Jessica’s, though where they both share a similar level of strength, Luke has the added benefit of unbreakable skin. The experiments he was subjected to didn’t make him completely impervious to injury, as seen when the shotgun blast rattled his brain so much it did some internal damage. Areas like his eyes are also open to injury, if Claire sticking that needle through the socket is any indication.

Luke is also just, you know, a big guy. Is intimidation a supernatural ability? Because if so, this guy has got it in spades. He’s a good fighter and obviously used to dealing with the seedier side of the city, so even without his powers, he’d be good to have in a fight.

Luke Cage from the comics isn’t much different, though his interactions with other superheroes have given him an additional leg up. For instance, Iron Fist has taught Luke Cage additional fighting techniques, but we haven’t seen that in the MCU since Iron Fist has yet to debut on Netflix and it’s uncertain what their interactions will be like.

Apparently Luke also has a sweet jacket that’s as impervious as his skin. Given all the clothes we see him go through in the trailers for the upcoming season, perhaps we’ll see him gain a useful item like this in the upcoming freshman run.

The legend

luke cage clip

Luke Cage is already making a name for himself by the end of Jessica Jones, and it’s clear that season 1 of his own show is only going to further his story as a legendary hero. If you want to avoid spoilers at all costs, skip this section. If you’d like to get familiar with some of the show’s upcoming new characters, read on.

In Luke Cage season 1, it’s clear that Cornell Stokes/Cottonmouth will be to Luke as Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin was to Matt Murdock’s Daredevil. This is the guy who wears the crown around Harlem (where Luke has recently moved following his interactions with Jessica), and it’s pretty clear Stokes took no time in pissing off Luke.

Mariah Dillard will be an enemy of a different variety, as she’s a powerful local politician who also happens to be Stokes’ cousin. From the trailers it looks like the two are in business together, but the relationship is contentious at best. Alvarez/Shades, an associate of Cottonmouth, is also going to cause some problems for Luke.

On the other side of the line you have Misty Knight, a police detective who has Luke Cage on her radar. She might also be causing some problems for our hero, but she’s definitely one of the good guys. Her partner is Rafael Scarfe.

Claire will also be returning, this time in a starring role, so the hope is we’ll be seeing plenty of the nurse who is heroic in her own way. She might not have supernatural abilities, but she heals who she can, despite their various complications. She’s also there to light a fire up under the asses of heroes who might be losing their way — and she’s very good at her job.

Everyone’s favorite crook, Turk, will also be showing up in Luke Cage, as will Claire’s mother, Soledad. You can also expect Willis Stryker/Diamondback to play a part this season. He’s tied up with Cottonmouth and Shades and definitely has something against Luke. In the comics, they go way back, and Stryker even had a thing for Luke’s wife, Reva.

Here’s the latest trailer for ‘Luke Cage’ season 1

‘Luke Cage’ season 1 will be exclusively available to stream on Netflix come September 30

Once Upon a Time season 6 will see Sean Maguire’s Robin Hood at least one more time! Come on, is anyone ever really gone for good on this show?

Remember when Hook died, but he really didn’t? Remember when Neal died, but we got see him again in limbo between reality and the Underworld? Well, Robin Hood is following a similar Once Upon a Time narrative arc as EW confirms that the outlaw will return in season 6.

Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis confirmed the news saying, “We’re thrilled to have Sean back for this story arc and are excited for the audience to see what we have planned, which in the wake of his character’s heartbreaking demise, is something we hope is unexpected and surprising.”

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Once Upon a Time season 6 will see Sean Maguire’s Robin Hood at least one more time! Come on, is anyone ever really gone for good on this show?

Remember when Hook died, but he really didn’t? Remember when Neal died, but we got see him again in limbo between reality and the Underworld? Well, Robin Hood is following a similar Once Upon a Time narrative arc as EW confirms that the outlaw will return in season 6.

Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis confirmed the news saying, “We’re thrilled to have Sean back for this story arc and are excited for the audience to see what we have planned, which in the wake of his character’s heartbreaking demise, is something we hope is unexpected and surprising.”

Bringing back characters is one of the major reasons why characters on this show can never have closure. In the aftermath of season 5’s most remarkable death, Once Upon a Time took the necessary steps to give Regina closure. In Neal’s apartment (once again, reviving Neal’s presence for Emma), Regina began to process the reality of her life through a letter from Robin.

Once Upon a Time season 5 regina robin

Kitsis makes note that Regina’s course of action this season will deal with processing her grief. “I can tell you that a lot of this year is about Regina dealing with loss and moving on, because I think Regina has the most unfair luck of anybody, but that’s what makes her Regina,” says Kitsis.

We already caught some of that in the season 6 opener where Regina talks with Snow White about her character’s story and its various interpretations. If the feather floating away from Regina on the bench was a nod to her finding the strength to let go even a little bit, what will Robin’s return mean for her mentally? Regina needs all her faculties to face the most terrifying adversary this season– herself.

What will Robin’s return look like?

Maybe he will appear Jiminy Cricket style and remind her of her best qualities as she faces the Evil Queen. Or perhaps he will appear to save his daughter through some kind of intrinsic bond that exists between them? Maybe that feather actually means a bit more than we give it credit for!

Once Upon a Time season 5 episode 100 review regina robin henry

Kitsis and Horowitz note that Sean Maguire will have “an arc” meaning it is likely that he will appear in more than one episode.

What are some of your theories for Robin’s involvement in season 6? Let us know in comments!

Once Upon a Time season 6, episode 2, “A Bitter Draught,” airs Sunday, October 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.