‘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.

Barnes & Noble has announced that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is already a gigantic hit. In fact, it’s the most pre-ordered book since Deathly Hallows.

It’s been 9 years since J.K. Rowling publsihed Deathly Hallows in the summer of 2007, but Harry Potter fans are evidently still eager for more stories from the Wizarding World. In a press release on Monday, the biggest book chain in the United States revealed that they haven’t seen pre-orders this huge since the last Harry Potter book.

deathly-hallows-book-cover

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is Barnes & Noble’s most pre-ordered book since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and we expect it to be our biggest selling book of the year,” said Mary Amicucci, Chief Merchandising Officer at Barnes & Noble in a press release. “To guarantee that our customers get the new Harry Potter book as quickly as possible, Barnes & Noble is the only national retailer that’s guaranteeing delivery of the book on August 1, for both online and ship-to-home pre-orders placed by noon ET on Friday, July 29. Our booksellers are also preparing to host big crowds for our signature Midnight Magic parties on July 30.”

If you’ve passed by a brick and mortar Barnes & Noble in the past few months you’ve probably seen the heavy promotion they’ve been doing. Headers that state “HARRY POTTER IS BACK” will clearly entice people to pre-order.


HARRY POTTER IS BACK! (Spotted at a Barnes & Noble) #harrypotterforever #harrypotter

A photo posted by Hypable.com (@hypable) on

In a report from the Wall Street Journal earlier this month we learned that Scholastic was printing 4.5 million copies of “the eighth story” for the United States and Canada. This is a far cry from the 12 million printed for Deathly Hallows, but still a very large print run for a book in modern times. (Also worth noting: Many readers have switched to eBooks in the years since Deathly Hallows.)

It’s nice to see that Harry Potter fans haven’t lost their interest in the series. Perhaps the success will inspire J.K. Rowling to continue writing within Harry’s world?

The book has also been a huge success on Amazon. The Cursed Child has sat at the top of the online retailer’s bestseller list for months.

Hypable will have lots of coverage surrounding The Cursed Child once it’s released this weekend. Stay tuned! AHHHH!

Sherlock finally made it to Hall H at Comic-Con and the creative team brought a few surprises. Steven Moffatt, Sue Vertue, Mark Gatiss, Amanda Abbington, and Benedict Cumberbatch were on hand to the thrill of fans.

Benedict Cumberbatch and crew definitely know how to work a crowd. Here are the top highlights of the panel that played to a crowd of thousands.

1. Season 4

They are currently two weeks from finishing Sherlock season 4. Cumberbatch said that “a lot comes home to roost this season… it’s ballsy.”

They have 26 pages to film this Tuesday. Cumberbatch states that the monologues are very challenging and take a lot of work.

As for actors’ favorite lines this season:

Gatiss: “Sherlock.”

Abington: Not a line but a beckoning gesture.

Cumberbatch: Can’t say.

Key names for next season (change from doing key words):

  • Moffat: Smith
  • Gatiss: Thatcher
  • Vertue: Sherinford

2. Keeping the show fresh

By not making as many episodes, the creators feel they actually keep the quality. They joked that under normal standards they’ve actually made about half a season of a standard TV show, or 13 episodes.

There are no plans for any other Victorian Era shows. Moffat feels that it would be less interesting if the mind palace returned there.

3. Learning curves and drugs

Gatiss stated that with 90-minute episodes you “really have to put [Sherlock and Watson] through the ringer.” Moffat added that because of this, Watson has to evolve. Watson can’t keep being amazed by Sherlock. As for Sherlock, “he can’t be the weird scary amoral man we met in the first episode… geniuses learn… he has to learn.”

Sherlock’s drug addiction comes back when he is not working. It’s hinted that the addiction will be a bigger issue this season than in the past.

4. The coat and the hair

There is apparently a big debate every year over changing the iconic coat. Sue Vertue wants to change it, and Steven Moffat wants to keep it. Benedict Cumberbatch dove into the debate stating, “I’m quite hung up on the coat…. but sometimes it has to come off.” The audience reaction was predictable.

Cumberbatch joked that he loved playing Sherlock in the Victorian era because of the slicked back hair. In the modern era it takes forever for his hair to get done. On a serious note, he loved the more straight-laced, clipped version of Sherlock.

5. First ‘Sherlock’ season 4 trailer

The teaser trailer featured this phrase over and over: “Something’s coming. It may be Moriarity, maybe not.” Literally every character we know and love looks like they are scared, angry, or worried on an epic scale.

One of the best moments is Mrs. Hudson saying with supreme venom to Mycroft, “Get out of my house you reptile.” Watch below:

6. Improv and family

There is actually, according to Cumberbatch, very little improvisation on set. It’s about how to do what’s there, and not messing with the script. He firmly believes that what is there is what is needed for the show.

Cumberbatch genuinely loves having his mom and dad play his TV mom and dad. Every now and then he can see his mother struggle to call him “Sherlock” and not “Ben.”

7. Mary in the know

Abbington didn’t know she was an assassin until well into the last season. When she found out, she told partner Martin Freeman, “My God, [the fans] are going to hate me.” Despite this, she loves the flawed characters of the series.

8. When will the series return?

No date was given for either the BBC release date or the PBS release date. We only know that it will premiere in 2017.

9. The dog photo

According to Cumberbatch the dog (depicted above) was a nightmare. “The dog wouldn’t fucking move,” he said. The companion was supposed to drag Sherlock all over London, but the dog didn’t like people, concrete, crowds… really anything about an urban setting.

Moffat and Gatiss resorted to writing a new scene on the spot to account for the lack of the dog’s interest in roaming. According to Gatiss all it did was drool on the concrete.

10. Future seasons?

Touching on the future of the series, Moffat stated, “Why is everybody assuming they survive season 4?” Gatiss joked, “We’re skipping season 5 and doing season 6.”

Moffat clarified that — contrary to recent reports — he never said that this season would be the last one (He’s right: All he said was the schedules of Cumberbatch and Freeman are only getting more difficult to work with). Gatiss added that they want to do more seasons, and they hope that they are able to.

Sherlock will be back in 2017. What do you think of the first season 4 trailer?

Marvel presented at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday evening and offered new looks at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and more.

“We only want to come to Hall H when we have a lot to show you,” teased Marvel’s Kevin Feige at the start of the panel. Indeed, they had a ton to offer — including news of a new Marvel theme park attraction!

Everything we’ve learned at Marvel’s SDCC panel

  1. Marvel kicked off their panel with a new logo and updated fanfare by composer Michael Giacchino.

  2. Black Panther had some casting news to share: Lupita N’yongo will be playing one of the guards at Wakanda named Nakia. Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan will be playing Erik Killmonger. We also received brand new casting news: Danai Gurira has joined the movie — She’ll play Okoye, head of Dora Milaje! Finally, a new logo for the film was revealed:

    black-panther-logo-sdcc-2016

  3. Thor: Ragnarok unveiled a behind-the-scenes look at the new film which included a look at Cate Blanchett as Hela. They also showed a documentary-style clip (think The Office) explaining where Hulk and Thor were during the events of Captain America: Civil War! In it, Thor had a tiny bed for Mjolnir and a crime board that tried to connect the Infinity Stones and discover their purpose. There is also mugshot of Loki. Like Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok had a new logo to show off with a retro looking subtitle:

    thor-ragnorak-new-logo-sdcc-2016

  4. Doctor Strange’s portion of the panel kicked off with a smoke and laser show to introduce Benedict Cumberbatch.

    Tilda Swinton was also at the panel and spoke about the Ancient One. “The truth is, anyone can be The Ancient One,” she said. A clip from Doctor Strange was also showed in which Steven Strange meets Tilda’s character (It won’t be online).

  5. Thankfully, a brand new and wholly epic Doctor Strange trailer was released. Watch below:

    A new poster was also unveiled:

    doctor-strange-sdcc-poster

  6. Next up was Spider-Man: Homecoming. Director Jon Watts described the film as a high school movie about a 15-year-old Peter Parker who’s in the 10th grade. A new clip was unveiled and had a strong John Hughes vibe — Peter Parker is just your average high schooler trying to get through the day. There was also this great moment:

  7. Next up: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which kicks off a few months after the first movie. The entire cast was there to introduce a new scene in which a very adorable Baby Groot helps Yondu and Rocket break out of prison. Baby Groot even has a little outfit! Adorably, the Ravengers — who captured Yondu and Rocket — refuse to hurt Baby Groot because of how cute he is.

    This movie got a new logo as well.

    guardians-of-the-galaxy-sequel-new-logo

  8. Speaking of Marvel’s space dramedy, the studio also confirmed rumors of a Guardians of the Galaxy theme park attraction. It’s called Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and debuts Summer 2017 at Disneyland’s California Adventure theme park. Sadly, it’s replacing the classic Tower of Terror ride. Check out a behind the scenes video of the attraction:

  9. Marvel ended their panel by confirming that Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel, as was previously rumored. She took the stage to say hi to the adoring audience, and participated in a giant Marvel selfie:

All in all, Marvel had a ton to share. What do you think of all the developments?