Homeland review: Season three, episode five - ridiculous but compelling

Is Javadi a worthy villain for this series of Homeland?

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The Independent Culture

This episode was titled "The Yoga Play", and in it, Carrie lied about going to her exercise class to confront a strange and mysterious man outside a coffee shop.

No, we're not talking about Sex and the City… this happened in Homeland.

In fairness, it was a bit more complex than that. Brody's wife Jessica appealed to Carrie to find her wayward daughter Dana, who has eloped with a murderous psychopath.

Claire Danes and Morena Baccarin clearly enjoy being on-screen together, with Baccarin in particular producing her strongest performance this season.

But again, you wish the storyline was a little better. Despite having some terrorists to deal with, Carrie said yes, and thus ensued a narrative passage in which the CIA's mission to implicate the mastermind of a bombing that killed hundreds of people depended on whether a thug saw Carrie rolling up a yoga mat.

Thankfully, the latter half of the episode was much better.

Carrie underwent a chilling strip search prior to being carted off for a meeting our villain of the series, Javadi.

She is a character who believes her successes as an agent are tied up in her suffering – earlier in the episode we see her flush her medication, because she thinks it clouds her judgment – and sadly so do those around her. Saul (Mandy Patinkin) – who found out he would not be the new boss of the CIA this week – is simply relieved to hear she has been kidnapped, and that the operation is back on.

I am not sure Javadi – whose appearance does not really inspire horror or fear – is up to handling the pair of them.