Danielle: Agreed that Jessica has grown -- and I like, at least, that she's not entirely saintly, given her relationship with Mike. As for Dana, you're exactly right that she has perfected the distant, chilly teenager demeanor. She gets a lot of air time...I wonder if her brother will ever figure into things. I suppose it's telling that I had to go back and look to figure out his name (Chris, as it turns out).
I like your insight into why they called the show "New Car Smell," also. I hadn't really given it any thought until now. You make a good point on Carrie's relationship with the CIA still being broken. It's a fascinating thing they've done with Carrie -- I find myself completely convinced that she was fantastic at her job, but I also can't quite take her side. If I were Estes I wouldn't trust her enough to bring her back, either.
The other loose end we haven't brought up yet is Brody's fellow marines and what they might uncover. If the CIA already knows the whole story, what further complications will it introduce if Mike et al. find out the truth?
Tierney: New York's Vulture blog did a great comparison of the Brody family and Mad Men's Draper family, re: the no factor brother (he did get one line in this episode at least). I think you're right about the Marines--Lauder is very volatile, so I wouldn't be surprised if he blew up the whole situation once the CIA got it under control.
Overall, I still can't believe how quickly this season is unfolding. Critics often worry that Homeland will write itself into a corner, but each week the writers manage to outdo themselves in moving the plot forward. I can't wait for next week!
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Come back next week as Danielle and Tierney continue their Homeland discussion.