Homeland ‘New Normal’ Review

Homeland ‘New Normal’ Review

Nine days, Carrie? That’s how long it took you to remember Quinn after you saw him last. Sure, you are a busy woman, but didn’t you have even the slightest bit of time to put in a call to Astrid and how the poor guy was doing? Then again, you have some excellent timing because the terrorists were polite enough to release their video of Quinn just when you decided to resume the search for your old colleague. In some ways, splitting up Saul, Carrie and Quinn has worked spectacularly for Homeland, especially on the Saul and Carrie front, but it hasn’t done any good to Quinn.

His story has suffered due to this separation because he has been embroiled in a confusing and zig-zagging tale that doesn’t make much sense and lacks a real destination. The new episode ‘New Normal’ is desperately struggling to involve Quinn back into the show’s storyline. By the end of the episode, we do get to see the three colleagues reunited in a room, but Quinn isn’t exactly in good shape. After all, he was forced to be a guinea pig for the sarin experiment of Syrian Bibi. Will Quinn make a recovery to play an important part in the two remaining episodes of the season? Highly likely.

The amazing and spectacular regenerative powers that Allison has are also another compelling element of the story. All Phil Collins, she went against all odds and is now working as Station Chief who has the responsibility of coordinating the plan for stopping the planned attack by Bibi on Berlin. Even though she makes considerable effort to convince everyone that Ivan the Russian is useful, she doesn’t do a good enough job because Carrie and Saul don’t buy it for a second and Dar also seems to be on the fence. Nonetheless, the current problem has given her the excuse she needs for getting back into the game.

As a matter of fact, Allison comes off as much better than she did earlier this season as she has a propulsive feel to her and doesn’t seem as if she is simply going through the motions with the double-agent concept. It appears that she is really in it to win it, although her endgame doesn’t seem clear. One of the very rare times we have seen Saul lose his cool is when he finds out about Allison’s betrayal and he confirms the latter’s statement that he is the ‘angriest man she (Allison) has ever met’.

He gets a lot more than peeved because he grabs Allison by the throat and lists names of some of her likely victims, which includes a woman who is the mother of Allison’s godchild. But, she brushes the entire incident under the rug and acts completely normal the next time she and Saul come across each other. Indeed, it is the new normal. Of course, the title also makes a reference to the current state of affairs as conveyed by the White House liaison to Dar and Saul. The policy dictates that Berlin shouldn’t be identified as the target because it will give terrorist the opportunity of causing panic in any popular city or area when they wish, regardless of whether the threat is real or not.

Apparently, the alternative is to hope that intelligence agencies like the CIA will be able to deal with any such threats before they are carried out. This is exactly why you need Carrie to be working with you. It is actually the efforts of Saul, Carrie, Dar and even Allison that enable them to narrow down when the attack will occur and unearth the identity of Bibi. Will Qasim, Bibi’s cousin, help in bringing the terrorists down? This remains to be seen.

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