Where we left off: Saul (Mandy Patinkin) continued to track down those responsible for the Langley attack, Quinn (Rupert Friend) struggled with the death of the young boy he shot, Dana (Morgan Saylor) and Jessica (Morena Baccarin) attempted to fix their family problems, Carrie (Claire Danes) went off the deep end (thanks to Saul and the CIA), and Brody (Damian Lewis) was nowhere to be seen. (Check out our recap of Homeland season three, episode two if you need more of a refresher.)
"Tower of David"So long, Dana, and hello, Brody! In contrast to the previous two episodes of Homeland, which have been filled to the brim with Dana-drama, the third episode of the season kicks the angsty teen to the curb (and almost everyone in the main cast except for Carrie) and focuses in on daddy dearest.
Let's focus on the positives first: Brody is in our lives once again, and he's brought back the suspense that the show's been missing. The episode opens up in Venezuela with Brody frantically being transferred from one truck to the next because of bullet wounds to the gut and an insane amount of blood being spilled out of him. Cut to him in a poorly-lit warehouse being shot up with heroin (for the pain) before a suspicious looking (and sounding) doctor operates on him with the help of a little boy (the doctor might be a pedophile). Within minutes, there’s already almost enough suspense to make up for the lack of excitement in the first two episodes.
For an unknown period of time, he's cared for by Esme, a sweet young woman who can barely speak any English, and visited by El Niño (Manny Perez), Esme's father and the ringleader of the group that is keeping him hostage/safe. Unable to take being locked away in a decrepit, towering building looking over the city (and unable to stomach the sight of anyone else being pushed off the building to their death), he escapes his confines and seeks refuge in a mosque that he sees from his room. Assuming that those at the mosque will keep him safe, he graciously accepts the comfort of an imam's home only to be set up by the imam and attacked by Venezuelan police. Luckily for Brody, El Niño's men come to his rescue and quickly (and mercilessly) kill the police, the imam, and the imam's wife. Thanks to naïve Brody, the suspense and murder, which clearly makes the show what it is, is once again an integral part of Homeland.
As for Carrie, she's still locked up in the psych ward, but it looks as if she’s finally succumbed to taking her meds again – even though it's just for show. She doesn't want to be back on her meds, and she doesn’t want to be doing anything they're making her do (like building popsicle-stick model homes, an activity which drives her to bang her head against a mirror until she's bleeding), but she’s just doing it so she can go back home. Towards the end of the episode, a lawyer comes to visit her on behalf of an unknown associate who wants to work with her, but Carrie refuses his plea assuming that they want her to turn on the CIA. The episode ends with shots of both Carrie and Brody alone in their own personal cells.
And now for the bad, or rather, the shaky aspects of the episode: it tries too hard to mirror the "stuck-in-a-hole" positions that both Carrie and Brody are in (we get it, they're both alone), and for as much time as it spends on Brody, it doesn’t really explain too much of what's actually happening. Brody's plotline has brought back the suspense that has clearly been missing from the show, but it doesn't explain why Brody is in Venezuela, who El Niño is, what the creepy doctor is up to, or what they're planning on doing with him. You would think that at least one of those questions would be answered during the nearly 40 minutes that were devoted to Brody.
But in the end, while there are definitely some issues with the pacing and focus of the episode, Brody is finally back and that gives us hope that things are looking up for Homeland.
Highlight of the episode: When the imam calls out Brody for what he really is: "You’re not a Muslim. You’re a terrorist."
British/Australian actress Joyce Jacobs has died at the age of 91. The beloved personality passed away at a nursing home in Sydney on Sunday (15Sep13) following a decade long battle with Parkinson's disease.
After moving Down Under from England in 1962, Jacobs began her acting career, joining an amateur dramatics group before landing regular roles on soap operas Number 96 and The Young Doctors.
She found national fame when she moved to longrunning programme A Country Practice to play gossip Esme Watson. Her stint on the show ran from its pilot in 1981 until 1993. She later reprised her role when the show was briefly rebooted in 1994.
She went on to appear in longrunning medical drama All Saints in 1998 and 2000. Her death comes a year after the passing of her husband of 64 years, Ian.
It's pretty safe to say that the worldwide phenomenon that is The Twilight Saga hasn't exactly appealed to the AARP set. Maybe it's all that weepy teenage brooding (get a job, Bella!) or all that gratuitous nudity (put on a shirt, young man, you'll catch a cold!) or that in their day vampires were, you know, actually scary. But it's more than likely the fact that, unlike the rest of us, this attractive family of vampires never gets old and just so happen to conveniently get stuck at their most attractive age. It's a bunch of unfair malarkey, kids.
Still, that doesn't mean we can't imagine what it would be like if Twilight gang actually did make it to retirement age. With the final chapter in the saga, Breaking Dawn — Part 2 now in theaters, the Twihard generation must now move to the next phase of their lives, so why not Edward, Bella, Jacob, and other fan favorite characters, too? We envision (full old people makeup and all) Twilight: The Twilight Years:
Edward Cullen: Finally replacing drinking blood and hunting prey with Bloody Marys and hunting deer the old fashioned way, Edward gets out of the vampire racket to live out his retirement age properly with wife Bella in their lavish home in the woods. Supports Bella's decision to go back to school (see below) but he opts not to as countless years of high school were more than enough.
Bella Swan-Cullen: Now that she doesn't have eternity, Bella finally gets around to getting her college degree taking night classes (ironically enough, in Women's Studies) but almost doesn't pass as she writes every single one of her assignments about her dreamy husband. Also: starts smiling. Hey, it's never too late!
Jacob Cullen: Still taking off his shirt, much to the dismay and confusion of his neighbors (does he really need to have his shirt off to get the mail or water his plants?), Jacob is now an actual creepy old man like the one he becomes in Breaking Dawn — Part 2. With his much-too-young wife Renesmee by his side, their kids and grandkids repeatedly beg Grandpa Jacob to not recall the story of how he met their mother.
Dr. Carlise Cullen: After starting his own private practice, the beloved doctor and his wife Esme eventually retire to Florida to soak in all that sun they'd been hearing so much about (while wearing sunscreen, of course) and do what every retired doctor should do: playing lots and lots of golf and making collect calls to their kids on Sundays.
Jasper Hale: With nonstop nagging from wife Alice, Jasper finally undergoes laser eye surgery and spends his twilight years no longer looking perpetually surprised.
Rosalie Hale: Still fixated with beauty, Rosalie hits the pop culture crossover jackpot and goes on to begin holding half-human/half-vampire child beauty pageants with Renesmee stepping in as an occasional guest judge.
Charlie Swan: Salmon fishing in the Yemen with Sue Clearwater by his side, of course. Well, they'd go fishing for trout, too, of course. Because, in the words of Charlie in Breaking Dawn — Part 2, "The woman knows her trout."
Aro: After realizing he foolishly spent most of his life in the dark being evil when he could have been out sightseeing and soaking in all the culture that Italy has to offer, Aro pens the international bestseller Breaking the Volturi Code and spends the rest of his day sipping wine, eating cheese, hanging out at George Clooney's villa, and giggling like a mad man.
How would you envision the Twilight characters at retirement age? I'm sorry, I didn't hear that, you'll have to speak up.
[Photo credit: Summit Entertainment]
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If there's a cinematic alchemy award to be given this year director Bill Condon deserves to take it home after magically turning the tedious Twilight franchise into entertainment gold. 2011's Part 1 was a horror camp romp that turned the supernatural love triangle — the naval gazing trio of Bella Edward and Jacob — on its head. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 continues the madcap exploration of a world populated by vampires and werewolves mining even more comedy thrills and genuine character moments out of conceit than ever before. The film occasionally sidesteps back into Edward and Bella's meandering romance (an evident hurdle of author Stephenie Meyer's source material) but the duller moments are overshadowed by the movie's nimble pace and playful attitude. Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will elicit laughs aplenty — but thankfully they're all on purpose.
Part 2 picks up immediately following the events of the first film Bella (Kristen Stewart) having been turned into a vampire by Edward (Robert Pattinson) to save her life after the torturous delivery of her half-human half-vampire child Renesmee. She awakes to discover super senses heightened agility increased strength… and a thirst for blood. One dead cougar later Bella and the gang are able to focus on the real troubles ahead: Renesmee is rapidly growing (think Jack) and vampiric overlords The Volturi perceive her a threat to vampiric secrecy. Knowing the Volturi will travel to Forks WA to kill the young girl (a 10-year-old just a month after being born) The Cullens amass an army of bloodsucking friends to end the oppression once and for all.
Packed with an absurd amount of backstory and mythology-twisting plot points (some vampires can shoot lightning now?) Condon and series screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg mine revel in the beefed up ensemble of Breaking Dawn - Part 2 and thanks to a wildly funny cast it never feels like pointless deviation. Along with the usual suspects Lee Pace adds swagger to the series as a grungy alt-rock vampire Noel Fisher appears as a hilarious over-the-top battle-ready Russian coven member and Michael Sheen returns has Volturi head honcho Aro and steels the show. Flamboyant diabolical and a steady stream of maniacal laughter Sheen owns Condon's high camp vision for Twilight and he lights up the screen. There are a few throw away nations of vampires — the oddly stereotypical Egyptian and Amazonians sects are there mostly there to off-set the extreme whiteness — but the actors involved bring liveliness to a franchise known for being soulless. Even Stewart Pattinson and Taylor Lautner give personal bests in this installment — a scene between Bella and her dad Charlie (Billy Burke) is genuinely heartfelt while Jacob's overprotective hero schtick finally lands.
Whereas Breaking Dawn - Part 1 stuck mostly to the personal story relying on the intimate moments as Bella and Edward took the big plunge into marriage and sex Part 2 paints with broader strokes and Condon has a ball. Delving into the history of the vampires and the vampire world outside Forks is Pandora's Box for the director. One scene where we learn why kids scare the heck of the Volturi captures a scope of medieval epics — along with the bloodshed. Twilight might be known for its sexual moments but Breaking Dawn - Part 2 will go down for its abundance of decapitations. The big set piece in the finale is something to behold both in the craftsmanship of the spectacle and in its bizarre nature.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 had the audience hooting hollering and even gasping as it twisted and turned to the final moments. There's little doubt that even the biggest naysayer of the franchise would do the same. No irony here: the conclusion of Twilight is a blast.