HOMELAND returned last night on Showtime and picked up the action 58 days after the terrorist hit on the CIA building that closed season two.
In “Tin Man is Down” the Homeland writers took a page out of the Fox mega-hit “24” with a black bag operation to assassinate six men suspected of participating in the largest attack on American soil since September 11, 2001. Each of the targets is code-named for a character in the film “The Wizard of Oz”.
Saul is now acting director of the CIA with the dreaded and soulless Dar Adal as his top aide. We know him as the man who provided Peter Quinn to the Abu Nazir/Brody hunt from last season, with the end game being Brody’s assassination after Nazir’s capture and kill.
Saul wavered on giving the green light to this six-man job, Dar Adal was there to push him.
The operation was given an allotted time of 20 minutes to complete. The subjects were spread around the world on three separate continents.
One hit in particular was assigned to Peter Quinn who we get to see in his supposed area of expertise.
In the video posted below, there are snippets of his preparation, including bomb making. When the assignment he expects to execute on the subject code-named Tin Man is aborted due the presence of a child sitting next to the target in a sedan, Quinn is tasked with a solo raid on Tin Man’s compound.
Quinn like a good student of Jack Bauer, eliminated all security agents and the target in ten minutes, the time he was given to keep the operation alive around the world. He even gave us the right reading of his assent and understanding of his orders: “Copy that.” The rest of the gang were eliminated in less than two minutes and change.
The first two seasons of Homeland were focused on how intelligence is gathered and analyzed, then acted upon when necessary. We were spared these unbelievable Bauer-like hero operations. It is a significant shift for the show, reflecting the need to clean up the mess from the failure of that intelligence gathering.
Peter Quinn makes a very believable Jack Bauer figure, even down to his refusal to execute innocents if at all possible, and his moral dilemma when he finds out he did. It reminded us that last season, Quinn disobeyed direct orders to kill Brody when there was no reason left to do so. Nonetheless, it does not get in the way of the trained assassin’s ability to do as he is told against enemies of his country. Jack Bauer and CTU would be proud.
Image credit: Showtime