Emmy Episode Analysis: Mandy Patinkin (‘Homeland’) shows many sides of Saul

Mandy Patinkin is looking to add a Drama Supporting Actor Emmy for “Homeland” to the one he won for his starring role on the drama “Chicago Hope” back in 1996. He reaped a second straight bid for his role as Saul Berenson, acting director of the CIA.

SYNOPSIS: Saul has placed Majid Javadi (Shaun Toub), the deputy intelligence chief and financier of the Langley bombing, in a safe house after Javadi brutally murdered his ex-wife and daughter-in-law. He tells Javadi that he will be sent back to Iran either be as their asset in the regime or as a traitor to the revolution. He is shown a picture of Peter (Rupert Friend) at the crime scene taken by a neighbor’s security camera and instructs Carrie (Claire Danes) to deal with this and to get Javadi to a plane to take him back to Iran. 

Upon returning to the CIA, he is confronted by Dar Adul (F. Murray Abraham) and meets with Adul and Sen. Andrew Lockhart (Tracy Letts), the incoming director to tell them he has recruited Javadi as an asset for the agency. Lockhart protests and Saul and Adul lock him in a conference room. Saul then apologizes to Adul that he didn’t keep him in the loop. When Saul arrives home, his adulterous wife asks how his day was. He tells her it was really good, hugs her and apologizes for forgetting how beautiful she is.

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Can Patinkin give “Homeland” another win for acting? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

PROS

Saul is the focus of this episode and Patinkin does a fantastic job conveying the gravitas of the situation. 

He conveys a range of emotion — calm, determination, calculating, loving — in an even-handed way.

The viewer roots for Saul and the moment he locks Lockhart in the conference room is one of great triumph.

CONS

Emmy voters are not as fond of “Homeland” as they used to be; the show reaped only four bids this year (compared to 11 last year) and failed to score a nod for Drama Series. 

The consensus is that “Homeland” had a creative slump this season. 

Saul is very reserved. This measured nature might make Patinkin’s performance fade compared to performances by the likes of Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”) and Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”).

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Patinkin is currently in fifth place at Gold Derby with odds of 66/1. Do you think he can win Emmy #2? Make your predictions below.

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