Analog This: A Helpful Guide of Whether or Not You Should Keep Watching Homeland

I swear…no more Skyping with terrorists.

Spoilers for the season three premiere of “Homeland” to come. Assume there will be spoilers for old episodes of “Homeland,” too.

A funny thing happened as “Homeland” was on its way to becoming TV’s best drama: it decided to go completely downhill. But “Homeland” wants you to know that they’re trying really hard to make a comeback. They let us know by devoting the entire “Previously on…” segment of the season three opener to what was essentially a highlight reel of the entire series.

I get it, “Homeland.” There was like two or three really awesome parts of last season. But Dana and her stupid boyfriend still murdered someone (before he got blown up) and Nicholas Brody Skyped with a terrorist on a Blackberry while standing next to the vice president. So I guess you could say things weren’t going too well for them.

So, should you keep watching, or not? The season three premiere showed some promise, but also some drawbacks. Here, I will present some highlights from the premiere, and its up to you to decide whether or not you should keep up with “Homeland.”

Chris Brody: He’s really tall now. And still has nothing valuable to add. I just want someone to give him a show where he reviews HD TVs.

Dana Brody: In retrospect, making Dana a murderer last season was pretty dumb. During the long gap in “Homeland” time, Dana attempted suicide. This is a more grounded, dark, and interesting territory for the character, and a good chance for actress Morgan Sayler to show off more of her acting potential. I just hope they don’t make much out of her sending the nude selfie. Like, that her potential new boyfriend is a Senator’s son and it causes another political scandal. It just seems too obvious.

Jess Brody: Sorry fans, but there was no Jess Brody nudity this time around. Just some deep and dark insight into her past and her family’s history with suicide and depression. Oh great, more interesting character insight. I blame the Puritans.

Jess’ Mom: Here’s a new character. Already not a big fan of her. She just seems to be there to tell Jess that she’s parenting all wrong. She reminds me of Claudette from “The Room.” That’s not a good thing.

Carrie’s Mental State: Carrie is still torn up about last year’s events at Langley. She blames herself, and I’m not sure if she really does or if that’s a way to make her cover story more convincing. Either way, she’s trying alternative medicines, but it doesn’t seem to be helping so far. She’s on trial for treason. I need to start the Carrie cry count, because this episode was a doozy.

Where in the World is Nicholas Brody?: Not sure. Surprisingly, he wasn’t in this episode at all. Maybe he’s with Saul Goodman in Nebraska. Or somebody sent him to Belize. Guys, I miss “Breaking Bad.”

Better Call Saul (Berenson): It’s really hard to complain about Mandy Patinkin. He’s like Jewish Santa Claus. He’s facing a lot more pressures now. As de facto head of Homeland Security, he has to deal with the possibility of a revoked charter, more terrorists, and the Nicholas Brody/Carrie bomb. Plus, Saul has personal issues to deal with. He’s the most sane character on the show, so I really hope he doesn’t fall into the vortex of insanity.

New Problems, New Possibilities: Maybe I’m alone here, but the most interesting conflicts on this show are the internal issues being dealt with at Langley. It feels more relevant given how, you know, we don’t have a functioning government right now. “Homeland” has some great characters, and I think it would be even better if we got to see them evolve this year. Instead of just chasing terrorists, which we’ve seen before, I’d love to see some personal struggles. How does someone keep an entire government agency, and themselves, together? But it’s a fine line to walk because…

…I don’t want a courtroom drama: “Homeland” runs into the possibility of slipping into implausibility and simply being a show about chasing terrorists. This was a problem it faced last year, which is why it nearly slipped into complete “24″ territory. However, I also don’t want to see it become just a courtroom drama. Too much of old white people (because, American politics) arguing over abstract political issues could get dull. So if “Homeland” is to get back on its feet, it needs to balance internal and external threats. Oh, and bring Nicholas Brody back.