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April 9, 2017
Pieces fall into place.
Season Finale
April 9, 2017
Season Finale
Pieces fall into place.
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by Lucy
Jul 23, 2017 8:44AM EDT

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I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on Homeland season 6, and although I watched it eagerly every week, looking at the series as a whole is actually a bit disappointing. The show has so many avenues it can use and yet it ended with death, backstabbing and a huge change for all characters that will have repercussions next season (a whole year's wait away...)

As with most seasons of Homeland, it takes a few episodes to set everything up, but season 6 waits until episodes 4/5 to really get going. It’s a lot of slow build up of Carrie’s new job, introducing the new president and finding out where Saul, Dar and Peter are now. Inkeeping with the US election (and I hefty rewrite I hear), the show is very political focused this season, which was a refreshing change but Homeland isn’t known for being a political thriller and the season suffered from a lack of presence from the CIA and other agencies. As usual, everything in Homeland links up eventually, but it was episode 11 & 12 before we truly saw the scale of all the links, and their greater impact. Although there were plenty of excellent edge-of-the-seat cliffhangers for most episodes, overall working out how everything linked and who was really pulling the strings was a real slow burner...

However, it was lovely to see Carrie back in the US bonding with Franny, and making strides with her new venture of helping immigrants. Though it was heartbreaking to see her being drawn into politics and back room drama, so early on in the season. Carrie doesn’t really change or grow this season as much as she’s done previously. She’s commited to being a caring mother, and learns the hard way not to trust politicians but aside from that, she’s very similar to how she started the season (though great changes at the CIA and with Quinn may cause changes for season 7).

Thankfully Peter Quinn and Max’s character arcs were better and kept the plot rolling, in their usual style. I enjoyed how it was shown that previous seasons events had impacted Max and made him more determined to do something to help protect others. Peter Quinn on the other hand returns as a wounded veteran of the CIA and acts his socks off all season, showing that the soldier in a veteran never dies. He had such a sad story arc, trying to recover from injury, find his place in the world and trying to single handedly save America. Loosing Astrid and trust in most of his friends along the way was horrible to watch him suffer through. Amazing acting by Rupert Friend and it’s a travesty he didn’t get nominated for an Emmy!

The biggest revelation this season has been the introduction of new President Elizabeth Keane. She came across as very much involved with America and trying to reform several wrongs, but even as early as half way through the season, Dar says “there’s something not right about her” and this explodes into focus in the finale with a thrilling coup and assination attempt. It felt like Keane was very much behind/involved in her failed assassination and dismantling of government agencies. A powerful play by her but also incredibly crafty - it must have taken her a lot of planning (and I wonder whether that's why she was always insistent on having her staff with her at all times during the series, were they the only ones in on the true plan?) The power hunger Keane that emerged in this final episode sets up the next season for quite a different tone to ones we have had previously. It's certainly going to be a dark time for the CIA, and I can see Carrie going abroad with Franny for a while...

Dar is turned into a villian in this season, at least until the final episode. An interesting turn for a reoccuring character who’s been with the show from the start, but his central commitment for keeping America safe fitted with his more villianous attitude. However, lines in the script about being an abuser where poorly constructed and seemed only there to horrify and destroy his previous character - if they are followed up in more depth I hope the issue is treated more sensitively. I didn't think I could ever find it in my heart to feel sorry for Dar again, but his eerie prediction about Keane coming from a prison cell really hit home. I hope he gets out for season 7, but it will take quite some writing to get Saul, Dar and Carrie back working together!

Speaking of the gang getting back together, I had an inkling that Quinn might not survive the finale but watching him go the way he did was startingly abrupt. I was really hoping for some glimpse of his memorial or at least some of the characters discussing it more but alas they're scenes we won't ever get - his passing felt a little brushed over considering he's been a series regular since season 2. However his photos hidden inside Great Expectations was a nice touch :)

I've definitely enjoyed parts of this more political season of Homeland, lots of well knitted together story lines and a tight plot definitely helped when all the action took place in the final episodes. However, I would definitely like a bit more focus on the CIA and the intelligence community next season as I did miss Carrie and co. doing all their covert intelligence operations abroad! I'm sure Carrie will analyse and strategise the best way to get things back on track next season - if there's anyone I have faith in to make things better it's her!

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