Monday, April 17, 2017

What I’m Watching: Homeland (Season Finale)

Homeland: Season 6, Episode 12 “America First” (C+)

This episode’s title is a very interesting choice because of its clear connection to a slogan championed by Donald Trump in his quest for the presidency, and it’s significant because I’ve found this show to be weaker this season because it portrays a less believable alternate to what we’re actually seeing play out in reality. I understand that the final scene of this episode, in which Keane is seen tuning Carrie out as she boldly charges to a future where law and order is what she makes it, is meant to be powerful and show just how irreversibly far things have gone. But based on what we’ve seen of Keane this season, I don’t buy it. She’d want to dismantle the system that made intelligence so secretive and open up channels for diplomacy, not round people up and hold them indefinitely so that she could seize control of everything and do it her way. That she went to Carrie in the first place and asked her to take on this new role suggested that she wanted to be more transparent, not become big brother with the assistance of Linus Roaches’ chief of staff. The middle of the episode in which she was fleeing for her life with Carrie’s help constituted the most thrilling part of the entire season, but the level to which General McClendon was able to manipulate events so that she could be targeted begged an unacceptable amount of suspension of disbelief. I thought that Quinn was going to survive multiple gunshot wounds to the chest, but that was the end for him, and Max may come over when he’s not supposed to, but at least the worst he’s going to do is pass out drunk on the bed. Dar ending up in jail makes sense, but for Saul, who was loyal to Keane most of the time, to be arrested too represents a witch hunt with no goal other than to do something like, say, drain the swamp. The news that this show was renewed through season eight as of August with Claire Danes attached is disappointing since it means Carrie will somehow still be involved, and I just don’t know that there’s new solid ground to be covered here.

Season grade: C+
Season MVP: Elizabeth Marvel as Keane

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