'Homeland' Bounces Back

"[Quinn] nearly died last year in Berlin and I managed to save him. But… [getting emotional] the way he’s been acting the past few months, it’s as if he wants to finish the job. So I brought him into our home because I can’t go through that again. I can’t lose another one." — Carrie, "Homeland"

When "Homeland" debuted in season one, it was a revelation. It was one of the best shows on TV, possibly of all time. But it was a standard that wasn't possible to replicate. Especially given the interference show runners faced.

It's well known now that the original plan was for Brody (Damian Lewis) to die at the end of season one. Everything built toward that. That made the most sense. I want to see that show. But that's not our reality.

Brody lived, and his character limped on for two seasons. That cast a shadow on the show as it slipped in quality and narrative. By the time he was gone at the end of season three, the show had changed. So had its reputation.

The series limped through an uneven season four and five. I enjoyed parts of season four, which had one of the best episodes in the series' history. But the way the season began and ended ruined some of that. Season five was a similar struggle.

But "Homeland" got a two season renewal and was bumped to January. After nearly 18 months off the air, the show returned and, as season six began, it was a slow go. Where was it heading? Would it pay off?

We're now nine episodes in, three quarters of the way through the season, and it's clear that "Homeland" is back and, for the first time since season one, seems to have locked on to a storyline that makes the best use of its formula and characters. There's still a chance for it to fall down the rabbit hole in the final three episodes, but for now, it feels like "Homeland" is back.

I'm excited to see where it will end and, for the first time in a few years, I'm happy to know it will continue.


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