America First

"You’re missing it, all of you. It’s happening right now in front of your faces. We have O’Keefe. We have a disinformation campaign designed to discredit the president elect. As of today, we have boots on the ground, like the protesters I had to wade through to get here. Does that seem familiar to any of you? Because it does to me. It’s what we did in Nicaragua, Chile, Congo, a dozen other places, all the way back to Iran in the 50s. And it does not end well for the elected regime." — Saul, "Homeland"

Quietly, and without a lot of fanfare or notice, "Homeland" found its groove again. In its sixth season, the show, perhaps, offered an interesting example of what it could be, and maybe what it always should have been following an explosive first season.

There were twists, bombs, lies, deception and everything you'd expect from a show like this. But there weren't any mental break downs. There wasn't a lot of wine drinking and slow jazz music. There was just a show invested in telling a compelling story and exploring its characters.

And as I said on Twitter last night, the only problem with this season of "Homeland" is the fact that it feels a little too plausible. It was set just after a Presidential election, and centered on a fractured country full or broken media and disinformation. Sound familiar? Or at least maybe a little too familiar.

And like many great cable dramas, last night's finale, "America First," ended the season on a quiet and somber note, likely setting up the next great battle in the already renewed seventh season.

(Spoilers Below)

It also gave us a fitting end for Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend). His character endured a lot this season, suffering from physical disabilities and feeling manipulated by everyone in his life he believed in, trusted and loved. Yet, in the end, he got to be the hero.

At least for a minute. It wasn't his fault that President Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) has turned out to be unworthy of his efforts. Quinn did what he did best, and he did it to save Carrie.

It was also a great season for Carrie, who grew as a character without having to lapse into some sort of manic state. She struggled to prove she was a good mother, and she fought for what she believed in. Claire Danes, one of the best criers in the business, also got to cry last night, but it was in service of a beautiful, moving, and fitting scene as she thumbed through Peter's pictures, finding one of herself and finally acknowledging the grief and loss she'd been feeling.

But best of all, "Homeland" ended a season for the first time since its first leaving the audience wanting more and wanting to see what happens next. That might be its greatest achievement, and hopefully a promising sign of things to come.


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