On behalf of our respected readership, we three Long Island Press perpetrators—Jaime Franchi, Rashed Mian and Spencer Rumsey—would like to issue a public apology. When we collaborated to write our Squawkler about Homeland, we anticipated a thrilling–or at least coherent–season finale.
Obviously, we were going on bad intel.
The finale of Homeland fizzled out in a disappointing series of disjointed scenes attempting to reconcile the earlier plot points. Everything wrapped up, but rather than in a neat bow, we were presented with a horrid mess of hackfleisch. Very humbling to our hubris.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
1. Otto During: The president of the During Foundation, and Carrie Mathison’s former boss, Otto proposes. A business relationship? Marriage? We can’t be sure. It was totally creepy and utterly out-of-nowhere, especially since a few episodes back, Otto had confided to Jonas, Carrie’s German lover, that due to her instability, he didn’t even want her working for the foundation any longer. Now it looks like he’s offering her the keys to the castle.
2. The subway scene: After the buildup that was—we don’t know, almost the entire season?—the scene where Carrie foils the plot of evil terrorists to poison the Berlin subway station with sarin gas is resolved within the first three minutes of the last episode in such an unexciting, ho-hum fashion that Carrie has literally 2 seconds to convince the skittish Qasim to confront and shoot his own cousin while she sneaks upon them and opens fire. The bad guys die. She saves the day. The show goes on. For another 40-odd minutes.
3. Carrie returns to her apartment, takes a nap, and awakens to have sex with Jonas, the boyfriend who’d broken up with her earlier in the season when the shit started getting real, terrorist/CIA-wise. So that looked like a sweet righting of wrongs, a coming back home. Until we realized that Jonas still wanted to break up, suspects she was the mysterious blonde who singlehandedly saved Berlin, and so wants nothing more to do with her—a conversation that might have been better to have pre-sex, we think. At least, she gets a foundation sweatshirt as a parting gift. What the actual fuck, Homeland-writers?
4. Seeing the light: Carrie learns that Quinn is in emergency surgery due to a severe brain hemorrhage. Things look bleak. So she heads to the chapel where she is bathed in a supernatural white light that we guess was God? We don’t know. After we hear Quinn’s voice-over about how he doesn’t believe in horoscopes and fate, etc., which Saul interrupts (a great bit), the “Highway to Heaven” illumination appears again, just as Carrie bends over to snuff him out. Which would have been fine if the show hadn’t been so clear-eyed and reality-based up until now. We didn’t watch her beloved Brody go into the light. We saw his body jerking as his neck snapped and his airways closed as he was hung in an Iranian town square, both Carrie and Saul powerless to help. So why do this now?
5. Is it because: Carrie is “not that person anymore” as she tells her ex-CIA boss, Saul Berenson? Not the person who just saved mankind (or at least Berlin)? Not the only one (yet again) with the instincts and the talent to uncover insidiously evil plots that go unnoticed by the entire intelligence community? Not the one haunted by 9/11 and compelled to never let an attack of that scope and scale happen against her people ever again? Now that Jonas is officially gone and with him her sense and obligation to lead a normal life, why wouldn’t she take her rightful place at the throne of the CIA and just fix the world now?
6. Because of Frannie? WHEN IS CARRIE GOING TO CALL HER DAUGHTER AND TELL HER THAT SHE ISN’T DEAD AFTER ALL?
As season finales go, it was lame, padded and, worst of all, exhausted. What were we thinking? We figured this show had managed to capture the zeitgeist of all the western cultural anxiety about terrorism and repackage it into a provocative, profound program that would have something more to say! But these writers seemed like they couldn’t get it over with fast enough. Maybe the producers were being water-boarded by HBO at an undisclosed location. Showtime let us down big time. No adrenaline rush. No edge-of-your-seat suspense. And now, no Quinn—unless he pulls a Jon Snow from Game of Thrones and returns from the white beyond. Alas, that’s a different network. Can Homeland redeem itself in season 6? We’re hoping for much better intel.
(Photo: Carrie convinces Qasim to attempt to disrupt an impending terror attack in Berlin. Credit: Homeland/Facebook)