Homeland: Enemy of the State
February 13, 2018 8:00 AM - Season 7, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Carrie and Franny are now living in DC. Saul is in prison.

Alterate recap: Carrie and Franny are living in genteel poverty. Saul is living in prison. Not-Alex-Jones lives on the lam with help from the local corrupt sheriff. The President is the weirdest fusion of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and is off the rails with paranoia. Carrie fucks up her secret spy plan. Max saves the day.

Recaps: EW, AVClub. Shout out to Scott Von Doviak, the new AVClub recapper who characterizes himself as "I feel my best work for TV Club was covering all three seasons of (Fanfare's Favorite) Under The Dome".
posted by Nelson (6 comments total)
I had forgotten how much I unabashedly love this show, it's weird authoritarian politics and silly recurring tropes and all. There's something really powerful in the way they tell these stories, how Clare Danes carries the show. I'm 100% on Team Carrie even if every episode seems to be "Carrie fucks up" in some way or another.

I was mad about Keane's heel turn last season as a new authoritarian paranoid. But it's the plot they wanted to tell this season and I think there is value in showing Keane terrified by the power of the spy deep state that's been pulling the strings for so long. I also appreciated the nods they made to the Trump administration. Particularly the way everyone is just so bummed about politics, how the president is a monster and no one can quite breathe. I feel you, yo.

Nice to see Brett O'Keefe back as a character this season; I thought he was last season's best confection. Surprised they killed off McClendon like that since Robert Knepper is such a strong presence on camera. (The actor has several sexual assault allegations against him, so it's just as well he's written off.) Which reminds me that Dar Adal is still kicking around in prison, I'm guessing he'll be back this season one way or the other.

For anyone else wondering if they forgot a character from past seasons, Keane's new Chief of Staff David Wellington is mostly a new character. He was briefly introduced in the last episode of the last season and looks to be a major part of this new story, simultaneously trying to enlist Saul and being spied on by Carrie + Max. Carrie's brother in law Bill also appears to be a new character. As is Dante, the CIA mole that Carrie burned.
posted by Nelson at 8:12 AM on February 13

Much of this season was filmed around Richmond, VA, so watching the premiere was a fun exercise in location spotting. A restaurant called Julep's played a restaurant called Julep's, Shockoe Espresso (Yelp) played an unnamed coffeehouse, the lobby of the Jefferson Hotel stood in for the Hay-Adams Hotel in DC. Everyone's homes appear to be in the historic Fan district. So far, that's all the locations I've recognized.
posted by emelenjr at 9:50 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]

I agree Nelson, really strong opener. I even managed to overcome my year-long sulk about the perfunctory dispatch of Peter Quinn (cut straight to six weeks later, Homeland, really? REALLY? OK I've not quite overcome it) to enjoy this episode.

Claire Danes on top form, some great writing, the plot was gripping, if a little thin and one-note so far - but it wouldn't be Homeland if it didn't tick along quietly until episode four when things suddenly go KABOOM, metaphorically and/or literally, and the excitement rockets.

I cannot stand Brett O'Keefe, though. I can see he's a useful plot device, being a loose canon, and potentially even becoming an accidental ally for Carrie in future if they're both intent on pulling down Keane. But everything about him just makes me want to turn the TV off - and not in an interesting dramatic way, just in a "please stop this man chewing the scenery" way.

emelenjr, the GabeHCoudBlog twitter feed has been busy posting filming locations if you want an exhaustive list. Slight risk of spoilers but I think those are mostly on the Tumblr blog rather than the twitter feed.

In my daliances on fanblogs during the hiatus, there were quite a few audition tapes posted on Vimeo for various roles, including Dante, with some deliciously hammy acting from some of the folk who didn't get the part. Bets have been on for several months as to whether Dante would turn out to be basically a straight shoe-in for Quinn in the "spy Carrie would most like to fuck" stakes. Outcome as yet undetermined.
posted by penguin pie at 3:34 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]

I agree Brett O'Keefe is over the top and unbelievably crazy-acting, but have you seen real world Alex Jones? Jake Weber is showing restraint in his acting. What's really missing from Homeland is O'Keefe also promoting dubious nutrition supplements.

(On a meta note, I'm going to be traveling the next few weeks and won't be posting Homeland regularly. I'd be thrilled if someone else posted episodes.)
posted by Nelson at 4:34 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]

Ha, maybe that's it, I've managed to studiously avoid being exposed to ANY Alex Jones, so perhaps that would change my view.

No worries, I should be able to post, I did a few last season, won't manage same-day but should be able to do it reasonably quickly after that. Happy travels, Nelson!
posted by penguin pie at 4:01 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]

My wife and I are loving the show, but it does slightly irk me that as a plot device Carrie always has to fuck up. She is a brilliant skilled intuitive intelligence agent but also, every mission, she does something stupid and impulsive that really doesn't make any sense.

So WHY does she have to go to her sister's office for the meet once her first location was burned? As a smart spy person she could drive around for fifteen minutes to be sure her tail was clear and then select literally any other hotel, or a carpark, or literally any other secret spy-style location.

For purposes of dramatic narrative the family needs to get involved. Yeah, OK.

But then, why does super skilled spy let the guy get out of the trunk while the niece is still driving out of the parking lot?!? Sloppy, weak, no good explanation for that one at all.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:09 AM on March 5

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