Homeland: America First
April 11, 2017 7:57 AM - Season 6, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Pieces fall into place. Season finale.

Alternate recap: Quinn saves the President. Six weeks pass. Keane flexes her power. Max gets drunk. Carrie fucks up.
posted by Nelson (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe it's just because I've been reading bummer recaps (AV Club, EW), but this finale fell pretty flat to me. I mean they wrapped it all up but then spent so much time setting up new conflicts for another season I got whiplash. Would have rathered they skipped the whole "six weeks later..." thing entirely and certainly the whole Keane purge.

So many things didn't make sense. Why doesn't Carrie just call in the threat, why does she have to go to the hotel herself? And boy is Quinn having another good day for disabilities, he managed to thread his way through the Secret Service, a special forces assassination team, and a bomb site all while not having any awkward PTSD or visual problems. Even his limp and aphasia seemed better.

I also really didn't like the turn that Keane takes in the final scenes, it just wasn't well enough motivated. She's too smart and too loyal to have done that. OTOH she has been through a lot of personal trauma, plus jerked around enough by intelligence that it makes a certain kind of sense. Anyway all these plot machinations are best explained by "that's what made for good dramatic TV", which fair enough, only it was too much suspension of disbelief for me.

But some things were good. I liked seeing Quinn go out in a final blaze of glory, poor man. And the coda of Carrie looking through the photos was sweet. It wasn't clear to me; was John, Jr meant to be Quinn's son? Or Quinn himself, a few childhood memories squirreled away through foster childhood? I also liked the tension of the home inspection with drunk Max in the basement, the sort of comedic echo of Quinn in the basement before. Boy Carrie sure has a knack for breaking the men who try to help her, doesn't she?

All in all this was not one of the stronger seasons. Some aspects of it were great, particularly the not-Alex Jones and not-Infowars thing, the sock puppets, the malign intelligence services. Perfect internal threat paranoia for our modern political times. And I still love the mix of spy action thriller and personal stories. But they need some fresh structure. There's already a contract for renewal, two more seasons.
posted by Nelson at 8:06 AM on April 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Answering my own question, the fan wiki asserts that John, Jr is Quinn's son by Julia Diaz, a character from the second season who is in one episode as Quinn's ex-wife.
posted by Nelson at 11:28 AM on April 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Directed by M. Night Shamalan [fake]

Serously though, what a stupid topper to a stupid, stupid season. This show should have quit after the previous season. Or maybe two seasons before that.
posted by some loser at 7:36 PM on April 11, 2017

Well... I'm a big Peter Quinn fan, so I'm kinda biased, but... what a fucking waste of a character and story arc. They bring him back, make him suffer terribly, lay all kinds of interesting groundwork in terms of him coming to terms with his disabilities, his relationship with Carrie, with Franny (and parenthood), with Dar - and then snuff him out in seconds without even a goodbye, from him or anyone else.

Half an hour before, Carrie's all wandering about the explosion site going: "Quinn! Thank God you're all right!" Then he gets shot in the car and she doesn't even take his pulse. Then six weeks later throws his stuff in the trash. And only actually shed a tear when she came across a photograph of herself. Ewf. I feel cheated and immensely irritated - and not just because Rupert Friend is so damn cute!

I also found Keane's sudden U-turn wildly unbelievable, and annoying. First, it implied that she was under the sway of her manipulative Chief of Staff (or whoever the guy advising her was) - this woman is the fucking President, will she never be able to make a decision for herself? And it was also so out of character, didn't feel like the groundwork had been laid for it through the season at all.

I've read quite a few interviews which make it clear that the writers genuinely make a lot of the season up as they go along - start out with a rough idea but adapt and rewrite constantly in fairly major ways throughout the season to try and keep it current. It obviously paid off this time in some senses - the whole fake news agenda - but it felt like they got to the end of episode 11 and thought 'Oh, shit, we've got a hell of a lot to do, and we've still not laid the groundwork for the next season yet. Right - Quinn? Dead. Mourning? No time. Just dead. Next? Administration? All arrested at once - two scenes max. Next?'
posted by penguin pie at 4:48 AM on April 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh - though also - having lived in the Baltics, I'd been wondering whether that part of the world would feature in the next season - there's a lot of military build-up going on over there right now, British and French troops in Estonia, Russia moving missiles to Kaliningrad. So I was interested that the President handed Carrie a briefing paper on escalating the US military presence in the region, wonder if they'll turn their attention there next season?

And I wonder who Dar's guy in the Classics department is? Do they have someone specific in mind, or were they just sowing a possible seed for themselves to work with next season? Or leaving themselves potential for another miraculous Quinn resurrection where he turns out to have survived and be living a quiet life as David Exley (a girl can dream...).
posted by penguin pie at 5:08 AM on April 13, 2017

I'm with you on Quinn getting short shrift in this final episode. I mean it's a heroic enough end for him and given the corner they wrote themselves into it was sort of inevitable. But yeah, disappointing. A braver show would have figured out a role for him in another season, one where he has to construct a new life that doesn't involve being a superpowered murder robot.

I took Dar's guy in Classics to be a boyfriend. Just something in the intonation and Saul's gentle acknowledgment, that even Dar has civilians he cares about. Just an incidental character that was put in to color in some details. But who knows with this show.
posted by Nelson at 8:12 AM on April 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I figure they probably sow about 20 different seeds to give themselves something to play with next season, pick up half of them, then drop half of those again later in the season without explanation as their empahsis changes (eg. I think I'm right in saying there was barely even any mention of the whole Iran/North Korea/Javadi stuff by ep12, when it was the centre of the plot in the first half of the season - the fake news/sock puppet stuff took over from that completely.)

I'm also now idly imagining the secret premises from which I now assume The Cabal run all the MeFi sockpuppet accounts. A subterranean warehouse somewhere full of people going:
"I'm going to pretend to want to know if this chicken is safe to eat after I left it in the garden for three weeks"
"Brilliant! I'll ask if I should leave my boyfriend who spends all my money on diamond-encrusted toe rings for his pet stick insects."
posted by penguin pie at 2:50 PM on April 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

I definitely hoped for something better than this season finale.

First of all, I wanted Dar Adal to die a horrible death. And what do I get instead? The death of my favourite character, who had already suffered so terribly, and Dar Adal sitting in prison kvetching about how he's not allowed to shave. Then we get some absurd "Keane is not who we thought she was" plot twist.

I'm so disgusted I'm not sure I'm going to bother watching future seasons.
posted by orange swan at 9:31 PM on September 8, 2017

« Older Angie Tribeca: Third Season...   |  Podcast: My Brother, My Brothe... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments