Over the last two seasons of Showtime’s CIA drama Homeland, I’ve found the show to be one that is running out of gas. Carrie’s instability reached a point of gratuity in seasons four and five. Needless to say, there was definitely some skepticism as to the approach the show would take in its sixth season. In the end, Homeland, for the most part, returned to form in its latest season. While pacing continues to be an issue this show comes across particularly towards the finale, the sixth season of Homeland was a welcome return to form with a few minor hiccups.
The season focuses on Carrie’s new role. Working as an advisor to Muslim-Americans, Carrie takes a particular interest in one young troubled teen. As the season progresses, Sekou, the young man Carrie is helping, becomes more radicalized. However, Sekou never seems to be dangerous. Carrie’s arc has nearly come full circle. Once patriotic in the shows early seasons, Carrie has developed a cynical attitude towards the ideals she once fought to protect in the CIA.
Meanwhile, Peter Quinn has seemingly hit rock bottom. Dealing with PTSD and the after effects of a stroke, Quinn hobbles around and is easily irritated. Credit goes to Rupert Friend who gives a masterful performance in this season displaying a wide range of emotions flawlessly. The writers very smartly decide to give Quinn a lot of attention as he takes on a co-lead role with Claire Danes.
Much of Quinn’s past comes to forefront of this latest season. Particularly his relationship with Carrie. Claire Danes’s work in season six is strong as well and the ever present instability does work well within the context of the events of the season.
The new characters introduced in the season are solid for the most part. Elizabeth Marvel plays President Elect Elizabeth Keane. Keane and a Alex Jones-esque radio pundit Brett O’Keefe played by Jake Weber, have a great scene in the episode “R is For Romeo”.
Where this season really strives is the timely subject it covers. As if this season was written in real time, Homeland covers topics like fake news, power transfer with uncertain futures and discrimination. The themes of this season were powerfully relevant to the current state of our country. That has been one of the shows strengths throughout its run.
Without giving too much away, there is solid setup to be found in the waining minutes of the shows season finale. When I had heard the show was being renewed for two season beyond season six, I was skeptical as to the direction the show would go. But as the finales final shot would suggest, we are in for a intriguing run in the seasons to come.
Best Episode: Episode 11, “R is For Romeo”
Worst Episode: Episode 3, “The Covenant”
Season Score: 8.0
Consensus: While Homeland‘s sixth season is much better than the previous two and features intriguing set up for the seasons to come, it still struggles to maintain consistent pacing. Rupert Friend stands out with a brilliant performance. The finale is the strongest in recent memory.