Homeland season 6 Blu-ray Review
Despite what you’ve learned from James Bond, 95% of what intelligence agencies do is very boring. Between reading and writing reports and researching various events, most of the time is spent at a desk, but Hollywood only cares about the exciting 5%. Personally, I find that other 95% just as interesting, which is why I’ve always been a huge fan of Showtime’s ‘Homeland’. The sixth season picks up with our heroine, Carrie (Danes) living in New York, trying to live a normal life by running a non-profit organization. After seeing how much he’s struggling after his near-death experience, Carrie agrees to take in and care for Quinn (Friend). But Quinn is not the man he once was since he’s still partially paralyzed from his stroke and doesn’t have use of his left arm and struggles to form words and thoughts. The problem with this development is that Quinn represented the 5% in ‘Homeland’ and gave us brief glimpses of action in the middle of all the “boring” research and dialogue. That’s why the sixth season of ‘Homeland’ takes a while to get going.
But after the first three or four episodes, the main plot of the film starts to take shape. The new President Elect, Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) has new policies that conflict with the interests of the CIA’s Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham). To sway her to his way of thinking, Dar puts in play a series of events that eventually gets out of hand. Meanwhile, Carrie is juggling being the adviser to the new President Elect with her duties to her real job, all the while trying to take care of her young daughter. As Carrie begins to unravel more and more information, the lines between truth and lies becomes even more blurry and her struggles between her various obligations becomes greater. Hovering around Carrie’s world are Quinn and Saul. It was sad to watch the once mighty Quinn be subjected to a bed ridden stroke victim, but over the course of the show, he eventually finds purpose, culminating in a heroic finale. Saul, meanwhile, didn’t have much purpose in the sixth season and at times, it felt like he was thrown in as an afterthought.
The problem with the sixth season is that too much was presented that was never fully developed. And plot points went from one event to another quickly, oftentimes ignoring anything that came before it. This can be frustrating at times, especially when you consider the first half of the season went way too slow while the second half might have gone too quickly. ‘Homeland’ has always had consistency problems, but it felt like some of those issues were highlighted in the sixth season, especially after the slow start. I wonder if the show was influenced by the current political environment and adjusted mid-season. After all, it wasn’t long ago that we lived in a world where it was unbelievable to think the President of the United States would be openly feuding with one of their own agencies.
I can’t think of a show that has changed as much over the course of its life as ‘Homeland’. It’s a credit to Claire Danes and all of the filmmakers that they’ve managed to keep it going and keep it relevant as long as they have. The sixth season continues to show that relevancy even if it was lighter on the spy stuff than previous seasons.
Video: ‘Homeland’ looks wonderful on Blu-ray.
Audio: The audio was fine.
The Paley Center for Media Q&A With Cast and Creative Team for Paleyfest 2016 (55:35): The cast and a couple of directors talk about the show and answer questions. This was interesting, just to hear from everyone involved what they think of the show and how it has evolved.
On Location and About Season 6: Two featurettes that are less than three minutes each and include some of the same scenes. They’re just brief overviews about the sixth season.