‘I’m a guy that kills bad guys’
warning: Possible spoilers ahead.
Homeland is a U.S TV show about a bipolar CIA agent named Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) who become s convinced that a marine and former POW named Sargent Nicholas Brody (Damien Lewis) is planning a Muslim terror attack on American soil. Many storylines (mostly terrorism based) spiral out from there. It also stars Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn, a CIA officer and assassin, and Mandy Patinkin as Saul, among others, including F. Murray Abraham, who was in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
I initally thought that the TV series got off to a slow start, though it only really picked up in Season 2, even though you got to know the fundamentals and the background in season 1. I was aware of Damien Lewis, but I hadn’t seen him in anything else. I must admit that the only reason why I watched Homeland was because it looked interesting and I like Rupert Friend’s work. The show itself goes on such a journey that season 1 lays down the fundamentals e.g Brody’s family life, his affair with Carrie, his strained familial relationships with his wife and children, his link to terrorism etc. However, from season 2 and 3 onwards, Quinn picks up from where Brody left off, especially after Brody dies in the season 3 finale. After that, there was a period of time when the show was trying to pick up its pieces. I didn’t care for many of the characters except for Brody, Quinn, Saul and Carrie, though my interest in the latter two characters does not convince me to carry on watching the show.
I like how nobody in the show is 100% good or bad. You also see the motivations and reasons behind the characters so that they are never dull. Quinn comes across as being a bit odd, though he is an immensely likeable character. It was rather sad to see his vulnerability at stake in the final episode, and I was left feeling empty after he died, even though he’s not a real person. He survived a gassing, an explosion, several shootings, a stabbing and being in a near death situation in a coma. He grew with us as the viewers in all of the seasons that he was in. That’s perhaps what made the season five and six season finales so emotional (at least for me anyway).
As for all of the other characters, they were also rather interesting as well. Some of the issues in the show were also incredibly close to comfort, such as the IS, the 9/11, terror attacks, bomb threats, a new president and a whole list of other things, and the contrasts between religion I.e Muslim, atheist, catholic, Jew etc and being kept hostage. I also found that the news and social media played a huge part in the story itself and the motivations behind most of the storylines, and homemade controversial videos are one of the many ways to get you into trouble. It’s also rather scary how everything from trackers to your phone to even a drop of blood can be used as evidence for your whereabouts.
I first watched Homeland one weekend when I was scrolling through Netflix. I watched episodes in the hours between giving my brother his lunch and dinner when my parents were away. Back then, I was in my last few weeks of college (I’ve since graduated) and I was watching the episodes before and after college. The series had developed along with me, and it was sad to see all of the good characters go as I have an real connection with them.
Would I watch this show again? Yes, I would, just not the episodes after the sixth season. I wish that I could unwatch the series and rewatch it again as if I had seen it for the first time, or if I had never read any spoilers prior to watching it. I was rather emotional seeing Quinn detoriate towards the end of season five and for the entirety of season six and how it affected himself and everyone else around him. He was a rather unpredictable character, he could either lash out or ignore the other character or plan to do something sneaky like making a bomb or spy on people or run off. Season five was sort of left on a cliffhanger into whether Quinn would survive or not.
Had I known about this show later last year, then it could have contributed massively to a college art project about news. I like how they also don’t brush mental illness aside, as the main character Carrie has bipolar, the main guy’s daughter’s boyfriend has mental health issues and Quinn eventually gets PTSD etc.
Overall, a great and relevant show that adapts to the time and issues of modern America.