Showtime’s Homeland Season 6 premieres with an American-set story and a female president
Last season, Homeland‘s fifth season dried up and fell off my must-watch list. I carried the season with me for nearly 8 months before finally deciding to completely abandon it. Solid buzz surrounded it, but none of its competent direction and solid performances really drove me to return. It’s not Homeland‘s fault. We just grew apart. So, Homeland Season 6 returns, offering the promise of the strong Elizabeth Marvel (House of Cards) as a recently elected female president. That immediately piqued my interest. Unfortunately, nothing else in the pilot did.
The pilot, “Fair Game,” divides its time as Carrie (Claire Danes) oversees the reluctant rehabilitation of Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), damaged from the events of Season 5. Or so the previews to me. Quinn lives in a VA hospital but refuses physical therapy. Instead, his recreational habits include hanging out with prostitutes, smoking crack, and getting the shit beat out of him. Aside from that, Carrie, now working at a legal outreach organization for Muslims in New York, rebuffs Saul’s (Mandy Patinkin) frequent requests to return to her former life.
Another subplot introduces a Muslim-American man who runs a website documenting atrocities against Muslims in America. His eventual arrest brings Carrie to his defense. Undoubtedly, this will all intertwine with President-elect Elizabeth Keane (Marvel) who intends to hold an iron fist over Saul and Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham). Her son was killed in Afghanistan, and she apparently harbors resentment against the American military.
Homeland Season 6 offers a lot of plot up front, which isn’t unusual for the series. The show exists as perhaps the most solidly written, exquisitely directed (particularly by the great Lesli Linka Glatter), and professionally acted television show on TV that almost bores me completely to tears. After the four seasons I’ve absorbed, I’ve lost all interest in Carrie Mathison and her persistent drama. Marvel’s addition should have brought some much-needed fire to the cast. The only problem is that she plays nearly the same character as Heather Dunbar from House of Cards. Homeland Season 6 will undoubtedly offer excitement and thrills for those still invested in the series. It has none of the hallmarks of a flagging season. Still, I just can’t drag myself to watch another minute. Let me know how it ends, OK?
Homeland Season 6 premieres Sunday at 10pm ET. It is also streaming on Showtime’s on demand outlets.