Homeland 6.12: America First
So here we are at the very end of Season Six of Homeland a series that has kept it's finger on the pulse of American politics since its inception. This weeks episode entitled, aptly, America First is directed by Lesli Linka Glatter and written by Alex Gansa and Ron Nyswaner.
The episode opens with Dar Adal having taken things a massive step over the line by abducting and torturing Senator Coto (Alfredo Narciso) in a meat freezer. Dar is keeping him there due to Coto cutting him out of the loop involving the conspiracy with Quinn. This epitomises the Dar Adal character, when he is in control, his focus is steely and thorough, but when he is not he throws his toys out of the pram and goes over the top, which he pays for later in the episode.
Quinn and Carrie rush to the side of President-Keane's side after her staff have received knowledge there might be a bomb in the building. An evacuation is actioned but not before Dar calls and advises that the bomb is ruse to get Keane out of the building so she can be assassinated and the blame landed on Quinn. Chaos ensues and Carrie steps in front of the presidents motorcade as a bomb explodes the front two cars to pieces. Keane, Carrie and a Special Agent retreat into the building where the Special Agent is gunned down by the mercenaries from the flag house. The action beats are well directed here akin almost to a big budget Hollywood film.
Quinn meets up with Keane and Carrie and drives them out the building to be blocked in by debris and soldiers who may fire on him. Quinn decides on the soldiers as the best option and guns the SUV towards them. In scenes reminiscent of news reports of suicide bombers gunning towards check points the soldiers open fire and although in a bullet proof SUV the bullets finally breach the windshield and Quinn is pummelled by bullets but not before passing the soldiers. Quinn has come full circle and has sacrificed his life for not just Carrie and Keane but for the American nation, one which he so deeply loves and cares about. It's sad to see Quinn, so well acted by Rupert Friend, die on a hail of bullets but here we are. Throughout the season, in the back of watcher's minds is the thought of how far Quinn can go as a character. His demise here is a heart breaking but well rounded conclusion for his character.
A title card appears, SIX WEEKS LATER, surprising after such an explosive end to the scene before, our man Saul visits Dar Adal who is now rightly locked up, and mentions to Saul that he lost sight of his plan but is unapologetic in his thought's on Keane as he feels she is 'un-American'. As the episode raps up, Keane offers Carrie a position on her staff, which Carrie asks for time to think over. Saul calls her and advises him and his team are getting arrested under investigation for the recent assassination attempt on Keane. Keane has shut access off to her as Carrie tries to gain access. The episode concludes with Carrie looking at the Capitol building with her very notion of her country shaken to the core.
An excellent, thrilling episode to conclude the season, one with many twists and turns and one major thinking point - was Dar Adal right all along? Is Keane really, deep down 'un-American', a very contentious question that reflects on real world American politics at the moment. With the last shot of Carrie staring at the Capitol building, is Homeland about to become The West Wing?