Homeland: 6.01 Fair Game
Not many shows take an extended hiatus these days, as one season ends we are already being bombarded with images and teasers for upcoming seasons. HBO behemoth Game Of Thrones and now Showtimes' Homeland have done the same. Game of Thrones did it for the weather ("winter is coming") but Homeland has done it for political reasons. You haven't been able to move for argument and counter argument about President - elect Donald Trump and this season of Homeland is ahead of the curve with the season set between the cross over of power from one president to another.
We open this season premiere with answers, and a major one. Rupert Friends' Quinn is alive...just. Carrie visits him to find him a broken man, not the assertive Quinn we all know and love but a broken drug addled shell of a man. His body wracked after the effectives of poison from last seasons cliff hanger. The interplay between Claire Danes and Rupert Friend is magnetic and well written. A particular biting back and forth between the characters ends with a "Let me go!" from Carrie as Quinn pushes her against a wall and he replys "no, let ME go!". Clearly Carrie has feelings for Quinn that he cannot see through his fog of drugs and booze. Aside from the love dynamic of Quinn and Carrie, Otto a former lover of Carrie's is still in the picture. He can clearly see that Carrie and her affections are elsewhere. the scene plays out between the two and it is the clear polar opposite of Carrie's interactions with Quinn. Carrie is cold and defensive and so is Otto.
Aside from the characters we know and love we see two young characters filming informational video bites around the tourist spots of New York, discussing the perceived first Al Qaeda terror act on US soil back in 1993 when a truck bomb blew up an underground garage at the World Trade Centre site. At first the characters seem knowledgeable and without malice. As filming continues we hear and see the anger and frustration that peppers the information they are speaking. Clearly the characters are on a journey of radicalisation and after some quick exposition they're sitting before Carrie and an interrogator to find out their true plans. Here, Carrie becomes the compassionate voice amongst a sea of hatred. Whereas Carrie of old would have, without forethought, labelled these characters terrorists, now she sees them as scared young men in need of help. This character development would seem key to the ongoing season, a change in direction and how our main character is thinking of others more compassionately after the terrible events of past seasons.
The one thing that has always been a positive with Homeland is that it always seems to keep its finger on the pulse. From the Season One and Two 'Brody' storyline with the PTSD to this story line concerning both a transition of power from one POTUS to another and also the radicalisation of impressionable young men it always feels like Homeland has something to say, and more pertinent, something important to say. Season Six opener 'Fair Game' is a great start to what is looking like an important season ahead.