Homeland: Season 5 (2015)

10

homeland season 5 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS* 

What I liked:

  • The whole technology aspect of this season was really good – modernisation can make for a fascinating watch if the material is handled properly, and not in some slap-dash kind of way.
  • Astrid getting more screen time. I really liked her in the last season, and was glad to see her have a bigger starring role in this one.
  • Not having to watch Quinn and Carrie in a romantic relationship. Really, I think that would have been the last straw for me, so for them to forego it here was a major bonus.
  • The European setting – it makes for a different feel to the show. A little disconcerting initially, but when you settle into it, it is really great.
  • Touching on the Syria/ISIS issue is ballsy. Just saying.
  • Allison Carr’s wheeling and dealing. While I might not have appreciated her as a character (nasty piece of work), I really did like watching her and her games, though they were not as in depth as they could have been. Maybe I am just prejudiced when it comes to Otto – haven’t really been a fan of her since she tried to poach Aragorn from Arwen. Just saying.

homeland season 5 explosion

What I didn’t like:

  • Not having enough time with Quinn or Saul, cause let’s face it, nobody watches this show for that blonde bitch.
  • Carrie. Fucking. Mathison. Goodness, it would not be a Homeland review without me complaining about this woman. Granted, she is not as psycho as some of the other seasons, but she in no which way endears herself to me at all. Ugh. Plus, how does Carrie always manage to ingratiate herself to someone with power, and then use them, always play the victim, and somehow always manages to make everything about her?! Die, bitch, die. I think the show would be way better without that crazy bitch. And let me not forget to mention her really hideous ugly crying. Oh my word!
  • The sloppy continuation from the end of the last season. It just didn’t flow well, and left way too many unanswered questions.
  • Laura Sutton, that reporter. I never, ever thought they would be able to write in another character as annoying as Carrie Mathison, but they did when they wrote about Laura. This woman has no qualms, no morals, nothing. I get that journalism can be a grey area, but what she did? It’s like terrorism in its own right. Ugh. Made me sick to my stomach. And even more annoying was the fact that she was wreaking havoc in a country that wasn’t even her own. How disgusting is that?
  • Okay – so Carrie Mathison is out, and yet when the biggest scandal possible breaks out, she is somehow the central character to it all and fixing it? What? I have missed something fundamental here. Really. She just always seems to have license to do whatever the hell she likes.
  • The way this show will just not let go of the Carrie/Quinn thing. Makes me sick to my stomach.

homeland season 5 saul and quinn

Rating:
GRADE 8
So after the brilliance that was season four, I was very interested to see what the show would come back with. Especially seeing how they ended it on that horrifying Carrie/Quinn note, something I don’t ever want to see happen. Moving along, two years have passed, Carrie is on her meds, Quinn is soldiering on in Syria, Dar and Saul are still playing games, and not much has changed. I really liked the new setting of Homeland – having it go down in Berlin and especially incorporating that Russian storyline gave it this whole super spy, Cold War feel, and I liked that. Like all old school, but on the other hand very modernised, what with the hacking, and throwing in a dash of terrorists, too. I liked it! The terrorist section was relatively underplayed in this one, which was also alright, seeing as they focused on other things, but I think that it could have been so much more interesting, because whenever we got to see that, I was engrossed. On the other hand, maybe it was time to explore how the people that work for these varying agencies feel and how they can be used, how the threat can come within. All the other seasons have focused on external threats. Last season started exploring how someone from within can be just as bad. I thoroughly enjoyed that Astrid got more screen time, that woman is great, and I am never complaining when Saul gets to dominate, but I did have issues with, again as in season three, an underulitised Quinn, which is annoying as hell. I watch for him and Saul, hands down. Quinn’s character is so layered – when the show chooses to work on him, which is a pity, because we want to know so much more! Again the show danced on the Carrie/Quinn thing, which was something I was initially relieved about (them not being together), and then they went to play with it again. Stop it, writers! Immediately. We don’t need to see this. This season initially tried to give us a semi normal, much less grating Carrie, but naturally that is not a character that can be maintained because what the hell is Homeland without the hysterical, vitimised Carrie? Ugh, that character works on my last nerve! Nothing’s changed – she can still do what she want without dealing with the consequences, she still has strong people in her corner she doesn’t deserve, she’s still dropping her panties at a whim, wrecking people’s lives, driving me mad… nope, no changes. I mean, just look at the whole Jonas thing. Did she really think she could just do what she wanted, break his heart, endanger his kid, the whole katoot, and when she was finished doing all that, go back to him, bang him, and then everything is back to normal? Oh yes, of course she did! This is Carrie Mathison, after all! I really feel that her character is the show’s biggest downfall, and Claire Danes is way too good, because I freaking hate the character. Well, then, of course, they introduced Laura Sutton, and she got on my last nerve, too. Journalism can be a real grey area, for sure, but sometimes… oh, this is one of those subjects that can rage on forever. My biggest issue is that she, herself, was not even German, and there she is, making big decisions that affect the lives of the German people. Who the hell is she?! I appreciate how Homeland always tries something new for the story, and introduces new characters and situations. The cyber aspect of this season was very intriguing, though I wish more had been done with it. Season five is definitely not as solid or as gripping as the last season, that being said, it is still excellent.

Just so you understand why I cannot deal with her, she does plenty of this (again, as always):

homeland carrie face

It was totally not counteracted with enough Quinn, for real! I would just like to take a moment to appreciate the man for all his… virtues.

peter quinn shower

His deadpan delivery is also hot as hell.

homeland peter quinn

Waiting around and looking damn fine while doing it.

homeland peter quinn1

Goodness, that lip licking should be illegal.

homeland peter quinn2

Nice smile, too, when he does bring it out.

peter quinn 3

Just saying…

peter quinn

Even though there is the icky potentially kicking it again with Carrie aspect, it’s pretty hot when he calls her on her bullshit.

quinn homeland season 4

This. Quinn. Avenging. With a gun. Scheming or avenging. It doesn’t matter. This is it.

homeland quinn

When you can march out somewhere/to somewhere and look like that? Winning.

peter quinn4

Homeland: Season 4 (2014)

13

homeland season 4 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS* 

What I liked:

  • This is something I liked and disliked at once. Peter Quinn’s character. They splintered and broke him again, and unlike season three, didn’t sweep that story arc under the rug, but they also neglected what they could have done with it. I absolutely love his character though.
  • Like season one and two, it starts as a slow burn and next thing you know things have ratcheted up beyond belief and you are at the edge of your seat.
  • I loved the recurring characters. Martha Boyd, the ambassador, was great and a strong woman, no matter when things went south, she still did her job. John Redmond, the deputy station chief who initially gave Carrie lip but is extremely good at his job. Max coming on again, because he is such a cool guy, though socially awkward and inept. Fara was also wonderfully done out and about.
  • Saul’s reaction to his kidnapping and how he dealt with it, as well as the consequences thereof.
  • The taking of the embassy. I mean just oh my goodness, that was so ridiculously intense and a bag of chips. I didn’t know what to do with it. The slayings, the murders, the manipulation, the frustration, and how it was implemented was just… perfect.

homeland season 4 quinn

What I didn’t like:

  • Absolutely nothing to reference Brody’s death, what happened after it, how Carrie dealt with it, nothing.
  • Saul Berenson not being in this as much as I would have liked.
  • Carrie Mathison. I absolutely hate this character. I don’t know when last I resented someone this much on screen. I despise her more than Joffrey Baratheon. Yes, I said it. What a psycho! I hate how she just does what she wants when she wants, how she is always walking over people, how she never pays for anything she does and gets her own way without fail, as well as how much people indulge her. I do not, for one second, believe that the US government would keep someone like that employed.
  • Carrie is such a victim. She plays all strong and like she doesn’t need anyone then when crap hits the fan then all of a sudden she is crying and shaking and broken and still a pain in my ass.
  • The entire time that Saul was away, we got no look into how Mira felt about it.
  • Season four started telling only the American side of things, which was disappointing because season one and two handled the two sides of the story very well, though you are still expected to commiserate with the Americans more.
  • Carrie’s dad dies and then suddenly her mom turns up. That just felt forced, like they somehow still had to have some familial aspect outside of her sister in, and needed more drama on the Carrie angle. As if there is not enough. Humph.
  • The love story/relationship aspect that has finally been realised between Carrie and Quinn. I mean really?! What is it about Carrie that men love so much? How could Quinn be so absolutely stupid?

homeland season 4 max

Rating:
GRADE 8.5So after the abomination that was season three, I didn’t really have too much hope. Season three bombed so bad, I burnt my fingers there. But moving on, here was four. It starts abruptly and doesn’t really show you how anything has changed since Brody’s death, and moves on to other things. Again, a slow burn season, as it is something that seems to be stock standard for Homeland, which I have no issue with, provided that they are laying down some good groundwork for what is to come. Let me tell you, that is something this season did well. Everything was trundling along perfectly fine, albeit slightly bland at times, and then BOOM. Everything changes. Carrie, naturally, sickened me endlessly, especially banging that kid Aayan, I was so horrified. She is old enough to be his mother, so that was not cool. I really wished to see more Saul in this one, I am quite attached to his character, but at least he wasn’t forgotten altogether, and when he was he was owning screen time as always. Aasar Khan was a cool character, too, though I certainly believe that more time could have been spent developing him, he was interesting. And that accent! Goodness! A lot of the supporting characters this season were well worth the watch, if not scene-stealers every time they made their appearances, which was a nice and refreshing thing. I liked Redmond, he was just not going to suck up to Carrie quite the same way the rest were going to. Seeing Fara in the field was good, and I thought how she and Max were together was so cute. Then again, I have always loved Max, and Fara is quite sweet, and they just work together exceptionally well. I was freaking over Carrie screwing up the whole time, getting away with it, and then having the gall to chirp people on how to do their jobs. Really, really now?! Shut up! I thought it was well implemented how Carrie wound up on the wrong drugs and seeing Brody, that could have gone sour quickly – when I saw Brody, I thought we were having us a real Days of Our Lives time, which is so not how this show is. Could someone from the male population please explain to me why everyone seems to want to bang Carrie?! Argh! When season four starts ramping up, that tension is insane, riveting you to your chair. I was enjoying myself, sure, and then the one episode ended and my nerves were shot. That’s when things got insane – totally and utterly insane. Terrorist attacks, invaded embassies, casualties left, right, and centre, Quinn going rogue, all of it. I loved it. Although I hated the fact that they have finally actually realised this freaking relationship between Carrie and Quinn. As if we needed to see one more guy flock after her – especially one guy I respected so much! Quinn obviously has a big fan base, Natasha can attest, so we do not need that blonde bitch defiling him. Needless to say, Homeland has redeemed itself in my eyes.

homeland season 4 Aasar Khan

Homeland: Season 3 (2013)

23

homeland season 3 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • Dana’s struggle to come to terms with what Brody was accused of, as well as finding her feet. I loved the relationship between her and her brother Chris. They really have to stand together now after all that has happened.
  • Quinn. Awesome and consistent character, though I feel he was immensely underused in this season.
  • Saul Berensen becoming a more central character. I love Mandy Patinkin’s portrayal of Saul, and it was awesome to see him get more screen time.

homeland season 3 quinn and dar

What I didn’t like: 

  • Right off the bat so we can get it out of the way: Carrie. Again. I don’t think I will ever get over moaning about her. Really. Such a self-centred person. Again, the hysterics and just doing what she wants, always pushing this endless line of people that want to be with her away.
  • The show has an extremely slow start, which is a bit of a let down considering how season two concluded. I was expecting more bang.
  • The way this season was laid out, the characters, everything. For one, the Brody family basically disappears altogether. There is plenty of drama going on, but we apparently don’t need to know anything.
  • So many issues were introduced, virtually none of these subplots came to fruition and closed off by the end of it, or they just plain down get forgotten.
  • Character growth was virtually nonexistent.
  • How neglected Quinn and his storyline was.

homeland season 3 brody and carrie

Rating:
GRADE 5I must admit that I thought this season was sloppy and badly written. After the bang that was season two, I expected a bit more. Instead I got this, and what a wreck of a season it was. Brody was MIA, which would have been fine, but then his family was overlooked completely, too. Not only that, the few scant times that they do bring them up, it is not solidly written at all, and things are rushed. Like where the hell is Mike? How is Chris coping with things? What is Jessica going to do? There’s just so much more that needed to be tied up there. Then after a few episodes, we are thrown a bone with a Brody-centric episode, which doesn’t actually change anything for us. All the characters that we cared about have been taken out of the equation and done away with, leaving us with a bunch of people we are not fond of. I think it is criminal that Virgil and his brother Max don’t get more screen time, and I think it is insane that we are expected to believe that Carrie can just do whatever the hell she likes whenever the hell she likes because she can. I don’t care how good an analyst you are, a company like that won’t keep you on. There was no real suspense or anything in this season, and it felt like a routine cop-out. Quinn’s story arc was completely neglected and disappointing, though he is still a favourite character of mine. I was glad to see Saul and Mira work their things out, and it was great to see Saul develop more and get some screen time. The pacing was really all over the show in this season, and I was immensely underwhelmed. Initially it’s a scatter and a mess and you don’t care, then all of a sudden they try a plot twist which fails – please. All that was was about saving face because the show was just bland and boring. I expected a lot more. About halfway through the season it seems that it wants to gather steam and go somewhere, and just as quickly it gets discarded. There were so many gaping issues here that I don’t even want to address them all, I will just get irritated. I cannot believe that there was such a crazy dip in this show, which started with a real bang. You know, the big thing with Brody by the end? No shock, no horror, no surprise, I was just like whatevs…. that is bad show writing people! That was a big character that had zero effect on the viewer by the end of it all. Something else this show lacked? The twists, the being suspicious of everyone, the telling the story from both sides… Another thing, for a show that felt so darn rushed, nothing happened, nothing resonated when all was said and done. Sadly I feel like I have wasted time watching this. The first two seasons were tightly written and presented. This is just not on the same level. I know you liked this significantly more than I did bestie, but eish (serious South African style for that). Let me guess, I am going to have to gear up to watch that whiny bitch and little else next season? I hope not…

homeland quinn

Homeland: Season 2 (2012)

19

homeland season 2 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • How religion was so important.
  • Dana is certainly growing up – much of this is evidenced by how she stands by Brody when she learns that he is a Muslim. Also it shows when she first broke up with Xander before starting something up with Finn.
  • The relationship between Dana and Finn. It started really nicely, it was all cute and cuddly, but soon went darkside when they were involved in a hit and run, and the differences in their upbringing was shown quite clearly. Finn, super cutie with the potential to be nice, comes from a totally different world, and his character undergoes some serious change.
  • Peter Quinn. This guy – awesome. What a character. He has no shame, he has some heavy morals,
  • Saul Berenson. Mandy Patinkin, again, just rocks this role. What an awesome character. He has such integrity, and  he is smart as hell.
  • The politics were nothing short of edgy and precisely implemented in this season, yet again, and I had fun with it. You never really know what is going to happen.
  • Finally people started wondering what happened to Tom Walker, and start looking into it (Mike and company).
  • Jessica and Mike finally dealing with what went on between them.
  • How the lines become blurred severely between right and wrong when peoples motivation comes into play.
  • Mike’s character. He is always trying his best, and he cares so much about the Brody family, has a lot of honour and integrity. I like that.
  • Nobody is free of suspicion in this show.
  • That finale. It is about the doubling back again, bringing things full circle again that I enjoyed so much from the first season. It was well done.

homeland season 2 saul berenson carrie is fucking stupid

What I didn’t like:

  • How quickly Brody started spilling his guts to Carrie when  he was taken into custody. Eight years in captivity and severe torture, yet one knife and a bawling blonde broke him. Pffffff.
  • How quickly Mike’s Tom Walker investigation got swept under the rug. I expected it to have some more bang, and some more blowback and all. Instead, nothing.
  • This whole twisted thing between Carrie and Brody. It’s like the embodiment of a love/hate relationship. They keep on getting close then pushing each other away, then pulling one another back. Also, I mean I know we are supposed to buy into Carrie being this extremely messed up person and all that, it’s just that what does on between her and Brody just doesn’t always gel so well.
  • Carrie Mathison. Again, we know she works on my last nerve, but I am so over how she has no personal boundaries, and no professional boundaries. She is so out of line. She does what she wants, when she wants. The fact that she still has a job is beyond me. Also, she is weak, so damn weak. She is always messing up, crying her eyes out, apologising and all, and then (and this is beyond me) these idiots humour her and make all the things she does okay. That is unacceptable. Also, way too emotional in interrogations.
  • The sudden passion that came out of absolutely nowhere between Carrie and Brody.

homeland season 2 good cop bad cop quinn

Rating:
GRADE 8
Well, Homeland certainly came back with a bang. I found that I enjoyed  this one more. Partially due to the fact that, as bad as Carrie is, she is still not as terrible as season one. But she is still the most annoying character on television for me at the moment. Plus two, she spent so much of this season crying. Gosh. I know I can moan about her… but really, people?! I was glad to see them addressing the whole Mike and Jessica thing this season, because it was sort of skimmed over in the last season, which for me wasn’t right, it was a serious issue. I really don’t like how Jessica treats Mike. There were a few subplots that came in in this season that were written out and closed off equally as quickly in this season, which was bizarre, almost like they were just there to fill things up. The introduction of Quinn was really cool though, he is a character that I particularly enjoy. He has so much attitude, a moral code that I can totally understand, and zero patience to deal with inept people and Carrie’s bullshit. His purpose was shrouded and later came to be understood some more, and I liked it. Great addition to the show. I wish that Saul had more screen time in this one – not that he didn’t have, but it is always a thing to behold when he is out and about and doing his thing. Watching Brody walk the tightrope between spying for both sides was interesting, but he had this little meltdown about halfway through the season that was particularly jarring because it was so out of character. I got a few laughs out of this season, and I think that it was shot really well – it did a good job of drawing me in to the whole thing. There were some incredibly tense moments, and nothing has changed since last season in respect of being suspicious of everyone. Max is also a really cool character – his frustration at always being overlooked as a mute was hilarious. Everyone is so messed up and dismissive of him, which really sucks for me. The pacing was pretty decent in here – I didn’t actually have any issues with it, so that was nice. I was happy to see Brody and Jessica finally call it quits on their marriage, the whole sneaking around behind each other’s back thing was just getting to me by the end. If you are both unhappy, go to those you want to be with, things can still be amicable and civil. I wanted to kick Carrie – the whole season she is lusting after Brody, asking him to leave his family and all that. Next thing she gets everything she wants and she balks at it. The finale for this season was just nerve wrecking, and comes together very well.

homeland season 2 cia bombing

Homeland: Season 1 (2011)

12

homeland season 1 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • How the flashbacks Brody  has are threaded throughout the season and between scenes.
  • Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson. I was thrilled to see him, and see that he is a permanent cast member. He’s a pretty intense charatcter who is very commanding on screen, someone you root for. I like him.
  • Damian Lewis was incredibly well cast to play Nicholas Brody. He handles the role of broken and defeated very well, and he seamlessly manages to play the role of the tortured, as well as the liar.
  • Brody’s psyche is pretty damaged, and they work really well with the scenes to play with this (such as sitting in the corner, sleeping on the floor, etc).
  • The family dynamics after Brody’s miraculous return home. After eight years life had been moving along with the idea that Brody wasn’t coming home. Just because he is back now, does not mean that Dana and Jessica are going to get along any different, or that Chris isn’t going to continue to rely on Mike for all the things that Brody had missed. Basically just the way that he is transitioning back in and how his family takes it is interesting.
  • Nicholas Brody is such a layered character, which is refreshing. You never quite get a handle on him or anything he has been through.
  • The way the reveals are slowly but surely sprinkled throughout the season. It’s continually changing the way you look at things.
  • Two sides of the story are being shown – constantly at odds. You hear about the American side, and you can judge it right or wrong if you please. But then you hear the side of the “terrorists”, and again you are left to judge right from wrong, and it soon becomes evident how murky the whole thing is.
  • The wheeling and dealing and ulterior motives and the way everything is so calculated.
  • The way things come up, get resolved, and then 360 about to Brody again. I cannot explain that, but if you have seen Homeland, you will understand what I am talking about here (like the whole Tom thing).

homeland season 1 brody family

What I didn’t like: 

  • Carrie gets on my absolute last nerve. Not because Claire Danes sucked, because she didn’t, she’s very good, but Carrie as a character is a waste of life and screen time and she’s weak and aggravating. I know she is central and all that but hell, could the character just have been a little less annoying?! As I said to Natasha, whenever that blonde bitch comes up on the screen, I want to take her out on a boat into the middle of a shark infested ocean and throw her overboard with a gash in her leg. Extreme, I know, but she is irritating as hell.
  • I was so over everything always being about Carrie, and how everyone must drop everything to be there for her and she doesn’t care about anyone else. She takes everyone for granted, as though she is entitled to have people like that in her life.
  • Any time Damian Lewis had a screen kiss. It just looked like he was eating someone. Eeeeew.
  • Carrie is nowhere near as smart as she thinks she is. I did tell you she annoyed me.
  • There were times where I wished the psychology was explored just a little bit more. Not saying it isn’t, but I would just have liked to know a little bit more. They give you the reasons for everything happening, and why the people are doing what they are doing, but nothing really in depth, just enough to identify and explain things to the viewer.

nicholas brody homeland season 1

Rating:
GRADE 8So Natasha hounded me to watch this. Literally, wouldn’t let up for weeks until I got up. I am still suffering (and it’s been months) from a Sherlock hangover. Not like I haven’t watched a hell of a lot of series in between it, it’s just that after Sherlock, everything seems so bland. Anyway, at the rate she was going on, it sounded like she had hit paydirt. But then again, Natasha has a serious penchant for soldiers… Homeland is a captivating and a slow burn kind of show. I thought it was great, layered, detailed, and came together well. Just as I was about to call bullshit on something, like the way Nicholas Brody seems a little bit overly calm after his return, you see him cowering in a corner when he has no one to be brave for. Just as you want to cuss out about the fact that he is lying, there are little reveals that come up to show what is going on. Carrie is chasing Brody, burning all her bridges as she goes (and it’s not like she has ten million to burn, either), just because she is insistent that Brody is working for Al-Qaeda. As much as you can sort of see the way she is thinking and understand her logic, Carrie’s character is so grating that you don’t root for her at all – not to find terrorists, not to save people or help anyone, nothing. And for me that is terrible, because you are supposed to support them all, but I can’t. Saul, on the other hand, is a great character, and the whole bit with his wife was a bit heavy to go through, because it was really sad. I loved the way this was a very well constructed political thriller, and you never really get a handle on what is going on. There are some intense scenes, and some that leave you wondering what the hell, but not ever in a bad way. The series was shot well, too, and there are plenty characters to enjoy. The cast did a wonderful job bringing them all to life, and each delivered really well. I think that the whole friendship between Mike and Brody has been really underdeveloped, because he has returned and because Mike was sleeping with Jessica, it gets to the place where some work needs to be done there to bring the audience in to what will happen. I just feel it is a little underdeveloped. The whole time I was watching this, I was wondering what Brody was doing. Some things looked so suspicious and don’t mean much in the big scheme of things, and other minor things turn out to be pretty darned important. Then tension escalated progressively throughout the season, and I think that it was done really well. Never overkill, but ever-present. I can’t understand how I missed this show for so long. It just seems crazy. Overall, Homeland is well worth the watch if you enjoy political thrillers and a chase, thrown in with a good measure of intrigue and a cast to carry it well.