The fifth season of Homeland started out strong, with geopolitical plotlines, Quinn’s secret missions, Carrie off her meds, Saul being framed, and then, a few episodes in, something happened. Whether it was the reveal of Allison’s true agenda (even though we still don’t know her agenda), or Quinn accidentally bumping into a terrorist cell, the whole hacker thing dragging on and on, whatever it was (all of the above, probably), the series never got back on its feet. Yet another mediocre season goes into the can.
‘A False Glimmer’, the season finale, wraps up the bomb threat quickly, as expected. Carrie (Claire Danes) goes into the tunnels, in pursuit, and manages to stop detonation. And shoots up a train in the process. She was always going to stop it, of course, and credit goes to the writers who tried to not make it too predictable, but the show’s kind of been out of tricks for some time; it keeps on failing to surprise or shock the audience.
Turning the Knife
After rescuing the bigger part of Berlin, Carrie goes to bed. She’s woken up by Jonas (Alexander Fehling). There’s a bit of reconciliation – although you could make the case that it’s just sex – and afterwards, Carrie believes they can just ‘pick up where they left off’. Jonas knows that’s impossible. It was a stupid idea from the beginning, he says, which is turning the knife in Carrie’s stomach; no need to do that, Jo’. However, Carrie’s got a lot of other options, when it comes to men, but more about that later.
Carrie visits the hospital, to check in on Quinn (Rupert Friend). He’s out of his bed. In surgery, which will last hours. Carrie spends her time waiting in the chapel. A very nice one, actually, and because I don’t suppose the production designers went through some much trouble, I suspect it’s a real room. While she’s there, she’s hurting herself, grabbing her bandaged arm tight, to feel something physical; the psychological hurt is too big. When Quinn’s out of surgery, the doctor tells her there’s a slim chance he’ll recover, and if he does, he’ll have serious brain damage.
Story of Importance
There’s also the question of what happens to reporter Laura Sutton (Sarah Sokolovic) and her hacker buddy Numan (Atheer Adel). Although, the real question is do we care? She threatened to release the leaked CIA documents, but we’ll never know what’s in them. It was just a silly MacGuffin. Astrid (Nina Hoss) picks them both up, deletes the files on Numan’s computer, blackmails Laura, and that’s the end of it. This CIA hack subplot has been completely unnecessary. It never turned into a story of importance. Besides, we still don’t know why Allison (Miranda Otto) was so terrified of the leaked information.
Pop the Trunk
We won’t be able to ask her anymore. Once she gets her self-inflicted bullet wound taken care of, she’s put in the trunk of a car. They’ll drive her over the border, all the way to Russia. Saul (Mandy Patinkin) had gotten wind of it – Ivan (Mark Ivanir) had told him, in exchange for a luxurious witness protection program – and has set up a road block. He ambushes the car and has a team shoot an insane amount of ammunition at it. Everyone inside is dead. When he asks one of his men to ‘pop the trunk’, my hopes were it’d be empty; Allison had fooled him once again. Alas. Another story wrapped up nicely with a bow around it.
Jonas doesn’t want Carrie anymore, but there are a lot of people who do. Or did. Quinn, for instance. He’d written her a letter, in case he didn’t make it back from Syria alive. In it, he expresses his love for her, but he also says he knows he’s not made for love. His life is about keeping the darkness at bay.
An Offer She Can’t Refuse
Saul would like to have Carrie back, professionally. Insists she joins the ranks again. She’ll get ‘carte blanche’. Really? After everything that’s happened, over the course of 5 seasons? It seems very unlikely that the CIA would want her back at all. They always considered her trouble. Unstable. And rightly so, by the way. Now they offer her a position to do whatever she wants? It’s such a simplistic happy ending. Luckily, she turns down the offer. (But you never know, maybe they’ll make her the head of the CIA in season 6, nothing ridiculous surprises me anymore.)
The Otto Way
And there’s another offer. It blindsides her. Otto Düring (Sebastian Koch), who wanted to cut her loose just a few episodes ago, because she was basically dead weight, has suddenly turned 180 degrees. He wants a ‘partner’. In life. Think it over, he says.
Last Order of Business
After reading Quinn’s letter, Carrie visits him in the hospital. He wouldn’t want to wake up. He’d never settle for this. She prepares to take him out of his misery, but in order to escape predictability again, the writers come up with something else. A bright light. Coming through the blinds. Apparently, Quinn, in his vegetative state of being, has ended his life himself.