Homeland: “America First” Season 6 Finale Review

Photo Credit:http://www.spoilertv.com/2017/03/homeland-episode-612-america-first.html

An insane amount was packed into “America First,” a tight hour of television that was pretty much perfectly paced. Surprisingly, for building up to the assassination attempt against Keane all season, only the front half of the episode dealt with it, with the back half jumping six weeks later to give us an idea of what the Keane Administration is going to be. Homeland has employed this tactic before on their finales, using a significant amount of time to wrap things up for the season and perhaps even tease a little bit of what’s to come. In this way, the characters are generally very well serviced in the finales. Season six’s was no exception.

To start the episode, it was just really great to have Carrie and Quinn outwardly on the same team again in the field, especially due to the events that would happen later. It was also great to see that Dar Adal lost control of the situation, having never meant for it to turn violent. Season six made big changes to Quinn and Dar, but in the end it never betrayed their spirits. After Carrie hears Dar’s intel just as the motorcade is evacuating, she only manages to save Keane’s car from the explosions. The one big mistake the finale makes is here, however. Saul somehow walks out of it without a scratch, yet the show leaves him off camera for the entirety of the action. Leaving his fate a mystery while also giving us the last of Quinn detracted a bit from the tension. It was obvious, merely by Quinn’s emotional death, that Saul would be at least alive, but frustrating that it was hidden so as to have us worrying about one character during the final moments of another.

Other than that, Quinn’s death was pretty damn perfect. Staying true to his heroic self, Quinn drives directly into oncoming fire, with Carrie and Keane safe on the floor of the backseats. Rupert Friend was terrific, showing Quinn still working after getting shot, and driving as far away as he could before his body wouldn’t let him. Carrie having to tell the President-elect his name after his death was heartbreaking. But Keane honors him as a hero, with her assassination attempt thwarted because of him. Homeland also likely picked the right time to kill Quinn. The character had pretty much run his course, without ever overstaying his welcome like Brody did.

The extended epilogue was full of big moments too, including moving Keane into a position where she can act a lot closer to Trump in future seasons. We see Dar in prison, but Homeland seems more interested in giving us a new villain. Saul FaceTimes Carrie as he’s getting arrested, indicating that Keane is “draining the swamp” of anyone who may or may not have been involved in the assassination attempt. After being offered a job as her senior advisor, Carrie is suddenly escorted out of the White House. What kind of country did the US just become? Suddenly, the show has a way to keep up with our insanely unpredictable times. While effectively closing out season six’s major arcs, “America First” also allows the show to align much closer to the real world again for season seven. Homeland may not be as good as it used to be, but it certainly keeps giving us reasons to be excited about it. Finale Grade: A- / Season Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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