Homeland: “Imminent Risk” Season 6 Episode 7 Review

Photo Credit:http://ew.com/recap/homeland-season-6-episode-7/

It wouldn’t be a season of Homeland without Carrie going into a tailspin. It’ll never not be great television to watch Claire Danes act her ass off for these scenes, and luckily, season six’s version is deeply layered in Carrie’s history as far as we know it. Much of “Imminent Risk” sees Carrie fighting for custody of Franny after child care services suddenly takes her away. The events of “Casus Belli” continue to reverberate more interestingly in Carrie’s life than in the version of the world Homeland presents to us. If the show stays on this course, that will be a problem down the line. Homeland doesn’t get to set off a bomb in New York City and the only focus on Carrie’s personal issues. But for now, the fallout specific to Carrie is very well thought out and captivating.

The trial scene mid-episode was perfectly scripted and acted, with Carrie’s defense slowly crumbling as more facts came to light. Your average parent shouldn’t be able to get away with falling asleep with a loaded gun in your hand in their child’s bedroom. But as Carrie explains, she really isn’t an average parent. The greatest gift Homeland has delivered since it took Carrie out of the spy game is showing us what normal life looks like for her afterward. Her defense that she has advanced CIA training makes sense to us because we’ve seen it over six seasons. But does it make sense to a judge who’s never seen this person in their life? Season six has frequently showed Carrie fumbling in ordinary life simply because it was her job to be extraordinary, but this is the biggest punishment she’s received by a long shot.

With Franny in foster care, and the prosecution against her also including that she has bipolar disorder (the first time it’s truly been acknowledged all season), Carrie starts mixing alcohol with her medication again. In the course of a night, she drunkenly dials the President-elect, who’s taken aback by her ally’s actions here. This is another case of Homeland escalating things in a way that feels both natural and as if we switched to a horror movie.

By episode’s end, we learn that Dar Adal is the one behind child services coming for Franny. When it’s not dealing with Carrie’s breakdown, “Imminent Risk” makes Dar go from bad to worse. He seemingly takes pride in his shameful visit to Quinn, who he’s now having Astrid take care of. Here’s a man who orchestrated the lives of Carrie, Quinn, and Saul but has yet to face any form of punishment for his sins. Carrie and Quinn are suffering for him right now, which sure makes it feel like Homeland is positioning Dar as the show’s most distinct villain. With all the espionage still taking place between Saul and the Iranians, it’s helpful for the show to deliver some answers that validate how the audience is supposed to feel about Dar.

For all these moves, “Imminent Risk” is a largely successful hour for Homeland. It may not exactly be fresh, but it’s continuing to fulfill the character arcs season six set out on. Now Carrie is in a position to either repeat mistakes of the past figure out a way to move forward without doing any more damage. This episode perfectly sets up that conflict as we dive into the second half of the season. Grade: B+

Some Other Notes:

  • In Homeland‘s America, protestors sit at the airport to fight the arrival of Iranian figureheads. In Trump’s America, protestors sit at the airport to fight to let them in. Too much irony here to not point it out.
  • Is everyone else holding onto their fingernails for dear life too?
  • Two words spoken for the first time this season more than halfway through: “bipolar” and “Brody.” Homeland season six is by no means perfect, but from a critical standpoint, it is fascinating to see the show’s ratio of success when you consider that it’s currently so vastly different from the premise its pilot began with.

By Matt Dougherty

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