Series Review: Homeland Season 5 (2015)

H5 poster

Rating: 8.5/10

So, I saw the latest season of Homeland. It is amazing. It is some of their best work (and season four was amazing as well). It was on my watching list, but I really thought I would finish Supernatural Season three first and then go watch the final season of the love of my life, Downton Abbey. Yet I felt myself inclined to watch this first and I loved it immensely. As usual, I’ve done a Like and dislike section, and sorry for the lengthy post, but I LOVED it 🙂

What I liked:

The new characters. YES all the way. Otto During, Jonas, the bitchy journalist with some very valid points, Miranda Otto’s trademark coolness in her role as Berlin station chief and all the German intelligence workers complemented the main characters very well this season.

I am huge fans of Otto and Jonas especially. The Nazi history and Otto’s determination to rectify his family’s terrible past makes him a complete fucking awesome guy. His clear-headedness in times of big trouble perfectly balances out his philanthropic idealisms – really liked the guy. What I liked the most was that he is a man who has seen how terrible the world is but still believes he can do some good in in.

 H5 Jonas

Jonas is in contrast the normal, kind and beautiful man any woman could ever hope to come across. He has such goodness in him and it is so rare to find such a humane and relatable character in Homeland (they are all cooked).

It is really good to see Miranda Otto again in a great role. I, Frankenstein was so terrible I won’t even refer to that as somewhere I’ve seen her. Anyway, I really like the woman. She has this perpetual frostiness of character that makes her seem so dangerous. She seems like such a conflicted person and it is impossible to pin down whether you like or dislike her.

Then there is Astrid – the German police officer that was so adept with dealing with people’s bullshit. One of my favorite new additions to Homeland and keeping it all crossed that she returns in the next season.

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The old characters

Carrie is (almost) normal. Can anyone who doesn’t hate Carrie M on an Umbridge level please raise their hand? Thought so. Carrie is impossible throughout seasons 1-4. She has moments where you are like, okay, I’ll deal with her, then she tries to drown a baby she’s crazy again and you’re just like “fuck off you mad fucking lunatic” This doesn’t happen in Season 5. There are a few seconds when you genuinely dislike her, but it isn’t the hate we’ve gotten accustomed to. She’s more normal than she’s ever been and it is miraculous.

 H5 quinn

So much more Quinn. I think everyone was really concerned when our favorite assassin went and did his own thing at the end of season four. Well, he’s back, and his storyline is very well developed. He meshes in and out with Carrie’s drama – because it remains a fact that if you know Carrie M you are going to be in a sticky situation because of her, but he also has an arc that is entirely his own and that I immensely enjoyed. He has a pretty rough season and some parts are actually hard to watch, but it makes great television and very worthy gasps.

Saul Berenson. This guy is still my favorite character in the show. I get a thrill every time he says: “I am a spy” I don’t know why, but it comes through so incredibly confident – he knows how good he is in his job. He made some pretty questionable decisions this season, but I will forgive him because he is great and he is badass.

Homeland didn’t particularly accuse any given country of crimes they really work their asses off to show that they aren’t part of terrorism.

I really love the hell out of Homeland. It is a solid show about real world problems with really flawed characters. It is rough and honest and scary because it is mostly about extremist Muslim organizations. However, and I am inclined to take their side on this, Pakistanis were very offended when their government was portrayed as terrorist-enablers in Season 4. Homeland Season 5 1) only sasses countries that are used to sassing (i.e. Germany, Russia and the USA). They use a legitimate terror organization as their chosen group to focus on, but it more focuses on different cells within ISIS. So good up to the writers to coming up with something that doesn’t offend a particular brand of people who aren’t already used to being offended and focusing on an actual terrorist organization. I think.

The storyline changed completely.

The Brody Arc worked well in season one and two, and was really tiring in three. Season four still had some dregs about that whole scenario (even though four was an excellent season), we were all done with Brody. (Sorry, Damian Lewis). Season five is two years after season four and it allows a time frame to give Carrie to sort herself out – which she miraculously did. There are also new arcs within Homeland that didn’t exist before – focusing on Quinn, traitors in the CIA and the tension between Saul and Dar Adal, billionaires and their philanthropy and how that is not always the best idea.

The storyline went crazy dark Yeah, you are wondering if I’m a lunatic because the previous seasons were already dark. Season 5 deals with such complex and tense situations and I really enjoyed the following:

  • The moral dilemma between free journalism and keeping a country safe
  • What the Syrian government is actually doing to their people right now
  • The insanity that is the Syrian environment right now
  • A look into the mind of people who help terrorists and why they do it

Not all Muslims belong to ISIS.

Homeland never ever hinted that all Muslims are extremists, but it sure wasn’t anything they loudly vetoed. Season 5 changes that and adds to the growing number of voices ensuring Islamophobia doesn’t become an out of control problem.

What I didn’t like:

There are a few things that I would have liked more information on. I get that Allison wanted to hide her Russian ties and that her Iraqi (triple) agent was the secret to that, but 1) why was it in the secret documents and 2) they could have developed that more. It was probably hard to get all that into only twelve episodes though.

That’s really it for what I didn’t like. The season was great, and Homeland is really building a reputation as a show that remains good, even when they completely changed large parts of their story – it is a very difficult feat.

What’s your opinion on Homeland? Have you seen it?

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