Series Review: Homeland Season 5 (2015)

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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.

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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.

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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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5 things Friday – 5 things

This week went by fast – I only started working again on Wednesday, so it wasn’t much of a week. For a quick one it has been quite eventful. Here are Five things that either happened to me or in the world this week.

Independence

While my sister is on her honeymoon, I am taking care of their flat. It is unbelievable how free it makes me feel to be completely on my own. The independence is staggering and very educational. It isn’t so easy to take care of yourself, is it? Funnily enough, I miss my parents. It is natural to want to live alone after a certain age, and I can’t wait to be out on my own, but I still miss them when I don’t see them after a certain period of time.

Friendships

I mentioned last week that I recently got contacted by a person who I banished from my life a few years ago. The banishment was justified, and in the last while I haven’t given it much thought – it is natural for people to go on with their lives. It was all well until the contact happened. I am supposed to see said person tomorrow. I think I will only be certain tomorrow if I will do it.

Then there is another person who is extremely close to getting an earful from me. She has been my friend since we were seven years old, and I really thought we would be friends forever. I am in no way saying that people should put their relationships before friendships, but there has to be a balance. We had arrangements this week to meet up, and once again, she cancelled. Not only did she cancel on me, she cancelled after she told me at the wedding she would certainly be there – I suspect that she knew then she wouldn’t come. There is no way to say this nicely, but her new boyfriend is an ass. He is most definitely behind this as I know he dislikes me. So for once (apart from a slightly childish Facebook post from my side) I walked away. I discussed my feelings with someone I trust, and just left it there. I am not sure what I am doing right now about our friendship, but I have mastered the ability to keep my mouth shut – no small feat.

A quote from my diary at work – very apt.

“Wisdom is divided into two parts: (a) having a great deal to say, and (b) not saying it” – unknown

So, the idea of friends and what it means have been bugging me. My friendship group is big and complicated, full of fights and drama, but also of love and laughter. These two people above are not part of my intimate group of friends, for which I am grateful, but shutting them out permanently will break my heart. I really have no idea what to do with them.

South-Africa blushes – again

SA is known for many things – braaing, beautiful scenery, crime, and corruption, a president without basic education, Oscar Pistorius, crime, corruption, and crime.

After the terrorist attack in Kenya at the Westgate mall, where more than 70 people were killed, it is rumoured that a woman nicknamed the White Widow was one of the masterminds. There is now a red alert issued from Interpol to find her. What does this have to do with South-Africa, you ask? It would seem that this woman lived in SA with an illegal South-African passport for three years, while she was still being searched for by the United Kingdom for suspected terrorist involvement there.

Let’s all just hang our heads in shame, SA. Our country is not only a hotbed of criminal activity, but apparently also a convenient hideout for terrorists.

*I really love South-Africa. This just seems like a bit much.

Branding

Last week Friday my blog broke its record for most views in one day – thank you! It was amazing to see when I logged back on after the weekend. I am so excited about my blog – it is constantly growing. I finally have an outlet for all the opinions I have.

I have been playing with the idea of a second blog, focusing on fashion and beauty. I love both, and would be incredibly happy to start a blog for it. I am still planning and organizing my thoughts, as it would probably triple the amount of work and writing I am currently doing.

Personal branding is very important, especially on the internet today. I want to find a name for my work that will be instantly recognisable – I don’t think my blog’s title is very memorable right now. That said; I am worried if I change the title again, it will confuse my current users. Any comments or suggestions?

Love for RPattz.

I am watching all the Twilight movies again, and I have been reminded how much I liked Robert Pattison. For some reason, I forgot how looky he is. I have been reminded. Thank you, Twilight.

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Have a good one!