In Homeland‘s Season 6 finale, a headliner meets his fate…but not the one you might think. Spoilers ahead…you’ve been warned.
Following a bomb blast that nearly killed Carrie (Claire Danes) and Quinn (Rupert Friend), everyone is on high alert and paranoia is seeping its way into every corner of Washington, D.C. Everyone seems like the enemy in the right light.
This season of Homeland hits a couple of interesting notes as the political realities of our time bleed into the show’s narrative. Particularly with talk of fake news and audiences being manipulated with curated stories designed to feed already ripe impulses. There is a talk show host with more than a few shades of far right-leaning conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars.
He relentlessly pushes the story that President-elect Elizabeth Keane’s (Elizabeth Marvel) son, who died in action is no hero, but in fact, ran away from danger, resulting in the deaths of his fellow comrades. That story (which is untrue, but takes hold in some corners of the public consciousness), is one of many weaponized political posts dreamed up by well-paid employees, housed in a secret complex and spurred on by their angry leader who believes the President-elect is un-American and a clear and present danger. In cahoots with him is Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham), who sees the well-oiled operation as an instrument to bring down Keane whom he also sees as a danger to America.
Dar’s descent into darkness is almost complete, with an assassination attempt on the President-elect set in motion. But he isn’t the mastermind after all, it is General Jamie McClendon (Robert Knepper). Dar warns Carrie of the plot at the last minute, with Quinn set to be framed as the assassin.
And this is where Quinn displays his innate goodness. Yes, he has always been a man apart, a solitary figure with his share of ghosts. But the good has always been just beneath the surface. With Carrie and Keane crouched in the backseat of an SUV, Quinn drives into oncoming bullet fire as SWAT and other tactical units, believing he is the one who tried to assassinate Keane, unload their ammunition into the car. Quinn falls on his sword, protecting the President-elect, but perhaps more importantly, protecting Carrie, a woman with whom he shares a deep and abiding bond. His death is bloody, but a noble one, leaving Carrie devastated.
In the aftermath, heads roll. Dar ends up behind bars (it’s a jarring site, seeing the master of the dark arts in a prison jumpsuit), visited by Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) in a classic Dar/Saul set-piece. Dar never meant for things to get so dark, he confesses.
But something is very wrong. The President-elect starts rounding up officials up and down the government, detaining them (including Saul) for supposedly being part of the conspiracy to take her out. Carrie, who has always had her ear as an adviser, is shut out. Perhaps Dar was right after all.
The show ends with Carrie looking out onto the Capitol, with something ominous piercing the atmosphere. What will become of her…and of the United States?
Homeland ends on a high note, delivering an action-packed finale of taut political drama. Danes as Carrie remains the show’s beating heart, letting us in emotionally as we ride each nail-biting wave along with her. Friend as Quinn showes off why his assassin character is so beloved, leaving us heartbroken after a season that sees him weather one challenge after another. Murray Abraham as Dar and Patinkin as Saul continue to shine as two sides of the same coin, their chemistry a joy to watch.
With just two seasons left of the Showtime juggernaut, it will be interesting to see what directions each of these compelling characters will take…and who will live to see the final frame.