'Homeland' Recap: "America First"

Cameron Lee ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Contributor
Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers for the season 6 finale of Homeland.
Homeland has delivered its best finale in years: it was an exciting, emotional, and very relevant finish to a season that tapped into the country’s current political unrest to deliver an ugly and unforgiving picture of America.

Claire Danes and Elizabeth Marvel in 'Homeland'. Photo Credit: Showtime.
Claire Danes and Elizabeth Marvel in ‘Homeland’. Photo Credit: Showtime.
Carrie (Claire Danes) and Quinn (Rupert Friend) rush to the President-Elect Keane’s (Elizabeth Marvel) hotel to warn her of the attack. A large protest with people shouting “Not my President” is taking place. Carrie goes inside to warn Keane while Quinn investigates the scene and looks for the spec ops team. At the same time, Dar (F. Murray Abraham) is interrogating a U.S senator about his connections to the plot in order to frame Quinn. Once he gets the answers, he calls Carrie, who is in the middle of being evacuated as a bomb threat has been detected. Dar tells Carrie that it is critical to stop the motorcades from leaving the garage. Carrie–rightfully so–doesn’t believe him, but Dar tells Carrie that the bomb threat is misdirected and that Quinn is intended to be framed for killing the newly elected President. Just as some of the motorcade is leaving the garage, a bomb explodes, taking out several of the vans. Keane luckily had not exited the garage and was still waiting in her vehicle. Carrie, Keane, and a secret service agent rush out of the garage while Quinn trails behind some of the spec ops team, who are right behind Carrie.
They enter the main lobby of the hotel and the agent is gunned down by the spec ops team. Carrie and Keane reach an elevator and get to the bottom floor where Quinn is there waiting for them. Quinn jumps into the driver’s seat of the motorcade while Carrie and Keane jump into the backseat. Quinn instructs Carrie to protect Keane and immediately speeds off just as the gunmen burst in firing rapidly at the motorcade. The spec ops general orders all personal to open fire on the vehicle; Quinn tells Carrie to stay down and he starts to rush the oncoming military and police personnel. A barrage of bullets destroys the windshield, hitting Quinn in the chest twice. He breaks through the police barrier and continues to drive off, but Quinn is mortally wounded and, soon after breaking through the barrier, dies and crashes the motorcade into a parked car. Carrie checks on Keane to make sure she’s alright and notices Quinn dead in the driver’s seat. Keane asks Carrie the name of man who saved her life. Carrie tells her that his name was Peter Quinn.
We then fast forward six weeks later: Keane is sworn in, Dar is in prison, as well as a host of other people, for their part in the conspiracy, Carrie still doesn’t have Frannie back, and Keane wants Carrie to be her advisor. Saul (Mandy Patinkin) visits Dar in prison and tells him that he wishes that he could have talked him out of it. Dar tells Saul, “Ultimately, I lost control of what I set in motion…what I did was unforgivable, Saul, but I’m not sure it was wrong.” He also tells Saul that Keane is dangerous and cannot be trusted, and it turns out he’s right!
Carrie is on the verge of accepting the job, but she gets a FaceTime call from Saul, who gets arrested while on the phone. Carrie turns on the TV to find that many CIA personnel have been arrested for alleged involvement in the conspiracy. Carrie realizes she has been used and goes to confront Keane. But Keane has become paranoid and refuses to see Carrie. Carrie is escorted out of the White House by security. All the trauma that Keane endured has led her on a very dangerous path that risks destroying the intelligence and security of the country. That sounds like someone familiar.
In the last shot of the season, Carrie stands by and looks out to the Capitol Building, which is a great parallel to the end of the pilot episode. The job she wanted for so long is no longer an option and she’s going to have to fight against the people that she trusted just weeks prior. There are no victors this season, no hopeful resolution; all we are left with is the feeling of dread and despair for the future of the country. And that is unfortunately not just the current state of this all too relevant program, but the state of our disturbed nation.
Episode Grade: A-
Season Grade: B+     

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