Homeland Season 6 Episode 12 Review: America First

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So that happened. 

Homeland Season 6 Episode 12 just upended a season that had felt tight in its plot and coherent in its character development for...shock value? I don't even know. 

So, let's see. Peter Quinn is dead for real this time. That was pretty much my takeaway. 

Carrie at a Meeting - Homeland Season 6 Episode 12

Are we supposed to be grateful that at least they didn't leave his death ambiguous like Homeland Season 5?

Are we supposed to be impressed that Homeland was "brave" enough to bring back a beloved character from the dead; have him suffer relentlessly for one more season; and then kill him off mid-finale without any fanfare?

Is this what makes a television show prestigious? 

Because I have a feeling that a lot of Peter Quinn fans – like me – are feeling baited. We felt betrayed at the end of last season when our beloved character survived torture after torture only to have his life left in the balance. 

We tuned in again this season because he was alive and we felt confident his long suffering would somehow be rewarded.

But it wasn't.

This season, we saw Quinn struggle with a painful recovery – filled with self-loathing and hopelessness – only to watch him die saving Carrie and the president-elect:

KEANE: Is he, is he dead?
CARRIE: Yeah.
KEANE: He saved our lives.
CARRIE: Yeah.
KEANE: What was his name?
CARRIE: Peter Quinn.
KEANE: Peter Quinn.

Are we supposed to be like, "Wow, Quinn was a real hero, willing to sacrifice himself for others"? Because we already knew that. So no news there. Yawn.

What a dumb, dumb way to let this great character go, after basically building the entire season around him.

What can I say? I guess someone somewhere will call this great television, but I, for one, like to watch stories that make sense. Call me old-fashioned.

I hate to say it, but I'm not grieving for Quinn today. I did that last year. Now I'm just like, whatever, he was a pointless character who died a pointless death. Wish I'd known that earlier. I wouldn't have invested so much in him. 

Carrie and Keane in Danger - Homeland

Last we ever heard of Peter Quinn, Carrie was hurriedly throwing out all his stuff in a Hefty bag, six weeks after his death.

She found the copy of Great Expectations he used to carry around with photos of his son and – surprise!-- she found a picture of herself in there.

Yes, Carrie cried some. And Max, who had weirdly shown up drunk at her house a little earlier, comforted her some. But to call it anticlimactic after years of buildup of the Carrie/Quinn relationship would be an understatement. 

Quinn died feeling just as unloved and unlovable as he had lived. So, while she probably had loved him, the rather muted display of grief from Carrie left me feeling empty. Who even cares anymore, really? 

We found out from Saul that she didn't even say any words during Quinn's memorial:

SAUL: We haven't spoken since Peter Quinn's memorial. That hardly qualified as a conversation.
CARRIE: I wasn't doing too much talking that day.
SAUL: I noticed.
CARRIE: What's that supposed to mean?
SAUL: Well, you knew him better than anybody. I guess I was expecting you to get up, say a few words.
CARRIE: Well, maybe I didn't know him as well as you think.
SAUL: I wasn't judging you, Carrie.
CARRIE: Sure sounded like it.
SAUL: Worst happened. Quinn died. You're still out there going a million miles an hour. You will hit a wall.
CARRIE: I'm fine.
SAUL: Damn it, I'm worried about you.
CARRIE: Well, maybe I don't like the idea of you worrying about me anymore.

I guess she was honoring the wish Quinn expressed in his dying letter from last season's finale, "Don't put a star on the wall for me. Don't say some dumb speech."

Now she's in Drone Queen mode again, burying herself in her work. Very original. 

Carrie in the Oval Office - Homeland Season 6 Episode 12

Even Quinn's connection with the conspiracy was left strangely dangling. Dar tortured Senator Coto for information on who had been running fake accounts using Quinn's identity; the senator pointed the finger at General McClendon. 

When Dar confronted the general, though, he denied it:

DAR: A former member of our operations group, Peter Quinn. Perhaps you remember him?
MCCLENDON: Sure, pretty boy. Hell of a warrior, though. Rough what happened to him in Berlin.
DAR: Apparently he's developed a real hard-on for the president elect.
MCCLENDON: Has he?
DAR: Don't give me that horse shit. You know damn well that's the story you're pushing out there. [...] We're winning goddamn it. Keane's on the ropes. What the fuck do you think you're doing?
MCCLENDON: I'm not doing one thing, Dar.
DAR: Excuse me, what did you say?
MCCLENDON: You heard me. I'm not doing a thing.

So I guess we'll never know who framed Quinn? Well, that's satisfying (not).

Keane escaped the assassination attempt, but apparently the deep state conspirators were right to think she was dangerous. 

At the end of the day, not only were Dar and the others directly associated with the conspiracy arrested, but Keane set off on a political witch-hunt – having her opponents arrested with the excuse that they had been involved in the plot against her. 

Carrie Wearing a Badge - Homeland

Saul went down in this net, as well, even though he was the one who exposed the conspiracy and basically saved Keane's life. 

So the takeaway is that Keane is insane – Jeez a crazy president, where did Homeland get such a novel idea? – and Carrie was duped once again: 

DAVID: Come on, Carrie, this can't come as a total surprise.
CARRIE: What are you talking about?
DAVID: You must have known that something was in the works...
CARRIE: [interrupting] Saul Berenson was dragged out of his car this morning.
DAVID: First of all, that's an exaggeration, he was detained.
CARRIE: I saw it happen, David. We were Face Timing. And, no, I wasn't aware we were about to go full-on Joe Stalin.
DAVID: Listen, everybody detained today was connected to the conspiracy.
CARRIE: Detained? Why do you keep saying detained? They were arrested, and without legal authority, as far as I can tell. [...] You sent me out there to personally assure people this would never happen. You used me!
DAVID: Yes we did, and for good reason.
CARRIE: Yeah, to provide cover for a political house cleaning.

The set up for next season is apparently Carrie having to save the world from this nutso president.

She's not back in the CIA at the end of the season and it's hard to see how she will return to the CIA considering she ended the season on the outs with Keane.

And, of course, Carrie is once again alone: Quinn is dead and Saul and Dar are in prison. 

So, were you as disappointed as I was with how they chose to end the season? Will you be sticking around for the final two seasons? Watch Homeland online and leave your comments below. 

America First Review

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Rating: 2.5 / 5.0 (163 Votes)

Vivian Figueredo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog at Sense Misapplied.

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Homeland Season 6 Episode 12 Quotes

DAR: A former member of our operations group, Peter Quinn. Perhaps you remember him?
MCCLENDON: Sure, pretty boy. Hell of a warrior, though. Rough what happened to him in Berlin.
DAR: Apparently he's developed a real hard-on for the president elect.
MCCLENDON: Has he?
DAR: Don't give me that horse shit. You know damn well that's the story you're pushing out there. [...] We're winning goddamn it. Keane's on the ropes. What the fuck do you think you're doing?
MCCLENDON: I'm not doing one thing, Dar.
DAR: Excuse me, what did you say?
MCCLENDON: You heard me. I'm not doing a thing.

KEANE: Is he, is he dead?
CARRIE: Yeah.
KEANE: He saved our lives.
CARRIE: Yeah.
KEANE: What was his name?
CARRIE: Peter Quinn.
KEANE: Peter Quinn.