Homeland Fair Game Review
Showtime‘s Homeland: Season 6, Episode 1: Fair Game lacked the pizazz of previous Homeland season premieres, even with many characters from last season reappearing. Instead, the premiere introduced two key new storylines that will most-likely bear fruit throughout the season.
Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) continued to evolve in Homeland within Fair Game. Instead of saying she was trying to change who and what she was like Boyd Crowder in Justified (to be fair, he did put in an honest effort), Carrie had persevered and committed herself to her lifestyle change. As this season began, Carrie was leading a completely different life than she had lived up to that point in the series. Though timely and a understandable progression, this lifestyle was not as visual or as stimulating as her CIA assessing and military actions in previous seasons. Carrie’s storyline may be felicitous but the meat on the bone due to that change seems more like scraps.
Ex-CIA Special Operations Group Operative Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend)’s condition was the biggest surprise of Fair Game. His segment in Fair Game was like a micro-Vietnam vet film. The viewer saw how Quinn came to be “injured” last season. Quinn dealt with the results of those injures in Fair Game. The Quinn in Season 6 was not the Quinn in Season 5. The disillusionment that had begun in Season 5 had almost completely consumed Quinn at the beginning of Season 6. Quinn oozed broken man in Fair Game. The assured, confident, and capable assassin had vanished, in mind and body. This was made abundantly clear when Quinn had a gun pointed at him in Fair Game and not an ounce of his CIA combat training kicked in.
Beyond those points, another element that made Quinn’s segments standout in Fair Game was the introduction of Quinn Vision. The viewer got to see how Quinn saw the world: distortions, bright colors, and all. It was highly effective in showing how his trauma had resulted in skewed vision and corrupted his perception of the world.
Sekou Bah (J. Mallory McCree) and free speech was the first of the two key storylines introduced this season through Fair Game. It was extremely relevant to the real world with ISIS and other terror groups actively recruiting through the Internet.
Sekou was a passionate, driven, and articulate individual. What he was focused on was extremely problematic in the post-911 era in America. What was fascinating about Sekou was that he knew this and he pushed forward anyway. That took gumption, especially with the amount of subtle yet prevalent religious hate permeating the Unites States. It was made extraordinary when it was revealed that his father was expelled from the country decades before because of the way his activities were perceived by U.S. authorities. Obviously Sekou had not learned from the past.
Americans, especially the extreme right, vehemently believe in the U.S. Constitution and its amendments. That includes freedom of speech. Some American’s zeal for that particular right ends at the Muslim religion. That was shown a little in Fair Game and will be explored further in the season.
United States of America President-elect Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) was not going to let the U.S. clandestine services run unchecked (as she perceived them to be) any longer. This was the second key storyline introduced this season through Fair Game. Her agenda became clear very quickly with the precise questions she asked CIA Director Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) and CIA European Division Chief Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) and information she requested to be walked through during her daily briefing.
Whether she secretly blamed the clandestine services for the death of her son remains to be seen. She came across as here nor there. The fact that it was believed by others in power, in this case CIA Director Adal, will be fulcrum for rash, quick actions (the candy store is about to close) that could backfire in a myriad of ways internationally, not only for CIA, but for its sister organizations that take part in those actions in other countries.
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