TV Show Review

TV Review: HOMELAND: Season 6, Episode 1: Fair Game [Showtime]

Patrick Sabongui Claire Danes Homeland Fair Game

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.

Leave your thoughts on this Homeland Fair Game review and this episode below in the comments section. Readers seeking more Homeland can visit our Homeland Page and our Homeland Google+ Page. Readers seeking more TV show reviews can visit our TV Show Review Page, our TV Show Review Twitter Page, our TV Show Review Facebook Page, and our TV Show Review Google+ Page. Want up-to-the-minute notification? FilmBook staff members publish articles by Email, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Facebook.

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

  • Betsy ross

    Don’t most Americans, not just the ‘extreme right’ believe in the U.S. Constitution? To use a cliche as you have, I thought this episode was pandering to ‘bleeding heart progressives’. I won’t be watching Homeland any longer because it is not representative of the real threats America and the world are facing today.

  • Betsy, I did say “especially.” I did not say “only” (or any of its synonyms) in regard to the ‘extreme right.’

    “I won’t be watching Homeland any longer because it is not representative of the real threats America and the world are facing today.”

    How the Homeland characters dealt with threats like ISIS and the conflict in Syria would be vastly interesting. Oh well.

  • jack19751

    I liked the first episode.

  • Rollo Tomasi

    So did I.

  • Cory Nakamoto

    Sorry to be so critical, but I did not like this episode at all. I get it, they’re going to show the evolution of Quinn and Carrie (being pulled back in yet again) and that’s their angle, but I’d rather them get a new Quinn, than show a drugged out, limping, hooker dependent Quinn that we have now. He was my favorite character in the show last season and now I want him gone. That doesn’t happen to me easily.

    I also thought the acting by the new characters – President Elect (Hilary Clinton LOL) and Sekou were just bad.

    Is the show being produced by the same people? Same writers? I dunno, just seems off to me.

  • So did I. I didn’t love it though.

  • The episode had its moments but I see your point.

    A new Quinn? No. There would be no emotional connection with that person. People have an investment in Quinn which his new condition exploits.

    I disagree about Sekou’s acting. I saw nothing wrong with it.

  • Teachem-Twice

    Starting off Homeland this way was just wrong! Both the left and right do NOT favor Clinton, and this episode seems to presume, what if Hillary had won? It starts off with Carrie as neurotic and jittery as ever, and Quinn gets addicted to drugs/low life’s. Seems like the pessimistic snowflakes will love these episodes as life drags on while everyone else remains optimistic that the elimination of isis, increased border security, and improved economy is foreseeable. Obviously this show is dominated by a biased left. Unless it changes direction fast (e.g., elimination of president elect UN-Thrillery), and gets down to business the only ratings support it’ll have will be those from “extreme left Americans” who can’t shake the poisoned branch that’s infected the Constitution with their perversions. Note to Homeland script writers: If it’s not broken, don’t break it more.!.!

  • “Starting off Homeland this way was just wrong!”

    Wrong or right, its done.

    “and gets down to business the only ratings support it’ll have will be
    those from “extreme left Americans” who can’t shake the poisoned branch
    that’s infected the Constitution with their perversions.”

    Great drama and characters is all the show needs. Political affiliation has nothing to do with how the show will fair in the ratings.

  • IMSiegfried

    Exactly what I would have said. That OP would have done well to speak only for themselves because their mind reading skills are too far out of left…or right field I guess I should say. 😉

    Contrary to what some people may wish to believe, many of us feel we’re all in this together and therefore we want our president and our country to succeed no matter who we voted for. But that’s neither here nor there when it comes to just how much I enjoy Homeland.
    I’m a huge fan of the entire cast and crew for this series.

  • IMSiegfried

    It was really hard to watch Quinn, wasn’t it? But I guess that’s what makes for a great actor no? I mean, I know I’m seeing great acting when I go from really liking to disliking a character.

  • Cory Nakamoto

    I realized why I don’t like Sekou, because he reminds me exactly of Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air. He talks like a classically trained actor. Not exactly your poor, immigrant inner city guy I think they’re going for.

  • Agreed. We are all in this together.

  • Just because he is poor and an immigrant doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a library card.

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