Homeland: Season 5
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Homeland: Season 5

There’s always been a particular fascination with spies. Audiences just crave the excitement of secret agents working far afield of the spotlight of public scrutiny protecting their country knowing that if captured or killed the country they serve not even acknowledge their existence. Movies hit their first Golden age during World War II the stories of German and Japanese spies excited audiences. The television despite the will became exceedingly popular during the Cold War of the 60s and 70s with romanticized stories set all over the globe filled with excitement, intrigue, and mystery. Unfortunately, the state of the world’s tenuous political balance is always at such a delicate point that espionage tales never seem to go out of style. As a new presidential administration settles in that is greater antagonism between the government and intelligence agencies than ever before. One series that has been at the forefront of this genre is SHOETIME’s ‘Homeland.' Focused on a brilliant and dedicated intelligence analyst in the CIA the main strength of this series is how it balances the tensions between government, intelligence agencies, and the diplomatic corps but most importantly the excessive emotional and psychological toll it takes on those people who are deepest interviews covert operations. The typical SHOETIME style an interesting twist added another dimension to the brilliant analyst who suffers from bipolar disorder. This premium cable network is also infused a serious risk the talent and attention to details that makes SHOETIME one of the leading creative forces in entertainment. In the case of the series, they have managed to keep the level of excitement consistently intense by taking full advantage of the global stage that is afforded to the work of intelligence community. It is quite easy to change cast members, or the location and even alter the direction of the fundamental focus of the series and season-long arcs.

Distant two years since Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) was believed the position of the CIA to a prisoner exchange that went terribly wrong. She is now living in Berlin working in the private sector at the head of security for the charitable Düring Foundation. Carrie is trying her best to normalize a home life living with her daughter Franny (Luna Pfizer) and her current boyfriend, Jonas Hollander, (Alexander Fehling). Jonas is employed by the same foundation as Carrie in the capacity of legal counsel. The head of the foundation is an exceptionally rich industrialist and philanthropist, Otto Düring (Sebastian Koch). As head of security, it was within her purview to make arrangements and provide for the safety of her boss while on business trips, especially in areas of political rest such as Syria, bringing her into contact with a former colleague from the Company, Allison Carr (Miranda Otto) CIA station chief in Berlin. As expected, this reunion would not be without several strings attached. Carr refuses to help Carrie unless he provides information concerning the intricate workings of the foundation. There is one thing that is consistent with any transaction between spies, quid pro quo. Carrie flatly refuses to agree, remaining loyal to a new boss. Carrie still manages to utilize her experience and arrange for the trip to Lebanon. While there is an attack on Düring, that thankfully is ineffective. In an attempt to get to the bottom of the plot Carrie meets with one of her contacts, Behruz (Mousa Kraish), shots are with the revelation that Düring is not the target, she was.

Desperate to discover who wants her dead Carrie decides to take an extremely dangerous course of action, go off her medication for bipolar disorder. She feels that although the medication helps her achieve a sense of normalcy she is at her professional best while in the manic phase of a disorder. Even under the most optimal circumstances Carrie and her manic phase are highly susceptible to any distraction on expected development. This occurs on a personal level when she gets into an argument with Jonas after he discovers how many drones’ strikes Carrie personally approved. Circumstances begin to completely collapse when his son is kidnapped by Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), a highly proficient black ops specialists from the CIA’s SAD/SOG. The purpose of this heinous action was drawing Carrie out into the open for another attempt on the life. Shortly afterward Carrie catches Quinn working around Jonas’s house. She shoots him, but his body armor but his body armor prevents a fatal shot. Upon interrogating the assassin, Carrie finds out that the kill order came from a former friend and superior at the CIA, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). She decides to take her death to investigate the truth better. She contacts Saul and attempt to get the hacked documents but is turned down. Her former mentor is still upset about believing the CIA.

The result of her interrogation also leads her to be behind me an assassin, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). The ultimate goal of the merchants was to obtain critical beta that the CIA recently obtained through computer hackers. This plot point takes a notably different impact considering recent events. The Intelligence community of the United States had determined that Russian hackers interfered with the recent 2016 presidential election in an attempt to sway the results. There are still those who consider this to be a debatable point that the preponderance of evidence does appear to support it. Unbeknownst at the time this these episodes originally broadcast this connection to reality does not yet exist. An array, this is another case of reality following art.

All the driving force for this season appears to come from a single incident, the attack on Mr. Düring, actually intended for Carrie. In typical SHOETIME mastery of storytelling, this main plot line bifurcates into two parallel threads. The first is a terrorist attack that was designed for the head of the foundation. The second has become a staple of modern espionage-driven plot lines, cyber-attacks. A significant reason why the recent election became shrouded by the dispute over computer crimes is that hacking has become one of the most popular archetypes in entertainment. Computers have become so ridiculous in our lives that the vast majority of the average audience sufficiently understands the threat of computer viruses, malware, and hacking. The terms necessary to advance these plot lines are no longer part of the jargon of science fiction; they are in the common vernacular of the public. As always, the main themes always hinge upon the psychological stability of Carrie. There’s a touch of the godfather inherent in this season. From Carrie’s perspective "every time I try to get out they pull me back in." At the beginning of the series, Carrie was just trying to overcome a psychological disorder to do the best job possible to safeguard the country. Now, she is attempting to pull away from the career that not only exploded her career but on several occasions threatened to end her life. This season begins with an explosion that set the pace that never slackens throughout the remaining episodes. Carrie is such a flawed, even tragic figure the audience bonds to with such passion that even when the characters actions are completely irrational is an understanding that she is a young woman trying to overcome the severe psychological disorder that consistently wreaks havoc with her emotions. So much to be said about every single cast member in this stellar series but as in each season passed the most impressive performances belong to Claire Danes. She has grown incredibly as an actress when she first burst onto the scene in ‘My So-Called Life’ where she played an angst-driven teenage girl. Now, she brings such nuances to her portrayal of Carrie that every moment she is on the screen is an example of a talented professional artistic plying her craft

bulletThe Evolution of Carrie Mathison
bulletHomeland in Berlin: Beyond the Wall

Posted 01/30/2017

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