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Homeland - "Fair Game" - Review




“Homeland” is back! We finally have season six on our hands, with its opener catching us up with our favorites. Showtime released the episode early as a new year gift for fans but it aired on Jan. 15, 2017, after leaving us longing for episodes in all of 2016.

Let’s start with the obvious: Claire Danes. Really, I am tempted to write poetry about her enormous talent. After Carrie’s journey in Pakistan and Germany over the last two seasons, the opening scene of “Fair Game” finds her in New York City.

She seems at home as she rides the bus and reaches the hospital, to see Quinn. Yeah, he’s alive! But he’s definitely not well. He’s not taking to therapy either. Carrie’s visits also only seem to be riling him up, making his nurse advice him to reduce her frequent trips. However, I’m his friend, he has no one else,” she protests. “That’s why you should listen to what he’s trying to tell you” she gets the reply.

At the work front, she’s helping Muslim-Americans who are being harassed for no fault of their own. We see her reconnect with Otto, whose offer of a job she firmly declines. His other advice to her, romantically speaking? “If not me, then let it be someone else.”

Her new client, so to speak, is Sekou, played by “Quantico” actor J. Mallory Mcree. Sekou was arrested after filming about terrorist attack spots in the city. In the video, he’s trying to convey that each war has two sides. His father was deported to Nigeria after 9/11, which the government believes has radicalized him. He firmly denies this to Carrie, citing freedom of speech. At maximum, she believes, he’s an angry kid. Agent Conlin (Dominic Femusa) lets her know of the plane ticket to Nigeria he found in his apartment (where he stays with his mother and sister) along with $5000.

The next time she goes to visit Quinn, the dude’s missing! Why? Because he’s become a junkie and a worker at the hospital helped him leave with an extremely peppy, therefore, shady woman and they go to a weird junkie house. There, our man Quinn is so high that he’s an easy target and is robbed. Carrie ends up finding hi and takes him to the hospital, where he vehemently protests. She has no choice but to take him home. Looks they’ll be roommate of sorts now, because he’s living in the apartment below hers where she lives with Franny.

Meanwhile, Saul (Mandy Patinkin) and Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) are waiting to meet the President-elect Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel). Just as they begin discussing important matters like ISIS, Keane reveals she’d rather pull the troops out instead of sending more of them in. What’s the point of being there if the war isn’t winnable, she asks the two men. “Containing the enemy, for one thing,” Saul responds. She openly tells them to only talk about paramilitary operations and drones, basically all the stuff that doesn’t need the President’s approval. Whew. She seems like a tough cookie.

Later, Dar reveals to Saul that her son died in the Iraq War. He suspects that she hates the CIA and is taking it out on them. Saul, however, is convinced that they can persuade her to change her ideas. But we all know Dar isn’t one for the direct approach. He secretly meets with someone from the Israeli government about speeding up their plan before the inauguration. He also has a secretive and closed door meeting with Senator Coto and General McClendon (Robert Knepper). I cannot begin to imagine all that he is setting in motion right now but I am certain it’s going to sting.

The episode might not have had huge twists and turns, it wasn’t even the best premiere they’ve done, but that’s “Homeland”s way of setting us up for the season. I’d give it a B+ for Danes and Patinkin, who are such solid actors, we know that because they’ve carried this show on their backs for five seasons now. I am sure this one will be no different. My only qualm is that they really shouldn’t end up stereotyping Muslims in any way, especially in the current political scenario.

As for what this season's big suspense seems to be, it's obviously about who Sekou is, or who's the driving force behind his actions? Is there going to be a big attack soon? And what exactly is Dar planning for Keane, and how quickly will Carrie and Saul catch up with him? I, for one, cannot wait to find out.

How excited are you to have the show back and to see how this season will play out? Let us know in the comments.