CHARLOTTE, NC, March 13, 2017 – The first three seasons of “Homeland” were filmed in Charlotte, NC, and, had Gov. Pat McCrory not eliminated subsidies for a burgeoning film industry in the state, future seasons might also have been produced in the Tar Heel State.
In its infancy “Homeland” had a distinct edge in dealing with international terror. The program was, for the most part, honest and daring, dealing with subject matter that needed to be exposed to the American people in ways that were understandable.
Sadly, “Homeland” has sold out. It is no longer the captivating insightful drama that offered insights into the heart, mind, and soul of Islamic terror.
Everything that broke to “Homeland’s” benefit in Season Five has gone in the opposite direction in Season Six. The show often paralleled real life events recently taking full advantage of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated between the Obama administration and the rogue terrorist nation under the direction of Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Homeland” appeared almost prophetic in its dialogue and understanding of the contemporary Middle East.
Using that as background, this season’s episodes went into production hoping to piggy-back on their good fortune from the previous year by making the character of the president-elect a woman. The focus was obviously done in anticipation that Hillary Clinton was headed back to the White House.
The result has become a skewed version of the show which has gained little traction this season because the characters who were so true to the spirit of comprehending Islamic ideology are no longer able to match their earlier perspectives with current global circumstances.
Former CIA agent, Carrie Mathison, (Claire Danes) has morphed into a frantic, wild-eyed schizo who now provides sanctuary for potential terrorists attempting to get their messages out through social media. Mathison has journeyed 180-degrees from her original character as she presently attempts to subvert the CIA at every turn.
Similarly, perhaps the most stabilizing character in the cast, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) is also undergoing a metamorphosis which has produced skepticism about the CIA, Israel and the war on terror from his character.
One of the most refreshing aspects of “Homeland” in its earliest incarnation was its honesty. Despite the liberal points of view that may have been held by cast and crew, “Homeland” made an effort to explain the global war on terror as simply as possible without making judgments.
Six seasons into the program, Berenson has seemingly yielded to the belief that it is, indeed, possible to negotiate with terrorists and make them evolve into the brotherhood of man as allies.
Among the most daring bits of dialogue came early in Episode One, Season Five when Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) explained the situation in Syria to a room full of bureaucrats.
An administration official asks Quinn, “…is our strategy working?”
To which Quinn replies with several terse sentences, “What strategy? Tell me what the strategy is and I’ll tell you if it’s working. See, that right there is the problem because they – they have a strategy. They’re gathering right now in Raqqa by the tens of thousands, hidden in the civilian population, cleaning their weapons and they know exactly why they’re there.
“We don’t want to hear the attacks in Paris, Orlando, Istanbul, Fort Hood, Boston, etc., have nothing to do with Islam.”
During its first five seasons “Homeland” was gripping drama true that showed the real grit of the war on Islamic terror. It presented the futility of complicated situations and did not pretend to know all the answers.
It put the United States in a dim spotlight where strength was a weapon to be admired but was not always used in the proper context.
By the conclusion of Season Five, Quinn, who was exposed to the effects of sarin gas which makes him little more than a shell of his former self. Season Six has morphed Quinn into a paranoid human vegetable with only Carrie Mathison standing by his side.
It is difficult to see how “Homeland” can now right the ship and return to its formerly insightful message.
How sad that five seasons of truly superb television have been relegated to mediocrity in the space the seasons first episodes.
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Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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