Note: Spoilers ahead for Homeland Seasons 5 and 6.
The sixth season of the acclaimed Showtime espionage thriller Homeland has come to a close, and with the seventh season already assured, the finale leaves fans hanging on the edge of their seats with an explosive chapter full of deception and deep character development.
This sixth season picked up several months after Carrie Mathison prevented a chemical gas attack in Berlin, with her living in Brooklyn with her young daughter and working as a lawyer for a non-profit organization. Peter Quinn has become a mentally unstable veteran after having a stroke and narrowly surviving a gas attack himself. The President-Elect of the United States, a woman, is mere weeks away from being sworn into office.
So following a terrorist bombing in New York City, Carrie discovers a Black Muslim-American client she defended has been framed for the attack. She works with former boss Saul Berenson to discover the true culprit and any further attacks planned on the potential President-elect.
That's a quick gloss over the season to bring us to the season finale, "America First." The episode picked up right where the previous one ended, following Carrie and Quinn finding the soldiers belonging to General Jamie McClendon who framed Carrie's client for the bombing. After Quinn rescues Carrie from one of the members and the house is searched by FBI agents, a bomb is accidentally set off by the crime scene unit, killing many agents but leaving Carrie and Quinn alive.
Before the bomb destroyed the evidence, Quinn discovered leftover writing from the whiteboard in the living room and determined they were references to another attack location, one of which would be on the President-Elect at her hotel in New York. As Carrie, Saul and Quinn arrive at the hotel, they get word of a potential bomb threat on the hotel, leading to the evacuation of the hotel. Prior, and at the same time, as things escalated at the hotel, we find Dar Adal has a Senator tied up and being tortured for information on McClendon's plans and Quinn, and discovers the true plan for President-elect Elizabeth Keane.
As the hotel is being evacuated and Carrie tries to call Quinn to let him know the situation, she receives a phone call from Adal telling her not to go through with the evacuation, that the plan is to have both Keane and Carrie assassinated once they leave the hotel and that Quinn will be framed. After briefly holding skepticism for his claims, she stops the final car in the motorcade carrying the President-elect as bombs rock the parking garage exit, destroying the two previous cars that held multiple Secret Service agents and the President-elect's Chief of Staff.
As Carrie and Keane rush back inside and take cover from McClendon's assassins, Quinn makes his way inside the hotel to find and protect Carrie and Keane. After taking brief refuge in the kitchen and making their way back down to the parking garage, Quinn reunites with Carrie and Keane and puts them in the back of an SUV driving out of the hotel away from the assassins.
As the Quinn barrels the SUV towards the blockade outside the hotel with armed soldiers firing at the vehicle, three bullets pierce the windshield and hit Quinn, but he holds on long enough to get them away from the scene to safety before succumbing to his wounds.
Six Weeks Later
The dust has seemingly settled following the intense and violent weeks in the opening of the season, Brett O'Keefe is back at his talk show criticizing the now 34-day-old President, Carrie has just been offered a job as Senior Adviser to the President and passed a test with flying colors with Child Protective Services to allow her daughter to come back and live with her.
But as we feel we're winding down in the episode and mourning with Carrie over the loss of Quinn as she finds old photos of him and of her amongst his things in the downstairs bedroom, we are put back on the edge as a frantic Saul facetimes Carrie after visiting Adal in prison to say that he's being arrested, along with other major incumbent officials and CIA members, after being connected to the assassination attempt on her life.
In trying to reach the President, however, Carrie is not allowed into her office or speak to her on the phone, and though Carrie shouts outside The Oval Office that she's having innocent people arrested, Keane simply smiles and drinks her water, solidfying her next plan in eliminating her enemies while in office.
The finale, as always, encompassed all of the character development and storylines shown throughout the season, including the heartbreaking culmination of Quinn and his suffering that should earn Rupert Friend an Emmy nomination for his performance, but also set the stage for future seasons. With a President in power who seemingly seeks to rule with an authoritarian hand, and Carries faith shook in the country she's defended multiple times, there's no telling what lies next for our troubled heroine.
What did you think of the Homeland season finale? Do you think Carrie will continue the good fight, or will she turn from the country she's held so dear? Let us know in the comments below!