“HOMELAND: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON”
Blu-ray, DVD; 2017, TV-MA, contains violence, blood and profanity; streaming via Showtime, Amazon Video, FandangoNOW, Google Play, iTunes, YouTube and Vudu
Best extra: “The Paley Center for Media Q&A with Cast and Creative Team from PaleyFest NY 2016”
IT MIGHT be hard to jump into Season Six of a series without having seen the earlier episodes. But stick with “Homeland” – adventure and intrigue is always a binge-worthy experience. We began at 8 p.m. and didn’t finish until the sun was up at 6.
Claire Danes’ bipolar Carrie Mathison no longer works for the CIA. The former intelligence officer is back in New York City, where the season was filmed, living with her daughter Frannie, 4, played by Luna and Lotta Pfitzer. She works as an advocate for Muslim Americans and becomes involved in the defense of a young man accused of terrorist activities.
CIA agent and former lover Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), struggles to recover from a chemical warfare attack and stroke. He comes to live in Carrie’s basement. Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel, “House of Cards”) also struggles, acceptance as the first female President-elect and initiating a more peaceful agenda with the Middle East. Originally inspired by the 2016 election and Hillary Clinton, assassination attempts have Keane moving into a more militant, even paranoid personality by the finale.
Plots, threats against Carrie and her child, murder and more make this a fast-paced John le Carré season leading to a well-received Season Seven, now running on Showtime.
As in past seasons, production values are movie-quality. The 1080p transfer and DTS-Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack are state of the art. Color and contrast are well-balanced; detail is fine-tuned, and black levels sold throughout. Dialogue is cleanly delivered, with excellent immersive effects from ambient city sound to chase and battle sequences.
Extras include a brief look at production in “On Location: New York City,” and a PR-type “About Season 6.” “The Paley Center for Media Q&A with Cast and Creative Team from PaleyFest NY 2016” is the standout featuring creator/executive producer Alex Gansa, executive producer/director Lesli Linka Glatter, Danes, Mandy Patinkin (Saul Berenson), and F. Murray Abraham (Dar Adal). They talk about character and plot development geared mostly to Season Five; Season Six had yet to be broadcast at the time of the event and no one wanted to spoil it. Patinkin talks about his personal philosophy in connection with the show, while Abraham hopes viewers will be sympathetic to his character. It’s both entertaining and fun for fans and newcomers.
“Homeland” continues to reflect contemporary American and global conflicts and issues. It’s engaging and intelligent. Season Six received three Emmy nominations for Patinkin as supporting actor, Glatter for directing show stopper “America First,” and sound editing. Danes continues to deliver a strong, leading female character, faults and all. What more could we ask for?
- Kay Reynolds
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