Homeland is not the only show that’s been thrown for a loop (still!) by the 2016 elections. I’ve mentioned a few others previously, and this television season, even Mayor Oliver Queen from Arrow is being impeached. It’s an epidemic I tell ya…
But the King and Queen of all Trump-tastrophes is Showtime’s Homeland. Its two season #resist has finally, mercifully, ended. It’s a sad detour for what had been one of the better quality shows on television, or at least premium cable. For those not familiar with the show, it’s a national security thriller starring Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, a crack CIA analyst who is (was) secretly bipolar. Her mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) treats her like a daughter, and constantly puts his career at risk for Carrie’s crazy analytical hunches, which often enough, turn out to be dead right. After several seasons of fighting Islamic terror, Iranian terror, finally, show goes after the greatest threat of all, Carrie takes on the Trumpian patriarchy.
To summarize last year’s season 6 quickly (spoilers!), Carrie is out of the CIA and is working for an NGO in New York. This takes place after the US presidential election in which the woman candidate, Elizabeth Keane, defeats whoever the old white male was. Keane is all for downsizing the US presence in the Middle East; a position she is guided to by Carrie, who is secretly an advisor to the transition team. But the evil neocon patriarchy isn’t done yet, and launches a false flag terrorist bombing in NYC, with one of Carrie’s Muslim clients as the patsy.
This was around episode 5 or 6 when the producer’s world collapsed, Donald Trump won the election.
“At one point each season, we are writing scripts contemporaneously with real events happening. That occurred this season around episode five or six when the election happened, and we realized that we were gonna have to change the narrative a little bit. The first thing we wanted to address was this idea that our election was influenced by another force; by fake news, which struck us as a very right topic to construct a story around. Sock puppets were actually already part of the story, then we introduced O’Keefe in episode five instead of eight, which we’d planned originally.”
So enter an Alex Jones like figure, Brett O’Keefe, who is involved with the sinister deep state forces trying to keep a sister down, and engages in a social media war against President-elect Keane, using fake twitter accounts and doctored video.
It’s pretty clear at this point where the producers originally intended to go and where they made changes. The deep state and its social media fake news allies go after Keane, and eventually decide to launch an assassination attempt, which is thwarted, and Keane takes the oath of office and becomes President. At this point, Keane morphs into Donald Trump, reeking with authoritarian paranoia, begins mass arrests of national security, defense, and intelligence officials (including Saul). Carrie is shut out from the White House and democracy dies in darkness…
My wife and I couldn’t believe what an abortion season 6 had turned into. The Homeland writers’ room actually took their post-election breakdown and wrecked their TV show with it.
To me, it was so bad that I thought the only logical recourse was to have Carrie step out of the shower with the entire season having been just a dream, and then back overseas for some international intrigue. No such luck. Instead we got season 7, the pussyhat season. I knew it was going to be bad when the opening credits showed rebel flag waving rednecks and Klansmen in full KKK regalia. Did that have anything to do with season 7? Nope, but the show did shine a spotlight on its greatest fear, flyover country rural whites, armed and angry. Were rural whites the big bad for the season? Close but no cigar, and it’s not even a spoiler to tell you who the real big bad of the season is:
If you couldn’t have figured that out before the season even started, you haven’t been paying attention.
In the rush to un-Trump President Keane, the show decides to put all the previous deep state blame on one General, who is sentenced to prison and promptly assassinated. Whoa, what luck! So Keane releases the 200 plus conspirators and maybe conspirators, including Saul, and makes him National Security Advisor. So the deep state enemies are now the good guys, and the bad President is now good again.
So after a season fighting poor whites, the Russians, and a Congressional plot to 25th Amendment President Keane out of office, Keane ends up resigning anyway because half the country already thinks she’s a liar. I suppose this was to be the writer’s suggestion for Trump: Resign now.
Oh and Carrie is crazy again.
I’ve no doubt Showtime, the producers, writers and actors are all very smug about how they’ve wrecked their show, but it seems a sad end even though the show is getting another season. Alas poor Homeland, Hollywood wrecked you…