Homefront (ITV1) Review Episode 6

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Against the odds, almost everyone gets their happy ending in this series finale of ITV’s Homefront, and the show ends in much the same way as it started six weeks ago. Being an army wife isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but people get through it with the help of community and support from those who’ve shared the same experiences.

The episode’s primary focus was on Claire and Pete’s combusting relationship, as tension between them and their children reaches boiling point. Discovering the drugs Sam’s been dealing out, Pete essentially tells him he’s not welcome, and Sam retreats to his father’s house. Claire’s realization that her desperation to fit into the army wife ‘mould’ has removed her own personality makes perfect sense, and she follows her son to a life back at square one. After an unexpected pep talk from her ex-husband, however, she has a change of heart and marries Pete at the army barracks.

It’s actually a genius way of bringing all of the characters together, with a public celebration in the very place they’re all joined by ensuring that all of the story threads set up over the last five weeks are wrapped up and dealt with. We started with Claire, Tasha, Paula and Louise, and these are the characters we’re left with. They’re not quite the same as when we met them, however, with almost a year having gone by since news of Matt’s death reached his family. It’s lovely to see Tasha have her baby in this episode, as well as start a tentative relationship with his brother. Paula, too, gets a happy ending, as the cafe gets back on its feet.

Louise is the one character who doesn’t ride off into the sunset, as her tattered marriage can’t be magically fixed before the credits roll. She even finds out that her new boyfriend was the one who sent the photographic evidence of the affair to her house, and she promptly kicks him to the curb. Of course, it makes sense for Louise’s story to end this way, since her struggle was staying loyal to a disloyal man, and by leaving him and taking the kids away from the army life, she’s finally gained some self-respect. It’s a cruel parallel to the happiness shown from newlyweds Pete and Claire but, Paula’s final line, “good luck, she’s gonna need it”, warns that things won’t stay rosy forever.

Homefront was a flawed series overall, but it’s refreshing to see a program with something worthwhile to say. While the US has Army Wives and various other dramas of its kind, the lives of these families have rarely been seen on UK television. Though it sometimes felt a little mundane or repetitive, it always felt authentically harrowing, and a happy ending offers a bit of hope to the depiction of an often hopeless existence.