Homeland Season 4 Review “Long Time Coming”

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On the season finale of “Homeland,” the show opted for reflection over bombast, and perhaps it was indeed a “Long Time Coming” for something like that. Of course, it wouldn’t be “Homeland” without a little drama along the way, and this episode certainly made up for literal explosions with dramatic ones, even if the overall result was somewhat muted in the end after one of the best seasons of the show ever.

Back home, Carrie and her sister went through her father’s old stuff as they prepared for his untimely funeral, with Carrie taking the time to reconnect with her daughter Frannie. In short order, Dar showed up, on the prowl for Quinn. She denied any knowledge of his whereabouts, which proved to be true at the time, though he would later show up at the funeral.

Meanwhile, Dar himself denied any knowledge of Haqqani’s whereabouts, claiming he was under the protection of the Pakistanis, and that he would be dealt with after the congressional hearings were over, but that, for the time being, the US was strictly hands-off as far as Pakistan was concerned.

This didn’t sit too well with Carrie, but that was nothing compared to her reaction to the appearance of her long-lost mother, Ellen, who showed up out of the blue for her ex-husband’s funeral, much to Carrie’s chagrin. She and her sister haven’t seen their mother since she left fifteen years ago, seemingly because she couldn’t deal with his bipolar ways. Upon laying eyes on her, Carrie went from zero to crazy in seconds flat, running her off in no time flat. This didn’t sit well with her sister, even though up to that point they’d both been against any contact with Ellen whatsoever.

In the end, Carrie sought Ellen out, if only for a long-overdue conversation about what really went down between Ellen and her father. She got it alright, when it turned out that Ellen hadn’t left her father because of the bipolar thing, but because she’d been having an affair- had, in fact, had more than a few- and got herself pregnant. Indeed, Carrie found out about the existence of her half-brother in the worst way possible- as he answered the door when she came calling for her mother. Suffice it to say, the meeting didn’t end well, but at least Carrie got some much-needed closure, enough to stop blaming her condition for her lack of a healthy relationship in her life.

Alas, this revelation came a little too late, as Quinn resurfaced at her dad’s funeral and the two reconnected, at long last sharing a kiss. Unfortunately, after requesting time to think about the idea of getting involved with him, Quinn took her reluctance as all the excuse he needed to go off on another secret mission far, far away, so that won’t be happening anytime soon.

Even worse, after confronting Dar about the whole Haqqani thing and threatening to expose him for what she saw if he didn’t tell her where Quinn had gone, she suffered another betrayal when she saw that Saul had seemingly taken Dar up on his offer to head up Homeland Security once again in light of Lockhart’s impending resignation. It wouldn’t be “Homeland” if they didn’t knock Carrie for a couple of loops at the end of the season, I suppose.

All in all, it was a bit anticlimactic, to be honest, as I expected a bit more closure myself on the whole Haqqani thing. That said, the fact that he’s still alive and could cause more mischief next season is alright by me, as he was a pretty formidable opponent, and such rivals don’t tend to be easily disposed of- or should be. I imagine next season will deal with Carrie and Quinn’s renewed attempts to take him out, as well as the repercussions of the US leaving Pakistan. I suspect that they might need us more than they think, if reality is any indication on fantasy.

We’ll also have the repercussions of Saul’s betrayal of Carrie’s ideals concerning him. Before this, he could seemingly do no wrong- no so much now. And with Saul a shoe-in for the new director, count on those two bumping heads more often than not, in light of all this. So, lots of potential for new drama next season, to be sure, even if this episode left a little to be desired. Still, what it lacked in action, it certainly made up for in drama and substantial character-driven revelations, so I’m generally okay with that when all is said and done, especially given how strong the rest of the season was as a whole.

What did you think of the overall season of “Homeland”? Did you also think it was a step up from last season? Or did you miss Brody too much to be invested in a season without him? What did you think of the finale? Was it too quiet for your tastes? Or just quiet enough for some strong character-driven drama? Or did you want something more bombastic, as in seasons past? Let me know what you think, and hopefully, I’ll see you next season!