Homeland Season 7 Premiere Begs The Question ‘Why is There a Seventh Season of Homeland?’

Homeland Season 7 Premiere
Photo Credit: Showtime

Homeland Season 7 Premiere Plot Summary:

Carrie Mathison (Clare Daines) is unemployed, living with her sister, and trying to stop the current president (Elizabeth Marvel) from her abusing her power even further. Meanwhile Saul Berensen (Mandy Patinkin) is in imprisoned as part of the President’s waves of arrests after the failed attempt on her life. Elsewhere, former TV host Brett O’Keefe (Jake Weber) is on the run, and may be looking to start a revolution.

How did we get here?

Seriously, how did we get to the point in this series where the President of the United States is vindictive tyrant who wants people executed, and a talk show host is planning to launch a possible armed revolution? And how do Carrie and Saul still look, and act exactly the same as they did in the first season?

Welcome, to Homeland Season 7.

Homeland is a series that was once great. It was tense, timely, thrilling, and it left your near breathless at the end of every single episode. The series constantly made you question both the actions of the characters, and your own moral code. It was lauded with praise from nearly every critic, and it was littered with awards.

However, it’s just gone on too far. Not just in terms of plot, but in terms of the excellence of this series.

Ever since Damian Lewis’ Nicholas Brody was killed off in Season Three, Homeland has shifted its focus to two things — Claire Danes’ highly unstable yet highly effective Carrie Mathison, and engaging current events into a new season (Middle East prisoner trading/embassy assaults in Season 4, attacks in Germany in Season 5, domestic terrorism/Info Wars/a female president in Season 6).

It makes perfect sense to shift all the focus to Danes’ character — she is the reason this show works. Danes performance has been outstanding since minute one of this show, and even in the worst episodes, she still shines brighter than ever. It also made sense for the series to engage in current events, since the show’s first two season were set

However, the series, outside of the cast’s performances, has failed on all levels. Its trademark tension has been replaced with tedium. That feeling of breathlessness at the end of every episode has been supplanted with hard eye rolls. And it’s obsession with tackling current events has caused the series to make plot decisions on the fly and complicate the story to near ludicrous levels.

Also gumming up the works in every season have been the frustrating reoccurrences of the following…

  • Carrie doing her “cry face/scream” at least 10 times.
  • Carrie ignoring her daughter’s safety in order to get the job done.
  • Saul trying (or seeming to try) and double cross Carrie, and vice versa.
  • Saul eventually telling Carrie, despite everything that’s happened, “God damn it, Carrie I need you.”
  • A man who Carrie gets close with dies a terrible death.
  • Multiple major plot twists that will ultimately lead to an unsatisfying “conclusion” to the season.
  • Carrie mixing alcohol and her meds.

Listen,Homeland isn’t a terrible show. It’s not an unwatchable show. It’s a perfectly passable hour of an entertainment. However, that’s not acceptable for a show that created, in this writer’s opinion, two of the most brilliant back-to-back seasons in recent television history. However those season are long gone, and people are starting to forget that Homeland was once the hottest and one of the most acclaimed shows on television.

The Season Premiere is fine, but now, more than ever, this episode proved that Homeland should probably call it a day after this season. If it continues, one can only imagine the heights of absurdity this series could reach.

Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites