The Growth and Questions of Homeland.
Episodes 9-12 of Homeland were climatic, powerful, question filled, and in my opinion showed a potential growth in how Muslims are portrayed. These episodes really focused on a group of German-Iranian terrorists who attempted a sarin gas attack in Berlin. Homeland once again focuses on Muslim terrorists who were regarded as extremists, however, Qasim is separated from this group. Although Qasim is at first regarded as a terrorist, his role causes a chain reaction of events that leads to his brother (Bibi’s) demise. From the beginning that the audience comes in contact with Qasim, it is clear that he is hesitant to go along with the group and at various instances even appears as an outsider.
Qasim even appears apprehensive in front of the other men (terrorists) about harming Peter and even gives him the drug that saves his life.
Later, in” Our Man in Damascus” Qasim is sent to see Dr. Aziz, a professor who is helping the group accomplish their attack by showing him the remote which is not operating correctly. Qasim learns about the effects of the gas and that is must be triggered manually which will result in their death. It is clear that Qasim becomes even more hesitant and reluctant to go along with this plan.
Finally, “In a False Glimmer” Bibi’s plan is put into action and as the men work to contain the passengers by blocking off the exits and locking the gates. Qasim is about to close the gate when a young Arab woman approaches him looks at him and he opens the door for her. She is then followed by a white family with a young child who Qasim allows to pass. (Was anyone else surprised that no one seemed alarmed by these men trying to lock them in?) Qasim then simply abandons the plan and seeks out Bibi. Miraculously Carrie spots him and he leads her to Bibi. Carrie convinces Qasum to stop Bibi, however, his attempt fails and Bibi shoots him which gives Carrie an opportunity to kill Bibi.
Qasim’s death is slightly different because Carrie tells Saul to thank Qasim for the failed attack. In my opinion this implies a significant turning point in a show that has been highly criticized in its portrayal of Muslims. I’m not sure how season six portrays Muslims, but the fact that although Carrie killed Bibi, she takes very little credit and in fact calls Qasim the real hero.
Season five also left with two significant questions: first is Peter really gone? And secondly, what will Carrie do?
I was confused by the ending because although Dar seems to call it quits with Peter seeing as to how his boy is useless, and the audience hears Peter’s voice reading his letter, his heart monitor is still functioning, so is he alive or dead? The season ending on Peter’s voice makes for a solid closing to his character, but I thought he was dead in that chamber so are we going to be fooled once again?
My other questions revolve around Carrie and where her character will go. Although Carrie and Jonas are officially over, Otto’s proposition to Carrie seems rather odd and creepish. However, she rejects Saul’s offer and even turns him down when he says, “I need you.” Saul and Carrie’s relationship was clearly distant and he even failed to back her up when she told him the train station was the intended target, so I wonder if Saul’s actions finally terminated their relationship. However, I can’t see Carrie and Otto really going anywhere and I think working at the During Foundation with Jonas and Laura would also be tenuous at best. It will be interesting to see how season six brings Carrie back into the agency.