Coming to Bluray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is one of the most epic series continuing on television with HOMELAND: The Complete Fifth Season.
This season begins with Carrie (Claire Danes) living in Germany with a lover Jonas (Alexander Fehling) as well as daughter Franny. Working for the During Foundation and wealthy Otto During (Sebastian Koch) she enjoys her work. Seemingly happy she has a life of stability. Otto and Carrie travel to Lebanon to work on behalf of the foundation.
Working with the During Foundation is Laura Sutton (Sarah Sokolovic); a journalist announces on television that she has classified CIA documents. Carrie and Otto don’t know this has happened yet since an assassination attempt is made on her boss while visiting a refugee camp.
Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) and Saul (Mandy Patinkin) have both kept busy with secret assignments and missions. When the band gets back together a bit, Saul gives Peter an assignment to find and stop possible terrorism in Berlin. Allison (Miranda Otto) puts Saul’s head on the chopping block for the possible document leak by Sutton.
While Quinn locates the terrorist Saul is looking for he also discovers that on a target list is none other than Carrie Mathison. Knowing there is danger coming; Carrie sends daughter Franny back to the United States and takes it upon herself to find out who wants her dead.
Quinn turns to former lover Astrid (Nina Hoss), an intelligence officer with the BND to find Carrie. At the same time Sutton meets up with Numan (Atheer Adel), the hacker who is helping her with the flow of secret documents. He doesn’t know that he is also being used by Russian intelligence for what he knows.
As Carrie gets deeper into search, she also has stopped taking her medications. This causes a confrontation between she and Quinn that forces him to take drastic action. Leaving evidence for Saul, Quinn hopes will stop any attack on Carrie.
It soon becomes clear that Allison and Saul have a romantic affair happening which complicates things at work. At a meeting with the Israeli Ambassador, plans are made to deal with the problems in Syria. When the plane of a General is blown from the sky, Allison believes that Israel is responsible.
Saul and Allison aren’t the only people connected as it becomes clear a man named Ivan (Mark Ivanir) may have a part in all of this. The cross connections bring Dar Adal’s (F. Murray Abraham) arrival when Allison asks him to keep an eye on Saul.
Carrie seeks out Saul with her theory on the Russian connection but he isn’t convinced. Wanting to help Carrie, Saul gives Otto something that just may do that. After Quinn’s injuries, he is found by a man who takes him to Hussein (Mehdi Nebbou), a doctor who is in the middle of a jihadist complex. When he decides to leave, leader Hajik Zayd (Jarreth Merz) asks him to stay longer.
Now asking Otto for help, Carrie begins to look at the leaked documents trying to find anything that would take her in the right direction. She finds Numan and they manage to hack into the computer of former asset. Carrie sees a photograph on the laptop of a place Allison told her about when she first came to Baghdad. This connection sends carry back to Saul with the information and Saul is still not convinced.
Quinn is still with the jihadist but quickly becomes their captive. Qasim (Alireza Bayram), a young man who isn’t clear about the goals of the terrorist tries to help Quinn. When Hajik makes it clear they plan to use saran gas in a railway station in Berlin, they use Quinn as a test subject and the unthinkable happens.
Sutton is upset because a man has been taken in for questioning and she goes on television with the statement that more documents will be released if he is not. That doesn’t go down well with authorities who bring her in and Astrid gives her two choices dangling friend Numan as bait.
As everything comes into focus, Saul and Carrie kick into high gear without knowing yet that Allison has taken out informers that could stop it all. Carrie doesn’t believe the change in plans so runs to the Berlin train station where she finds Qasim and Hajik who are planting the canisters of gas. Pleading to Qasim she is able to stop what could have happened.
Saul is closing his own chapters to this tale when Allison runs to Ivan for help getting away. Carrie returns to the hospital staying with Quinn as doctors don’t know whether he will ever be the same. Her decision to stay means she is once again walking away when Saul asks her to be part of his team again.
Carrie must start a new life once again.
Danes as Carrie has become an iconic character in this television series. She is complex, emotional, highly charged, intelligent, quick, and doesn’t take no for an answer. This is everything to this series, absolutely everything. If that isn’t enough, Danes intensity is like a dog with a bone and I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one taking it away. Standing up for what she knows to be true is the highlight of the character of Carrie. Danes gives such richness to this character which is a huge draw bringing me (and all fans of HOMELAND) back again and again.
Patinkin as Saul has his character and heart tested again this season. Clearly continuing the heated relationship with Dal and putting his heart out for Allison to squeeze on, it really does mess with his relationship with Carrie. By that I mean telling him what she finds Saul would never have been so not trust before, this season he cuts her off time and time again until it becomes clear she was right. I love Patinkin’s portrayal of Saul because he has the same characteristics as Carrie, just not as emotionally loud. Instead Saul gives moments of silence where the tumblers are turning and when they click – watch out!
Friend as Quinn once again jumps in the fray! To start out he is trying to stay away from Carrie but when it becomes clear there is someone out for her death, there is nothing that will stop him. His heart is clearly out on his sleeve yet he managed to rein it in and become focused when it works to his favor. There isn’t anything about Friend’s portrayal of Quinn that I don’t just adore and this actor brings subtle to a whole new level.
Otto as Allison is a Louis Vuitton nightmare to my way of thinking. This character is everything I think people fear about someone in the intelligence community. Managing to keep a low profile while keeping superiors looking the other way is complicated but Otto makes it look easy. With an agenda that includes shoes, purses and drinks on a tropical island, she is also a woman not afraid of bullets which freaked me out totally.
Koch as During is overly helpful and it’s because he has an agenda that goes is several different ways. When it finally becomes clear it is almost maddening and it’s all because of one scene he has with Carrie’s boyfriend Jonas so watch that and tell me if I’m right. Fehling as Jonas tries to understand Carrie’s motivations but is stuck in the middle of doing his job for Otto and watching his love’s mental instability come to fruition.
Sokolovic as journalist Laura she immediately sets my teeth on edge. Using her power of media to get what she wants, it is easy to see how both sides play on each other. Adel as Numan is playing a dangerous game and clearly isn’t very good at knowing who to trust.
Abraham as Dal is back again to irritate Saul and Carrie to the maximum. Always there, this is a character who knows more than he’s telling and plays the game of being evasive to a level that no one – yet – has been able to grasp. Bayram as Qasim is the “terrorist” who has his own questionings about what his family is doing and it is the chink in the armor of the jihadists.
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HOMELAND: The Complete Fifth Season is once again stunning, amazing and filled with the twists fans have come to love. There is never just one straight forward story in the HOMELAND script but instead intertwining stories that go deeper into the topic each season chooses.
This series has a stellar cast that brings us these deeper stories with characters that are seriously complex and riveting at the same time. I actually came into the HOMELAND series about the end of season two by channel flicking. It took fifteen minutes before I was locating the episodes I had missed and have been a complete fan ever since. The unpredictability of the entire season each time had me gasping in shock, yelling at the television and feeling helpless when I saw something coming. That is how you know a series is excellent – it evokes not just thought but outward expression – even if it is yelling at the television!
The Bonus Features of HOMELAND’s Bluray is The Evolution of Carrie Mathison – Take a look back at the key events in Carrie’s journey throughout the past five seasons, her relationships and the often time tragic moments she’s experienced have changed her, hardened her and helped her grow. Also Homeland in Berlin: Beyond the Wall HOMELAND Season Five tackles controversial topics. Get an inside look at why the writers took on these themes, what stance the characters are taking, and the role of the City of Berlin.
The Bluray includes the episodes Separation Anxiety, The Tradition of Hospitality, Super Powers, Why Is This Night Different?, Better Call Saul, Parabiosis, Oriole, All About Allison, The Litvinov Ruse, New Normal, Out Man in Damascus, and A False Glimmer.
With the new season on Showtime readying up in the next few weeks, take the opportunity to re-experience HOMELAND: The Complete Fifth Season. The last five minutes of season five gear us all up for whatever Carrie and Saul will be dealing with next.
In the end – the only way out is back in!