What’s the opposite of Ben Travers’ review? It’s probably this. Verne Gay in the first two paragraphs really nails why killing Quinn made no narrative (or business) sense, especially if the Homeland that Gay depicts in the first episode persists for two more seasons. The part about the winners and losers of Homeland is very interesting.
Let’s talk about Quinn, because “Homeland” obviously doesn’t want to anymore. Killed in the sixth-season finale, he’s a distant memory by the start of the seventh. With Saul in jail, Carrie on a mission to save democracy, and crazy Keane drooling, so to speak, over her iPad in the Oval Office, Washington has gone nuts. Where is Peter now that we need him?
Killing off Quinn was the single most controversial move in “Homeland” history. Arguably more than Carrie, certainly more than Saul, “Homeland’s” own psychically tortured Jason Bourne had become the soul of this series, and to a certain extent, remains the ghost in its machine. By excising Quinn, “Homeland” excised one of the better parts of itself: the part that says Deep State assassins like him are mere tools of the corrupt political establishment they serve. Shaped, or rather poisoned, by Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham), the true angels of Peter’s nature ultimately prevailed, and he died saving Keane. No matter what they do or whom they kill, Carrie and Saul will always land on their feet, in a better job, or closer (and closer) to the seat of power. They’re the winners of “Homeland.” Peter Quinn was the loser. Losers, particularly this one, are often more interesting.
Absent his stabilizing presence, or his ballast to the Carrie/Saul axis, “Homeland” seems in an especially strange, vertiginous place by the start of the seventh. That’s partly by design, of course. “Homeland” doesn’t like to just reflect the zeitgeist but become it: If a real president is battling with the intelligence community, and if real civil liberties are threatened, and if real fake news has become real news, then so goes “Homeland.”