Homeland: Season 5 (2015)


Season 5

Critics Consensus

Homeland re-energizes itself in season five by setting up a twisty Berlin-set spy thriller that spotlights Carrie's questionable ethics more than ever.



Critic Ratings: 27


Audience Score

User Ratings: 612
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Air date: Oct 4, 2015
Air date: Oct 11, 2015
Air date: Oct 18, 2015
Air date: Oct 25, 2015
Air date: Nov 1, 2015
Air date: Nov 8, 2015
Air date: Nov 15, 2015
Air date: Nov 22, 2015
Air date: Nov 29, 2015
Air date: Dec 6, 2015
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The game has changed for Carrie Mathison. Out of the CIA and living in Berlin, Carrie is trying to start a new life but realizes now she’s the one with a target on her back. As the danger intensifies, and without Saul and Quinn to rely on, one thing becomes clear – she’s never been at greater risk or with more to lose. -- (C) SHOWTIME

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Critic Reviews for Homeland Season 5

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (12)

But for now, at least, Homeland is back with a surprising show of force.

Oct 2, 2015 | Full Review…

Considering the payoff and potential within these first three episodes, it's time to embrace both Carrie and Homeland like we did at the start.

Sep 29, 2015 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

After some credibility problems in past seasons, Homeland hits the reset button Sunday on Showtime - and it works.

Oct 9, 2015 | Full Review…

Season 5, which picks up more than two years after last season's boom-clap climax and measured denouement, offers neither the candy-hued crazy of Season 3 nor the tightly plotted thrills of Season 4, but rather something more ruminative and sedate.

Oct 5, 2015 | Full Review…

What gives Homeland its unsettling edge is the sense that it's pitching you into the dark corners of an endless secret war liable to erupt into bloody chaos at any moment, on a battlefield which is beyond anybody's control.

Jul 24, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The writers continue to steer clear of making this a dumbed down battle between good versus evil.

Apr 26, 2017 | Full Review…

It's shaping up to be a terrific series.

Aug 14, 2017 | Full Review…

Claire Danes is spectacular. She has won two Primetime Emmys and two Golden Globes for her role in the series and it is more than well-deserved.

May 24, 2017 | Full Review…

[Carrie Mathison's] comeuppance provided one of the high points of the fifth season's last episode.

Feb 7, 2018 | Full Review…

I'm being incredibly inartistic, but I think that she - Carrie Mathison - is such a compelling character, and I think her journey is part and parcel with what Homeland is about, juxtaposed to the world and what is happening in the world currently.

Oct 2, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Homeland: Season 5

  • Jan 24, 2016
    The fifth season of Homeland starts slow, appears tired and worn, and yet somehow manages the dramatic brilliance that made it shine earlier. This methodical build up is characteristic of the series, and with season five, we find a greater depth and nuance than previously held—an extremely difficult task for a veteran TV series. I rather enjoyed many of the storylines, all of which culminated in an exceedingly interesting way. Though the finale was underwhelming- taking out it’s dramatic knees much to early, the mid to later portion of the series was vintage Homeland, with a growth in characterization that gives promise for future seasons.
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2017
    One of the best yet. Good plot and acting.
  • Jun 06, 2017
    The game has changed for Carrie Mathison. Out of the CIA and living in Berlin, Carrie is trying to start a new life but realizes now she’s the one with a target on her back. As the danger intensifies, and without Saul and Quinn to rely on, one thing becomes clear – she’s never been at greater risk or with more to lose. (Rotten Tomatoes) * Previous Season Spoilers Ahead * Season three brought the end of the Brody era, season four brought the end of Carrie and the CIA in the Middle East era, season five introduced the new era: Carrie and the CIA in Europe. She begins the season away from the CIA and relocated in Berlin, where she works in private security for an enigmatic German billionaire (Sebastian Koch), attempts to be a good mother to her daughter, as well as having a normal relationship with her co-worker boyfriend. This season showcases how relevant and terrifying that Homeland can be. Now that the focus is on the threat of Islamist extremists in Europe, in particularly a country that has seen several attacks in the last couple of years, Germany. Although some of the ideas and actions concerning the terrorists in this season are a bit dramatic and in the realms of fantasy as there are many lines in the fire, Homeland does reveal the underbelly of mainland Europe’s terrorist network. Throw into the mix, high ranking betrayals, Carrie being hunted and Quinn going above and beyond the call of duty regardless of his health. Season five carries on and goes one step further than what season four started. The post-Brody shenanigans are gone, and the CIA vs The Terrorists takes centre stage. First it was in the Middle East, and now the more modern image of terrorism, very close to home. A thrilling season that culminates in typical nail-biting fashion! https://rwh92.wordpress.com/
  • Mar 04, 2017
    Homeland re-energizes itself in season five by setting up a twisty Berlin-set spy thriller that spotlights Carrie's questionable ethics more than ever.
  • Feb 27, 2017
    There’s always been a particular fascination with spies. Audiences just crave the excitement of secret agents working far afield of the spotlight of public scrutiny protecting their country knowing that if captured or killed the country they serve not even acknowledge their existence. Movies hit their first Golden age during World War II the stories of German and Japanese spies excited audiences. The television despite the will became exceedingly popular during the Cold War of the 60s and 70s with romanticized stories set all over the globe filled with excitement, intrigue, and mystery. Unfortunately, the state of the world’s tenuous political balance is always at such a delicate point that espionage tales never seem to go out of style. As a new presidential administration settles in that is greater antagonism between the government and intelligence agencies than ever before. One series that has been at the forefront of this genre is SHOETIME’s ‘Homeland.' Focused on a brilliant and dedicated intelligence analyst in the CIA the main strength of this series is how it balances the tensions between government, intelligence agencies, and the diplomatic corps but most importantly the excessive emotional and psychological toll it takes on those people who are deepest interviews covert operations. The typical SHOETIME style an interesting twist added another dimension to the brilliant analyst who suffers from bipolar disorder. This premium cable network is also infused a serious risk the talent and attention to details that makes SHOETIME one of the leading creative forces in entertainment. In the case of the series, they have managed to keep the level of excitement consistently intense by taking full advantage of the global stage that is afforded to the work of intelligence community. It is quite easy to change cast members, or the location and even alter the direction of the fundamental focus of the series and season-long arcs. Distant two years since Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) was believed the position of the CIA to a prisoner exchange that went terribly wrong. She is now living in Berlin working in the private sector at the head of security for the charitable Düring Foundation. Carrie is trying her best to normalize a home life living with her daughter Franny (Luna Pfizer) and her current boyfriend, Jonas Hollander, (Alexander Fehling). Jonas is employed by the same foundation as Carrie in the capacity of legal counsel. The head of the foundation is an exceptionally rich industrialist and philanthropist, Otto Düring (Sebastian Koch). As head of security, it was within her purview to make arrangements and provide for the safety of her boss while on business trips, especially in areas of political rest such as Syria, bringing her into contact with a former colleague from the Company, Allison Carr (Miranda Otto) CIA station chief in Berlin. As expected, this reunion would not be without several strings attached. Carr refuses to help Carrie unless he provides information concerning the intricate workings of the foundation. There is one thing that is consistent with any transaction between spies, quid pro quo. Carrie flatly refuses to agree, remaining loyal to a new boss. Carrie still manages to utilize her experience and arrange for the trip to Lebanon. While there is an attack on Düring, that thankfully is ineffective. In an attempt to get to the bottom of the plot Carrie meets with one of her contacts, Behruz (Mousa Kraish), shots are with the revelation that Düring is not the target, she was. Desperate to discover who wants her dead Carrie decides to take an extremely dangerous course of action, go off her medication for bipolar disorder. She feels that although the medication helps her achieve a sense of normalcy she is at her professional best while in the manic phase of a disorder. Even under the most optimal circumstances Carrie and her manic phase are highly susceptible to any distraction on expected development. This occurs on a personal level when she gets into an argument with Jonas after he discovers how many drones’ strikes Carrie personally approved. Circumstances begin to completely collapse when his son is kidnapped by Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), a highly proficient black ops specialists from the CIA’s SAD/SOG. The purpose of this heinous action was drawing Carrie out into the open for another attempt on the life. Shortly afterward Carrie catches Quinn working around Jonas’s house. She shoots him, but his body armor but his body armor prevents a fatal shot. Upon interrogating the assassin, Carrie finds out that the kill order came from a former friend and superior at the CIA, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). She decides to take her death to investigate the truth better. She contacts Saul and attempt to get the hacked documents but is turned down. Her former mentor is still upset about believing the CIA. The result of her interrogation also leads her to be behind me an assassin, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). The ultimate goal of the merchants was to obtain critical beta that the CIA recently obtained through computer hackers. This plot point takes a notably different impact considering recent events. The Intelligence community of the United States had determined that Russian hackers interfered with the recent 2016 presidential election in an attempt to sway the results. There are still those who consider this to be a debatable point that the preponderance of evidence does appear to support it. Unbeknownst at the time this these episodes originally broadcast this connection to reality does not yet exist. An array, this is another case of reality following art. All the driving force for this season appears to come from a single incident, the attack on Mr. Düring, actually intended for Carrie. In typical SHOETIME mastery of storytelling, this main plot line bifurcates into two parallel threads. The first is a terrorist attack that was designed for the head of the foundation. The second has become a staple of modern espionage-driven plot lines, cyber-attacks. A significant reason why the recent election became shrouded by the dispute over computer crimes is that hacking has become one of the most popular archetypes in entertainment. Computers have become so ridiculous in our lives that the vast majority of the average audience sufficiently understands the threat of computer viruses, malware, and hacking. The terms necessary to advance these plot lines are no longer part of the jargon of science fiction; they are in the common vernacular of the public. As always, the main themes always hinge upon the psychological stability of Carrie. There’s a touch of the godfather inherent in this season. From Carrie’s perspective "every time I try to get out they pull me back in." At the beginning of the series, Carrie was just trying to overcome a psychological disorder to do the best job possible to safeguard the country. Now, she is attempting to pull away from the career that not only exploded her career but on several occasions threatened to end her life. This season begins with an explosion that set the pace that never slackens throughout the remaining episodes. Carrie is such a flawed, even tragic figure the audience bonds to with such passion that even when the characters actions are completely irrational is an understanding that she is a young woman trying to overcome the severe psychological disorder that consistently wreaks havoc with her emotions. So much to be said about every single cast member in this stellar series but as in each season passed the most impressive performances belong to Claire Danes. She has grown incredibly as an actress when she first burst onto the scene in ‘My So-Called Life’ where she played an angst-driven teenage girl. Now, she brings such nuances to her portrayal of Carrie that every moment she is on the screen is an example of a talented professional artistic plying her craft
  • Feb 25, 2017
    (First off, I have to admit that I only watched the first seven of the twelve episodes that constitute this Fifth Season. As such, this review will mainly focus on the reasons why I’m “out” after four full seasons and 7 episodes of this one.) “Homeland” has always been a strange show for me in that it makes me think about how a television program needs to be paced. Often, I will complain about a show “not getting to the point” quick enough, or extending plots/relationships past their due dates, so to speak. For the first two seasons of “Homeland”, the show did the exact opposite. It “went for it” every single episode, creating such incredible tension between the characters of Nicolas Brody (Damien Lewis) and Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes). The show creators could have drawn that tension out for many a- season, but they chose to go for the jugular instead, creating what I consider to be two of the greatest seasons of television I’ve ever viewed. What I’m beginning to understand (based on the current state of “Homeland”), however, is what the pitfalls are of that approach, as right now “Homeland” is a shell of its former self, and it’s in large part because it can’t nearly come close to sustaining that breakneck pace of the “early years”. Before I continue, I would like to add that I also view “Homeland” in a different context than what potentially many others do. To me, the show was never “a show about terrorism”. I mean it was, to a certain extent, what with the “is he…isn’t he” tension surrounding Brody, but I viewed the early stages of that show as mostly about the tension between the characters. In other words, I felt that the show was using events to push the characters instead of the other way around. I was perfectly fine with that and loved every second of it. There may be others who watch “Homeland” more strictly for the political intrigue (in which case they are likely still watching and loving it), but I can’t count myself in that camp. Thus, besides a really strong plot line towards the end of Season Four, “Homeland” has been a bit of a struggle for me since the end of Season Two, which is when the show started to get more political and less character-driven. It has had its moments since then, to be sure, but with this Fifth Season I’ve finally been compelled to give up watching entirely. Now, this is where I would usually give a quick summary of the Fifth Season (well, at least the first 7 episodes), but this is part of the problem: far too often I had no idea what was going on and struggled to follow the characters. “Homeland” always was a show that required close viewing (unlike, say, the straightforward “black and white” nature of “24”), but this season I feel that it may have went too far. It starts off with a plot arc about hacked documents, spends quite a bit of time dealing with German intelligence, then the Russians get involved, and the hacked documents finally start to come back again. To be honest, I was confused from the get-go and never able to “buy in”. Maybe that is on me, but I usually haven’t had that problem with previous seasons. Perhaps this whole review (and synopsis of my “Homeland” experience) can be summed up by saying this: after the white-hot intensity of the Carrie/Brody arc in Seasons 1-2, I never felt that the show ever really even came close to those heights again. Characters such as Saul (Mandy Patinkin), Quinn (Rupert Friend), Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham), and the newcomers from Season Five might be interesting in their own right, but not nearly enough to sustain a show that had lost its core. It finally got to the point where it felt like a chore to watch, and that’s when I know it is time to punch out. It feels strange, considering how much I have invested in certain characters and just the overall feel of the show, but (as previously explained), the show has moved a considerable direction away from what made me love it in the first place. There is a scene in the fourth season that really exemplifies my relationship to this show, a scene in which Carrie has a vision of Brody while she is in a drug-addled state. My heart practically stopped during that scene, as it brought up the deep emotions from those early seasons. I realized at that moment that my time watching “Homeland” might be coming to an end (as the show, due to that furious pacing, had to move away from that relationship). I’ll always treasure those first two seasons, but now the other shoe has dropped for me.
  • Feb 06, 2016
    After some questionable moments in its late seasons, Homeland returns to its spy-thriller roots in a whole new scenario with both familiar and fresh faces - featuring a typically outstanding performance from Claire Danes.
  • Jan 23, 2016
    A new setting offers the series a much needed change of pace, and the story is gripping enough despite the disappointing ending.
  • Jan 16, 2016
    It's tempting to say that Homeland is back at its best -- but the first season of Homeland was one of the best single TV seasons of all time, so I'm not willing to go quite that far. But this is definitely Homeland's best effort since its legendary Season 1 and it illustrates what the show should have been all along -- a "24" style single-season arc focused on action and spycraft, not on sappy love stories and authorities placing a ridiculous amount of trust in a mentally unstable spy. This was exciting and fun, and reminded me what this show is capable of when it gets out of its own way. Grade: A
  • Jan 03, 2016
    Boring, tedious. Written by amateurs. Directed by students. What has happened to a great series?

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