— It’s been fun having Dar Adal as the “Big Bad” this season, but I was a little disappointed that it was Dar Adal who ultimately had a change of heart in the end and warned Carrie about the assassination attempt. I understand that Adal only wanted to ruin President-elect Keane, not kill her, but his actions in the finale didn’t square with his actions over the course of the season. He set the plan in motion. He was willing to take Franny away from Carrie. He orchestrated a bombing in Manhattan. He had Astrid killed. He tried to kill Peter. At that point, he’s all in. Why get cold feet and disrupt the assassination plot knowing that doing so will mean the end of his career?
— The big climactic assassination attempt/chase/shootout was kind of a mess. It felt hastily slapped together and relied on too many coincidences. It was very 24.
— Nothing with Peter Quinn really added up this season. He shouldn’t have survived the sarin gas attack or the hemorrhage in the first place, but once he did, the series just seemed to move him around to provide dramatic fireworks. The hostage situation with Franny was bizarre, and why did Dar Adal save him from the police and move him to an cabin out in the woods if he was only going to try to kill him? And why would Dar Adal and McClendon try to kill Peter, if they were planning to use him as the fall guy in the assassination of Keane? And how did they know Quinn would end up at the scene in the end? Or that he’d survive the bomb explosion in the black-ops house? Or that he’d even be there?
— The back and forth all season long with Saul was too much. Like Peter, he never had a consistent storyline. They worked him in and out of sticky situations, but it never really added up to much. I also don’t really understand why Carrie turned on him so hard there in the end when he expressed concern. He should be the one mad at her. She is the one who lied to him about working for Keane and who recommended that he handle the Iran situation in the first place, which ended with Carrie making the decision to turn on Saul and nearly ruin his career. Saul, meanwhile, prepared to flee, but then didn’t, and then he bounced in and out of President-elect Keane’s good graces over the course of the last three episodes.
— Did the series really need to put us through the stress of Carrie’s home visit? Why did Max choose that moment to stumble home drunk? Why a ten-minute sequence that led us to believe Max was going to ruin Carrie’s chances of getting Franny back if it was all going to amount to nothing? And why did Carrie choose to start bawling at the site of her own picture? I mean, I get it: Peter was in love with Carrie. He carried around a photo of her. That made Carrie sad. But it also felt weirdly narcissistic.
The Good and the Bad
— Peter’s death. You mean to tell me that Peter survived a sarin gas attack (and numerous other near-death experiences), and he couldn’t’ handle a barrage of bullets? I dunno: It was a weird way to see the series’ third biggest character go. There was all this drama surrounding the assassination attempt. There were bombs. There were military men chasing down President-elect Keane, and then Peter just decides to drive through a hail of gunfire until he drove the car to the safety of a crowd. The climactic showdown just kind of petered out. “Is he dead?” Keane asked. “Yup,” Carrie said, basically. “What was his name?” “Peter Quinn.” “Cool. Maybe we’ll get him a plaque.” “That’d be lovely. You wanna get out of the car now, Madam President-elect?”
On the other hand, thank God poor Peter Quinn is finally dead. This is one of those situations where we actually wanted to see Peter killed off, not because we don’t like Peter (and Rupert Friend is great in the role and has been for six seasons), but because we wanted the show to put him out of his misery. The man was barely functioning. He was never going to be a super spy again. He was never going to be anything more than baggage. RIP Peter Quinn: You poor bastard.
— The chilling, terrifying last five minutes. That was excellent television, and erased an entire season of missteps. Dar Adal was right all along! There is something “off” about Keane. Maybe Keane had planned to dismantle the intelligence community from the very beginning because she held them responsible for her son’s death. Isn’t it ironic that Dar Adal gave her the leverage to do exactly that.
The end was even more chilling given what’s going on in the real world, where President Trump and the intelligence community are on a collision course. Who wins that war? A smarter man than Trump might be able to pull off what Keane did here and just start rounding up intelligence officials without cause and detaining them under the pretense of “leaks,” but Trump is not a smart man. Ultimately for Keane, she won this battle, but I think that next season, we’ll see the intelligence community win the war. You don’t fuck with the intelligence community.
Or do you?
I mean, is it better to have our democracy in the hands of a president like Elizabeth Keane? Or in the hands of someone like Dar Adal? President Trump or James Comey? We’re kind of fucked both ways, aren’t we?