Carrie Mathison has finally broken free of the CIA and is now working for The During Foundation in Berlin. She’s the perfect fit for the Foundation’s needs, but her chaotic history comes back to haunt her in this fifth season of Homeland.
Homeland is a show that really hits home a bit too close. It’s a very plausible storyline about a talented CIA agent who’s suffered not only from the turmoil of the biz, but also her personal demons along the way. Carrie Mathison (Clair Danes) is a wild and enigmatic agent who can make a quick decision in stressful and dangerous environments. This is what makes her the perfect choice when dealing with extremists. Over the years, we’ve seen Carrie struggle with her bi-polar disorder, loneliness, and the consistent loss of those close around her. She’s been betrayed by those she’s loved and trusted too. The life she’s taken on is not one many could bare, yet Carrie strives to survive and prosper. She’s ruthless, determined, and will do whatever needs to be done to complete the mission. She’ll even put her life at risk time after time to accomplish her goals. Needless to say, this show is a wild ride.
By the fifth season, Carrie has finally broken away from the CIA. She’s works for The During Foundation in Berlin. Hired for her expertise and ability to analyze a dangerous situation quickly, Carrie finds herself getting pulled back into her old ways. Her drive to impress forces her to take on positions and roles she would rather not pursue, but seems she can’t help it. Carrie wants a normal life. She wants to raise her young daughter. She also wants to fall in love and put her past behind her. No matter how hard she tries to break away, the chaos always seems to come knocking. And unfortunately for Carrie…she always opens the door. In the beginning of the season, Carrie is informed by her new employer, Otto During (Sebastian Koch) that’s she’s going to accompany him in a warzone. After hearing the news, Carrie falls into her old way of thinking, and goes off the reservation to procure safe-passage for Otto and company. Little does she realize this paints a target on their heads. While Otto is giving an inspirational speech about repairing the damaged country with millions of dollars, the event is sabotaged by a suicide bomber. Turns out their good deeds won’t go unpunished. What’s even more surprising is the attack wasn’t for During at all, but for Carrie! This thrusts her back into the world she left behind nearly two-and-a-half years ago. She has no idea who wants her dead, but will not stop until the truth is revealed.
While this is going on, a couple of talented hackers in Berlin have a run-in with the CIA online. Curiosity gets the best of both sides, so they keep digging into one another. The young hackers decide to show this intruder whose boss, and brute-forces their way into the attackers system. They immediately start pulling down files. There’s 1,361 files to be exact. Turns out these are incredibly TOP SECRET documents within the CIA. These documents reveal the CIA is working for the German Government to illegally spy on German citizens. This information is immediately leaked to the press. One of the documents is sent to Laura Sutton (Sarah Sokolovic), who’s an American journalist in Berlin. She also happens to work for the During Foundation. Laura is well aware of Carrie’s CIA ties, so she asks her to verify the documents. Being the dedicated agent she once was, Carrie refuses. This forces Laura to go public with the information. This causes a lot of problems for the CIA, which is now operating under Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham), Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). The German Government is also in a lot of hot water over the issue. Needless to say…some heads are going to roll this season.
Berlin can be a very dangerous place. It’s had a turbulent past, and is filled with all sorts of suspicious persons of various backgrounds. Children of Nazi’s, Russian mafia, Hackers, and more now roam the streets. Sounds like the perfect place for Carrie and her young daughter to restart their lives wouldn’t you say? And due to the situation, it seems her old CIA pals are going to be in the area until they can smooth out this leaked TOP SECRET documents issue.
Think Carrie can figure out who’s trying to take her out, while her old CIA pals attempt to resolve their data breach at the same time? Could all this be tied together in some form or fashion as well? You’ll have to tune in to find out!
Enough about that…let’s take a look at what all this Season 5 Blu-ray set has to offer.
The menu design consists of several looping clips from the season. The menu options are listed along the bottom of the screen, and include: Episodes, Set Up, Search, and Extras (Disc 3). The ‘Set Up’ option lets viewers choose the audio and subtitle tracks for the show. The audio tracks include: English 5.1 dts-HD Master Audio, Castellano DTS 5.1, and Italian DTS 5.1. The subtitles include the same languages, as well as, Spanish and French. The ‘Search’ option let’s viewers choose various points via a Timeline group. These timelines are categorized based on the Season or Episode. Bookmarks are accessed from here as well.
Now let’s take a look at the extras included with this set.
– The Evolution of Carrie Mathison (10:56 HD): Carrie has come a long way since the first season. This feature takes a closer look at who she was in the beginning, the ones she loved along the way, and how she turns out by the end of season 5. She wants to have a normal life, but can’t separate the crazy for something normal. Not without destroying those she loves along the way at least. It’s sad and she’s quite lonely.
– Homeland in Berlin: Beyond the Wall (9:30 HD): Berlin was a great location for the creators to film in. It provided the perfect crowd and backdrop for the story in the fifth season. It’s also the ideal place for the plot of season 5 as well. According to the cast and crew, filming in Berlin was a no-brainer.
Now let’s take a look at the technical side of this release.
The 1080p HD image comes with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, so the image will fill your entire HDTV display. Viewers will quickly see just how amazing this image quality is too. The picture is almost always crystal clear. The outdoor scenes are bright and vivid, and the low-light interior scenes are still filled with detail. Close-ups reveal so much detail, viewers can count the imperfections of the actor’s faces! This may be the sharpest and cleanest-looking season to date.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is just as superb as the image quality. There are plenty of effects and ambient sounds to be heard in the rear channels, and they’re used quite a bit during chaotic scenes. Whether it’s the buzzing of bullets flying by, tires screeching, or something else that accompanies the scene; it all sounds great. The dialog is always crisp and clear, and the background music never dominates it. This is a well-rounded transfer.
Overall, the Complete Fifth Season of Homeland is a solid show from beginning to end. Fans of the series may have questioned how good the story could be with Carrie out of the CIA, but this proves it can be done. It would seem no matter what Carrie does or where she goes, her CIA past will always be right behind her. Even though she does all she can to break away, Carrie gets pulled back into that old life. Her connections, relationships, mindset and more cause her to fall back to the never-ending chaos. It’s like she’s drawn to the drama. This would explain why she can’t seem to settle down and live a normal life. By the end of this season, viewers may wonder what’s in store for Carrie. While she experiences much loss in this season, new opportunities present themselves by the end.
If you are looking for a thrilling drama that involves government agencies and crazy plot twists, make sure to check this show out. Even if you’ve never seen an episode of Homeland, the show is written in a way that it can stand alone. Each season is self-contained, while including a full story arc for devoted fans. It’s a very well-produced show that’ll keep viewers on edge. Check it out on Blu-ray today!