Wednesday, May 02, 2018


Homeland 's season finale aired over the weekend. (Spoilers ahead.)  The whole season's plot was rather fanciful, with the Russians hatching a scheme to have the U.S. President ousted. But then what else is new?  The conspiracy actually succeeds, temporarily, when she's forced out via the 25th Amendment.  Ultimately, Saul and Carrie save the day, and things are set right.

But then there was a weird plot twist.  The President, back in office, makes a big speech to the public.  She talks about how democracies can vanish if you don't take care of them.  And how our nation is as divided as she can remember. And how things have to change.  She admits she's made mistakes, and has gone too far at times.

No doubt this was, at least partly, the producers of the show speaking (down) to us with these shallow and fairly empty statements.  And then...the President resigns.  She's lost the trust of the public, and wants them to have a new figure they might listen to, the Vice President.  (Remember, this is the guy who earlier forced her out, but also had shown he can deal with others fairly when put to the test.)

I admit I didn't see this coming. But then, who would, as it makes no sense.  Not in real life, certainly, but not even as a dramatic choice.  Sure, a politician taking himself out of the equation has worked before--West Wing did it, and it's the climax of The Best Man.  But even if anyone were willing to give up the power she fought so hard for--and I don't buy that--how does she think that resigning will help the public?  It would make things far more uncertain, and create demands for other resignations when things go wrong.  Meanwhile, the honest differences between parties would remain, as would the political infighting.

What she would do is stay in office and try to lead by example, if she wants things to change. After all, if she thinks compromise is necessary, she would need to be in power to guarantee that.  So sticking around and changing your ways would be the noble thing, not giving up and hoping others will change.  It may not work, but it's not as if making things more unstable is a better solution (no matter how much the makers of Homeland want Trump to quit).


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