[…]In watching Friend’s performance in this episode, almost everything is altered. He destroys perceptions of who Peter Quinn is, how we are meant to view military hospitals, and how someone with such a vast amount of PTSD and the aftereffects of chemical warfare struggles to live within their own skin. This Quinn is a completely different character — he’s broken, he’s hopeless, and everything about him physically and mentally is different. Sometimes on other shows you see a character undergo this transition for an episode or two, only to then have them pop up and appear different a mere matter of minutes later. This is not such an overnight process for Quinn. (x)
Homeland is back, and what’s better, Quinn is back, too. Yes, he is alive, very alive!! We had a whole year to miss him, but now the wait is over. During all this time I was thinking about Homeland and the blog, about if I should write reviews of the episodes … In the end I decided that it was better idea not to do it. This is not a blog dedicated to Homeland, and there are excellent reviews out there that you can check out and that, without a doubt, are infinitely better than I could do. And then there’s the language question… just writing this took me an eternity LOL… But I still wanted to celebrate Rupert’s work, something like a “weekly tribute”, especially after watching a couple of weeks ago the premiere of the sixth season, where his performance surpassed my **very** high expectations, and finally I realized that, one way or another, I needed to do something. I don’t know Quinn’s future for the next episodes, and I don’t know, like all of you, what he had to go through in the last months. I either don’t know what the writers have planned for his character, so the idea is just to enjoy the moment, and that moment, now, is the episode 6.01 of Homeland, which introduced us to a new version of Quinn, (a 2.0 version that I already love as much as the previous one 😉 Thanks Rupert for making that possible ). So let’s go!!…
The former black-ops assassin is in a VA hospital “rehabbing physically and psychologically,” reveals Friend. He’s suffering the aftereffects of stroking out when Carrie and Saul demanded that he be forcibly awakened from a coma to give information about the terrorist cell he was infiltrating. “Peter is very much a changed man,” says Friend. “We’ll see the full extent of how debilitated he is now. His struggle: Is his life one worth living?” (x)
“Motherfucker”… That is, without doubt, the most correct word with which we could receive Quinn. A very different Quinn from other seasons. Shaken up by adversity. Suffering the consequences of the terrible events happened in season 5. Limited motor skills, problems with the speech, vision, disorientation… My God, in my opinion, I think it is absolutely logical that he feels all that anger, that pain that can be seen in his eyes. I think in this first episode we find Quinn at his lowest point. In that place you need to come to understand that finally, you must begin to look forward again. Quinn feels right at home in that hell. And Rupert feels like a fish in the water playing this new Quinn. From the first scene in which he appears we can feel all his agony. And his sadness. A sadness that goes increscendo with each scene.
In season 6, his spirit and body are broken; he’s a discharged soldier recovering from both psychological and physical trauma. He’s damaged, and it’s incredibly heartbreaking […] He doesn’t want any help, and he definitely doesn’t want any pity. He is a wounded soldier, and he wants to lick his wounds in private […] Quinn’s story line highlights the mental health struggles faced by so many soldiers and veterans. (x)
Quinn is dragging one leg behind him and has to give the impression of having had a stroke that has paralyzed one side of his body. Glatter praised Friend for immersing himself in research on brain injuries. The 2014 documentary “My Beautiful Broken Brain” was instructive for Friend and for producers, she said. […] By the end of “Fair Game,” the Carrie-Quinn relationship is as complicated as ever… there are more fireworks to come when Quinn realizes that Carrie may have compromised his recovery by waking him from the coma to pump him for information on the subway attack plan in Berlin. (x)
During Quinn’s trip (never better said) we know the limitations with which he lives now. It is evident from the first scene that he has limited motor skills, also speech problems, and then we discover that his vision is blurred, unfocused, he seems disoriented, and in addition to all that, his emotional state is absolutely out of control. And the whole scene in the brothel was amazing. It was as if Quinn was struggling with himself … Seeing where he had fallen, but at the same time, advancing in that fall. The close-ups of those moments were just stunning. I hope you guys have taken a look at the screencaps. This moment was both brilliant and absolutely heartbreaking.
But for me, the saddest point of the entire episode was the scene in the car, with Carrie … I get the impression that Quinn feels that Carrie doesn’t understand him, or she doesn’t really know what he needs. He is waiting for her to do or say something that ultimately doesn’t happen, at least at this particular point in the episode. And it’s so sad. His look says so much … It breaks even the coldest heart. The top of the episode IMO.
And if that were not enough, the scene in the hospital. Hell, Quinn is not in the right physical condition to withstand that showdown. That aggressiveness was not necessary. I understand that the guards were unaware of Quinn’s condition, but was it necessary to get to that point? Again, a heartbreaking moment of which, at least, we could get something positive. It is the moment when Carrie realizes that she can not leave Quinn there, and probably the moment when Quinn could see, for the first time in a long time, the light at the end of a long tunnel. A long road ahead, no doubt.
Especially considering that Carrie still doesn’t trust him too much … I understand, but at the same time, again, I feel that the moment is so sad that it breaks me. Quinn seemed to take a first step, looking perhaps for conversation, some understanding, some affection? But all he found was a locked door. I can’t imagine how Quinn must have felt at the time …
Rupert Friend ably rises to the challenge of transforming Quinn from a steely-eyed hit man to the victim of an attack that’s left him brain-damaged: His speech is slurred, his movement is impaired, and he appears to have sunk into a deep depression, refusing to show up for his physical therapy sessions and lashing out at everyone around him. (x)
After watching this episode, all those questions that I made myself (sure which we all did) during all these months, become more relevant. In what condition did Quinn wake up? What does he remember? What happened to him until this moment? Is his total recovery possible? Will he ever be the same again? Does he want to be the same again?…
Many questions that I hope will have an answer soon, maybe we can gather some of the pieces of the puzzle that is now Quinn’s mind… I’m anxious to know more, and you?
Quotes added to the post have their corresponding source at the end of each paragraph
All your opinions are welcome and highly appreciated. It would be great if you show your point of view about the new Quinn and what you expect from him leaving a comment below. We also want to let you know that if anyone of you wants to make this post for upcoming episodes and writing your own thoughts here in a post on the blog, you just have to tell us sending a message via our Facebook page or emailing us to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can add the gifs and the pictures to the post, you should not worry about that, you just have to write your thoughts about Rupert/Quinn … and I’m sure you can do it much better than me!!
If this was only the first episode … can you imagine what is coming?
Paraphrasing a sentence from indiewire’s review: “The Rupert Friend Emmy campaign begins here.”
And next week on Homeland…