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The balance between “art imitating life” and “life imitating art” is not a precise one, and there are really no limits for how far it can all go. Take, for instance, the bomb threats sent to officials this morning in both New York City and Los Angeles. While the latter city chose to take the threat seriously and shut down all of its public schools, which disrupted the morning and afternoon of hundreds of thousands of children, New York chose not to go the impulsive route, and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said he thinks the entire incident was a hoax put together by someone familiar with the show Homeland.
In reviewing it, the instigator of the threat may be a Homeland fan, basically watching Homeland episodes. It mirrors a lot of recent episodes of Homeland.
The biggest comparable point to make here is that the emails, both of which were almost exactly the same except for the noted location, were supposedly written by an extremist Muslim jihadist, and Homeland has been one of the most jihad-related shows on TV in 2015. The threats made in the email referred to nerve agents, bombs in backpacks and dozens of accomplices, which sounds similar to the storyline that super-op Peter Quinn has been dealing with. Plus, there was some cyberterrorism involved in the emails, which also ties into Season 5, and according to Deadline, the emails originated in Germany, which is where the bulk of this season has taken place.
So, this obviously isn’t certifiable proof that the email author is a Showtime subscriber – or perhaps someone who chooses to pirate TV episodes – but the similarities could easily point to a TV-watching jokester (with a terrible sense of humor) being the culprit. I guess we’ll have to wait for more information and possibly the emailer being identified before coming to any conclusions.
This wasn’t the first time that the current era of Homeland has been compared to things going on in the real world recently. In the December 6 episode “New Normal,” Mandy Patinkin’s Saul and F. Murray Abraham’s Dar have a conversation about a terrorist threat by ISIS that featured a point about a ground war against ISIS that was eerily similar to one in the speech given by Barack Obama that same evening when he addressed the nation. As well, part of the show’s narrative this season involves an ISIS terror cell planning an attack on a European capital using Syrian weapons smuggled across borders, so the recent attacks in Paris and the debate over Syrian refugees also made Homeland’s events feel quite relevant.
What will the next season of Homeland offer up as far as real-life connections? And will the season finale clue us into something that will happen later this year? Find out when it airs on Showtime on Sunday, December 20.