Homeland Season Six, Episode 2

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LAS VEGAS, NV – MAY 02: Actors Claire Danes (L) and Hugh Dancy attend the SHOWTIME And HBO VIP Pre-Fight Party for “Mayweather VS Pacquiao”at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino at on May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic) FilmMagic

Presidents don’t get chances. They get tested. – Dar Adal

Why didn’t this show kill Peter Quinn dead last year? Whether the writers did it in the torture chamber or during the risky attempt to save his life and get information, I don’t care. He could have just drowned in a bowl of grits at the VA, seriously it doesn’t matter. What I do care about is the new reality of Homeland, a show that does have some interesting things happening, but is being dragged down by the shut-in eating canned food and listening to an Alex Jones ripoff on the radio in Carrie’s basement.

The final sequence last night with Carrie and Peter talking was actually pretty good, but in no way was it enough to justify why this man is still alive, doing his best to submarine whatever juice remains in the Homeland box. If this is the saddest slow-motion romance of all-time, please just end it already. Or, let him find himself, start dating and snogging Carrie, all while executing jack wagons on the side. 

When Homeland, particularly in later seasons, has focused extensively on personal relationships, it’s been at its worst. 

Carrie and Brody became a real chore to deal with in its latter stages, Quinn and the random pool woman was flat out weird, and Dana interacting with literally anyone was painful to watch. Outside of romance, how about Carrie’s family at the end of Season 4 in one of the worst finales of a high-end drama I’ve ever seen? I was bored to tears with all of this stuff, because quite frankly, that’s not why I watch Homeland. It may not be that way for you, but my expectations for a show about national security and terrorism is to focus on…well to focus on national security and terrorism, be it homegrown or otherwise.

Yes, I know it’s about the people. But, I know these people. Now I just want a thriller. No offense Frannie, but hit the bricks.

This week’s episode did manage to push the Elizabeth Keane storyline forward in an interesting way, with Carrie helping to advise the President Elect on foreign policy. Dar Adal and Saul Berenson are back in frenemy stage, as neither trusts the other, and both believe themselves to be smarter than the other. Dar Adal is more about himself than Berenson, but these are two egomaniacal, stubborn men who have to balance political expediency with protection of the intelligence apparatus of the United States. They both think they’re RIGHT, more than anything nefarious. And, when Saul is usually your hero, it puts Dar in a tough spot.

Obviously Dar is supposed to be (and is) the villain of the two, but that’s based on selfishness and clutching power at all costs more than it is a constant desire to undercut anyone or place the country in a dangerous position. Adal is still lying about the restaurant and September 11, even to Keane’s Chief of Staff, but it’s all part of the game. Dar’s about Dar, and whatever entities put Dar in the best place for Dar. But, he’s also more of a maverick on security, because he does believe it gives America strategic advantages and safeguards.

We delved deeper into Sekou Bah’s story, finding out that Saad evaded heavy jail time by informing on his Pittsburgh drug gang. He’s working with the FBI, which makes the five thousand dollars problematic, as well as the encouragement for a strange meeting before the Nigeria trip, and also the push for video content and a website. Saad has also been smashing Sekou’s sister, which makes that scene with Carrie even more awkward. 

Agent Conlin is clearly being positioned as an antagonist, first for threatening Massoud to inform or potentially even entrap Sekou, despite Ray’s insistence to the contrary. Again there’s a sense that Homeland wants its audience to feel sympathy for Muslims in America, even those who seem to glorify the most horrific attacks ever to reach its soil.

I have a problem with this angle, if only because I can’t create enough cognitive dissonance to feel sorry for Sekou following his words while filming the two videos in the season opener. However, there’s an important point the show is making through this side of the plot. Simply put, Sekou Bah hasn’t DONE anything wrong. He’s said some horrible things, which Saad adeptly mentions is what is causing so much trouble for him, but my opinion is just that, a subjective statement from me. In America, he’s free to say those things, provided he isn’t enabling terrorist activity or in some way giving material support to organizations. 

While I’m repulsed listening to Sekou’s opinion, in order to believe in free speech, one must believe in it absolutely. I must defend his right to say whatever he wants, or any words I speak could become a target. What are Bah’s intentions? It’s nearly impossible to prove, without hard evidence or a confession. As a result, I should be on Reda Hashem’s side of the case. I give the show credit for finding a way to force me into both corners simultaneously. Again, it’s because of that subtle intelligence in the writing that the Peter Quinn storyline is so infuriating.

It’s bad. It’s just so bad. Rupert Friend is awesome, but he has got to go. A good PTSD no-bathe hobo narrative can only take us so far. 

For much of the hour, not much happened, outside of one-on-one conversations that moved the episode from one yard marker to the next. That said, it was nice to see Max (Maury Sterling) back, as he’s always been a good secondary character to balance Carrie’s hawkish tendencies with her humanity. He looks like a hitman, but he’s the one in the bodega that does what has to be done once Quinn goes into his seizure. 

I was much more intrigued this week with the Keane-CIA struggle, mainly because the writers found a good way to insert Carrie into it, which ties her to Saul, Dar, and everyone else we actually WANT to see her spending time with in scenes on the show. It’s still a battle we’ve seen play out on this series many times before, but Elizabeth Marvel is really talented, Hill Harper is well-cast, and F. Murray Abraham and Mandy Patinkin are two of the best covert mumblers in all of television. 

Carrie suggesting Saul for Abu Dhabi was clever, not just because of the surface irony, but also because it leaves us wondering whether Berenson knew she was lying and backed her anyway. Maybe he’s on her side, and also on Keane’s? Perhaps he and Dar have never been more opposed than they are right now? Those are hypotheticals that can play out for an entire season and be effective until the end.

I still watch Homeland and see a show that is on the way down, but we’ve seen slow starts in the past. Even with several dull moments, this was certainly a better episode than last week’s, which was often like watching the wrong color of paint drying on your wall. All the Quinn craziness at least grounded itself in him being in rooms with the right people. Peter doesn’t need to be in crack houses getting robbed by Ali G and Mac Miller. He needs to be pouring out his soul or throwing a coffee mug at Carrie or staring at Max.

One final thing this week, and we’ve always known this, but is there an uglier crier on planet earth than Claire Danes? As the episode drew to a close and Quinn asked why she saved his life, her face contorted in a way that can only be described as mutant, which incidentally is what Peter called himself in the convenience store. When she begins to weep, at least in this case, I laughed uproariously, because the visual was utterly ridiculous. 

She looks positively pathetic when she sobs, and maybe never has it been more over-the-top than it was this week. It’s not necessarily a critique, but damn, just go back and watch now that it’s on your mind. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. 

Next week, we find out if Quinn decided to take a shower, even though he’s just going to get dirty again. Somebody get the poor guy some 96-hour fresh Right Guard, at least. He looks like he’s about two weeks from becoming the embodiment of Buzz’s boogeyman from the bogus neighbor story in Home Alone.

Even when Carrie was in her most batshit of crazy, she still took a hooker’s bath.

I’m @JMartOutkick. I wonder if I’m ugly when I cry at Pixar movies. 


Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions, and started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers.


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