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‘Homeland’ Recap: “The Man in the Basement”

Cameron Lee ‘20 / Emertainment Monthly contributor

Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers for the 2nd episode of the sixth season of Homeland

Homeland is one lucky show. Not only did it recover from a near fatal third season, it also has a lead character who’s in a class of her own. Claire Danes has always been brilliant as Carrie but this episode proved just how amazing she is in the role.

Picking up from last week’s episode; Saul goes to visit Carrie in her office. Saul (Mandy Patinkin) comments that he hears a lot of Carrie’s voice behind the thoughts of the president-elect. Since the president-elect knows Carrie’s old boss, Otto During, Saul thinks that there is a connection between Carrie and the new president. Carrie laughs Saul’s claim off and calmly asks him to leave. Quinn (Rupert Friend), meanwhile, is being looked after by former security expert and Carrie’s former work partner Max (Maury Sterling). Carrie questions Sekou (J. Mallory McCree) about the $5000 found under his mattresses. Sekou claims that his friend, Saad (Leo Manzari), loaned him the money to pay for his trip to Nigeria to see his father, though Saad also wanted Sekou to have a meeting with an unidentified individual. With help from Max, Carrie discovers that Saad is an FBI informant. Unfortunately for Carrie, the court won’t allow her access to Saad. So, Carrie does what’s she good at; breaking the rules. She tracks down and confronts Saad with the help of Sekou’s sister. Saad reveals to Carrie that he is indeed an informant but only because he was forced to by FBI agent Colin (Dominic Fumusa). Colin gave him the money; Saad repeatedly tells Carrie that he told Colin that Sekou was not supporting any terrorist group.

Photo:  Jo Jo Whilden/SHOWTIME
Photo: Jo Jo Whilden/SHOWTIME

Meanwhile, Quinn has not improved since last week’s premiere. At this point, it seems very likely that the Quinn we used to know is gone. This week Quinn went on a little adventure to the local convenience store, much to the dismay of Max who chases after him. Quinn later has a seizure at the convenience store and he later tells Max to not tell Carrie about the incident.

Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) is up to his usual manipulation schemes; Dar meets with the president elect’s chief of staff in a cafe. Dar brings up some classified intel about how the CIA believes that Iran is assembling a new secret nuclear program with help from North Korea. Israel is planning to arrest Iran’s liaison when he makes a trip to Abu Dhabi. In a surprise turn of events, Carrie turns out to be advising the president-elect. The surprise can be all attributed to Claire Danes’ acting. She genuinely looked surprised and offended by Saul’s accusations. Carrie is briefed on the Iran situation and suggests that Saul should be the one to represent the U.S in Abu Dhabi. Saul later meets up with Dar Adal in the same cafe as the meeting with the chief of staff. Dar has security photographs of Carrie being patted down by the President elect’s security detail. Saul tells Dar that he believes Carrie is not advising the president-elect. Dar then tells Saul that he has been chosen to represent the U.S in Abu Dhabi by the president-elect. Dar does not show Saul the photographs, most likely saving the photos for later on in the season to show Saul at a key moment (what a jerk).

Photo:  JoJo Whilden/SHOWTIME
Photo: JoJo Whilden/SHOWTIME

After a long day, Carrie comes home to see Quinn lying in bed. What transpires is by far the best scene of the episode; Quinn asks to be shown the video of him being gassed. Quinn, it turns out, has no memory of the event. Carrie tells Quinn how the video helped her locate him but then Quinn asks “Why” Carrie responds by breaking down in tears and repeatedly telling Quinn that “I’m sorry”. She leaves Quinn confused as she leaves his room and goes upstairs to cry. Not only are both the performances on display here off the charts, but the scene is thoroughly heartbreaking. Quinn and Carrie always loved each other, so seeing Quinn not understanding why Carrie risked everything to save him is just heartbreaking. It’s a great scene which gave this episode a fantastic ending and provided this season with a much-needed jolt that will hopefully carry through the rest of the season.

Episode grade: B+

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