Homeland: Causus Belli
February 20, 2017 10:00 AM - Season 6, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Keane gets sidelined. Carrie's work follows her home.

Alternate recap: Quinn babysits with help from Peter Pistol. President Elect Keane gets away from it all. Carrie deals with the consequences of her fuckups. Saul gets kidnapped by the third intelligence service in three days.
posted by Nelson (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So after last episode I was really mad at the seeming deus-ex-machina of Sekou and the bomb and the sinister neighbor man. But holy shit did the writers deliver. I was enthralled with this episode from the moment the title came up and it suddenly fell into place that a coup was developing in real time. Get Keane out of the way, create fear of terrorism with a false flag attack, and implicate Carrie in the middle of it all. Such a delicious conspiracy plot. I'm a little concerned it echoes Day 5 of 24 a bit too closely, but Homeland is such a smarter show it probably doesn't matter.

I thought they did a really great job with Peter Quinn's motivations. I mean mostly he's just simplistically protecting Franny. But he's also still a murder machine and quite willing to act fast with the violence to get what he wants. And partly he wants to protect himself and The Truth he's found, the conspiracy. I thought Quinn's interactions with Franny and Latisha were just fantastic. He knows how scary he is and is trying to not terrify them, but needs to use that authority to get them to comply.

A bit confused about Saul though, spilling all the details to Dar Adal. It's useful plot summary for the viewer, so thanks for that. But he's just given up all he knows. Does he still trust Dar? He kind of always has, right?

Shout-out to the Alex Jones-alike on the Infowars-alike TV show. Those snarling broadcasts really capture 2017 paranoid American politics. This whole season has felt a bit unreal in that it didn't anticipate the Trump presidency. But this coup is the next best thing.
posted by Nelson at 10:10 AM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is it an actual coup or just a Dar delay or? Where is the actual president? So many questions! I agree this was one of the best written episodes, so many plot turns, complexities and great character development. And yes, the "just-off" but pretty spot-on evocation of current paranoia is eery. As for Saul, I too am confused about his apparent trust of Dar (and believing Carrie's lie), and I don't think this fits in with his usual intelligence and ability to discern the truth, so I'm wondering if he is setting Dar up or has a bigger plan?
posted by j810c at 12:55 PM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

A bit confused about Saul though, spilling all the details to Dar Adal. It's useful plot summary for the viewer, so thanks for that. But he's just given up all he knows. Does he still trust Dar? He kind of always has, right?

I felt like he had to tell Dar everything to keep his trust because there's a pretty high chance Dar already knows everything he got up to.

Agree that it was one of the best written episodes. I hope they can keep it up for the season.
posted by roolya_boolya at 2:42 PM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Agree with the writing. Saul and Dar are seemingly and independently pushing their own agendas, though ultimately allegiant to the CIA.

Is it an actual coup or just a Dar delay or
Not sure either way. With Saul being gone, Dar was able to implement some of his plan concerning Keane or at least keep the CIA in good standing.

about Saul though, spilling all the details
To me Saul's has always been the better mastermind than Dar. Everything Saul does and says is very calculated.
posted by mountainblue at 5:40 PM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

> But holy shit did the writers deliver.


Is there any possible timing where Nov 8 occurred before the filming of this episode?

Noticed that Carrie never ever thanks Quinn (or otherwise reward better/more-normal behaviour), does she? Example here is after asking Quinn to 'babysit.' I got feels for Quinn's recovery - and then that happened.

Liked the flavour of "it can't happen here" where Quinn devolves into situational assessment and response mode and gets stuff happening, just like when he was in wartorn territory.

Jebus, the cynicism of false flagging a dupe as retaliation for defending the dupe. Interesting that the writers factored in "wtf" blackswan/force majeur events (uncharitably: deus ex machinas).

Kicking the door on him (as he's being taken away) - ok, I guess she's out, but that's the 'tone' now.

I kinda gave up on the show mid-series, but this season is winning me around.

Carrie still has zero idea on how to connect with a child.
posted by porpoise at 8:26 PM on February 20, 2017

SO, SO GOOD... :)

I love that they're not afraid to go to such utter extremes - the total sweetness of Quinn sitting on Franny's bed discussing bunnies meant you just knew this was all going to go horribly wrong soon, but it went even further down the hole than you could possibly have imagined, and quicker.

But they get away with such massively broad strokes of the plot because of the beautiful subtlety of the writing and the performances. So many emotions crossed Quinn's face in the few seconds that Carrie asked him to babysit - trying to be casual, but so much going on inside (I don't even know - happiness, surprise, pride, fear, responsibility?). And then again when he's sat against the basement wall listening to Carrie talking through the window - eyes fixed and dead but just the tiniest quaver of the bottom lip as she reminds him how lovely that morning with Franny was just a few hours ago, at a moment when he's pretty sure he's not getting out alive.

posted by penguin pie at 12:43 PM on February 22, 2017 [1 favorite]

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