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Homeland Recap Season 6, Episode 12, "America First"

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Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 12, "America First"

JoJo Whilden/Showtime

Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 12, "America First"

For 11 episodes, Homeland has been burying its lede in plain sight, making us believe that its sixth season was little more than a traditional spy thriller. Many pains were taken to establish a “deep state” conspiracy, led by Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) and General Jamie McClendon (Robert Knepper), and shamelessly abetted by the right-wing propaganda machine of talk show host Brett O'Keefe (Jake Weber). “America First” plays along with that ruse for much of its running time, sending Carrie Matheson (Claire Danes) and Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) on a last-ditch mission to save President-elect Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) from some sort of half-baked military coup.

Homeland Recap Season 6, Episode 10, "The Flag House"

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Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 10, "The Flag House"

Jeff Neumann/Showtime

Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 10, "The Flag House"

In “The Flag House,” our heroes finally approach the evil that's been hiding in plain sight, and each time they must choose how to prioritize their devotion either to the American flag or to a more personal desire to get their house in order. In the first of two literal interpretations of the episode's title, Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) tracks the Watch-Cap-Wearing Man (C.J. Wilson) to a suburban home, while Max (Maury Sterling), undercover in the belly of a false-flag operation, makes the connection between Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) and Brett O'Keefe (Jake Weber). And then there's President-elect Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) and Dar, who meet in a metaphorical flag house, a stand-in for the White House to which Keane has been elected by 60 million voters (“Who the hell voted for you?” she brusquely asks of him), but also for the shadow constituency that opposes her (“Don't go to war with your own national security establishment,” he says, smugly).

Homeland Recap Season 6, Episode 1, "Fair Game"

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Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 1, "Fair Game"

JoJo Whilden/Showtime

Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 1, "Fair Game"

The FBI, in full riot gear, breaks down the door to an apartment in the projects of New York City, screaming at a mother (Zainab Jah) and her daughter (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut) to get down on the ground, the stove left unattended. The target is Seikou Bah (J. Mallory McCree), an intelligent, tech-savvy Muslim teenager who's been posting videos online that are critical of the United States government; when the family refuses to answer questions from the icy agent Ray Conlin (Dominic Fumusa) without a lawyer present, he abusively kicks them out of the apartment in the cold and dark of midnight so that his team can execute their search warrant. Under Keith Gordon's efficient direction, this entire sequence takes little over two minutes, and it's a jarring (and potentially critical) acknowledgment of the increasingly jingoistic actions America takes in order to protect itself.