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Homeland Recap Season 6, Episode 4, "A Flash of Light"

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Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 4, “A Flash of Light”

JoJo Whilden/Showtime

Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 4, “A Flash of Light”

Up until the literally explosive final two minutes of “A Flash of Light,” Homeland’s sixth season has taken a radically different approach to its narrative. Rather than dealing with an immediate threat, the series has revolved around the hypothetical threat of a nuclear attack, one that’s at worst still several years down the road. Instead of establishing an obvious villain, the series has criticized the F.B.I. for essentially inventing homegrown terrorists like Sekou Bah (J. Mallory McCree) and suggested that Mossad might also be fabricating threats with the use of false-flag operatives like Iranian moneyman Farhad Nafisi (Bernard White). The people doing all the threatening in this episode are the ones who’re supposed to be the good guys: the C.I.A.’s Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham), casually accosting Carrie Matheson (Claire Danes) as she picks her daughter up from school, and the Israeli government’s Etai Luskin (Allan Corduner), politely detaining Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) on his way back to America from the West Bank.

Homeland Recap Season 6, Episode 3, "The Covenant"

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Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 3, “The Covenant”

Didier Baverel/Showtime

Homeland Recap: Season 6, Episode 3, “The Covenant”

In “The Covenant,” when Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) uses the word “conclusive” to describe the findings of his Abu Dhabi operative, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), Carrie (Claire Danes) knows that something isn’t right. A true intelligence officer would never speak so decisively; they prefer to hedge their bets, as Carrie explains to President-elect Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel). Only those with an agenda to push would act so bluntly, and at its best, Homeland describes such dealings with subtle ambiguity.

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 F.B.I., 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.