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

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With the groundwork laid, “A Flash of Light” could be a major turning point for season six. My hope is that, just as the show did after season four’s game-changing “From A to B and Back Again,” the season will majorly kick it into high gear. Most of “A Flash of Light” is spent heating up the tension significantly from the episodes before it. But it’s all leading to one genuine shock, the type Homeland is best at.

Before that, however, season six’s various storylines inch toward a cohesive convergence, followed by one loud bang that’ll likely send the main characters crossing each others’ paths way more frequently than they do now.

Who is watching Carrie from across the street? Is Quinn even in the right mindset to be making these kinds of assumptions? Quinn’s new status of “not 100%, but close enough” is far better suited for this show than the drug-addled version we got in the first two episodes. It allows Quinn to still atone for his sins and represent the wider problem with veterans’ affairs, all while still capable of his savvy spy nature. He may be an unreliable force, but his heart is back in the right place and he at the very least capable of fooling anyone who thinks he steps out of line.

At this point, it’s more likely that someone is actually spying on Carrie rather than the show trying to really beat home the point of Quinn’s arc in the first few episodes. But who does the man spying on her work for? The obvious choice is Dar Adal, especially as he continues to keep a very close eye on Carrie. But then maybe that’s too obvious. Either way, having the merciless but wounded Quinn at the forefront of this thread lends a genuine unpredictability to it. For example, what happens to Carrie or Quinn if the latter kills one of Dar Adal’s informants?

Meanwhile, the soft war between President-elect Keane and Dar Adal is about to reach its boiling point. Dar meeting Carrie outside her daughter’s school is a disturbing move. It was smart to have Carrie just admit it after Dar insists. Their relationship is hardly as forgiving as her and Saul’s. Even more interesting is how Keane aims to have Carrie blackmail her former colleagues. Carrie even says that Dar had her back sometimes, despite never having the easiest of relationships. Carrie has a difficult choice to make, and once again she has no one to blame but herself for putting her in this position.

But things could change very quickly for Carrie with the final moments of this episode. After using blackmail to get Sekou free, he posts another video in support of Islam. Then, driving his delivery van for work, he hears a beeping and the van explodes. It’s clear Sekou didn’t put the bomb there himself, but Homeland is world-weary enough to understand that Sekou would be blamed by the masses regardless of what evidence is found later on. And Carrie defended him. This dramatic shift for season six is entirely necessary, opening up each of these storylines to new potential and in-depth complications. “A Flash of Light” is the best episode of season six so far, but best of all, it’s a hint at great things to come for the rest of the season. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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