Homeland: “The Flag House” Season 6 Episode 10 Review

Photo Credit:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGTC1D3qEn4

Season six likely has a very specific endgame in mind. It has to. More so than any previous season, the number of moving parts is astronomical. And with season premieres now acting as reset buttons, most of this is likely going to get wrapped up in the next two weeks. With that endgame in mind, and the majority of the pieces in place, “The Flag House” is all about upping the tension. It does this well enough, but season six has also spent a lot of time talking about things that are going to happen. We know just about every minute detail of Dar Adal’s secret propaganda ring, but only now is it fully revealed that it’s actually his.

The best scene of the episode is the one in which Keane and Dar finally say all the things they haven’t been saying to each other all season. It’s intense and well-acted, especially on Elizabeth Marvel’s part, who really got to own the episode emotionally there on out. But even this scene, feels a little too late. The fact is, season six of Homeland could have used some trimming. Ten episodes into the season, and we really don’t have much to show for it.

That said, we’re stilling being pushed toward what is sure to be an intense and exciting finale. Season six knows what game it’s playing and it’s playing it well enough that there is genuine tension, even with the lack of significant movement.

“The Flag House” is best when the walls are closing in on Keane. The parallels between she and Hillary Clinton have never been more apparent then in this episode, but that actually ends up being a good thing. With the fake news (see, Homeland can still grab headlines) of her son’s supposed cowardice just before he was killed, Keane is now facing the shitstorm of public perception that Hillary faced, though she actually got elected before it all came out. Keane watching footage of her son just moments before he was killed was powerful stuff. Even better was the scene in which she and her bodyguards stormed Carrie’s home, and she started to put the pieces together as to how Dar was manipulating Carrie against Keane. If anything, this episode was the best argument for Keane staying on the show past season six, even though she almost definitely shouldn’t if Homeland is to remain topical in its final two seasons.

Carrie, meanwhile, has a busy episode juggling the deposition, trying to see Frannie, and Quinn’s return. Carrie now seems to resemble the complex puzzle that is Homeland season six, and her frustrations at how distant all the pieces are sometimes mirrors my own. But it’s also been exciting to see how all of this revolves around her.

But the best Carrie moment of the episode doesn’t even really involve her. With Saul sneaking into her house for refuge, only after the president-elect had barged in and left, he stumbles upon a room that we hadn’t seen until now. Carrie’s been putting everything together on a board like she used to. Mandy Patinkin perfectly conveys Saul’s affection for his old colleague here. Carrie doesn’t actually work for him anymore, but she’s still using the skills that made her good at her job.

Even so, this episode, aside from Kean’s storyline, felt like a random stream of consciousness of Homeland subplots, all of which are starting to mash together. A few cliffhangers leave us waiting for next week, but otherwise this episode was one that felt like the show was spinning its wheels. With just two episodes left, it’s likely just be a minor blip on an otherwise very solid season. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *