Homeland Recap Season 6 Episode 5: "Casus Belli"

Season 6 of Homeland reaches its halfway mark on Sunday night (Feb. 19), and it’s a nail-biter from start to finish. The title of the episode, “Casus Belli,” is a Latin expression that means “an act or event that provokes or is used to justify war.” Picking up moments after Sekou Bah’s (J. Mallory McCree) delivery van explodes in Manhattan, which is instantly dubbed a terrorist attack, and Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) gets outed as part of the legal team who set the supposed terrorist free, the provoked war comes to her front door.

Since Reda (Patrick Sabongui) is tied up at the crime scene, Carrie must head to Sekou’s home to protect his sister and mother, both of whom are getting interrogated, and now considered high threats to national security. Forced to briefly leave Franny in Quinn’s care, for she can’t wait the 45 minutes until the nanny arrives, Carrie rushes out. Even though evidence speaks otherwise, Carrie continues to believe in Sekou’s innocence.

Within a half hour of her absence, news reporters and vans swarm Carrie’s Brooklyn townhome, and Quinn (Rupert Friend), who’s still deeply suffering from PTSD, goes into fight mode. His only concern being to keep Franny safe. After a persistent female reporter bombards Quinn with questions, he accosts her by the neck, and as if she’s an empty beer can, throws her down the front cement stairwell leading to the sidewalk. As her body tumbles down, the media outside catches it all live on camera, and things quickly escalate

On top of the media circus, a protest breaks out. The news is reporting that Carrie’s a terrorist sympathizer and that the delivery truck bomb explosion was all her fault. A particularly angry protestor throws a rock through the front window, smashing glass everywhere inside the house. After making sure Franny and the nanny are uninjured, Quinn grabs his gun and starts shooting towards the street. While people scatter in fear, Quinn nails the man who threw the rock in the window. Carrie later explains to the police that he was only acting out of self-defense.

“Trust me,” she says. “If Quinn wanted to kill that man, he’d be dead.”

To the outside untrained eye, it appears a woman and a child are being held hostage by a crazy man. A SWAT team is called in. Carrie arrives back home just as they surround the premises. Carrie begs them to stand down, for this isn’t some unknown psycho in her house, it’s her friend, and a trained former CIA-agent whom will take down anyone posing a threat. And just as Carrie warned before the SWAT team even realizes what’s happening, Quinn has an officer hostage, and the police finally start listening to Carrie.

As the pandemonium abates, Carrie apologizes profusely to Quinn. She feels guilty for causing him to be in such a high-stress situation. While Carrie starts cleaning up the broken window pieces, she finds Quinn’s cell phone. She flips through the pictures he took while tailing their neighbor the previous night. Carrie waved off Quinn’s extreme paranoia of the man living across the street as a side effect of his PTSD, but upon seeing the photo of the Medina Medley delivery truck, she realizes Quinn has been right the entire time. Their neighbor is not some random dude, and there’s a connection between him and the bomb in Sekou’s truck. In addition to the news she learned earlier, that it wasn’t her contact who sent her the taped phone conversation that got Sekou’s charges dropped, Carrie’s now on high alert. Something’s not adding up.

We don’t know who sent Carrie the evidence recording, but all roads seem to lead back to Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham). The Black Ops head of the CIA, master of the long game, has had Carrie bugged for weeks. He’s the only other person that could’ve known she sought out illegally obtained information and then also have the ability to get ahold of such a tape. Now he can giddily watch from the sidelines as Carrie’s defense of Sekou blows up in her face, literally.

If Adal is the lynchpin, it’s because he’s hoping this situation causes the President-elect Madame Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) to fire Carrie as her advisor. He will do anything to ensure the CIA reclaims its autonomous power. The smug smile on Adal’s face when he mentions to Saul (Mandy Patinkin) that Keane is finally starting to look upon the CIA in a good light says it all. Except Saul is only aware of half the story. He will soon figure out how Adal used Carrie to trick Keane, the secrets kept from him while he was away in the Middle East, and Saul will have to pick a side: his former protege or his current boss.

Homeland's America is looking grim. The distrust within the branches of government during this crucial time frame in which the President-elect prepares to take office could soon result in an international war. All the while, Carrie’s failing at the one thing she promised would never happen, putting Franny’s life in danger. While Carrie thought continuing to be a CIA agent would be too dangerous, violence comes knocking on her front door regardless. She needs to put her game face back on. We all know Carrie isn’t living her truth working as a legal aid, and viewers should prepare for the old-school ass-kicking Carrie to return in full form next week.
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