Homeland Season 6 Episode 2 Review: The Man in the Basement

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Please take a second to dry your tears so we can talk about Homeland Season 6 Episode 2

And if you claim that last scene didn't tug at your heartstrings, then you are not human and I have nothing to say to you. 

Carrie Takes a Call from Max - Homeland

Carrie and Quinn Go Domestic

Let's not kid ourselves; this episode was all about Carrie and Quinn, so I'll start with our favorite dysfunctional duo. 

After teasing a romance between these two for four seasons now (!?!?), the unthinkable has happened: they've moved in together. 

Yup, Carrie and Quinn are shacking up! This show is a trip, I tell you.

But don't bust out the bubbly just yet: Carrie and Quinn's domestic life is off to a rocky start. Physically, they're closer than ever. Emotionally, though, they're light years apart. 

It's been over three Homeland years since Carrie and Quinn shared a kiss (yeah, just the one kiss) and fantasized about "getting out" together.

And here we are. They're out. They're together. But the circumstances are far from the rosy "normal life" the would-be lovers imagined. Now, their relationship is shadowed by tragedy and regret.

That lovin' feeling's gone (for now); still, an abiding commitment binds them together, for better or worse. They're an old married couple, basically. 

They pick up right where they left off in Homeland Season 6 Episode 1, with Carrie nagging Quinn to take his meds and Quinn doing everything in his power to shut her out. 

He locks the door; throws a mug at her; turns up the volume on his alt-right radio show (Um? What's that about? Should we be concerned? Anyhoo...).

Don't you just want to shake him and be like, "She loves you, dummy! Just let her in!!"?

Max to the Rescue - Homeland

Luckily, good old Max is back to give Quinn a piece of our minds:

Quinn: What did she say?
Max: That you're being kind of an asshole. Also, there's some pills you need to take.

Yeah, Max! Smack him around a little for us, will you?

Quinn, the onetime warrior and heart-throbby assassin, is clearly depressed. His will to live? Gone, pretty much.

When Quax (as the Quinn/Max bromance is affectionately known) visit a nearby bodega, Quinn suffers a seizure, and in the scene that follows we get some insight into what's going on in that greasy little head of his:

Max: You OK?
Quinn: I'm a fucking mutant. No, I'm not OK.

Aw, but you're an adorable mutant! Don't give up on yourself, buddy!

Does straight-talking Max get through to Quinn? It appears so because the episode ends with an ultra intimate/emotional scene between Carrie and Quinn. (That was fast)

Carrie Back at Home - Homeland

Carrie gets home that night and checks in on Quinn, who asks how her day was. It's a simple gesture, but it signals that Quinn is ready to make peace and reconnect with Carrie.

His tone has softened and he want to talk, like, for real: "What happened to me?"

It turns out Quinn doesn't remember what happened to him in Berlin before the stroke. Carrie is surprised:

Carrie: There's a video. It was all over the Internet. You've never seen it?
Quinn: No. I didn't want to.
Carrie: Of course...
Quinn: But I do now.

What follows is the sickest scene that's ever been concocted for these two. Carrie and Quinn in the dark, on a bed, watching Quinn's "Sarin Gas Chamber-o'-Death" incident on Carrie's iPhone.

It's Netflix and chill, Homeland style. 

Under any other circumstances, I would curse anyone for making me watch *that* again. I had enough of Quinn ejecting bodily fluids in Homeland Season 5, thank you very much. But I know watching the video will be cathartic for Quinn – and Carrie – so I'll forgive them, just this once.

Quinn, slightly accusingly, asks Carrie why she saved him. (Did you notice the single tear sliding down his cheek? Kill me, please.)

"Why?" she says incredulously, voice breaking.

And the stoic Carrie, the totally-put-together Carrie we've seen so far this season collapses into an emotional heap. The realization that he doesn't know how much he means to her, that he thinks he'd be better off dead, is more than she can bear.

Now, a lot of people don't like Carrie. I know this. But you must have a dark, cold soul if this scene didn't elicit your sympathy for her. Just saying.

Carrie apologizes to Quinn for her breakdown, thinking he needs her to be strong. But I bet what he really needs is just what she gives him in this scene: a hint that she needs him, that there's still something he can do for Carrie and that's to get better, because she wants him back. 

Quinn seems to get it, because he stares at Carrie like he’s seeing her for the first time in a long while. When she leaves, his eyes awkwardly fight back the tears. I guess those tear ducts haven’t been activated for a while!

Carrie Has a Secret

Is this exchange the breakthrough Quinn needs to finally get his act together? I hope so, because I'm so fascinated/concerned/obsessed with Quinn's predicament that I'm hardly registering anything else going on this season.

Carrie Confronts Conlin  - Homeland Season 6 Episode 2

I'm like there's Quinn, and then some terrorist maybe, and then Quinn, and a douchy FBI guy, and Quinn, and the president-elect. Honestly, it's distracting.

Or maybe the other stuff is just not that exciting. I'm not a big fan of legal dramas, so following Carrie around from courtroom to courtroom is not cutting it for me. How about putting the thrill back in thriller, Homeland? 

But at least Carrie's back to her badass ways of yesteryear. It was fun to see her all in-your-face with Conlin, confronting him about the $5000 he made Saad (an FBI informant, it turns out), unload on Sekou: 

You weren't going to tell us, were you? That this big threat to national security is just another Muslim kid you entrapped?

Carrie

It was also fun watching her defy a judge's orders not to approach Saad for questioning. Rogue and reckless, this is how I like my Carrie Mathison.

Oh, and deceptive. I also like her deceptive. In a stilted reunion with Saul, she laughs at his suspicion that she's been advising the president-elect:

Carrie: You think I'm advising the next president of the United States?
Saul: I think her entire national security platform came right out of that head of yours.

Sure enough, no sooner does Saul leave than Carrie is spirited away in a black SUV to a meeting with – you guessed it – the president-elect. Poor Saul. His spy skills have been on the fritz for a couple of seasons now. Didn't he used to be smart?

Let's talk about Carrie and Saul for a second. These two have really fallen into a rut, haven't they? Once upon a time, they were both outliers within the Agency, doing their own thing and annoying the crap out of the powers that be. 

But ever since Saul became acting-director of the CIA after the Langley bombing, back in Homeland Season 3, he's become a company man, and he and Carrie have been on divergent paths. 

Saul Visits Carrie's Law Firm - Homeland

Clearly, they still care about each other, because over the past few seasons, they've tried (and failed) to come back together several times. Over and over again.

Let's hope their relationship is shaken up a little this season, because the pattern's getting old.

Meanwhile, I was pretty psyched to learn that Carrie's been advising the president-elect, mainly because I predicted it months ago and being right is fun, but also because it heralds Carrie's return to the CIA, on her own terms.

It's about to get real now, not just campaign talk. You ready?

Keane

Hell yeah, she's ready! And so are we! We are so ready for Carrie to stop small-potatoeing and get back in the friggin' spy game already!

Watcha Up To, Dar?

Speaking of spy games, anyone else think Dar's up to something shady? Please, Dar, do something spy-like and save our spy show! You're our only hope!

On Homeland Season 6 Episode 1, we saw Dar meeting with a Mossad agent and having mysterious backroom chats with establishment-types. This time, we see him schmoozing Rob Emmons, Keane's chief of staff, at a swanky lunch establishment.

Dar Sends Up a Flare to Mossad Agent - Homeland

The CIA, he says, is ready to defer a decision on how to proceed with an upcoming operation to the president-elect. Hmm, what's he up to?

Meanwhile, Dar's gotten actual photos of Carrie arriving at her secret meeting with Keane – as opposed to, say, just taking her word at face value. Dar, how about giving your old pal Saul a little refresher course on spying. Again, poor Saul.

The season seems to be setting up an epic showdown between Carrie and Dar. These two master-class spies have been itching to take each other down for a long time now.

It's going to be delicious to watch!

What do you think? Be sure to watch Homeland online and leave your comments below!

The Man in the Basement Review

Editor Rating: 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

Vivian Figueredo is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and read her personal blog at Sense Misapplied.

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Homeland Season 6 Episode 2 Quotes

Carrie: Getting answers from people who'd rather not say, that's something I'm good at.
Reda: He's off limits... We have a court order. Tell me you heard me?
Carrie: Yeah, I heard you.

Rob Hemmis: She's not even president yet. Why not give her a chance?
Dar Adal: Presidents don't get chances; they get tested.