TV Show Review

TV Review: HOMELAND: Season 6, Episode 4: A Flash of Light [Showtime]

F. Murray Abraham Claire Danes Homeland A Flash of light

Homeland A Flash of Light Review

Showtime‘s Homeland: Season 6, Episode 4: A Flash of Light had an ending that altered the lives of almost all of the principal characters currently on the series.

The explosion at the end of A Flash of Light was telegraphed from a mile away. Cameras do not linger on a car driving in a show like this for that long unless something is going to happen. When the van carrying Sekou Bah (J. Mallory McCree) exploded, it was not a surprise. What also wasn’t surprising was where the explosion happened – a bustling NYC street to inflict maximum civilian casualties.

The question, as the lights went down and the credits rolled on A Flash of Light was, who was responsible for the explosion? Was it: a.) random terrorists, b.) Hakim (Kade Wise) and Mbengeh (Ian Duff), or c.) CIA Director Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham).

Choice A is a little too far-fetched. That threat would have to be identified throughout the remainder of the season and tracked down. There are only six episodes left. It is possible that it was a third-party terrorist and that the first four episodes were a setup to their introduction but its unlikely. In my opinion, the threat is already on-screen. That leaves Hakim, Mbengeh, and CIA Director Adal. Hakim and Mbengeh, incredulous about how Bah was so easily released from FBI custody, might have been radicalized terrorists attracted to the delivery company and Bah because of the videos Bah continually published on his website.

Bah really cared about how he was perceived by the outside world, including by those he worked and associated with. That may have ultimately led to his death.

The other possibility is that the person who planted and detonated the bomb in Bah’s van worked for Adal and / or acted on Adal’s orders. I don’t believe that Adal would go as far as to detonate a bomb in NYC for the greater good i.e. protecting America but its possible. If Adal was behind the van bomb, it was a terrible and brilliant move on his part. Not only did it put Ex-CIA Analyst Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and her organization in hot water for getting Bah out of FBI custody – diminishing Carrie’s judgement in the eyes of those that would seek her counsel, it re-affirmed Adal’s strong stance against terrorism to United States of America President-elect Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel). Two goals accomplished with one explosion.

Tremendous public pressure, attention, and scrutiny are now going to be placed on Carrie after the explosion, scrutiny that a secret advisor to the President-elect can’t afford. Carrie may have to step down from advising the President. This would be the third Adal goal, accomplished by the explosion, if Adal was in fact behind it.

Adal confronting Carrie about secretly advising President-elect Keane in A Flash of Light was bound to happen. As I stated in a previous Homeland review, Adal is a different type of CIA agent than Carrie. Friend or foe, Adal takes nothing at face value. When Carrie began telling lies to Adal’s face, he threw back true facts until Carrie knew that her pretense was futile. Whatever Carrie had on Adal, it paled in comparison to what Adal potentially had on her. Carrie was completely exposed and her expression as she walked away from Adal showed it. She knew he was right.

The final events of Season 3 of Homeland were brought back into the main storyline of the series with the re-introduction of Shaun Toub (Majid Javadi). In the shifting terrain CIA European Division Chief Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) found himself in during A Flash of Light, there weren’t many people that he could trust. One was the puppet he’d placed into power three seasons ago. The other, his sister Dorit (Jacqueline Antaramian), surprised even Saul when she spoke up and affirmed his alibi.

I heard a spy saying recently: “a coincidence takes a lot of planning.” Etai Luskin (Allan Corduner) was cognizant of that saying as well and believed it. If he didn’t, he never would have been waiting for Saul to emerge from Dorit’s home in A Flash of Light. Letting Saul go because of the van explosion  / attack in the Unites States was an extremely dubious decision. The CIA has other intelligence officers that work for the organization. Dozens in fact. Other people could have performed Saul’s tasks while he was out-of-the-office. In addition, why release someone that you believe just met with the leader of one of your mortal enemies? No real-life spy agency would have done such a thing. It would have been inconceivable to them. It was A Flash of Light‘s comic book moment.

Ex-CIA Special Operations Group Operative Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) was not thinking like a trained CIA operative within his segment of A Flash of Light. Quinn no longer seemed capable of looking at a person or a situation from multiple analytical angles. Once he told Carrie what he had found, she was able to do so instantly. Confronted with her simple analysis of what he found, Quinn’s argument fell apart. I guess the old Quinn will not be coming back any time soon.

Leave your thoughts on this Homeland A Flash of Light review and this episode below in the comments section. Readers seeking more Homeland can visit our Homeland Page and our Homeland Google+ Page. Readers seeking more TV show reviews can visit our TV Show Review Page, our TV Show Review Twitter Page, our TV Show Review Facebook Page, and our TV Show Review Google+ Page. Want up-to-the-minute notification? FilmBook staff members publish articles by Email, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, and Facebook.

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About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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