The penultimate episode of Homeland season 6 goes out with a literal bang. While not on the same level of the explosion back in season 2, in which the CIA building blows up and 238 lives are taken, in “R For Romeo,” a slew of FBI agents lay dead or severely injured after a surprise blast goes off at the domestic terrorists’ safe house in Queens. Carrie (Claire Danes) and Quinn (Rupert Friend) narrowly survive the attack, and after making sure one another is okay, they immediately start checking the pulse of each body left strewn about the front lawn, a powerfully poignant scene which will tug at every viewers’ heartstrings.
Carrie and Quinn have been pinned up against a wall for the bulk of this season, so it’s easy to forget that their natural state is in helping other people, not defending themselves on personal matters. As CIA agents, these two were constantly performing selfless acts of heroism. Without a moment’s hesitation, either would jump in front a bullet if it meant saving the lives of innocent people or successfully completing a mission.
But because of Dar Adal’s (F. Murray Abraham) reckless master plan to ensure the power of the CIA remains intact when President-elect Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) takes office, Carrie and Quinn have been purposely drowned and distracted by personal turmoil. Of course, Carrie’s focus would shift after Dar threatens to permanently remove Franny from her custody. And how could Quinn ever connect Dar to Sekou Bah’s case after being abducted to a remote lake house and watching his former lover get murdered right in front of his eyes? Neither have had a chance to come up for air. That is, until now.
While Carrie and Quinn tend to be stubborn and hot-headed in their pursuits, their goal is always to do what’s best for their country, to do whatever they can to make America a safe place to live. And even though they disagree on the best way to finally take out their former mystery neighbour, after Carrie breaks into the safe house and is attacked by him, Quinn gets murder him in the exact way he was planning, with extreme brutality. And because Quinn technically kills him in order save Carrie’s life, she’s able to get him granted full immunity.
But the mystery neighbour’s team of domestic terrorists are still out there. While the safe house is scoured for evidence of where they might be, with Carrie’s help, Quinn deciphers a code left scribbled on the poorly cleaned whiteboard. While it could be “R” or “B,” it makes most sense if it reads “R,” because that means their next plan of attack is on the east coast time zone.
While the scope of who, what, when and exactly where still needs to be figured out, Carrie’s first instinct is that it has something to do with Madame Keane. Carrie immediately calls her aid in New York City to warn them to keep their guard up, and while distracted by a bad phone connection, she realises “east coast” also makes right where she’s standing, a possible target. The terrorists might've planted a trap in the house before they fled. When an FBI agent forces open the locked door to the garage, it triggers a bomb to go off. And Sekou Bah’s Medina Medley truck, along with everything and everyone in its vicinity, gets blown to shreds.
In another surprising turn of events, Dar is officially ending his working relationship with Brett O’Keefe and the underground internet think tank. “The Office of Policy Coordination” has taken their domestic propaganda crusade too far. Keefe is using a fake Quinn account to propel the Keane smear campaign, a move that makes things a little too personal for Dar. So, even though Dar’s impetus to now do the right thing is too little too late, and his affection towards Quinn stems from a despicable paedophilic relationship, we’re glad to see him finally use his power for good, and help save Max (Maury Sterling) from TOPC’s holding cell.
It’s also nice to see Saul (Mandy Patinkin) and Keane working together. Even though he might not agree with all her policies, Saul respects Keane. And the CIA she’s been dealing with while getting acclimated to the White House is not the same agency he’s dedicated his entire life to. It’s immensely satisfying watching Keane take Saul’s council, and knowing the advice she’s being given is intended to help salvage her reputation, not destroy it.
With only one episode left this season, and the series’ propensity to end on a cliffhanger, the finale could go in a zillion different directions. But the one thing we truly hope doesn’t happen is Keane dying. The viable, fearless female President-elect is an incredibly endearing character, and we’d like to see her stick around. Watching her tackle public backlash with patience and instead of spewing brash idiotic comments, and never blaming other people for what gets misconstrued in the news, every scene Keane’s in serves as a refreshing reprieve from real life.
Dar’s fate remains to be a huge question mark. At first, him surviving this season looked to be slim to none, and while he will meet some sort of deserved fate, it might not be death. Helping Quinn and saving Max will not excuse the rest of his deplorable, highly illegal actions, but such could mean Dar will live to see Season 7. He could end up in prison, or be living off the map like Saul almost attempted to do in last week’s episode, but no longer will he be the CIA’s Black-Ops director. That ship has sailed. And hopefully, Keefe and his army of sock poppet bots go with it.