Homeland series 6 episode 5 recap: Quinn becomes volatile – but could he be onto something?

This has been the most nerve-wracking episode of the series so far, what with the aftermath of the explosion and Quinn’s PTSD coming to the fore - but could him and Carrie piece the puzzle together?

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Wow. That escalated quickly, didn’t it? We were yelling at the TV for the majority of that episode – by far the most high-intensity hour of Homeland this series. 

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***SPOILERS AHEAD***

When Carrie realised that the blown-up van was being driven by none other than her own client, Sekou Bah, she was forced to leave Quinn in charge of Franny. But she never could have imagined how far things would spiral out of control. As the day played out, it became increasingly clear that many aspects of the explosion, and the suspected terror attack, just didn’t add up. What’s more, it’s starting to look like Quinn isn’t just paranoid – he could be onto something. Here, we unpick all of the clues from the episode, and figure out what it could mean for next week’s instalment. 

The recording that freed Sekou was not from Carrie’s source

On realising that Sekou was the one driving the van, Carrie rushed to warn her NSA contact that the recording he had given her (of a conversation between Saad and his FBI handler Conlin, which exonerated Sekou) would lead to the FBI asking lots of very awkward questions. But he insisted it wasn’t him who sent the recording to her desk, saying: “No, I didn’t break fifty federal laws.”

So, who gave it to her then? Does this mean someone purposefully sent the clip to Carrie so that Sekou would be released and could be used as a bomb mule without his knowing?

And if so, could that be part of a bigger plot to publicly undermine Carrie, so that she stops advising the president-elect? This would, in turn, pave the way for the US to implement more aggressive foreign policy. This may seem far-fetched and extreme, but you have to admit Dar practically couldn’t wait to inform president-elect Keane that Carrie was closely linked to a terror attack. And we know that Dar wants to go to war with Iran.

Quinn is onto something

Quinn’s erratic and paranoid behaviour, as symptoms of his PTSD, have meant that Carrie has not been taking him seriously when he says someone has been watching the house. But his claims stopped seeming so arbitrary when he noticed that the van in the photos on his phone matches the one in the bomb wreckage.

It’s starting to look pretty certain that whoever has been spying on Carrie’s house from across the road is tied up with the van that Sekou was driving. Could whoever they are have planted the bomb? Quinn’s phone could be strong evidence: he has photos of the van and also the number plate of the man’s car.

Carrie finally saw the photos for herself – and they piqued her interest, especially because she was struggling to believe Sekou could be a suicide bomber in the first place.

Quinn is not OK

The amount of media attention swirling around Carrie’s house clearly brought out Quinn’s PTSD in the worst possible way. His paranoia led him to almost strangle a female journalist and then throw her down the steps of Carrie’s home. This then led to members of the public throwing rocks at the windows – partly because of Quinn’s violence and partly because they labelled Carrie as a terrorist sympathiser, or at least someone who was facilitating terrorism.

In response, Quinn started shooting at the crowd. The police began to treat it as a hostage situation… and to be honest it was starting to feel like one after Quinn confiscated the babysitter’s phone and sent her and Franny down to the basement. 

Quinn then kidnapped a police officer sent in to diffuse the situation and took all of his weapons. Carrie went in to try to calm him down, retrieve Franny and coax Quinn out of the house. 

After an unbelievably intense stand-off, the police came in and took Quinn away – and everyone somehow left unscathed.

Quinn left his phone behind, and when Carrie saw his “proof” everything seemed to fall into place. But whatever Quinn has managed to figure out – he probably won’t be much use in the next episode if he’s locked away in a medical centre or a prison.

Our questions and theories

Who is the third party who gave Carrie the FBI recording? Could it be someone who wanted Sekou released so he could be used as a bomb mule without his knowing? And is this part of a bigger plot to undermine Carrie and, in turn, force the US to go to war with Iran? 

Who planted the bomb in Sekou’s van? Was it the man spying on Carrie’s house from across the road?

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What’s going to happen to Quinn? Will he go to prison? And will Carrie start taking his suspicions seriously?