'Homeland' Season 8 Episode 6: Key characters make their moves and Carrie's may be the most dangerous of all

As this riveting political thriller hits the midway mark, it's not hard to deduce the direction it's taking


                            'Homeland' Season 8 Episode 6: Key characters make their moves and Carrie's may be the most dangerous of all
Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIME
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Spoilers for 'Homeland' Season 8 Episode 6 'Two Minutes'

As this riveting political thriller hits the midway mark, it's not hard to deduce the direction it's taking. 'Two Minutes' shows no intention of slowing down as it continues to deal with the deaths of the two Presidents. The main focus is on the relationship between Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and Yevgeny Gromov (Costa Ronin) as the former plans and links up in a surprise alliance with the Russian in a bid to rescue Max Piotrowski (Maury Sterling).

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'Two minutes' has three separate storylines, all happening at the same time. While Carrie takes it on herself to rescue Max, her mentor, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), and the CIA station attempt to convince the newly sworn US President, Benjamin Hayes (Sam Trammell), to talk to power-hungry General Abdul Qadir G'ulom. It is revealed that after blaming Haissam Haqqani (Numan Acar) for the attack on the Presidents, G'ulom has rounded up 300 Taliban soldiers and kept them hostage in a soccer stadium. 

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The episode also gives an insight into the kind of rule G'ulom aims to bring in. In his plans to eliminate Haqqani, the theory of him orchestrating the killing and blaming it on the Taliban leader cannot be ruled out. Speaking of Haqqani, Acar plays a brilliant role as a leader struggling to convince the world of his innocence. There's also one moment in the entire episode where it shows the friendship and trust he shares with Saul. 

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Carrie's known to defy orders and that's a fact established early on in the previous installments of the series. However, her latest move may have just jeopardized her career, life and whatever backup plan Saul and Co may have had to repair the damages. She tracks down Yevgeny and requests him to help find out about Max. Now, this alliance is risky, but its Carrie and this move may see a nationwide manhunt for her, hinting a dire end. 

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Haqqani (Numan Acar) makes the bold move of surrendering to the Americans (Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIME)

For those who hoped for an update on Max, he's alive, hurt, but alive. And that black box he's retrieved was sold off in a thrift store of sorts and is currently and conveniently mounted on horseback journeying through the mountains. 

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There isn't much action in 'Two Minutes', but it does see the key characters make their moves. Credit to writers, Debora Cahn & Alex Gansa as they manage to highlight each character's thought process in a tricky and delicate situation. At this stage, it's still hard to trust Yevgeny, and Carrie's linkup with him leaves a lot to be answered. For one, this might be the part where Carrie gets headlined across the world as the woman behind the death of the two Presidents. 

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Fast-paced and compelling are the two adjectives that have always been attached to 'Homeland'. After 'Two Minutes', its time to add unpredictable to the list. 

'Homeland' Season 8 premieres on February 9 at 9 pm ET/PT on Showtime.