Homeland S3 E12: The Star
by Nikole Gunn
Dear Homeland producers,
I hate you. You got me hooked, just as you got Brody hooked on smack in the squalor of The Tower. I followed each episode and analysed every look, comment and plot development. After a shaky start to the season, you made me care. And then you committed the ultimate betrayal. How could you?
I tried all day to avoid any mention of the Homeland finale on the web. I avoided Twitter and I ignored Facebook. But I forgot about office chatter. I overheard someone in the hallway say “Brody’s dies”. What? No!!!
It was inevitable, I suppose, and the total disregard for the fan sentiment is indicative of the show’s deliberate moves to keep its integrity and not ‘do’ the Hollywood ending.
But did they really have to kill off Nicholas Brody?
His chances of making it back to the US in one piece were always doubtful. And even though the show has often asked the viewer to suspend disbelief and just go with it, Brody ‘offing’ the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was always going to pose some plotline problems.
And if, by some miracle, Brody managed to evade the Iranian security forces, what then? How many more Islamic plots could they spin around him before it became tedious and predictable?
So, yes, Brody had to die. But how we get to that point is just as heartbreaking.
The episode cuts straight to the chase. There is no Mandy Patinkin ‘previously on Homeland’ voice over. Instead, we pick up where we left off. Brody is Akbari’s office and Carrie is on her way to meet him and plan the get way.
Brody’s crime is discovered and he’s on the run and making his way to Carrie as Saul begins to work on an extraction plan, after getting confirmation from Javadi that Akbari is dead.
But Javadi spells out the obvious: Brody can’t be allowed to escape. Without his capture, it would be doubtful that Javadi would get the top job. Saul’s grand plan would be dead in the water. Brody needs to be sacrificed.
Dar Adal would give him up for the greater good, but not Saul. He goes ahead with the plan to get them out of Dodge. He gave his word and he’s planning to make good on his promise.
Carrie and Brody are alone at last at the safe house. There is a lot being left unsaid. Brody is withdrawn and even he questions ‘what happens next’. What if they do make it out alive, what do they do?
And then she drops her bombshell. She’s pregnant and he’s the father. He doesn’t hug her and he doesn’t touch her. Just “Jesus, Carrie, you should have said something”
The next we know, Iranian security forces have the safe house surrounded and they grab Brody, leaving Carrie behind to call Saul to demand what’s going on. No guesses who blabbed to the Iranians. Dar Adal knows whose star is on the rise and it’s not Saul’s
Brody is to be the sacrificial lamb on the orders of the President, handed down to Lockhart, the new director of the CIA and Dar Adal is a ‘company man’ and follows orders.
Interestingly, its Javadi who makes Carrie see what she hasn’t admitted to herself. It’s always been about Brody. Everything she’s done has been to redeem him. Now everyone sees him through her eyes: Saul, Lockhart, the President even Javadi. She’s succeeded in giving him redemption.
But there will be no happy ending for Carrie and Brody, He’s been sentenced to death by hanging for being an ‘enemy of the state’– and in a heartbreaking phone call, he begs her not to be there, when he dies.
She can’t do that and she watches through the crowd as a red noose is placed around his neck and a crane lifts him up. As he begins to choke, she climbs the fence and yells his name. They lock eyes and he’s gone.
4 months later.
A very pregnant Carrie is back at CIA headquarters. She’s been offered the job of Station Chief in Istanbul, but her request that Brody be given a star on the CIA’s Commemorative Wall is turned down.
But the thought of becoming a mother is freaking her out. She didn’t think it through. She wanted it because of Brody, to have a part of him. Quinn tells her that’s ‘love’ and the baby is a gift.
In the end, she breaks down to her dad and sister. She wants to give up her baby girl, whom she feels nothing for. She’s scared and so very, very sad. Her father steps in with an offer to raise his granddaughter.
The episode closes with Carrie taking out a marker-pen, and in the dead of night adding a star for her dead lover, Brody, who sacrificed all.
Homeland has been renewed for a fourth season, to be aired next year. But without Damien Lewis and the on-screen chemistry he shares with Clare Danes, can the show survive and thrive?
I’m hoping that we may have an “Offspring-esque” return of Brody. We know that Carrie is a little, ahem, unstable. Could Brody make a return to Homeland in the deluded mind of Carrie Mathison as she toils away in Istanbul? I hope so.