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WashingTelevision: Homeland Recap, Season Three, Episode 12, “The Star”

We lost a major character tonight.

No one looks as good looking pensive as this man does. Photograph by Kent Smith for Showtime.

Oh, hey guys. How’s it going? I’m just sitting here at my computer, looking at the sparkly Christmas lights, feeling oddly cheery about life because THE ONLY THING THAT COULD HAVE SAVED SEASON FOUR OF HOMELAND JUST HAPPENED. Major spoilers ahead, obviously, so read no further if you don’t want to know that …

Brody is no more. Who’s surprised? He wasn’t really in season three much, so there was that, and in the past few episodes he seems to have had a definite not-looking-into-the-future-because-he-knows-he-doesn’t-have-one kind of an outlook. Not to be callous about the death of a major TV character we’ve known (and lusted after, in some cases) for three seasons now, but was there really any hope for the show with him in it? Wouldn’t things have been a trillion times better this season if Brody had died in the Langley bombing? Plus, I cringe every time he and Carrie are in a room together, for reasons I can only partly attribute to the animal noises they made in season two.

Also, Brody was looking even more like a goner after news came this week that Morena Baccarin and Morgan Saylor had been dropped as series regulars and might only return as guest stars. (No mention of poor Jackson Pace, who’s had less to do this season than Carrie’s fetus.) The lack of news about Damian Lewis’s status in the show felt distinctly ominous, and the minute Dar Adal started humming and hawing about an extraction plan for Brody, his chances felt Victoria’s Secret-slender.

There are still a million questions left to be answered, tonight more than ever. Why was Brody in Caracas again? Who was El Niño working for, given that he mentioned being a friend of Carrie’s but then sold Brody to Saul for ten million in cash? What will Carrie do with her baby? What will Saul do in New York? Will he reinvent himself as a singer of show tunes and a noted Sondheim interpreter? Will the world ever discover that Brody wasn’t really the mastermind behind the Langley bombing? Will Dana? Will anyone ever care about Chris’s feelings? He lost a father too, you know. Will Dar Adal ever stop going to Walt’s Waffles? Will Lockhart ride Saul’s success right into the Oval Office?

Tonight, we remembered what made Homeland the magical show it was in season one: suspense. No offense to Dana, who’s taken a lot of unfair flack this season, but her romantic shenanigans and laundry escapades weren’t exactly the kind of thing to bring people to the edges of their seats. Brody’s escape from Akbari’s office was downright Argo-worthy between the sweating, the gates, and the Iranian guards who came running after him just a little too late. For a hot minute it looked like Carrie might actually be able to swoop in and rescue him, but then Javadi started making demands that Brody be captured in order to make him appear stronger as a leader and Dar Adal seemed to agree.

Saul nevertheless told Carrie he’d start figuring out an extraction plan, which led to Carrie and Brody driving miles into the desert and him saying some stuff about his father and how he was born in Mojave. Eventually they got to a dirty but deserted safe house, and Brody said, “There are worse places,” which is true, given that he used to live in Virginia (I jest! I jest! I’m totally talking about his grim cell of heroin needles in Caracas). Saul told Carrie the helicopters were on their way, and Carrie told Brody she was pregnant. And maybe it’s my irrepressible hatred of them as a couple but all I wanted to do was for him to be like, WTF Carrie, instead of getting all immediately misty-eyed over the tiny life the two of them had made by neglecting to use condoms, ever.

“I believe one of the reasons I was put on this earth was for our paths to cross,” said Carrie (vom). “I don’t think that sounds crazy at all. It’s the only sane f**king thing left to hold on to,” said Brody, sounding a bit like he’d been listening to too much classic rock. But alas, no sooner had the helicopter rotors been heard chugging overhead than Brody was immediately caught up on lots of car headlights (again), then arrested (again), and carted off to a cell (again).

Brody, it turns out, had been given up to Javadi by a cabal including Lockhart, Dar Adal, and the swarthy guy with cropped hair who’s been shouting lots of CIA language at video screens this season. Let me pause for a moment to say, does Carrie not know this when Lockhart offers her the job as section chief of Istanbul? Might that not affect their professional relationship, given that he traded the life of the father of her child to curry favor with a murderous untrustworthy sh*thead? Also, is Carrie—a woman who’s not only extraordinarily mentally fragile and tempestuous AND a single mother-to-be but who’s also been basically outed as a loon sleeping with a terrorist—really the best person Lockhart could possibly choose to be the youngest station head in CIA history? Really, Lockhart? Really?

Anyway, Carrie checked out her hotel room, pausing only to sweep the free toiletries into her washbag, but was hustled into a car by two goons on her way out and ended up face to face with Javadi (no word on what happened to her luggage). Javadi briefly threatened Fara’s uncle before getting to his real business: persuading Carrie that Brody was “at peace,” and that his death was actually the perfect end to a perfect CIA mission. After all, everyone sees Brody through Carrie’s eyes now, just like she wanted, and as a hero. Not even the almighty Saul could stop it now.

Carrie got to call Brody for five seconds to say goodbye, and it was very, very sad. “Whatever happens, I don’t want you to be there,” he said of his public execution, but of course she wouldn’t because Carrie is terrible at making decisions and has no impulse control (all the more reason not to appoint her to a very powerful position managing spies in the West’s predominant Islamic ally). So she went, and Brody came out and everyone booed at him and a woman spat in his face, and then the crane lifted his noose up and he died in what looked like a slow and unnecessarily agonizing way. RIP, Brody. You were very brave and ultimately good, if a little conflicted at times. And your hair was glorious.

(I don’t want to start with the conspiracy theories here, but according to the Daily Mail a man who was recently hung in public in Iran actually survived and woke up in the morgue the next day, so chew on that while we wait for season four to commence.)

Then we returned to Saul and Mira four months later, drinking tea somewhere sunny and discussing how Iran had agreed to give full access to UN weapons inspectors in return for the easing of sanctions. “Saul, you did this,” said Mira. “It’s your whole life. It’s your crowning achievement.” Some of us might disagree (cough-beard-cough), but everyone at the CIA seemed to think it was so, even though Lockhart had by now kicked Saul off to the private sector and moved cheerfully into his corner office.

The episode concluded with Carrie, reckless to the last, ignoring the lone Langley security guard and drawing a slightly lopsided star on the wall for Brody with a Sharpie marker. And if that isn’t the perfect metaphor for their relationship, I don’t know what is.

So, some thoughts.

Carrie might or might not keep her baby. Papa don’t preach, she’s in trouble deep. Papa don’t preach, she’s been losing sleep. But she’s made up her mind, she’ssssss giving up the baby. Maybe. Possibly to her dad, who as an elderly-ish fellow with mental health problems of his own would doubtless be better at raising a child given that he at least knows how to make a sandwich.

  • I still don’t trust Dastardly Dar Adal.
  • Quinn appears to still be in the CIA, despite his utterances about getting out. He also mentioned his long-forgotten child, so maybe there’ll be more Quinn in season four? One can only hope.
  • Two waffles with butter  = Old School. Hardy har har.
  • Carrie’s baby might, might, be the spawn of Alien, given the utterly creepy way it almost stuck its fist through her belly.
  • What will Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Damian Lewis do next?

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading these past few months! You stay sassy, Washington DC. What did you think of this season of Homeland? Let us know in the comments.