Season Two, Episode Twelve
What is there to make of the season finale of Homeland? Before I get into that I must recap some of my feelings about the sophomore season, which had its moments of brilliance along with its moments of pure disaster. The first handful of episodes was up to par with the first season, as Brody was running errands for Roya under guidance from Abu Nazir. Meanwhile, Carrie was getting back in the game because, well she is actually a very good analyst and the CIA needs her. The first third of the season was full of suspenseful moments regarding Carrie’s mental stability, Brody’s undercover missions, and the fun in not knowing who’s good and who’s bad. Unfortunately, the show dipped in the middle of its second season.
While it was predictable that Brody was going to be turned into a double-agent, it was all worth it to watch the interrogation scene when Carrie is able to break down Brody. The first four or five episodes contained arguably the best acting from Damian Lewis and Claire Danes. It shouldn’t matter how ridiculous some of the plots became during the rest of the season. The interactions between Carrie and Brody as they talked at the hotel bar, Carrie’s near suicide, and the interrogation were some of the year’s best television performances, hands down.
But the show hit a speed bump. Brody and Carrie slowly, yet smoothly, rekindled their feelings for each other and continued their ill-advised romance. Simultaneously, Brody’s family unraveled. I loved the first season when they showed the difficulty to try and bring everything back to normal with the Brody family, but in the second season that didn’t matter anymore. Brody loves his family but without any real explanation he loves Carrie more. I understand that they’re both messed up and can relate to each other more than anyone else can, but it’s hard to believe that Brody would throw away everything for Carrie. His family never did anything wrong except being the innocent bystander to his secret motives, but somewhere between it all he lost the love for his family.
More about Brody and Carrie, it’s hard to believe they would both trust each other enough to really fall in love. They both have been using each other for their own benefit since day one. I just can’t pinpoint if there was a moment when they both dropped all the baggage they had and clearly decided to devote their lives to each other. It’s messy and should end in complete disaster, but it’s what the writers want to display. When it’s done correctly, we see two strong and smart individuals who actually have feelings other than being really good at their job. The mistakes they make show that they’re human and it’s great television.
After Nazir was killed, Homeland concentrated on the relationship between Carrie and Brody and that was a big part of the finale. Saul has been held captive for three days because he knew Estes ordered a hit on Brody. Quinn was Estes’ man but right when his finger was on the trigger he grew a heart and realized that Brody isn’t the bad guy. The first half of the finale builds up a decision that Carrie has to make: rejoin the CIA or leave everything behind to live with Brody. This provides an excellent scene between Carrie and Saul when he sees how Carrie is going to choose Brody over the CIA. Saul and Carrie has been my favorite relationship to follow since Homeland started, but unfortunately their relationship was hardly touched upon this season.
But after the car-bomb went off, killing hundreds of CIA members during Walden’s memorial, I’m hopeful that we’re going to see a lot more Carrie and Saul in the third season. I have to mention that the scene when Carrie and Brody sneak off from the memorial and when Brody questions who moved his car, I got goosebumps for those few seconds until Carrie lets out an “Oh fuck.” And I also loved how Carrie immediately blames Brody for the explosion by pointing a gun at him while Brody explained himself.
The last ten minutes of the episode were very emotional, something that Homeland doesn’t achieve too often because almost every character is a CIA-analyst with no emotions. Carrie saying goodbye to Brody was heartfelt no matter how many times you rolled your eyes when these two characters hooked up this season. I can only hope that Brody will be off screen for a while during the third season and that we can actually question whether or not he’s still alive along with Carrie. I’ve written how it seemed inevitable that Brody gets killed this season, but I guess him going into hiding is almost the same thing. When Brody gives Mike his blessing to take care of his family, that might have been the best way to say goodbye to the Brody family. Without Brody, who needs to see what’s happening with his family? Staying on topic, how great was the family’s reaction when they watched Brody’s confession on the news?
To me, the most emotional scene was when Saul wanted to find out if Carrie died in the explosion. And at the end when he sees her alive, his face is full of relief and happiness, along with a subtle rage from the mess that they’re both involved with now. Carrie’s going to try and quickly clear Brody’s name from the incident, but it’s going to be nearly impossible. But the potential of Saul running the show in the third season is one that I cannot wait to watch.