Homeland – “Big Man in Tehran”

Season Three, Episode Eleven


Grade: B+

Nicholas Brody has been a firecracker for Homeland. Ever since the first season where he was the U.S. Marine turned-into-terrorist, he’s been an extremely important character on this show. It made sense that soon he become the focal point, especially because Carrie became too whacky for her own good. Brody was absent during the beginning of the third season, for obvious reasons, but now he’s right back on the front line.

He meets with Javadi and everything is a go. Javadi has placed a meeting for Brody with Akbari and that’s when he’ll take him out. There’s a very shady extraction plan in the works as well, but that really seems like a long shot. If this was a cable show other than Homeland, I’d expect Brody to be killed off this episode, but I really doubt that Homeland wants to move on from the Carrie-Brody story.

That being said, Carrie’s involvement during this episode is pretty unrealistic. Why is she in Tehran again? She meets with Fara’s uncle to secure a phone to be the eyes on the street for the CIA, but I don’t understand why it HAD to be Carrie aside from the show possibly wanting one last Carrie-Brody moment. She’s too unpredictable and cannot be controlled by Saul or anyone else who has been working on this mission for months. The likelihood they would allow her to be in Tehran would be little to none, yet she’s in the middle of everything. Okay, I guess I’ll just have to live with that.

The meeting never happens, but Brody meets with Nazir’s wife. They share a brief moment with each other’s company and the dialogue is sweet and important. It establishes a close bond between the two when they talk about the difficulties of staying strong. She has lost her husband and Brody has lost his family. They both relate to these tough times and the main part about this scene is to establish doubt in your mind about Brody’s loyalties. Because as we remember, he’s not the most dependable person, bouncing back-and-forth from Marine to terrorist to CIA double-agent.

So what makes Brody click? What does he value? In the first season, his family is the thing that makes him snap out of his plan to wipe out many important people of the U.S. government (though he did press the clicker, it just malfunctioned). What’s going to make him come back from all of the hell he’s gone through? Is it another chance to see his family again? Another chance to prove to Dana he’s not a terrorist? To be with Carrie? For the record, Carrie hasn’t dropped the baby-bomb on Brody yet, so that’s not on his mind.

The episode engages us in the world of Tehran, and when Homeland does this it shows us why we loved this show from the beginning. There is an immediate urgency around every corner and not understanding the foreign culture enhances the intensity of every scene. In the end, Brody gets the job done. Inside Akbari’s office, Brody confesses that Javadi is working for the CIA and he also gives himself up that he was ordered to kill him. Akbari is surprisingly calm and interprets this as Brody’s allegiance. Hell, I sort of did too but something clicked in Brody’s mind that made him kill Akbari. Or was that his plan the whole time? You can never tell with him, but that’s what makes him such a unique weapon that Homeland has.

With only one episode left in the season, the big question seems to be whether or not Brody will make it out alive. I’m torn between this question. While Homeland isn’t the spy-suspense, CIA-procedure show it used to be in season one, they’ve done a decent job at exploring the Carrie-Brody plot. They’re really the only characters that you somewhat feel attached to, and for that reason alone I don’t think it’s going to be easy for the show to write Brody off, and in a way I don’t want to see him go. I want to see Brody succeed, I want to see his name to be cleared, and I want to see Carrie tell Brody that they have a baby.

But with all honesty, the show would most likely be better if they got rid of Brody and moved on. It’s something they should’ve done in season two when things just didn’t feel right. The whole conflict between Brody and Jessica felt natural in the first season when they dealt with the war hero coming home and dealing with the trauma. That turned into a lot of family drama with an increase role for Dana in the second and third season. I’m not blaming this entirely, but when you look at the big picture through Homeland’s three seasons, it’s the clear one you can immediately point out. So if Brody doesn’t make it out alive next week, I’ll be sad, but it’s for the show’s own good.


One Response to Homeland – “Big Man in Tehran”

  1. JustMeMike says:

    The only people we care about?

    Don’t we care about Saul?

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