‘Homeland’ Season Finale: Very Brave, Very Bizarre (Spoiler Alert)

'Homeland' Season Finale: Very Brave, Very Bizarre (Spoiler Alert)

The show's third season finale is a stunner in several ways

(Spoiler alert: Don't read this if you haven't seen the episode, which has only aired on the East Coast as of this writing.)

People will talk about this for years. “Homeland” ended its third season with a very brave, very strange hour of television, one that broke almost every rule a TV show can break.

First: It killed off one of its two leads. It's not so rare for shows to kill off a major character, but it's shocking for a hit series to kill one of two main characters whose relationship has fueled the show for three seasons. Especially when the show has been renewed for a fourth.

Iran Expert: Showtime's ‘Homeland’ Creates Tension for American Diplomacy

I supposed it would be possible — possible — for Brody to have somehow faked his public hanging, and that that was the real reason he didn't get a black star on the wall at Langley. But if the show made such a bold move, only to pull back, it would have a very hard time regaining credibility. And a  Showtime representative confirmed to TheWrap Sunday that yep — he's definitely dead.

Adding to the madness: Damian Lewis won an Emmy for playing this guy. He could have remained a contender for years to come. But the writers apparently decided they had pushed the character as far as they could, and made an impressive decision not to milk the Brody-Carrie storyline past the point of believability.

Also read: ‘Homeland’ Season 3 Finale Leaks Online

Weirder than Brody's death was the way the show handled it. We got all the standard foreshadowing: He talked about being born in the desert (reflection!) and committed to raising Carrie and his baby together (bright future!). The touchstones were so familiar it felt almost like the show was faking us out.

But then it double crossed us — by playing it straight. Brody died with surprisingly little fuss. And then the episode got very, very weird, by going on without him, for twenty more minutes.

Maybe it was the show's way of saying there could be a “Homeland” without Brody. The show already gave it a dry run when it let him stay MIA for the first two episodes of the season, which happened to be quite good.

But the show also stripped away several other potential sources of tension: Carrie decided to give up her baby. And Saul vowed not to return to the CIA. It seemed like “Homeland” wanted to make some promises about what it won't be next season: a show about a single mom balancing the duties of motherhood and leading the CIA's Istanbul office.

But what will it be? The only thing we know for sure is that, judging from Sunday's episode, it's willing to go absolutely anywhere.

Wow.

  • AndyWarhorse

    If they torture the audience with any more episodes there's going to be a rebellion. The series is now over. Whatever deal they have needs to be put aside. Nobody is going to watch Claire Danes’ horrible facial contortions, nobody cares about Mandy Patinkin's Saul or his wife, this entire series was about Brody. He's dead, it's finished.

    • Bruce Nyborg

      It's obvious that you know nothing about this show, so please keep your mouth shut before you embarass yourself further by spewing more ignorance.

      I, like most others, are relieved to see Brody gone and to go into the 4th season w/ a fresh start.

      • Margie Jane Mertens

        I agree with you Bruce! Clare Danes whiny character gets on my nerves. I can't see any reason to watch anymore. No show without Brody!!!!!

      • phantomraven

        So Andy is ignorant and knows nothing about this show simply because you don't agree with his assessment? How about you keep your mouth shut. Your opinion is just that, your opinion. do NOT insult other fans of the show for having a different opinion about the significance of the Brody character.

      • July

        Ummm…Bruce? Please do not speak for “most others.” I am not a “most others” and you presume to speak for me? Respectfully, don't. And not up to you to tell anyone to keep their mouth shut. Looks like the ignorant one is you. I am not happy and will not be watching the 4th season. I am not relieved to see Brody gone. And I have happily just now not kept my mouth shut. Spew on that.

        • abcde

          I agree with most of what Bruce is saying. Brody was great and provided a great story arc for the show, but keeping him for another season would have felt stretched. There are only so many places to go with that story where it is still in a believable realm. As was mentioned though, this is only my opinion. I for one will definitely be tuning in for season 4!

  • Eyeball

    But, but, but, who blew up the CIA building?
    Was that ever clear with others of you?

    • Erick

      Terrible season or series finale, the way they handle everything is awful. No more homeland for me I don't need a four season!!!

      • Yo momma

        I'm willing to bet my house you tune in for the premiere

    • KingDmn

      … the guy that was shot in the Motel by that lawyer
      The scene where Carry is shot in the shoulder. How was that not clear? It's strange that Akbar did not knew that. That dude from the motel had to have some orders from some1, strange that Iran had no clue, only Javadi. Poor writing on that mater. Who pulled the strings i agree, it's not clear.

  • Tspacey

    No more Brody, no more show. Sorry I got so involved. I really loved this show.

    • Imollyq

      I agree. Clair Danes is a great actress, but was such a boring repititious (and this season uncharacteristically dumb) character that I was beginning to focus more on her need for a nose job more than on the plot of the show. When Brody returned, I was waiting for some real excitement, not his death-again boring and an easy out. Maybe he made salary demands they did not want to pay or some other equally disappointing reason for his departure. What about his daughter? Who would allow a teenage kid to move away from home even under these circumstances? Why did the family stay in the same house? They could just change their names and move, duh. I do not see brave TV. I see a new plot coming without the main character I liked, and an Emmy winner! Bad TV coming. Back to HBO.

    • Dookiestain LaFlair

      Brody was the worst part of the show besides Brody's family.

  • 28fairplay

    I enjoyed the season and was very moved by the finale. I plan to watch next season. I hope all the haters don't. Life is too short to watch a show you despise and then to post about it.

  • Wendy B

    This blows!! Homeland was my favorite show but honestly without Brody?? … no more homeland! Its like killing off Carrie and then carrying in the show. I see no point! Horrible finale … should of just ended the series.

    • D

      Agree…story ends…show has no excitement without Brody…I will not be watching again.

  • Kimi

    You guys are looking at it wrong, yes I was disappointed Brody died too, but the show is NOT about Brody, it's called Homeland, and this show is about the CIA. That's why they will always have something going on! The original premise was about catching Abu Nazir! Who is now long gone and we were given someone new to watch them hunt down. I am sure some other characters will come in, and I am glad the show is trying to be believable! Brody would have come home and what? Just free to go and live how he pleases? I do hope they show some of the family from time to time though and “end” their roles somehow. Everyone “boycotted” Boardwalk Empire for killing off Jimmy and its still an amazing show without him.

  • SaKaSeZ

    Wow, I really wonder if a civil society exists anymore. Reading these com
    ments is startling. Please be mindful when considering that we all have different views. One of the finale's quotes was, “Let's just agree to disagree.”

  • Dumb

    “But the writers apparently decided they had pushed the character as far
    as they could, and made an impressive decision not to milk the
    Brody-Carrie storyline past the point of believability.”

    These people are morons. None of it was ever “believable”.

  • SPDykstra

    People forget, there are major loose ends from season 1. Saul helped a prisoner kill himself to avoid interrogation, and he skipped a required polygraph. Saul has secrets and letting those come out would make for a nice season 4 as Carrie has to decide what to do about it.

  • Jack Q

    The only thing interesting about this series was the Brody-Carrie romance, as proven by the fact that those episodes without Brody were nothing more than second-rate soap opera, dry as dust. Now they want to make it a Carrie/Sayl “mom balances work and baby”/”retired boomer's second career” show? Hey, maybe they can turn the Javadi into a wacky neighbor and make it a sit-com

  • dlrose

    I thought the episode was misanthropic and devastating. Looks like the series is going to be more realistic- in this world human life is disposable and of no use other than to advance the elite (Brody, his baby, Saul's life work) just as the corporate powers that rule demand

  • I like Homeland

    What if Brody isn't dead. They didn't tighten the noose. He was still alive last we saw.
    Was his body returned? What about the funeral? What about his family?

  • Fanofcarrie

    Brody was still “confused.” He killed the vice-president, didn't he? I would never have trusted him to be a “good guy” after that. Maybe Damian is going to do a movie, or else he demanded too much money. The Carrie character deserves better and am anxious to see who it is. I think she can do better than Saul.

  • Prospero2

    Eliminating Brody was a mistake for several reasons.

    First, the character gave the show something unique–a character whose very existence brings an element of questioning and uncertainty into the politics of the show. Surely, the US's relationships in the middle east demand a Brody–someone who fought on both sides and continued to struggle with his spiritual and political actions even as he moved into to handle the most important action sequence in the show so far.

    Second, the show loses Damian Lewis–an actor of remarkable sensitivity and intensity. I really like Saul and Quinn, for instance, but is there another figure anywhere in the show who grabs attention like Lewis as Brody did? I don't think so. Is there another who could do extreme action–whether it be killing the VP or the head of Iranian intelligence–like Brody does and Lewis acted?

    Third, the Carrie-Brody romance would have never settled into the kind of tedious and predictable namby-pambyism that Saul's did at the end of the season. Did my wife have an affair with an Israeli agent? Wow, never been happier, thinks Saul.

    In short, but cutting Damian Lewis out of the show–and its budget–the producers have also cut out a lot of story possibilities. I'll watch the next season hoping it works, but if it doesn't, that's it.

  • Michael-Scott Montrosé

    I have really enjoyed this series so far. It really demonstrates the importance of understanding one another. No one is just one thing.