Homeland‘s Season 2 finale gave Brody and Carrie one last moment in the sun before blowing them apart as Abu Nazir’s legacy came back to haunt, changing everything in the process. But can love survive? Here’s what we learned..
- Brody and Carrie revisit the cabin in the woods for some ‘rest and recouperation’, unaware that Quinn is watching them, waiting for Brody to be alone before taking him out.
- Quinn decides not to go through with it and warns Estes that if anything happens to Brody he’ll return to kill him. Estes starts backpedaling and releases Saul, redacting his report.
- Saul observes Nazir’s ocean burial.
- Brody and Carrie leave Walden’s memorial early, he notices that someone (ghost Nazir?) has moved his car. A bomb goes off killing Estes, the remaining Waldens and hundreds of others.
- Carrie holds Brody at gunpoint believing he was responsible. Brody convinces her that Nazir set him up. They make a break for the border.
- Brody’s confession tape has been leaked to the news, Jessica and family watch on in horror. A terrorist group claims responsibility for the CIA bombing.
- Carrie makes her choice – she tells Brody that she can’t go with him, not now. They kiss and part.
- Saul’s now the highest ranking CIA officer. His wife says she’s returning to be with him.
- He believes Carrie died in the blast. As he prays, Carrie calls out his name. (If anyone’s a winner here it’s Saul.)
In many respects the finale did what he had to do. It gave Brody and Carrie their moment of nostalgia, but this time with the genuine hope that they could be together. All that remained was for them to burn the last of their bridges which had somehow reconstructed in recent weeks. Letting go of his family was rather easy for public enemy number 1 Brody. Letting go of the CIA was a harder decision for Carrie. It’s been her entire life, the one thing she excels at in spite of her health issues, if not because of them. But if her job is medication for her overactive mind, perhaps true love would be the cure, or at least a greater counter-balance?
Perhaps it could have worked out or maybe they would have hit trouble, especially outside of the heightened circumstances that brought them crashing together, but either way that wouldn’t have been very interesting to watch. It was hard enough as it was without the tension. Of course they had to come crashing down together, it was only a matter of time.
I thought Quinn’s decision not to kill Brody was a convenient beat. In fairness his conflict was hinted in the previous episode, but I don’t feel as though I know Quinn well enough to truly place his motivations. Did he do it for Carrie? Out of some convenient sense of morality? I’m not sure, I guess either could be made to fit, but his ‘transformation’ was rather quick. He describes Estes as a “bad guy”, which paralleled Carrie’s earlier assertion that Brody is “good”. I’m not sure Brody can be described in such terms by anyone other than his mother or his lover after all that he’s done. Of course, Carrie is projecting, Brody’s “good” in her eyes because she’s in love with him. The narrator knows best, until she’s proven unreliable. And funnily enough, it didn’t take her long to doubt everything she thought she knew once again.
I was disappointed we didn’t get ghost or clone Nazir. I think that was the only way to really ‘redeem’ the character, as crazy as that would have been. In all seriousness, the show tried to salvage the ruins by having Nazir haunt proceedings in another way, getting the last laugh, so to speak, by using his most prized chess as a vessel for revenge. As a plot move it wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure it fits the Nazir we knew. He struck me as the kind of guy who would want to witness his devastation at work. Of course, he did vanquish Walden which I guess was his moment of victory, but it doesn’t feel as though the writers have eked the most potential from the pieces they had in play.
In comparison to last season’s finale, this one lacked genuine tension and emotion. But on the up side, the articulation (and resolution?) of the Carrie/Brody love story has been interesting, including the parallel with her transition from being the only one who doubted him last season to the only one who believes him this time round. That’s a nicely hit narrative mirror that doesn’t feel overly contrived when looking back at their arc. We also have some sense of where the ongoing tension will come from next season, which I feel is important.
Perhaps the most satisfying finale moment came at the end during Saul’s prayer. From Saul’s POV, it almost played as though he ‘resurrected’ Carrie, and of course, there was only one way to bring the curtains down — with the smile.
To be continued…
8/10 Seriable Stars