An American prisoner of war had been turned, and turned back, then turned again, then turned back again, then, well, you get the picture. In "The Star", Season 3's finale, that prisoner of war found himself a prisoner again. There would be no escape this time, as Nicholas Brody met his demise at the hands of Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
For the second consecutive season, Homeland recovered just enough from its wobbly plot and well-documented absurdities to deliver a gut-wrenching farewell scene between Carrie and Brody. In Season 2, we had "this was love, you and I," while this year we had a solemn Carrie scrribbling a tribute to her fallen lover with a magic marker. I won't forget either scene any time soon.
"The Star" felt very much like a memorial service, serving mostly to remember the show that has been for three seasons, but if there was an underlying theme to the hour, it was that everybody got their victory, but no one can ever learn of their triumph.
Saul's Javadi plan worked out, and he affected real change in international relations in Iran, but it cost him the career that had been the center of his life for years and years. Carrie was right about Brody, and everyone saw him through her eyes, as Javadi told her. However, none of Brody's heroism can ever be made known publicly.
As for Brody, he asked the question that Homeland has been asking its audience in one form or another for three years: can one redeem themselves for taking human life by taking another human life, even if it's in the name of some greater good?
Also, Brody, the man who ended up clearing channels for somewhat normalized relations between the United States and Iran, will be remembered as an enemy of the state in both places.
There was still plenty of absurdity in "The Star", lest we forget how wacky things got at times during this season. Carrie, who went rogue and jeopardized as many operations as she saved this year, was rewarded with a promotion. She's a vandal, too, by the way.
Season 4 could end up going in any number of directions, but we know that the playing field will look completely different than it did this year. Brody is dead, Saul is in the private sector, Carrie is in Istanbul and Carrie's father is presumably going to be raising her child, for starters.
This much is clear, though: Brody's story should have been over long ago.
Now, it's really over.
Thank you for reading each week, and special thanks to the Homeland Podcast for promoting my recaps. I hope our paths cross again before the next season of Homeland.
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