Question: [RETROACTIVE SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE NOT KEEPING UP] I'm watching Homeland and Sons of Anarchy more out of habit than passion these days, after what I thought were disappointing seasons for both. But even so, I was startled when their seasons ended on such grim notes in December, with the violent deaths of major characters. Which surprised you more: Brody's execution as Carrie bore witness on Homeland or Tara's brutal murder at Gemma's hands on Sons? Or did you see each of these events as inevitable? On the same note, which show do you think is better positioned to bounce back from these game-changers, or did they maybe (and I know you hate the expression) jump the shark? — Cass
[WARNING: The following story contains major spoilers from Sunday's Season 3 finale of Homeland. Read at your own risk.
Sunday's Homeland finale was the end of an era.
Homeland finale: Was Carrie able to save Brody?
After successfully pulling off the near-impossible mission of killing Iranian military leader Danesh Akbari, Brody (Damian Lewis) seemed poised to...
[WARNING: The following story contains major spoilers from Sunday's Season 3 finale of Homeland. Read at your own risk.]
It's actually kind of funny that each of Homeland's three season finales have, in one way or another, hinged on the same question: Will Nicholas Brody live or die?
Homeland postmortem: Show boss breaks down the "magic trick" of Season 3
OK, so that wasn't really the question in Season 2; it only felt that way because Brody (Damian Lewis) seemed like he was living on borrowed time ever since he opted not to blow himself up via suicide vest in the first season-ender. But going into Sunday's Season 3 finale — which picked up moments after Brody, working at the behest of the CIA, killed General Akbari inside the Iranian leader's secure compound — Brody's odds of surviving his latest "suicide mission" seemed quite long...
The important pieces of Saul's plan finally seem to be in place on Homeland. But will the risky gambit actually work?
With Brody (Damian Lewis) now in Iran and in the custody of recently turned CIA asset Majid Javadi (Shaun Toub), the pair must now move into Tehran to attempt to assassinate Javadi's boss and therefore make it possible for Javadi to move into power. According to Showtime, on Sunday's episode (9/8c), the mission is compromised when a ghost from Brody's past causes his commitment to the mission to falter. Complicating matters further, the always unpredictable Carrie (Claire Danes) comes to Tehran to help set up an extraction plan for Brody.
Homeland: How does Brody figure into Saul's master plan?
But the real question still remains:
What is The Bear without his beard?
Mandy Patinkin appeared on Live! With Kelly and Michael Thursday sporting a surprisingly clean-shaven face. "I shaved it the minute I finished the last shot [of Season 3]," the Homeland star explained.
"I felt like I was taking off a Mickey Mouse mask. I had it for two years because I couldn't take it off because other things that were going on. I also felt about 20 years younger," he continued.