[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?
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.
Fortunately for Brody, he was able to basically stroll out of Akbari's office with little fanfare, save for a testy armed guard demanding that Brody give up his visitors' pass. When the guards finally did learn what happened, Brody was able to force his driver at gunpoint to get the heck out of Dodge, steal his car, and head to a park to meet up with Carrie (Claire Danes), who had informed Saul (Mandy Patinkin) that Brody carried out the mission and begged Saul to initiate the extraction plan.
But of course, that's easier said than done. Javadi (Shaun Toub) tells Saul and Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham) that in order for Phase 2 of the CIA's operation to work — aka for Javadi to be promoted to Ackbari's position — Javadi must arrest Brody at the risk of otherwise appearing weak. But perhaps against better judgment, Saul refuses to leave Brody in the field and orders Dar to ready the extraction plan.
Carrie goes on and on about how, because of the baby, she has to think about what's next and, for better or worse, she thinks she was put on this earth to meet Brody. (Oh boy...) When she admits that sounds crazy, Brody drinks the Kool-Aid. "I don't think that sounds crazy at all. It sounds like the only sane f---ing thing left to hold on to."
While Carrie creepily stares at Brody while he sleeps, she hears helicopters in the distance. Believing the rescue team is nearby, she wakes Brody and the pair rush outside. Unfortunately, the team outside belongs to Javadi, and the men quickly apprehend Brody. Carrie informs Saul, who storms to the Op Center to learn that Senator Lockhart (Tracy Letts) has taken his post a few hours early and, with the blessing of the president, turned Brody over to Javadi and the Iranians.
After a four-month time jump, we learn that Saul is out of the CIA for good. And even though he's setting up his own firm in the private sector in New York, the big news is that, because of Saul's master plan, Iran's political policies are changing. Carrie, who's ready to go into labor any day now, accepts Director Lockhart's offer to be the CIA station chief in Istanbul, the youngest chief in agency history. As such, she informs her family that she intends to give the baby up for adoption. Although Carrie's sister insists that Carrie will feel differently once the baby is born, she seems to have made up her mind.
But she still wants to have a piece of Brody remembered. After unsuccessfully arguing to have Lockhart include Brody's name at the annual commemorative ceremony for fallen agents, Carrie scribbles a hand-drawn star on the memorial before she leaves the building.
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