Brody is back in Marine mode at this point -- he's received the cyanide injection from a nimble doctor, he's tucked it away in the rolled left cuff of his sleeve, and he's got his shoes on. Everything's in play.
Except again, this is Homeland, and every op must end in a "What the f--k is happening?" moment for poor Saul and the CIA. Their intricate plan doesn't even get a chance to begin when Brody is unexpectedly ushered away from the compound to meet Akbari at an undetermined location. Carrie follows closely, but it turns out Brody and Akbari are meeting out in the open, at an intersection where passersby can watch their first interaction.
As the tension mounts, Carrie begins to move her men into place, with one riding the motorcycle off to an alley to wait for her call, while Saul watches the proceedings from a satellite feed. Everyone is silent as Brody and Akbari both step out of their respective vehicles, and Brody shakily grasps the needle in his hand.
The seconds pass. Brody approaches with a guard. He and Akbari lock eyes.
Then, Akbari smiles and turn away, scurrying back into his car and speeding away with his convoy. Brody spins around, confused at the commotion and the failed meeting. Carrie frantically tries to see what's happening, and Saul questions what he just saw.
They get answers soon enough, as Brody's led into the building in front of him and taken to a woman, who calmly stands up and reveals her identity. "Nicholas," she says, as Brody's expression softens and the CIA finally figures out who she is: Nassrin, Abu Nazir's widow.
Nassrin, a.k.a. a familiar face for Brody, is there to vet Brody for Akbari. "My Nicholas," she says, urging him to tell her why he's in Tehran. Brody tells her, and sounds more honest than he has this entire season. "I've lost so much," he sobs, pointing out his ruined relationship with Dana (and not Chris, because obviously Brody forgot he has a son) and how she tried to kill herself over his actions. "She had faith that her own father wouldn't betray her and make her life unlivable."
But Nassrin consoles him, telling him that they all learn to survive. "Yes, we crawl out of the rubble and we gather up the bodies," Brody replies, and she takes the opportunity to finally ask him for his motive. "I want to stop running," he says.
Apparently satisfied, Nassrin allows Brody to leave, and in the streets, people begin to cheer for Brody and take his picture, treating him like a welcome hero. Brody, right on cue, makes his speech: "By the grace of God, I am here to seek asylum. This is the only place in the world that I can find peace."
Carrie, watching all of this, can only walk away when Brody is taken back into his car. "You're a big man in town, Brody, you're a really big man now," Brody's guard says.
The music swells. Brody smiles, takes out the cyanide needle, and crushes it against the car door.
NEXT: Six Days Later