Homeland season finale recap: Clean Slate

Carrie tries to extract Brody, but Javadi hunts them down. Meanwhile, Lockhart officially replaces Saul as the head of the CIA
Ep. 12 | Aired Dec 15, 2013

SO LONG, MARINE ONE Brody's exit leaves a significant void on the show that will certainly affect Carrie the most -- after all, he is the father of her child and her reason for pursuing the Tehran mission in the first place. Even so, his death means hitting the reset button for the show, and we'll have to wait until season 4 to see how that plays out.

Frank Ockenfels 3/SHOWTIME

So that's that: We watch slowly, painfully -- in a good way, I think -- as the show drags out Brody's journey to his death. Carrie is escorted to the scene, while Brody is driven to the site among throngs of people banging at the car doors and snapping photos of him. Crowds push against the fences, but Carrie makes her way to the front.

She watches as Brody is led to the red noose. He scans the crowd, and stands still as Abu Nazir's widow approaches and spits on him. The noose is tied around his next. Brody solemnly watches the people chanting at him. The rope is raised and his feet leave the ground.

The camera moves back to Carrie, pushing in on her face as she cries in front of the cheering crowds. Brody barely struggles, twitching as he hangs, and Carrie can't stand it anymore. She climbs up the fence and cries his name, until he sees her and stares.

An officer knocks her down from the fence. Brody stops twitching, his head falls to his side, and he goes still.

Carrie stands, looks back at him, and then turns and walks away.

The screen fades to black, and then the card appears: Four Months Later, it says, right before we open to a serene shot from an episode of Lost of a beach that then pans to a jolly Saul walking past whitewashed walls to bring croissants (not baguettes, sadly) to Mira.

It's a complete 180 from what we had just experienced: Here's a happy man reuniting with his happy wife, on what looks like the happiest place on Earth. "Did you see this?" Mira asks, showing him a newspaper story out of Geneva detailing how Iran has opened access to nuclear sites in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. She puts the paper down and proudly gazes at Saul. "Saul, this is you. You did this... It's unbelievable, this is your whole life. It's your crowning achievement."

Saul isn't so sure, saying he lost his career over it, and then goes on to wonder whether Mira can attend the CIA's annual commemorative ceremony with him. Mira refuses to return, and changes the conversation topic to Carrie instead. Apparently, Saul hasn't heard much from his protege -- she hasn't been taking his calls. And seeing as it's four months since Brody's death, Carrie must be eight months pregnant.

She's definitely showing (and blonde again) when we see her enter Lockhart's office. "You look well," Lockhart says. "If large," she quips.

The two quickly go over the Geneva news, with Lockhart admitting how Saul was correct about Javadi's influence. But Lockhart then dives into a proposal he had pitched Carrie the week before -- that he wants her to be the station chief in Istanbul to make running Javadi easier for the CIA to handle.

"I'm in," she says after considering her staff. The two smile at each other. Are things really this sweet and easygoing at the CIA now?

Nope. As Carrie starts to leave, she turns back and asks if Lockhart would be willing to give a star to Brody at the commemorative ceremony. Lockhart refuses, saying Brody's actions before the Tehran mission "cast a long shadow" on his life. "No one's judging him," he says. "I'm just not memorializing him on the walls of the building. That's where I draw the line. Is this going to be an ongoing problem between us?"

"No, sir," Carrie replies, but looks agitated when she leaves the building and meets Quinn. She even asks for a cigarette from him. and has no qualms about smoking while pregnant. (It's almost a running gag now how much she doesn't care about the baby's health.) (Never mind -- I clearly missed the exchange where she needs a cigarette only to hold, and not smoke. My mistake.) Quinn wonders if Carrie's down because she just got station chief, but Carrie admits it's the baby. "I just didn't think it through," she says, while all of Homeland's audience nods in agreement. "I wanted it because of Brody, because it was a part of him."

"Quinn, I can't be a mother," she continues. "Because of me, because of my job, because of my problems." But Quinn, being Quinn, thinks otherwise. "Everyone has problems," he says. "That kid is a gift."

Carrie doesn't look convinced, but Quinn tells her how he regrets ruining his own relationship with his kid, and then pats her on the shoulder as he walks away, leaving her alone to her thoughts.

NEXT: The Maestro

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