Why, Homeland, why are you gonneeeeeee?
Warning: This is all sorts of spoiler-y.
[DON’T READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW…]
I just want to focus on one thing. Did Brody do it? Did he blow up the CIA headquarters, including Estes and Finn and the other 200 people inside?
The writer in me feels strongly that the answer should be yes. While I’ve never found the romance between Carrie and Brody particularly believable (Yeah, yeah, I get that the show writers have tried to sell the whole they’re-both-messed-up angle, so what? Something’s missing), the fact is that Brody compromises Carrie’s judgment, which is, as told to us by Carrie herself in Season 1, the one element that is fundamental to her as a person. She’d been so sure and so wrong about Brody. Isn’t that what tore her up originally?
So, for the most satisfying plot and character arc, Carrie’s ill-advised love affair with Brody must cost something. And it must cost something big. While we want Carrie to win, we want it to be the Carrie we trust. The Carrie that could see things that others couldn’t. The Carrie that was dedicated to the cause above all else. That Carrie is the hero. And with all her dozens of flaws, she is at least a thousand times better than Brody because Brody, at his core, I think, is a coward. Although, I suppose, we can’t really be sure. Not yet anyway.
So we have to hope that the writers choose the most satisfying emotional payoff. We have to hope that the conversation with Mike in the bar and the continued insistence by all of the characters that Brody’s information regarding Abu Nazir was good throughout the last episode meant something. We should hope that Brody is the coward that we think he is. That he left Walden’s memorial because he knew what was about to happen and he didn’t want to be the suicide bomber he was supposed to be. And that he couldn’t take credit for the attack to Carrie because he still wants to have his cake and eat it, too.
And yet, I’m worried. I’m worried that the release of the video by Abu Nazir’s terrorist network and the all-too-obvious use of Brody’s car are setting us up for a story of framing and redemption for Brody instead of Carrie, which, let’s face it, should NOT be the character arc we’re looking for from Carrie Matheson. Don’t leave us with a Carrie who is rewarded for no longer questioning and for trusting things that go against her gut. At the end of the day, the first Carrie should be right. She’s the one we care about.