December 17th, 2012
10:33 AM ET
[Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the December 16 episode of Showtime's "Homeland."]
The final episode of season two opened with Carrie and Brody bringing groceries in to the Mathison family cabin. The pair, finally a (kinda sorta) couple, remarked about how eerily familiar the cabin setting was, except this time there weren't any secrets between them.
Little did they know that Quinn was tailing Brody.
On a walk to the lake, Brody asked Carrie about her mother. Carrie said that on the day she left for college, her mother told her father she was going to CVS. She never returned. Carrie said she didn’t blame her mother because her dad “was pretty impossible.”
He was not well and refused to undergo treatment for his bipolar disorder, the disease he shared with Carrie.
“Living with that can eat you up,” Carrie said, semi-defending her mother. She did admit that it hurt her that her mother never reached out to her.
Later that night during a fireside chat, Brody offered to be Carrie’s live-in “cabin boy” and do the cooking and laundry. When Carrie asked what he seriously thought his next step would be, he mulled over becoming a builder or a teacher before stating:
“My only real plan for now is to be a good person again.”
Brody said he was happy to have a second chance. Carrie noted that if the pair were to really, truly get serious, there was no way she could remain with the CIA.
Brody said he understood Carrie’s love for being with the CIA, and Carrie remarked that with Brody’s past and her illness, she didn’t know if they stood a chance. Carrie also admitted that she was scared, in part, of Brody and the things he’d done.
The next morning, Carrie went out to buy croissants. Quinn had the opportunity to shoot Brody as he said morning prayers by the lake but gave it up.
At Estes’ house the next night, the CIA Counterterrorism Chief arrived home to find Quinn sitting on a chair in his bedroom in the dark.
“I’m a guy who kills bad guys,” Quinn said as he informed Estes that Brody was no longer a threat to the nation because Walden was dead; Brody helped the Agency nab Abu Nazir, and killing him would kill Carrie.
“The collateral damage would be to wreck a woman you’ve already wrecked once before,” said Quinn.
Meanwhile, over a couple of bottles of Rolling Rock, Brody delivered to Mike the news that he and Jessica were over. He acknowledged that Mike cared for his family for eight years, and gave him his blessing to continue caring for them.
At Langley, Estes told Saul he was having the damaging report against him redacted, saying: “Maybe I’m just giving an old guy a break.”
At the Brody house, Brody dropped by to pick up his suit for Walden’s memorial.
Dana was home, and she reminded Brody of the day he put on a suicide vest. Brody reluctantly admitted that the things Carrie said about the bomb and Brody wanting to hurt people were true. The war had changed him, Carrie wasn’t crazy, and he had, in fact, been planning to detonate a suicide vest.
“But I didn’t,” said Brody, “and I wouldn’t now.”
A shell-shocked Dana walked away in disbelief.
As Saul prepared to oversee Abu Nazir’s burial at sea, he told Carrie that she was in the running to be the youngest station chief in the history of the CIA. Saul was more than a little taken aback when Carrie said she had to think about it and that Brody was the reason why.
“He’s a man who put on a suicide vest, Carrie,” Saul told her. “That’s who he is. That’s who he always will be.”
“It’s complicated,” replied Carrie.
“It’s crystal clear,” said Saul. “You cannot be with him.”
When Carrie shot back with an argument that she didn’t want to be alone like Saul, he called her “the smartest and the dumbest f*****g person I’ve ever known.”
Carrie and Brody snuck out of Walden’s service to be alone in the CIA offices. They kissed, and the scenes of the memorial, burial at sea, and Carrie and Brody were intercut.
Just as Nazir’s washed, wrapped body slid into the water, Brody looked out the window and noticed his car had been moved.
Nazir’s body hit the water, and Brody’s car exploded, leveling Langley. Estes was enveloped by a wall of fire as a hail of raining glass and smoke burst forth.
The CIA on fire looked like the aftermath of the Iraqi drone strike that killed Issa and 81 other small children.
As Carrie came to in the office, she aimed a gun at Brody’s head, believing him to be behind the bombing.
Brody said it must have been Nazir.
“He played us all from the beginning,” he said, pointing out that the naval base was never the target, rather, it was a way to get the CIA to drop its guard. Roya was sacrificed. Nazir had it in for Walden and the CIA all along.
“Nazir would have died a thousand deaths to make this day happen,” said Brody, who continuously repeated, “It wasn’t me.”
Carrie hauled them out of a burning Langley and made a run for it because she knew no one would believe Brody. Carrie already had a plan: her friend June would meet them at the border and drive them to Montreal where they would take a fishing boat to Newfoundland, board a freighter and enter international waters, all using false identification.
A Defense Department official met Saul when he set foot back at what was left of Langley. The body count was at 200. There were 27 survivors. Brody and Carrie were missing and presumed dead. Estes, Cynthia Walden and Finn Walden were confirmed dead. Preliminary forensics suggested the bomb was in Brody’s car. Saul was notified that it was up to him to debrief the president because as the ranking CIA officer on-site, he was now in charge.
Saul feebly left Carrie a voicemail: “Carrie. It’s me. I’m lookin’ for ya. Please call me back.”
At Carrie’s sketchy but pricey passport guy’s makeshift office, she and Brody ordered the Disappearing Act Package: birth certificate, driver’s license and passport.
At the Brody house, Dana told the special agent who came to inspect the premises that her dad did not blow up the CIA. She insisted that their conversation did not end with him saying “goodbye for good.”
But on the Brody’s TV seconds later, the news aired Brody’s suicide tape from the thwarted bunker attack on Walden and Estes in which Brody railed about action against domestic enemies and justice for the Iraqi children whose deaths went unacknowledged. According to the news, Brody was a suspect in the blast. Al Qaeda, claiming responsibility for the attack, had released the so-called martyr video to the press.
Saul’s dark day improved tenfold when he got a call from Mira, who was so relieved to hear his voice that she decided to hop a plane home from Mumbai.
When they reached the border, Carrie explained that she and Brody would cross through the forest on foot and hike 20 miles to June’s summer cabin. Carrie announced she wasn’t going to join Brody. She and Brody realized that they came close to being a real couple and acknowledged that it could still happen.
Carrie vowed to clear Brody’s name.
Brody promised that what they had was love, and Carrie insisted it wasn’t goodbye. They embraced.
“Goodbye love,” said Brody.
Back at Langley, Saul told his employees to make sure the bomb residue from Brody’s car matched the C4 from the Gettysburg tailor’s shop. As Saul prayed over the bodies that had been recovered, Carrie arrived to his great relief.
What did you think of last night’s episode? Did you enjoy the slower pace that led up to the explosive twist? Were you surprised that the episode delivered so much closure, or were you expecting more of a cliffhanger at the very end? Will you stay on board for season three?
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