Homeland "In Memoriam" Review: The Road to Recovery

Homeland S02E11: "In Memoriam"

Chances are, if you didn't like last week's episode of Homeland, that last night's episode, "In Memoriam," didn't do much for you either. Likewise, those of you who didn't mind Carrie being captured by Abu Nazir in "Broken Hearts" probably didn't have a problem with how things went down last night. Both sides now have more ammunition to lob at each other after "In Memoriam," an episode that continued the series' recent propensity for mixing the ridiculous and the excellent.

Is there any other show right now that embodies its protagonist like Homeland? This show needs to get on some Lithium or have its brain zapped because it's becoming just as bipolar as Carrie. And in dealing with Carrie, we all have to understand that questionable decisions and reckless behavior are tempered with brilliance and some sort of sixth sense that makes things work. But the results aren't always worth the headache it takes to get there.

Let's start with the obvious: Ding dong, the wicked terrorist of the East is dead! Abu Nazir, the stand-in antagonist for Brody, knelt before an audience of pissed-off Special Ops, reached for something (will we ever know what it was?), and ate a lead breakfast. I'm sure that was his intention all along, his version of, "Ain't no way I'm going to jail," since last week he seemed very aware that he was not long for this world.

But let's move backward to HOW he ended up on his date with 72 virgins. While everyone else declared the warehouse Nazir-free, Carrie brainfarted at a traffic light while remembering something Roya said during their chat about Nazir not running away from American pig-dogs. This somehow translated in Carrie's mind to "Nazir is still in the warehouse," despite the fact that trained professionals had swept the building the appropriate number of times as determined by protocol for dealing with the world's most-wanted terrorist. It was Carrie against the world, and she managed to convince a team of terrorist hunters who were headed out for their lunch break to stick around for one more flashlights-on-the-end-of-gun-muzzles tour of the industrial space.

And that's when Carrie saw what trained professionals could not; a cubby hole that housed evil's greatest mastermind and his dirty old sleeping bag. And that's when Homeland, once a crackingly smart thriller, devolved into a throwaway horror movie complete with a slasher materializing out of the darkness in Abu Nazir. I'd bet my last strawberry-flavored Starburst that the Homeland producers didn't intend for the audience to giggle when it became obvious that Nazir was stalking Carrie and her search-party buddy in the tunnels, but dammit, I let out a big laugh when Carrie turned back and found the Special Op's throat slit. I kept thinking about how silly it would be for Nazir's real-world inspiration—Osama Bin Laden—to do something similar, hanging from the pipes like a ninja in a South Park episode probably, and I couldn't contain myself.

Here was public enemy number one reduced to a C.H.U.D. and camping out in an abandoned building by himself with no plan or protection. Was there a plan B once his plan A to bomb the vets' homecoming was squashed? Were all his followers rounded up in the bust? Was he really the last man standing in the American terrorist cell? Apparently so, and Homeland is definitely not better for it. Add this to Season 2's growing list of misfires.

But Nazir has always been more of a symbol of evil than evil himself because Homeland has never been about catching Nazir. The series is about the relationship between a crazy CIA agent and a skittish P.O.W. turned sleeper agent. For all intents and purposes, this should be a huge development for the series and it is, but not because the main bad guy was bagged and tagged. Nazir never engineered a 9/11, he was the threat of another 9/11. And in the context of the series, his death certainly isn't as momentous as when Carrie had Brody captured at the end of "New Car Smell." And that's because the aftermath of Nazir's death is much more important than the death itself.

The best moments of "In Memoriam" came after Sandman was permanently put to bed. All these characters' lives had been scrambled because of Nazir, and with the threat no longer their top priority, it was the return to the possibility of a "normal life" that suddenly hit them in the face and returned the show to its greatness. When Brody was informed that Nazir had been killed, I don't know if he was stricken with grief over the death of a mentor or overly emotional due to a sense of relief that it's all over, but I'm leaning toward the latter. His reaction was wonderfully ambiguous and played marvelously by Damian Lewis; it was a fantastic scene that paved the way for the next, when Jess and Brody sat in the car and admitted that their marriage is irreparably broken and that Brody came back from Iraq with parts missing and Jess filled in the holes created by his absence with Mike.

With the scapegoat for the distance between them dead, Jess and Brody only had themselves to look at it, and what they saw wasn't a pretty picture. Carrie's confrontation with Nazir made her even closer and more sympathetic toward Brody, and when Brody showed up on her doorstep, it was tragically romantic. Nazir was an obstacle in all these people's lives that kept them in a holding pattern of ignoring the truth, and with him out of the way, life can go on as it should without the lies and denial. For Brody and Carrie that means consuming each other, broken pieces and all, as they fill in the emptiness. For the Brody family, it sadly means going back to the life they had when they thought Nicholas was dead. These characters' lives were, as Brody admitted, fucked once Brody left for Iraq in the first place. On the surface Homeland may be about terrorists, but it's really about recovery and how once it has started, it's a bitch to undo.

With one episode left in the season, Showtime's Emmy-winner sits on precarious ground as its foundation is eroded by tough-to-swallow plot points but hastily reinforced by award-worthy character moments that don't quite leave us in as stable as a spot as we were in Season 1. There's accidental brilliance in comparing the show's instability to its two central characters, their slow decay ultimately leading to their inevitable destructions. From an academic perspective, it's made Homeland the most fascinating series to unfold in 2012 as flaws and perfection clash. From a television viewer's perspective, it's rewarding and confusing. In the final moments of "In Memoriam," Brody knocked on Carrie's door and said, "What I did to get Nazir to let you go... It was you or Walden, Carrie. It wasn't even close." That was both passionate and disgusting because these two misunderstood and messed-up people belong together (positive romantic spin) and deserve each other (negative fed-up spin). In other words, it's perfectly apt for the current state of Homeland.




NOTES

– Once again, we approach the end of a season of Homeland asking ourselves, "NOW where do we go from here?" What will Season 3 look like?

– While Brody and Carrie sit at the forefront of this episode as the Nazir storyline got its due, Saul was relegated to basement interrogation by Estes' men, presumably to give us something to sink our teeth into for Season 3. It's tough to see Saul out of the action, especially when he's away from Carrie.

– Meanwhile, Estes still wants Brody eliminated, which will likely be the bulk of next week's finale. Quinn's face as he watched Brody walk into Carrie's apartment was an interesting one: Was his expression an exasperated one because killing Brody just got more difficult with Carrie around, or was it compassionate because he saw a man he had to kill who was happy where he was?

– One of the most surprising moments of this episode came when Carrie was interrogating Roya and Roya asked Carrie if she'd ever been under the spell of someone who makes her do stupid things. Carrie thought fondly of Brody and the back seats of cars, and it appeared that girl talk was on. But Roya burned her, saying Nazir's followers aren't that stupid and she's in it for real.

– I've been a staunch Dana defender all series long, but even I wanted to slap her in this episode. Her bitching and moaning over spilled milk was too much! Only her plea for Mike to return to their family felt relevant to shaping the story. The rest was just teenage daughter angst that no one wants to see.

– Carrie was so convinced that Galvez sneaked out Nazir that I thought she was going to dig into Galvez's burst stitches to see if he had Nazir tucked inside.

Comments (98)
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Am I the only one that hates Brody and Carrie together?
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Thank you Homeland for another solid episode!
*Warning* Dana rant:
And of course I have to mention how Dana and her crying over spilt milk scene was so clever by the writers. Even though throughout the whole thing she was an annoying brat who deserves a lot worse than she is getting. And now since Walden has died (her ex-boyfriend's dad) I bet she is still is going to make it all about her. Dana, stop being such a brat seriously, at least your dad is alive! (Knock on wood). And as for her acting skills, don't hate on the actual actress, she is playing a role, maybe too well, of an inconsiderate, egotistical, naive, and irritated teenage girl.
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Has anyone seen the israeli version which the american series is based on?
I would be interested to know if the american show is following a similar storyline or it has taken a different direction as the americans did with the killing?
Also good review i have found since brodies capture its been a bit flat but to be fair how do you keep that level of suspense up.
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Season 3 will start with Carrie in a mental institution and we'll find out that season 2 has all been in her head....
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Homeland, like all shows, have its flaws, but it is still the best drama out there. Breaking Bad/Game of Thrones not so far away of course ;)
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I've enjoyed this season quite a lot. Sure a few implausible things but as the recap points out this show isn't about chasing terrorists. It's part of the subplot. I am very interested to see where season 3 goes, obviously it's going to have to be in a different direction as Brody's been outed. I expect he and Carrie will go on the run, just don't play it out like Prison Break!
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Also, Brody or Jess need to slap Dana on the face ASAP. They've explained it to you Dana: you are there to be SAFE, you IDIOT! Jesus effin Christ...

How can children treat their parents that way? It's just not acceptable... Be moody, don't smile if you don't like, but that?.. I'm rooting for her to get a slap almost as much as Charlie getting punched in the face again.

I used to like Dana and the actress is amazing.
Writers. What are you doing? Writers... STAHP!
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For some reason I don't find these minor plot holes that bad. I merely noticed them before reading about them here. For me, the excellence of the show makes me trust it. When I'm watching Revolution for example, then plot holes are everywhere so you can't help but notice everything else that's wrong.

Perhaps the stalking scenes in the industrial building were a bid to horror movie like, but that was a technical flaw of the shooting and editing, not the writing. How Nazir acted was logical. He became aware of Carrie's position, didn't let the opponent (Carrie) know he had the upper hand information wise and used that to his advantage - sneaking up on her. Exactly what I would have tried to do. I'm just not able to walk THAT silently. Movies and TV shows are really bad examples of how to sneak. I've tried to strangle my brother countless times and almost never succeeded, and he was playing Battlefield or something, with a headset, so...

But yea, the most interesting question now is, where the hell is the show gonna go from here ?.. The finale will obviously deal with the assassination attempt on Brody by Ezio, oops I mean Quinn. But what's gonna happen then?
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Jess filled her holes with Mike... hahahaha yes she did
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Aw no he didn't!! You had to go there, didn't you? :)
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Well I enjoyed this ep very much. Including the moment when Brody breaks down and we are not sure if it is relief or guilt LOL!
I just can't wait for last ep! I hope it has an outrageous cliff hanger that will make some people scream with anger and others squee with anticipation LOL!
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Which breakdown? When he learned Nazir was dead? I couldn't decide if it was relief or grief. What made you think guilt?
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With Nazir, guilt and grief are the sides of the same coin
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There's a season 3?? I don't believe it. We didn't even have enough story for season 2.

This episode was a little better than last weeks for me, but still it feels like this plot is being stretched....

I think the 'kill Brody' storyline is ridiculous. This show seems intent on trying to make us believe USA are the bad guys. Fair enough, lets give both sides. But this is making assumptions about motives that just make no sense. There is no reason to take out Brody in this story now. That may have made sense the moment they discovered him, but not now. It feels like an added extra to give us something to watch next week.

If there is a season 3, I am not quite sure what the point of next weeks episode will be. If not, at least it would have wrapped up the show. But given talk of season 3, then I presume we are in for some crazy revelation that will re-start the series. I don't think I'll be back for that.

I'm stating to get why the major networks sometimes cancel or don't renew good shows. Perhaps they have the chance to see ahead, and see these holes long before.
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It wouldn't have made sense to take Brody out right after his discovery. He had a wealth of information about the al Qaeda network within the U.S. and direct contact with Nazir. Estes' purported rationale for killing Brody was to eliminate the people who knew about the madrassa attack that killed Issa (and U.S. complicity in the killing of innocent children).
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I forgot... I was so happy when Chris had an actual line (which as we know is rare). "SHUT UP, DANA!"
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When Quinn and Estes were discussing Brody's assassination, his face was already weird. It was as if he didn't agree with Estes.

Roya went Carrie-insane haha. That was great.

I loved Saul's response when asked if he was also called the Bear.
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I can live with all the crazy, crazy plotline and ridiculous twists and turns. But the one thing that really turned me off was when suspicion fell on Galveraz and Carrie said " Well he is a Muslim"
thankfully this was just a bluff on the part of the show. 'Cos if they'd gone down that route I would've been seriously miffed! :-)
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Yes, I agree. That was a completely ridiculous character moment for Carrie, giving everything we know about her. If they wanted that line, they at least should have given it to a character that it could have made sense with.

Still, there is clearly a mole then, and it must be someone we know, otherwise what would be the point of the reference? But I'm not sure I really care any more though.....
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Seriously this show has a lot of discrimination against muslims! I mean in the first season she throws the Quraan on the floor and this one is.. (well he IS Muslim), I mean stuff like that makes Muslims angry and want to kill Americans hahaha

I love this show but this was too much for me... they should have a little more respect for other religions
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I'm a Christian and I thought the scene when the Quran was thrown on the floor was actually highlighting the ignorance and stupidity of prejudice and you saw the impact that had on Brody and how disrespectful he viewed that act. And if they wanted to get that across to the audience then I doubt they used an actual copy of the Quran for the scene. So in both senses, I don't think it was discriminatory.
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Even if they didnt use the actual Quraan its the symbol of it. Muslims would NEVER throw a bibile or Torah on the floor. Its just disrespectful and it shouldnt have been done.
I live in Dubai and never been to the states however if this is the level of ignorance they're portraying the American people then it makes them look bad to other cultures and nationalities. you know what i mean?

To balance things out they should show that there is at least one GOOD muslim (who isnt a suspect because of his religion)
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@the_ricksta.. hmm good point and ya Ive seen the Borgias.
I still think they shouldnt show them praying, they could've stuck to the "Muslim" part without showing the extreme religious factor to it.
Also one good Muslim to right the bad that has been done would not be bad (for educational purposes to ignorant people)
Im just worried if this is how really people see Islam its so unreal and not realistic and these shows enforce that image and we hear a lot about the discremination in the states based on people's religion.
Its just makes me sad
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But people *do* disrespectful things and Homeland does a very good job of showing that up for what it is.
When Carrie said to go after Galveraz she was desperate - you could see that. Her completely unreasonable side was starting to take over and when questioned about that she used the excuse of him being Muslim. This sealed the fact she was now clutching at straws and even Quinns facial expression showed exasperation at her pulling that card. Never were you led to believe that to be legitimate reasoning.
And at the end of the day it's not a show about Islam it just has a terrorist cell who twist religious beliefs to justify and manipulate to their own ends. This is done across all religions by men who want to gain control and power.
I think if anything Homeland shows people's ignorance and prejudices for what they are.
Look then to the Borgias- a whole show which centers around corrupt elements of Christendom. Fair game if you ask me.
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@Ankh49 Yes I know, all Im saying that they could've portrait the same "ignorance and stupidity" without the actual act of throwing it on the floor and honestly so far they've only showed that we're terrorists.
This is NOT Islam at all and they should show some of the real Islam.
How would you feel if we portrait Christianity as child molesting religion? Every culture/Religion has its bad reputation. we need to stop highlighting them in order not to inforce the ignorance and make it worse.
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to be fair the-ricksta has a point as it wasn't a Muslim character that threw the bible on the floor. It was Brody's wife. In that particular scene I too got the feeling that they were just trying to highlight ignorance and stupidity. Especially as in later scenes they showed the daughter not only standing up for dad's faith but also trying to understand it.
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They should have more respect for other religions!!! lol
Do u even know that homeland is based on Israeli series "Hatufim"!!
They are not disrespecting any religion the guys that wrote this were more than probably Muslims...
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I did not know that... look Im not saying we dont have assholes in Islam but they exist in every religion! lets go back in history and check

Im an Arab and I dont understand a word of Arabic that they use, its like they're computerized when they speak. hehe

They SHOULD have more respect not because Im a muslim its because Religion should not be mocked this much. I understand why Muslims get pissed off when shit like this happen
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Where are they going with this? The supposed bad guy Estes(now with Nazir dead) is actually the good guy because secretly assassinating Brody is probably the kindest thing to do regarding Brody's family. At least this way there is no media-shitstorm for the wife and the kids.
I said it weeks before, Saul is way too nice how could he even made a career in the CIA? Keeping the deal with Brody, LOL.
BTW you have to turn away from the Koran and take the Hadith(stories of people claiming to have met Mohammed with little theological credibility) to get something like "80.000 servants and 72 wives" and the women are nowhere near virgins, they are only described to have "big, beautiful eyes and round breasts". Translations vary from "angels" to"escorts".And no, I'm not a muslim.
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Saul is an intelligence officer so his skillset is gaining trust, garnering information, handling etc. He's also alot older now so is probably much more mellow.
I'd actually love to see him break bad and waste some people!
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Me too and a good point about him being mellow because of his age!
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I have a feeling Carrie will get merked in the finale.
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I'd actually love it if they did it in a good way though. With Saul being left alive and well and unable to stop it.
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Well actually I think both main characters will die in the end... am afraid there is no happy ending here, never have been...
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I didn't find the episode that bad at all, save one point -- where and when they found Nazir. It was too all-of-a-sudden convenient, and I cannot believe the soldier wouldn't have tried to radio it in immediately -- I mean, does he just let the rest of the squad move on without him? Then when they DO realize there's something back there, he STILL doesn't call for backup. It's not until we know he's a dead duck that he tries, and fails, to get through.

Beyond that, it wasn't bad -- but I think the best scene was with Brody and Jess in the truck. Besides the intensity of the conversation and the silences between, I kept waiting for bullets to fly through the side window at Brody, especially given the camera angles and focuses.

Anyway, I don't see that the show can go on beyond the last episode (of this season, I mean). It's been great, but it's worn out and would be a cop-out to continue. I can see a few plot threads they COULD try and milk the show through, but I hope they don't.
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"and I cannot believe the soldier wouldn't have tried to radio it in immediately -- I mean, does he just let the rest of the squad move on without him? Then when they DO realize there's something back there, he STILL doesn't call for backup. It's not until we know he's a dead duck that he tries, and fails, to get through. "

That is such a good point! Quinn just finished telling Carrie that the tac team guys work in pairs, but the 7 other guys in that squad just wander away and that one allows himself to be separated, with an injured civilian. That was too sloppy to be more than convenience. Your comment also made me wonder why, if tac teams had been searching those tunnels for 12 or so hours, did they not know their comms were not working in that section of the building? Obviously that operation had some communication issues, Galvez, but these amateur ops issues are stretching the believability spectrum.
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Yeah, it was a pretty obvious set up. I wasn't even thinking about Quinn's point about the tac teams working in pairs, so kudos on that, too. I was thinking more about police and other military, for example, where when they see something suspicious they immediately, regardless of whether or not there's potential danger, call for back up and don't move in without it. Even without working in pairs the soldier should have IMMEDIATELY radioed the others when Carrie noticed something off.
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You guys are right. That whole sequence was ridiculous. And why didn't the team shoot Nazier IN THE HEAD? That's unbelievable, he could have had a bomb, for Christ's sake!!
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I too was disappointed about the Nazir plot treatment. I did not however think that Carrie finding his hiding spot when everyone else missed it was beyond believability; she saw him walking in that corridor at the start of the episode (admittedly when we saw that scene I initially thought she was hallucinating and it was only later when she was searching with the tac team officer that its relevance became clear) and therefore she was very focused on that particular section of the building when they made that final sweep. It did seem weird to me that he was so set up in that little room, his personal effects all spread out, the place so lived in, not a single bag packed. Who goes on the run and does not keep a bug out bag queued at all times? But even more, his death felt so anticlimactic. This guy is meant to be some super-terrorist and yet he becomes trapped in an abandoned industrial complex after a desperate final plot for revenge on a single member of the group of men responsible for the death of one of his sons (I assume he had other children)? Everyone, and I mean everyone, on this show that has mentioned Nazir made him out to be the big bad boogeyman of religious extremists, yet this brief, dark moment of suicide-by-cop is how his story ends? It does not compute. The only way this does not seem an unfortunate (and crushingly disappointing) plot stumble for me is if some terrible secondary plot is uncovered/unfolds/executed whilst everyone is patting themselves on the backs for killing Nazir and Estes is distracted by his plan for neutralizing Saul and Carrie and eliminating Brody. If we learn Nazir was willing to martyr himself after he was assured his revenge in order to distract the intelligence community from another plot already in motion, well that is a plan worthy of both Nazir and Homeland, and it would offer some explanation for the crazy places the show has gone in the last few episodes as well as why all evidence and Nazir's own words indicate that Nazir never had any intention of leaving that building alive.

I thought the scenes between Jess and Brody, both at the safehouse and later in the truck outside their house, were some of the best of the episode. For me, the conversation in the truck was a conclusion to the discussion begun at the safehouse. Brody's comment in the truck about how they were all "fucked the moment I left for Iraq" was the answer to the question the Jessica posed when she said, "It's all changed, hasn't it, now that Bill's gone?" But perhaps not the answer she expected or was even hoping for. There was a moment during that first conversation after Jess wondered how they all got to that point, when Brody was overwhelmed, looked as if he had something he was prepared to confess, and I could not imagine which of his many lies and secrets he might have believed it the appropriate moment to disclose to his wife or if he might have, in that moment, even been willing to tell her everything. We'll never know, as Carrie rang in and Brody gave Jess the only answer that mattered on the question of their marriage.

I think the Dana meltdown scene made the answer clear to Brody in a manner that supersedes his relationships with Jess and Carrie; a father's job is to protect his children, to be a constant and stabilizing force in their lives, yet Brody's return and much of what occurred since has had the opposite effect, especially upon Dana, the child he naturally felt closer to when first returned, the child who has quietly carried a terrible knowledge no child should have of a parent. Brody has not yet told Jessica, let alone his children, about his deal with the Attorney General or the relocation requirement, or any of the background for what will be coming, and Dana's meltdown was a preview of the sort of reaction they can expect if they must leave their entire lives behind.

Whatever her issues, Carrie is truly brilliant at spycraft. When she exited the mill into the glare of spotlights and swarming search teams I could not tell if she was in a near health threatening state of shock or if she was playing Quinn to determine how much everyone knew about what really occurred with Nazir and her kidnapping. When Quinn told her Walden was dead, was it news to her or confirmation? I was unsure what to make of her exchange with Estes over Nazir's body; I couldn't gauge the emotions present in the scene as I was too overcome by the awkwardness that I'm not certain was wholly appropriate.

Despite the interwebs and print brouhaha over the last and current episode, I have to say that for me, Homeland continues to score high marks because it is still making me do the same thing it has done from the very first episode: question everything. I still have a good amount of faith that the final episode will somehow draw together all these seemingly implausible pieces and slap us in the face with some of the jaw-droppingly amazing television we have come to expect from Homeland. Where S03 will take us, I cannot presume to offer predictions.
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They were trying to draw a parallel between Nazir and Bin Laden.
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Oh, seriously? That is kinda disappointing. I know I am setting myself up admitting this, but I thought bin Laden was anticlimactic as well. My first thought when the news became public was, "Is he even a credible threat at this point?" Nazir's perceived persona and impact always came off as, I don't know, more than. I just don't feel settled about his death after all the hype.
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Watch the finale to understand how Nazir is still a threat ;)
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Definitely. Wouldn't miss it for anything :)
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This episode, with the aftermath of the VP's death as well as that of Nazir, Saul being thrown under the bus combined with Brodie's cry spell and impending divorce, flings the kitchen sink of you know what toward the proverbial fan. Though the action was light, even Nazir's death was in a sense anti-climatic, but the tension is at an all-time high. We know Quinn is on a mission to assissinate Brodie, however there is something unknown regarding Carrie. Is Carrie on the Quinn's list too, or does Quinn have a strange affection for her? When one high-profile terrorist is eliminated isn't there ten more ready and waiting to not only carry out the original mission, but to ramp it up even more? This episode promises whatever is next will be a "bag of hurt" rising to the top with multiple possibilities/outcomes? Taken as such this episode has provided a real set-up for a event(s)...There's only one choice and that is to stay tuned.
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Agreed.
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this is TV guys, and homeland is great TV, we're so lucky to even have a show like this these days, I feel like we shouldn't complain. but if we wanna talk about crazy, the only ACTUALLY crazy plot hole is to assume that Nazir acted alone, kidnapped Carrie, held her hostage, stayed hidden and all, everything ALONE. Now, I have a theory: it's not like they showed us the guy's not resourceful, in truth it was quite the opposite (see the helicopter, how he got into america, the endless number of allies and moles etc.) so what I'm thinking is that Nazir's determination, his faith (particularly highlighted last week during his long dialog with Carrie, the "you're a terrorist" one), is so strong that he actually MEANT to be caught, to get killed even, knowing that his "sacrifice" will trigger some sort of big reaction by his followers in the war against the first world. I mean, that's pure kamikaze-terrorism 101 "to fight in the name of something bigger"? right? it'd also be a good starting point for season 3...
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yeayyy Galvez :D
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I called that red herring.
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of courseee! Nonsense to suspect him just because he's muslim -.-
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Carrie: a bipolar CIA agent
Brody: a confused mind with mixed feelings about what's right and wrong

Homeland: a show that confuses our feelings showing us a world that is hardly ever black and white, jumping around between the black and white in crazy plots that get our mood up and down every week. Bipolar and confusing. But just great.

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Yeah, not really sure what all the uproar is about either. This show is batshit crazy, just like its leads, but it hasn't jumped the shark imo...
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I hope this season ends witha major terrorist attack in retalliation for Nazir's dead. With several groups claiming responsability. I don't know it feels like this show needs a big threatening antagonist charachter (or several), and that would put everyone in the same mood post 9/11 (how could we've missed it?).

When i saw Quinn stalking Brody i got the feeling that he was hurt that Carrie was with Brody, like he was jealous or even having a crush on her, and i think that feeling will play a role in him not killing Brody (maybe i'm completely wrong, we'll see).

Dana should find out about his father work with the CIA, maybe without the real reason. The created a nice bond last season and that could bring them back toghether. I love Dana, even at this whiny stage.

Although i love Morena Baccarin, i think the Brody marrieage storyline is pretty much done, so i don't think she has to stay on the show next season aside from sporadic appearances. The same goes for the kid and Mike. They should try to become a family, but that's nothing we would care about.

Finally, this season has been crazier but at the same time the charactes intractions and developments have been way better. So i have high hopes for the season finale and next year
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Maybe Carrie and Brody do run off to escape the hit on Brody, but then David Estes is revealed to be the mole all along, which will in turn let Brody off the hook?
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This is a ridiculous theory I have, but they have introduced moments of doubt with Saul. His polygraph after the razor blade incident, his total hatred of Estes (maybe his desire to make Estes look foolish is greater than anyone could imagine)... could he be the mole? It would be totally shocking and crazy. It would certainly shake Carrie to her core and emotionally isolate her to make flight with Brody seem more attractive.
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Wow. I mean, wow. It never occurred to me, but it is Homeland and anything is possible. Now I am going to be all paranoid about Saul as well, when I previously simply assumed gruff old mentor = Good Guy/Team Stars and Stripes. Jeebus, trust no one people.
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The mole should be the same person who let Nazir's people know that Estes has valuable information in his safe. This should mean that Estes isn't the mole, because he could have retrieved that information himself. No need to involve Brody, or to have Roya distract Estes.
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Agreed. Not just that there was valuable information in it, but *the combination* to it. We have to think about the things the mole has leaked, and who would have that information. Estes' safe in particular I found mind-boggling. We know that Saul was deputy director in the past. Could that have been his old office, his old safe? Who else could possibly have that information? I can't wait for this finale!!!!
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In answering your poll question, I voted for 'Cheat-Both'. Yes, in this second season, Homeland has gotten crazier and more wild, but I'm still enjoying it almost the same amount. It may not be as real or believable or whatnot as season one, but for me, it's still arguably just as entertaining.

For me, the difference in seasons is almost the same as I'd describe the change in Community over its three seasons. I love both the first and third seasons, but I don't know anyone that would say that the tone and approach of those two seasons are close to one another. The first season was more grounded, real, and many of the jokes were more subtle and witty and kind of one-liner-y. The third season was wild, adventurous, unreal, and many of the jokes were more broad and large and whole-episode-y. Most prefer one or the other, or a mix of the two (season 2) -- I've always kind of preferred the earlier stages of the series -- but I still enjoyed them all almost the same. Maybe a different kind of humor, but high-quality humor nonetheless.

So for Homeland, while I may not prefer the tone of this season over season one, I've still been entertained by it. It's gotten significantly more quick-paced and more insane but it hasn't gotten to the point of silly to me, and more importantly, it's still thrilling and surprising to watch.
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I'm a little bummed out at how Nazir's plot ended despite that scene in the tunnels being pretty thrilling. It felt a little lazy to me, though, how Carrie just took a quick look at a bunch of pipes and machinery in the dark and quickly deduced that the wall behind it all looked a little off. Then I actually laughed when Carrie saw Nazir and quickly ran away screaming for help. I know she's not a field agent or whatever and is more of an operations gal, but for whatever reason, it just felt funny to me. Nazir then running and chasing after her also felt a little off to me, but I guess they kind of explained it off by saying that he doesn't run away -- although if he was okay with hiding, I figured he'd try to hide again.

Aside from that whole scene though -- and aside from Dana, who I again can't defend -- I still really enjoyed the episode. I guess all I can say is, uh, entertainment is entertainment. It's why some people can enjoy watching Honey Boo Boo or the Kardashians or Revolution while others, like myself, think they all suck and are destroying the human race. And no, I will not apologize for including Revolution in with Boo Boo and the Kards.
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Most of my theories here are based on next week's promo...
1. Seeing Saul get burned like that by Estes just made me want to scream how much of an a*****e Estes is. Of course, judging from the promo, something tells me that Saul is either going to play along with Estes or go behind his back and sidetrack him.
2. I think Quinn felt compassionate and I liked it because that is one of the best things about this show. It gives us the whole picture of people's emotions. Plus... Maybe he's got a thing for Carrie? (I'm team Brody all the way...)
3. Roya's reaction was amazing! My jaw practically fell to the floor!!
4. As a teacher, I can assure you that Dana's reaction was long overdue! Her mother tries to keep balance, her brother is a very passive person so being such a dynamic personality and feeling/knowing that many things are being kept from her and even the fact that she wanted to set things straight about the accident... It kept eating at her on the inside... sooooo... This was a reaction long overdue!
5. I might be completely wrong here but I would hate it if in the next episode they stage Brody's death (aka we think he dies but he returns in the third season and says it was staged). That's the feeling I got from the promo and it is SUCH a cliché that I really wish it does not become that obvious!

So... let's see what's coming!
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This show may be getting a little ridiculous, but it is just so much fun to watch. Carrie has become one of my favorite characters on television and I'm never quite sure what the show is going to do next. I loved the scene in the car with Brody and Jess breaking up. It just seemed so real and appropriate.
And when I was Dana's age, I can guarantee you that I would be just as pissed and irritated if I had to stay in some strange place for that amount of time because my dad was doing God knows what. Plus there is too many fun aspects of this show for me to focus anytime on hating Dana.
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Saul informs Carrie/Brody of the hit on Brody and they go on the run?
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During the scene when Carrie and that guy were about to enter Nazir's hiding place I must have shouted "Call backup!!!" about 10 times.
The episode was great nevertheless. I think they could really pull off killing Brody. When he was in the car talking to his wife I somehow expected him to get shot any second. Or they keep him on board and Carrie kills Quinn right before he is able to do the hit on Brody. Would probably leave more options for the next season.
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Staff
Done and done. Makes you appreciate shows like Breaking Bad even more.
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Great ep title. For Nazir and the show. boom.
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As someone who habitually points out the massive plotholes, logistic sacrilege and general stupidity that is some of the plot-points on Thursday night TV, you'd think Homeland's decision to throw sanity out the window would annoy me. But it doesn't. The ride is too fun, the acting too good, the lunacy too juicy. I just don't care. Next week is gonna be such a blast.
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I'm basically in full agreement with this sentiment. Homeland has gone significantly more wild and crazy since season one, but I'm enjoying it just the same. The acting and directing is still top notch, and most of the plot is still thrilling and entertaining enough to keep loving it.
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I have the same habit but somehow with Homeland that part of my brain is on standby which rarely ever happens.
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I really don't get the Dana hate. If my dad was like that, I'd flip out too. That's beside the fact that I know a lot of teens who are just as whiny as her, if not more so. The fact that people can't stand one of the few teens on TV who is being accurately portrayed as a teen, is hilarious.
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I'm in my 20s, so I don't feel too far removed from Dana's age, and I can tell you that sh*t would NOT fly in my house under even the most stressful, hateful, horrible circumstances. Maybe the reason she's such a bitch to her parents is that they sit there and take it. But anyway, that's not my biggest complaint about Dana. I know most teens are disrespectful, selfish, and bratty, so I'm sure that's how she's been instructed to act. My biggest problem is her total inability to ENUNCIATE! She has only one emotion -- ever -- and her delivery is so one note and muddled. I just can't stand it!
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I've defended Dana as often as I could in the previous season-and-a-half, but I kind of hated her in this one. If my dad was like that, I wouldn't flip out by being bratty. I was pretty naive when I was about her age, but even I would understand that my father being a congressman, possible VP, former-POW-now-hero, working for the CIA, and possibly targeted for death by a terrorist is more than enough to warrant not seeing my friends or going to school for a week or so. I would LOVE to chill out in a home with my laptop and tablet for a week. He may be an idiot -- and so may I -- but I'm totally more like Chris and his reactions to it all.
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Right! Dana is totally annoying and she should be. I love her acting and how she is portrayed.
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Her acting is as follows:

Dana shows frustration over concern.
Dana shows frustration over happiness.
Dana shows frustration over covering up a murder.
Dana shows frustration over hating her father.
Dana shows frustration...

Okay, you get it. She can play a frustrated person really well. Almost as well as Revolution's Charlie can play confused, empty, and aloof.
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The spilled milk fit really felt like a wink from the writers... sort of a "we know. deal with it."
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A wink? Writers need to cut that ish out and hash out better plot points.
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I almost died reading this: "Carrie was so convinced that Galvez sneaked out Nazir that I thought she was going to dig into Galvez's burst stitches to see if he had Nazir tucked inside."

I have to say Homeland's gone too far for me. And the little "let's turn this into a horror movie scene" was the tip of the iceberg for me. I thoroughly enjoyed season 1 though. But sadly I'll probably keep watching it anyway. It's like when House just went too far. There's no way any people in that hospital would actually be keeping their jobs with the stuff they did. Carrie's career would have ended in season 1 and in reality would have stayed that way.
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It's pretty amazing that despite her tenuous status as a CIA employee, Carrie can wander into an interrogation room without anyone noticing and just start grilling an accused terrorist. You'd think by this point every employee in the building would be trained to ask her where exactly she's going and whether she'd be better off somewhere else.
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I assumed they knew she was going to interrogate. She was wearing a visitor badge. But you've made a good point. This whole episode I was just waiting for them to stick her in the straight jacket. She was in a car accident. I was sure she was going to go manic.
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Why are you not referring to this episode by its proper title(AKA the best episode title EVER!!!)? The name of this episode isn't "In Memoriam". It's "The Motherf***er with a Turban". it will always be "The Motherf***er with a Turban". And I will not rest until Homeland gets its due credit for being the first show to make me piss myself before it even starts. What a title. Just...........yes xD
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Just imagine in real life if Osama Bin Laden would be snatching CIA agents out of their cars, using stolen credit cards and appearing in security cameras, haunting the tunnels of an abandoned industrial structure, all that by himself. Earlier this season, the terrorists seemed to have tremendous logistics in the US: a group of well-armed and highly trained commandos, explosives, a helicopter, and in his final moments Nazir was no better than a small gang member. Quite inconsistent there.

I really laughed when Carrie said (about Galvez), "well, he is a Muslim" and when Quinn realized that they both ran to catch the evil Muslim, and the agents caught him, and threw him to the ground, even though he was wounded and, until that moment, as far as they knew, he was still an upstanding CIA agent. Oh, Homeland, you really know how to be un-PC.

Still an entertaining show, though. Obviously the final episode will be the CIA (specifically, Quinn) trying to kill Brody for all the wrong reasons, and Carrie will probably choose Brody's side and go rogue or something. And at this moment I haven't got the faintest idea what the writers will come up with for next season.
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"I really laughed when Carrie said (about Galvez), "well, he is a Muslim" and when Quinn realized that they both ran to catch the evil Muslim, and the agents caught him, and threw him to the ground, even though he was wounded and, until that moment, as far as they knew, he was still an upstanding CIA agent. Oh, Homeland, you really know how to be un-PC."

Hehe, it was pretty amusing to see how quickly Carrie and Quinn turned on their colleague. I can rationalize it to a point by saying that Carrie is pretty crazy, Quinn doesn't know him particularly well, and Galvez driving off in the middle of their big search doesn't particularly look good, but it was funny how instead of talking about any of that, the only dialogue of suspicion was "Well, he is Muslim."
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Also, it's important not to tell anyone that you're leaving because a substantial amount of stitches were ripped. This is government training 101.
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Homeland has turned into a lazy thriller, riding the waves of Season 1's far better impact.

Season 1's cliffhanger, at this point of season 2, couldn't matter less. Even if the writers somehow eke out a connection, Carrie's character has remained unchanged. I said it a few comments up about Dana's acting prowess, but Carrie is simply the best at looking surprised with anger and fervor. All other times, I find her kind of annoying.

Back to the point, this show may have fallen pretty far from grace after season 1, but it's certainly not at the level of Lost, Heroes, and Prison Break (off the top of my head.) Homeland is still a relevant thriller, but I'm quickly losing interest, actually. You know me, Mad, I'd like nothing more than to spend time watching shows that don't rhyme with Evolution, but Homeland is more disappointing than it is ludicrous. Obviously, the latter is more enjoyable.

Anyway, here's hoping the season finale makes up for all of this!

EDIT: I forgot. Let's be serious. If the Ace card in the terrorist deck has a CIA agent hostage, do we seriously believe her head is sticking around? Homeland used to be unpredictable. Nazir, in reality, would have absolutely cut his losses and killed her. As if he couldn't wait to get the VP's serial number any other way...
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Totally agree on the ridiculousness of this Abu Nazir plotline - I was willing to give Homeland the benefit of the doubt all the way up to the kidnapping. And I've definitely been wondering what the hell happened to the helicopter, the assault team, etc. Surely *all* of those personnel weren't arrested as part of the CIA sting.

Until Nazir's death I actually assumed that the CIA had been duped and the supposed bombing of the homecoming event was just going to be a distraction before a bigger terror plot. Guess not...

So even if the final episode of the season focuses on whether or not Brody is killed... doesn't it feel empty without a terrorist threat hanging over them? And what else could possibly save Brody at this point?
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Maybe Brody goes full-fledged baddy and picks up where Nazir left off...
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I never got the impression that Nazir was driving (or even inside) the car that wrecked Carrie. I think that was carried out by henchmen who then delivered her to the mill. I agree with you that not all of his operatives were arrested in that sting. They are probably waiting for news coverage of his death before carrying out "in the event of my death or a Season 3" instructions.
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As far as I can tell Dana hasn't smiled once during this whole season. Will she be able to maintain a perfect score in the season finale??
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She's the worst. She's quickly joining the ranks of worst female characters in fiction: Margaret (Boardwalk Empire), Penny (ADWD), Lori & Andrea (TWD), and Jar Jar Binks (mesa no care what sex he is, he's on the list...)
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I'd also like to nominate Laurel (Arrow) to your short-list.
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I haven't seen Arrow, but whoever Laurel is, she's in good company!
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I realize that Carrie is in love with Brody, but are we saying that it's perfectly okay with a CIA agent that the person that they love contributed to the death of the Vice President of the US??
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I have always thought that a high degree of moral and ethical ambiguity is something of a requirement for intelligence officers. She isn't Secret Service. Besides, Carrie is a pragmatic girl when it suits her, and you have to crack a few eggs to make the omelet. Walden died so that many may live, greater good, utilitarianism, yada yada. Or, my boyfriend helped kill VPOTUS for me, girly sigh.
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Contributing to the death of the VPOTUS is a bit more than a "few eggs" isn't it?
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I understand your point, but I think this situation is presented to force the audience to question their comfort/discomfort with this versus similar dilemmas with different victims. The VPOTUS is a public figure, a politician, he understood the potential risks of his role going into the job. But is any politician, public figure or any person really more important or more valuable than another (excepting anomalous persons such as Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela)? Is Walden's life worth more than the tailor Brody killed out in the woods? Was there a moral issue with Brody's behaviour or Carrie's acceptance of his actions at that point? Because he only killed the tailor for self preservation; he participated in Walden's death in the name of justice and vengeance. I am not arguing that either justifies his actions. No matter how it is parsed, Brody had blood on his hands.

Carrie is in no way, directly or indirectly, responsible for Walden's death. She does have information on circumstances pertaining to his death, but she does not have any proof of what Nazir or Brody did, if they did anything at all (from a what can be proven per evidentiary rules perspective). Perhaps she is guilty of violating CIA protocols when she did not divulge the details of Nazir's call or his conversation with her, but they did not take time out to debrief, and Carrie is pretty lackadaisical about CIA protocol anyway. She isn't even on the payroll, so arguably she isn't bound by the ops parameters she would be if she had been reinstated.

But to return to the initial question, I'm not certain Carrie or anyone in her position would be able to reconcile love for a key asset embroiled in a major national security operation. Something is going to get short shrift. Is it ok with her that Brody is involved in the death of the VPOTUS? You mean this attempt, because it was successful, versus the last one when he strapped a bomb to his chest and was going to take out an additional 30 civilians and security personnel? There is a reason the CIA look for people who are very comfortable with moral and ethical ambiguity; it is safe to assume nothing is black and white in that world, there is no right and wrong, there is a spectrum. And really, does it matter if it is ok or not ok? They both have to live with their actions and the consequences.

The great and terrible thing about love is that it does not bow to qualifiers, moral, ethical or otherwise; anything less isn't love. And let's consider for a moment that more than a few ladies would be taken with their true love confessing that when her life was on the line he did not hesitate to make the "difficult, lesser of 2 evils" choice to save her life, and Carrie is not what we can call the most well adjusted girl out there. I don't think she needs to be ok with any of it, she just has to decide if she can accept it and live with it, and sometimes in life, when it comes to love, being ok is a distance from what we'll accept and learn to live with.
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If the alternative was that CIA agent's death, I'm sure they'd be more forgiving.
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Oh man great review, laughed so hard on your osama bin laden comment.. So true, I was watching that scene with disbelief, the show lost all of its credibility (well, that little bit it still had left) and I just had to laugh. The slasher thing? hilarious.. From the moment that black ops guy talked to Carrie I knew he was toast. But really, don't touch my huggybear Saul!!
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