Homeland Season 4 Finale Review: The Woman of No Man's Land

Homeland S04E12: "Long Time Coming"


For the second year in a row, Homeland went with a more epilogue-style finale that distanced itself a bit from the primary events of the season (in this case, the Pakistan story and setting). Although the minor jump forward in time meant that "Long Time Coming" didn't drop us right into some Carrie and Quinn versus Dar and Haqqani bloodbath—which might've been extremely thrilling—the hour was ultimately a more successful example of this "type" of episode than the Season 3 finale. Whereas at the end of last season it felt like Homeland wanted to give Brody one last send-off above all else, "Long Time Coming" offered a really strong mix of somber reflection and intrigue for the future. All told, I can't imagine many of us expected that this would be how Season 4 ended, but it was a fine change of pace after the more deliberately intense and deadly back half of the season.

While I certainly would've enjoyed yet another episode featuring Quinn doing his best Jack Bauer impression, perhaps joined by an impassioned Carrie, I wonder if showrunner Alex Gansa and the writer of this episode, Meredith Stiehm, were concerned about the law of diminishing returns with the action in Islamabad. By bringing Homeland's characters and story back to the United States, "Long Time Coming" put a stop to the explosions, but hustled to try to bring everyone's season-long arcs to some kind of new—or renewed—place, without completely stripping away the espionage. I'm betting that not everyone enjoyed this approach, but for the most part, it worked for me. 


Stiehm's script was particularly well-constructed, creating a first half that made room for Carrie to say goodbye to her father and experience what life outside of the CIA could, in theory, be like. Whether you entirely buy the show's long-term handling of Carrie as a character (and I'm skeptical), I do buy the simple idea that the death of a family member can have nearly unlimited impact on a person, especially someone in Carrie's fragile position given everything that happened in Islamabad. As a result, the Carrie we saw here was more invested in being a mother to her baby, was generally warmer to her sister, and handled the 'big' stuff associated with her father's death (packing up boxes, delivering the eulogy, maneuvering around at the wake, etc.) without any troubled Carrie 'freak outs'. Obviously, the sudden reappearance of her mother threw Carrie for a loop, but even then, she made the effort to drive across the country to Missouri to figure out the truth of why this woman did what she did. 

So many of those little moments just rang true for me. Carrie and Quinn share some kind of connection and she didn't know if/how he survived in Pakistan, so their reunion had the right level of surprise and relief. The brief moment with Lockhart slinking into the wake super late, armed with a crappy dish of his wife's lasagna, like the awkward dweeb he is, only to be welcomed to the Cool Kids table with Carrie, Quinn, and Saul so they could all have a "Pakistan, Am I Right?" moment, was just great. Odd, but great. Finally, the small series of scenes where the episode hit us over the head that Quinn and Carrie, those two crazy kids, might be able to make it in the real world if they just got out of the CIA worked well enough because Claire Danes and Rupert Friend sold the heck out of it, and because in that moment, the two of them have reached a point where getting out actually seems like a decent plan. It's not just like the Carrie-Brody ill-fated Romeo and Juliet nonsense; it's a slightly more rational, if still underdeveloped, connection that the show simply isn't going to let us ignore.


Plus, Carrie's struggles with her mother were, in some ways, more powerful because she walked out on her kid just as her mother did so many years ago. And while Carrie's mom eventually admitted that her mistakes were due to a level of infidelity that she couldn't control, those impulses are familiar to Carrie. Like her mother, she hasn't been able to stay still; instead of sexing up the chillest bro at the bar, she simply zooms off to a war-torn country to try to bring democracy and/or imperialism to any and all nations. It's not the same, but it's not entirely different either. Thus, Carrie feels like she's been the way she is because of what's been passed down from her dad's DNA, but these moments with her mother illustrated that she is her mother's daughter as well. And so, she was finally convinced that maybe she could escape the CIA, and maybe being bipolar wasn't a life sentence of being alone. Maybe she wouldn't screw it up with Quinn, or with the baby, or even with her sister. Again, having just watched the episode, I'm not 100 percent sure I can track this throughout all 12 episodes, but as a kicker here at the end of the season, this was a darn fine place to get with Carrie. Stiehm's the best at writing for Carrie and it's no surprise she took on this episode. In a vacuum, this was the best Carrie episode in...two years? Maybe longer. 

While I'm less confident about the through-lines with Carrie, the show did nice work with both Quinn and Saul in this episode, pulling together tremendous moments that were basically in-line with what we've seen all season. In that regard, it wasn't surprising to see Quinn made a grand effort to support Carrie at the funeral and wake, to play with the baby, and even clean up the dishes. He was not only jonesing to have something more with Carrie, but the dude just wants to get out. We know that, we've seen it, and we've heard it. Even though he made these gestures at a wake, and even though Carrie is absolutely a mess, Quinn has been searching for someone to get him out, and keep him out. For Saul, the story was similarly simple, but effective—he wanted back in. Lockhart's politicking submarined him last season, the private sector sucked, and now that he's come out the other side of being the key hostage of one of the world's most dangerous men, he's ready to get back in the game. Unsurprisingly, Saul's desperation meant that he was willing to listen to Dar's big pitch about Haqqani—Dar agreed to take Haqqani off the kill list if he stopped harboring terrorists and was willing to get the video of Saul as a sign of good faith—and willing to undercut Carrie, and everything that happened in Islamabad just for the chance to take back the agency. 


Best of all, all three of those arcs came together in the episode's final 10 minutes, with Carrie deciding she wanted to try with Quinn, only to learn that he'd already given up (again) and taken a mission with no end date to Syria and Iraq, and then her trying to blackmail Dar into getting her in touch with Quinn using the info that she saw him with Haqqani, and then discovering that Saul and taken Dar's bait and ultimately had no problem cutting a deal with Haqqani (by association, at least). Carrie made a real effort to at least try to change her life. Quinn wanted to, again, but wasn't patient enough, and didn't trust himself to stick it out. And Saul got exactly what he wanted all along, while setting himself up to save face with the powers that be, Carrie be damned. That's quite the turn of events, and one that produced an emotional gut-punch I wasn't ready for, particularly when Carrie and Saul came face to face on Dar's porch. Who would have guessed that the biggest moment of the season would take place there, after everything that has happened over the previous 11 hours?

Obviously, it's worth being at least somewhat skeptical regarding this turn of events. Maybe Carrie and Quinn aren't the kind of pair you can totally invest in. Maybe we've seen Saul screw Carrie over one too many times. Maybe Dar's 'plan' involving Haqqani seemed vague enough that the show can simply move on next season, not unlike how it handled the mess in Iran in Season 3. I hear that, and in some ways, I feel that way about what occurred in this finale. But I also really, really like that after a sometimes bumpy season that served as a soft reboot, this episode showed that Homeland can still deliver an emotional wallop without drones, missiles, shootouts, or manipulated prescriptions. It's not the time to say "Homeland is back!" or that's better than ever, or any of those superlatives—it's just nice to confirm that the show has something left in the tank, and that it's continued existence is beneficial for television.



NOTES

– Predictably, the jump back the U.S. didn't include a check-in with the Boyds. I guess Dennis is simply going to pay for his crimes and Martha will find another job? Those two were wrongfully lost in the shuffle over the past two episodes.

– No Aasar or Max this week either, but Tasneem made an appearance on TV, speaking out against American involvement in Pakistan. It will be interesting to see whether Homeland continues with that story at all in Season 5.

– I laughed at how quickly Saul ignored his wife now that he's back home, safe and sound. There she was, trying to make sure he was okay, and he just had to get to that meeting. He's a terrible husband.

– Now that we know the details, what do you make of Dar's plan? It seems to me that he wasn't involved with Haqqani from the jump, and more likely reached out after the siege on the embassy. Like I said up above, I'm not sure how much I really buy the idea that Dar, or Saul, could trust Haqqani, but I guess I'm willing to believe they're both selfish enough to think they can trust him as a means of gaining control of the intelligence community. Regardless, if it means more Mandy PatinkinF. Murray Abraham diner scenes next season, I can be convinced.

Amy Hargreaves did good work as Amy in this episode. She's always good, but it was nice to see the character do more than lecture Carrie. Victoria Clark was also solid as Carrie's mom; I'd love for her to stick around more next season. 

– That was a great little tribute to James Rebhorn at the end of the episode. Man is he missed, everywhere. 

– Any other lingering story bits or confusing turns that were left unaddressed? Let's talk about them in the comments. 


What'd you think of the finale? How did it change your view of the season as a whole?


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Aug 04, 2015
The last episode was as boring and useless as all the episodes about Brody's daughter.
I wish Quinn had pushed the trigger in Ep 11.
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Nov 29, 2015
Just binge watched season 4 after having to take a 2 year break due to the hot mess that was season 3. WHAT A LET DOWN! HOLY CRAP. This finale was almost as bad as all the episodes with Brodi's daughter combined. I was so bored. The mother stuff was all so random and boring. Up until the end of episode 11, I thought I was actually going to put in the time and really get current on this show, but now I'm done Fool me once...
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May 26, 2015
I know I'm quite late here, but I just finished the season after I purchased it on DVD.

I'm surprised to see so many people not liking the finale. I just watched it last night and I must say, it was different (no action) but I believe necessary. After all that serious action that happened in Pakistan, don't you think we deserved a break for an episode or two? I do.

Plus, carrie's father did die, so why not tone it down for the funeral? Her mother returning gave us a chance to learn more about Carrie's past and the circumstances that led to her mom's abandonment. What was wrong with this? Played very nicely by Carrie's mother I may add.

The Saul/Dar Adal storyline was tremendous. Very tense and quite realistic if you ask me. Need I say more?

And then of course you have the Quinn/Carrie love interest storyline. Yes, even I have been hoping these two would hook up even if only for a short time. The kiss was therapeutic for both them and the audience. And now you have the hook for next season.

What more do you need for a finale? I guess the person who coined the words, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" knew what they were talking about. I give this a 9/10. Thank you again Homeland writers and directors for another great season. I love your show A LOT!
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Mar 08, 2015
While I think the slow-paced finale was very good idea, the 'sudden reappearance of her mother' was disastrous. The writers of this show don't know good measure in anything, huh, big surprise.. After reading the announcement that Season5 is supposed to take a leap 2,5 years in the future, I only hope the writers will just forget her, and the new half brother. What I find really boring by now is Saul and his 'betrayals' towards Carrie. I think he SHOULD retire.. On the other hand, I loved the action in Pakistan and characters like Tasneem. So it might be good that Season5 is also to take place somewhere abroad. Yet still my romantic heart is sad for Quinn LOL We shall probably never see Carrie to rescue him from his suicide Syria/Iraq mission, as we are to find Carrie 2,5 years after, and no longer with CIA. What is Season5 supposed to be about, then??
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Jun 11, 2015
My favorite part is how someone in the CIA has no idea she has a brother. My biggest problem with the finale had nothing to do with the lack of action but rather the lack of surprise, which is the one thing this show always has on me. I don't know. Maybe the lack of surprise was the surprise. Still, this season was almost hard to watch for me. Maybe I just liked Brody's character too much!
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Mar 15, 2015
We are going to see a very different Carrie at the beginning of next season. Her mother's sudden appearance may have seemed random, but it's key to her character arc next season. The writers have said that Carrie will be in a relationship, which wouldn't be possible if her mother hadn't freed her from this idea that she can't be in a long-term relationship. She will also be out of the CIA, but I wouldn't worry too much. The CIA always finds a way to suck her back in. I'm actually excited to see Carrie in this new light. As for Quinn, I'm sure they'll work together again and it will get messy because they have so much tension/baggage. I wouldn't be surprised if they hook up for real next season.
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Feb 17, 2015
With the release of the Senate Torture Report, we now know that the CIA is guilty of some the vilest acts ever committed by the US government.
This is the elephant in the room that the new season needs to address in some way, if it is to remain relevant.
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Feb 15, 2015
I could not think of a more anti-climatic ending, not to mention the cringe moments in the episode before, where in essence Carrie saved Haqani's life, supposedly not to "lose quinn", then goes to take gun out and try to take out Haqani, and what's up with all the crying and faces? She's a fcking CIA Agent, does she need to have a couple of emotional meltdowns at every episode?

The show should have end up in season 3, that would be an excellent series finale, instead we had a season with great action scenes and uber mediocre storytelling.
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Feb 01, 2015
Corey Barker, nip it in the bud! I love the excitement of some of the different episodes. On episode 4 I was just a little confused at first, however when I rewatched it, it made sense. I think we're in for a real treat, or should I say a big twist ! towards the very end, I love that feeling of being on edge of my seat, waiting for more. My favorite characters are, Carrie, Quinn, and Saul, l really really love Homeland! Great job!
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Jan 06, 2015
The wheels have officially came off the wagon.
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Jan 06, 2015
Worst hour of my life
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Jan 05, 2015
Waste of life
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Jan 04, 2015
I just finished binge watching season 4. I had stopped after episode 3 to wait until all of it was available. And i have to say that watching the season finale right after the flaming E11 was a huge let down ! Beyond words.

It might be just me but it basically cancelled a season long chain of events and puts to shame the characters that died along the way for no f****** reason. What is the message that the writers are conveying? That sometimes sleeping with the enemy is justified? To what end? I understand why Saul would want to get back in the game after being kidnapped - to catch the motherf**** - but he should also be the last person on earth who would want to shake hands with the aforementioned nephewfuc*er.

Based on the last minutes of the season finale, Carrie should have launched the missile on Saul and the motherfuc*er when she had the chance. So much of their heartache could have been spoiled. Saul as a character is dead to me.
Furthermore, CIA should have never agreed to release Saul in exchange for those hostages; they were afraid of a PR nightmare? How is the ambush of their Embassy if not a PR mess? And Lockhart should have never given the list with the names of assets. All stupid, incredibly stupid moves. And they are supposedly the smart people who lead the CIA and are trained to make the hard decisions, which most of the times mean sacrificing a single person (be it Saul or Fara or Max) in order to protect millions of others.
Yet they did exactly the opposite: first, they risk the lives of countless people to save one person, then they go on and negotiate with terrorists, and then they shake hands with them. And for what?

Ridiculous writing.....
I'm gonna stop watching this mess.
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Mar 08, 2015
Yeah, after seeing Dar in Haqqani's car, it's like they all suddenly look like buch of students with too many ideals. The more you can understand the desire of Quinn to 'get out, and stay out', though. The slow pace of final episode was no mistake, it was deliberate.
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Jan 03, 2015
This Season's Finale, at first, confused me somewhat... But your take on the article affirmed what I understood... In addition, when Brody was gone, I wondered how the show would go on... He's been gone a long time... And it has... He is not needed now... But you can't escape his memory with that baby who is a clone of him... The start of the show had us believing it was all about Brody and Carrie, but obviously it's not.... IT'S ABOUT CARRIE, so get over it... There would be nothing to the show without her... 😉
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Jan 03, 2015
Not only for the finale but the whole season was not the Homeland I knew. Seems like show is only good with Brody.
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Dec 28, 2014
I thought this season was fairly decent until the last 5 minutes of Ep 11 and the entirety of Ep 12, why oh why oh why couldn't they have killed Carrie last season and kept Brody, she's such a useless character.
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Feb 05, 2015
Useless???? Are you crazy? She's all this show is about, and an amazing complex deep character. Please, don't watch the show anymore, you don't deserve ir.
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Crappy wrap up. really, 10 ep devoted to Saul's return? Where is the writing that made this show leave you on the edge of your seat? Did they leave?
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Dec 26, 2014
I liked the episode. Ive always enjoyed the quiet episodes, which deal with Carrie's internal conflict. I will admit that season 3 was a bit of a let down in some areas but it wasn't awful. There was just a few kinks in the road, that's all. But Homeland blew everything out of the water in this incredible season 4 and I cannot wait to see what lies ahead in season 5. Kudos Homeland.
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Dec 24, 2014
What a big letdown although I do agree with Cory on the finale in some parts but to me this was underwhelming I think this series couldn't decide if it was going to be a 24 clone or a slow burner. After last week i expected to be in Islamabad with Carrie teaming up with Quinn to take down Hakineir (Sorry for the spelling ) I call him baddie for short anyway we were back in USA.

So I thought maybe Baddie was going to strike on US soil like the finale to Season 2 so I waited funeral done fine with that anyway, moment of thrills then nope back to Saul with Dar major twist didn't expect and then I was left numb at the end. I thought damn you Homeland I expected drama nope thrills nope instead we get Dar saying that in league with the baddie for the hope that he can exchange something, what the F***K excuse my french after all what went on in the entire season. The personal sacrifices of Carrie team , the list nadda, the nephew dead and lastly Quinn given something to do and what was it for a showdown at a diner ARRRGGHHH .

Plus points Quinn, Carrie and Saul couldn't leave their past behind and a nice send off for Carrie dad (James Reborn) But this was the best season of Homeland in a long time I hope they find the right balance for Season 5 .
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Dec 24, 2014
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Dec 24, 2014
Is this going to be a message board with educated debate? Or will it be hijacked by simplicity and vile (that's the most derogatory swear word of all) language?
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Dec 24, 2014
im sorry guys but the finale suck big time, after the last 6 amazing episodes in a row, we get this?! really?? the episode was good but misplaced since it could had work being one of the first episodes of next season, but for this season, it was just a tremendous let down, everybody lost momentum, and its not what a fan expect for the season finale, is my opinion, maybe just me? i dont know what to think really
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Dec 24, 2014
Nope, not just you. It was breathtakingly bad.
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Dec 23, 2014
I am amazed at the vitriol this episode invoked. Action without pathos is caricature. Caricature is fine, if all the viewer wants, is action with no feelings for the characters. But why do we all feel something - Saul being held hostage, Quinn being in danger, and Tracy Letts agonizing decision in the embassy vault - about characters thousands of miles away? It's because of the required character development - Saul's emotional pain with infidelity, Quinn's breakdown at the pool and Lett's power-to-empathy - at home. In fairness to the dissenter, the Brody arc, was mishandled. So there is bound to be some original wounds that are hard to get over. But S4 worked incredibly well because they got action and pathos right. S4E12, in my opinion, was the needed character development investment to set up another great season next year. My advice is to stick with it. If I am right, the last episode of this season, will be judged in a different light when we look back in the Fall of 2015.
JC
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Dec 23, 2014
I get your point, but for me they went for something cool but it didn't work.

The idea of returning to the US for the finale was great. But for me what preceeded it wasn't good enough nor decisive enough.

We enter the finale on the back of failure both in mission terms and character terms. So there was nothing to relax from. The story had simply not reached a point where this US move worked. There was nowhere to go.

So what we got was a filler soap opera episode that only loosely touched on what had gone before. I just didn't care about Carrie's emotional issuees again. It came at a time when there were already other questions unanswered and issues unresolved.
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Dec 23, 2014
Mike,
First of all, I am an American who happens to be an Arsenal season ticket holder. Full disclosure. That might be fighting words :) Second, thank you for a well-thought and well-written thesis. You make a great point. And it's all about the word "failure". In my opinion, this show strives to be relevant. There's a reason why the leaders of the US and the UK "like" this show. I highly doubt their interests are simply cinematic. More likely they see the show as a way of "dumbing down" the complexity of the ME. Last year it was a foreshadowing of a diplomatic path to Iran. This year - with the withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan and the emergence of ISIS - it is more logical that the writers see the writing on the wall. And that is, the Taliban have to to stay and foreigners have to go tomorrow or in the future. That's just realpolitik. And they see the vein of ISIS, being too rich to mine, than a 13-year old failed war. That's ultimately the reason for the reset, or set piece of E12. It all comes down to a bet on S5. If they are right, no one will be complaining about S4E12. If they are wrong, throw all my logic away. But in my opinion, people in the US and UK will be more hungry to "see" the CIA's fight against ISIS - with the hope of winning - than events in Afghanistan/Pakistan that are likely to be seen as a "failure". With the final episode showing that the CIA at least has kept its influence - compared with the Vietnam War - with the potential victor.
JC
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Dec 23, 2014
I'm probably in the minority here, but this whole season was a bit of a letdown to me. So much of the early episodes this season were fairly bland and did little to progress the story, then the midway point was incredible watching the dominoes start falling right and left while more kept getting lined up. Then we get stuck with this last episode of the season where nothing is really resolved, very little is explained, and we spend half the episode watching Carrie's family drama nonsense that had almost zero bearing on the story until now all come pouring out in this final episode. The only upside to this last episode was the interest it draws for next season and just where Saul and Dar are planning to go with what has been done.

I guess I sort of feel like Carrie mostly ruined the entire season for me. Had she not been there, so much stuff could have played out so much more interesting in my opinion. Call me crazy, but I still miss Brody, he was about the only thing that made Season 2 interesting other than Fara, but now that she's gone too, it's pretty much up to Saul to carry most of the show for me.
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Dec 24, 2014
Nope, you're not in the minority. This show has been running on fumes since Brody croaked.
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Dec 24, 2014
What I find so disturbing are the number of people who were pissed off Brody didn't die in season 1 and continued to bash his character all of season 2 for not being dead, and even more in season 3 for STILL not being dead. He was 90% of the show for me. I'm starting to like Quinn more now, but he's a far cry away from what Brody brought to the show.
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Dec 23, 2014
Maybe, like the producers being hesitant to kill off Brody, I think Homeland did just enough to bring me back as a viewer for season 5. By all accounts, I should have pulled the plug on this show last year, but didn't have the stones.

This season was more about moments than the big picture for me, which probably shouldn't come as a surprise since Claire Danes, Damian Lewis & Mandy Patinkin have routinely (or at least since the amazing 'Q & A' episode) made the sum of Homeland's parts greater than the whole.

Rupert Friend has stepped in nicely, but there's still a void left by Morena Baccarin, Morgan Saylor & Diego Klattenhoff. While the characters of Jessica, Dana and Mike might have been bungled and shown huge disrespect by the writers, the work done by the actors portraying them gave Homeland a nice non CIA balance that's lacking now. Amy Hargreaves is learning that lesson now about trying to make the most of what you're given.

Much like I've said since the tail end of season two, "Now what..???". I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but I'll be back to see for myself.
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Dec 23, 2014
The toughest thing any quality TV show can do is get the balance between deep characterization and action. There has to be both. Action doesn't have to be explosions and car chases, but it does have to not be too intellectual. There's plenty of both kinds action on Homeland, although not in this episode, which took time to deepen the characters. I think Homeland did a good job over the entire season with the mix:
- The pool and apartment manager lady and Quinn and his subsequent defending her dignity in the restaurant. Did anyone not want him to cream the guy who openly insulted the woman?
- Some of the back stories of those in the embassy, underplayed but moving during the attack.
- Carrie's changes with her family and her child that she almost considered drowning once.
Homeland is at worst thought-provoking, at best emotionally compelling in action that seems real enough to have happened somewhere, sometime.
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Dec 23, 2014
I haven't seen people complaining so much when GOT has the big bang episode at episode 9, and the calmer finale at episode 10. I'm sorry so many of you were having a bad time with the lack of spy stuff, but fellows, you do because it was a great season in terms of spy stuff. Lots of detail, lots of ops stuff, lots of Peter Quinn. And I expect next one to be as good (crossing fingers, the Peter Quinn part not so clear at this point).
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Dec 24, 2014
GOT is a different show entirely its based on a sereis of Books and also like BOE it has plotines throughout the chasm of the world it present so they will always be a quiter episodes. I agree with you about Quinn he has been given more to do and I always felt with his character in the previous seasons they potrayed him as jealous boyfriend /voyuer.
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Dec 23, 2014
how can you compare it to GOT, its not about bang in the end. this finale was plain boring, trying to do thing which viewers have not come to care about, like introducing a new character Carrie's mother and her drama for so much what. Why in the hell, we should care about that in the finale. This episode was full of that. And please don't compare this episode with GOT, it is a disrespect
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Dec 23, 2014
Yes, of course, how do i dare to compare lol - i like GOT and i like this. And for similar reasons, actually. I guess you haven't noticed the super soapy elements in got neither, have you. Well, i don't give a damn what you think a finale should have or not. The show is Carrie's story, not yours lol. Everything turns around her, and Carrie's mothers appear whenever they are needed for her story. Here the contrast with the Pakistan environment and the homey lasagna stuff works to set Carrie and Quinn's motivations. And the mother works to unsettle her in the best most steady moment in a long time, and delay her response to Quinn. And well, you know, characters need motivations. It could have been a big disaster, but for once, I AGREE WITH CORY, this worked.
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Dec 23, 2014
So the shift to the US was a WTF moment after the action of the last few eps (I was also waiting for the slam bam repercussions after that back seat revelation). But the more I think about this episode, it was lacking guns but still full of intrigue - the plotting within the CIA, the compromises to manipulate key people into key positions. Saul was prepared to sacrifice himself to avoid the release of prisoners and now he's what, happy to do a deal that sets Haqqani free so he can get his job back? Unfortunately it's all too believable and reminds us how corrupt and flawed we all are. Yes, I cringed at Carrie's 'self-revelation' that sent her running to Quinn. That entire Mummy dearest encounter was an obvious plot device and pretty trite at that. But Lockhart's contrite offer of a lasagne was a great moment. And if Season 5 takes the direction we are expecting, then we needed these characters handling the fallout of Islamabad and to raise the emotional stakes for Carrie and Quinn. So whether this is an epilogue for S4 or a prologue for S5, it's worked, because I'm really curious to see what happens next.
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Dec 23, 2014
I enjoyed the concept (playing things out in the US). I thought that was clever.

So I really wanted to like the episode, but it became annoying more than anything else. I think there is just too much I don't get with this show.

* Quinn leaving, Carrie just too late
Did we need that? Perhaps I enjoy it less because the writers seem convinced that Homeland characters should have zero emotional intelligence.

* Carrie angry with Saul
'biggest moment of the season' ???? For me it was just about the silliest. Carrie needs to get one of those hypnosis tapes to play while sleeping "You are in the CIA where people are crafty". She should know enough and have seen enough to not be so shocked at this stuff. Or rename the show 'Carrie's new job: Homeland"

* The mother
I just don't think any season finale should go in this kind of territory. There should have been more of a story to tell from the previous stuff.


I would have loved to have seen more made of the 'sitting out back drinking whiskey' scene. Great idea but more than 'We're back and our jobs are hard" could have been done with that.

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Dec 23, 2014
I only have one question about this so-called season finale........

WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?!!!
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Dec 23, 2014
I admit I'm a bit disappointed since I was expecting an Argo like escape for Quinn and Carrie. I don't hate it because there was a proper goodbye to Carrie's dad and there's a part of me that really liked the Quinn-Carrie will they, won't they angle. Maybe it was an okay episode if we are not talking about a season finale, which of course is leaning on the bummer side compared to the last three episodes. I really want Quinn to make it since Carrie is less irritating when he is around. As for Saul I really like that he really is a man for himself, good acting.
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Dec 23, 2014
can people from the film industry and showtime not leave comments as you have ruined Christmas with this shit episode and season go bak to it`soriginal form season 1 & 2 were good theree was watchable and 4 was shit with a few good episodes and the story could have went in many directions but you killed it as u suck
is this a fucken love story every fucken season we need to watch carries love life this is abt the cia gone watch a chick flick if you want to watch a love story wtf are you on crack this was shit and waste of my time who gives a fuck and they bring her mum back is this a soap wtf happened to american television wtf fans like you ruin the series wanting a love story and all the other shit
what the hell has happened to homeland run out of money forget the performances the story line is crap and what a waste of air time episode 12 is so angry where is the torture or any action or any story with substance in it and come on filmed it in south Africa i know Pakistan is dangerous but should have least used India black guys playing brown people what a joke what happened to the story line from season 3 and where are we going how seriously we need to wait another year to watch a series turn even craper 12 episodes of noting who else is pissed off wtf happened here showtime seriously i could have came up with a better plot line in my sleep wtf are you people on crack

fuk showtime and it`s writers who are a waste of time i could have written a better plot we have to wait a whole year wtf and the season final was so shit wtf holy crap fuken waste of time you finished with that shit wtf wankers who ever produced and directed this give me my time bak watching this assholes your killing american television
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Jan 01, 2015
Um, some punctuation might make your rant, a little more readable.
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Dec 24, 2014
Hey excuse me if you wanna ruin your Xmas where better then the UK we are the best at it on TV right now at least you don't get put through soaps with ridiculous story lines and crap acting UK TV shall always be the ones who ruin Xmas LOL
(I am getting emotional thinking about wheres's the Kleenex) LOL
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Dec 26, 2014
ever heard of being ironic duh
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Dec 25, 2014
what has this got to do with uk am talking abt homeland and you have decided to take it to another level. i watch shows from all around the world and judge them so what is your point i think you missed the point the season was shit and this episode was a waste of time and if you are sad enough to think this is good tv then great for you as you know noting abt television storys with substance and taking you on a journey
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Dec 26, 2014
or sarcasm
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Dec 23, 2014
I was more and more OK with it as the episode went on. Yes, the previous 2 eps would leave us wanting more, but that was always going to be the case. Would you want another adrenaline cliffhanger and waiting a year for the continuation? Not me. I like the natural curve of storytelling, and there is a place for crescendo and a place for cooldown and a set-up with new figures or new places on the chessboard - and I think the writers did a pretty good job of that. All in all, a fantastic season, perhaps the best in drama all year.
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Dec 23, 2014
are you crazy wtf where you watching have you seen season 1 & 2 you just give these shit writers credit for the worst season ever wtf are you on crack they ruined the show and unless it goes bak to it`s original form
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Dec 23, 2014
Look if you're gonna trip over this, you're in for a rude surprise, because opinions differ, and if you want to have an intelligent conversation, calm down and use examples. To me, the best season was S1 UNTIL the final episode, where Brody (whom I suspect you dearly love) should have blown up the whole American administration, sending the show into stratosphere of terrorist attacks. Instead, because he survived, we got a much less stable S2, terrible S3 and an upwards-going S4, ending in the best 3 episodes of the year for any series. And lifting a series up after the S3 quagmire is no mean feat. So, screw the "original form". Back to you.
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Dec 23, 2014
this is just as stupid as that episode and season was and it had chances of being great season but failed to deliver on every point and make it current with real affairs

your missing the point carries baby is a assassin and her mum coming back is because she works for mossad and brody wil come back to life and carrie will have a love affair with Quinn and brody and saul will watch then her sister will let her know that her dad is on a mission and never died who works for mi6

and then that isi woman will become the prescient of Pakistan will come and have an affair with the president of america and then may be the truth will come out that israel was created by the same zionist that funded and started ww1 and ww2 and who are responsible for the killings of the jews and then the cia will get approached by the aipac lobbyist and wont let the truth come out and will give more funding to israel while the american people are 19 trillion in debt

and so the cia will come up with a genius plan with mossad on how to kill more Americans by creating a false flag event but before that happens a story will break that the rebels they have been funding and training are actually isis and then boom some buildings will blow up and ww3 will start with iran even thou isis was the enemy as the plant they made in season 3 will helpamerica start the war by committing a act of terroism and give america the excuse to invade iran
some where in there she will have a sex fest and go to hospital
and then carrie will bring out a secret weapon but we have to wait for season 6 after she takes a break and drives around america getting to know her half brother who is actually a kgb agent and then she decides to vist brodys daughter who has secretly converted to islam and is now working for the Chinese

CAN EVERYONE WRITE SHOWTIME A EMAIL AND CCOMPLAIN THAT THIS IS NOT A SOAP OPEAR AND THEY HAVE RUINED A GREAT SHOW AND THEY HAVE NO TIGHT TO TORTURE ANY OF THERE FANS AND
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Dec 24, 2014
are you a writer for Under the Dome by any chance LOL
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Dec 23, 2014
eps 1 to 11 were true kick ass nail biting homeland

ep 12 was just homelame

I was so psyched to watch the finale and then they served up an episode of wtf ?

I understand that finales are important as they segue into the next season, but this one felt like a farewell, not a cheers see you later kinds episode.

They ought to do a Quinn spin off and call it something like - this is how you die hard !
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Dec 23, 2014
This was a total dampener, especially after such fantastic episodes right before it! The same idea could have been handled differently. It was too slow, too dull, too mellow. Not what you expect from Homeland. This season had raised my hopes, really had! Carrie was fantastic throughout the season and all the other characters were so well placed. And I was so excited for the finale but it totally let me down.
It felt like just another show that deals with the protagonist's emotional issues and not an espionage/action/thriller series! More focus could have given to Saul and Dar. I liked how it ended, but not the build up. Action was missing and so was intrigue. It was just too simple and plain!!
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Dec 23, 2014
Hey did I miss something? What is so bad about the video with Saul and Haqqauni? Was there another one besides the one where Saul says don't save him??
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Dec 23, 2014
I agree. I also didn't get why it was such a big deal. I can only assume if leaked, it would go viral and be very embarrassing for the whole world to see the former head of the CIA (already under scrutiny since that big bombing at the end of Season 2) in the hands of a Taliban warlord?
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Dec 23, 2014
Sad to see TV.com turning into just another haven for industry shills.
Sure the death of Carrie's Dad might have invoked all those doubts in Carrie but so what? None of us tune into a TV show to watch something constructed solely omn the basis of its veracity - et that is what we have been asked to do here.
This is why those awful reality shows use about one in every 70 hours of stuff they record. Ordinary day to day shit isn't what we want -we get that in our living rooms with the TV off.
We've all been through the death of a family member and know what it feels like and how we are likely to behave already - what could an audience possibly gain from watching a mob of overpaid scriptwriters overthink human behaviour following the death of a parent?

This 'finale' lacked any sort of coherence. It seemed more like a mob of 'the gang's all back in the US' outakes scraped up off the cutting room floor and thrown together by those same chimpanzees who sat behind typewriters for decades without creating anything approaching Hamlet.

None of the big questions which the show posed at the start of the season came close to being resolved in any shape or form.
Why do so many of us think it ok for 'us' to closely examine surveillance footage of controlled explosions (made by 'us') at North West Asian family gatherings, footage showing men women and children slowly bleeding out from the injuries inflicted by shrapnel amputating heads and limbs, but it is not OK to film the beheading of someone else and put it up on youtube?

Issues like that were raised in the first couple of episodes this season but the show lacked the wit, courage or skill to properly consider them.
Instead we got the same soapy schtick we've seen on a hundred other pieces of Hollywood schlock.
Considering that last episode Carrie's job could have just as easily been that of a dental technician or web site content provider and it would have played out the same - pitiful - yet TV.com tries to defend it in an attempt give this lame cop-out credibility.
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Dec 23, 2014
I think you watched a different episode.
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Dec 23, 2014
This unexpected, boring and easy-going season finale looks more for a love-triangle novel than for an thriller tv series like this. I'm sure this IS NOT what most of us (if not all) expected to see in this last episode.

It really confuses me, to the point of thinking if writer went out of ideas or what? Now with a finale sooooo slow like this, how will production encourage audience to be anxiously expecting the next season? What was the great finale? What shocking fact they showed? I could even have bet that they were going to reveal (finally) that Brody was alive (but what wrong I was).

What did they show us that we didn't know before? a) That Saul joined forces with Dar Adal? b) That Carrie has a half brother? c) That Quinn and Carrie felt "something" each other?... yea right! Big deal!

What a disappointing finale Mr. Alex Gansa... completely disappointing! (and absolutely boring)... too bad for an awarded tv series like this.
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Dec 23, 2014
For a show like Homeland to go out with a well written, but action-free finale is a mistake. I wish the show would commit to being an action show at the end of its seasons. I like the slow build-up of earlier eps - but to bring the show to a screeching halt with these "epilogue" eps seems like a Huge Mistake with a show like Homeland. I'd give this a higher grade had it occurred earlier in the season - but as a season finale this was not good, and as such gets a (generous) 6/10.
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Dec 23, 2014
An interesting episode. Not bad at all, and if next season picks up with Quinn on his mission and Carrie & Saul getting back in the game..could be that this episode set up for great things. But as a standalone season finale it felt a little underwhelming.
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Dec 23, 2014
I get what they were going for, but it just felt a bit flat for me. It sets up next season nicely, but it just feels underwhelming. I want to see Haqqani take a bullet along with that Iraqi intelligence woman. She was super annoying!
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Dec 23, 2014
A complete waste of an hour of TV time. I can only guess they ony felt contractually obligated to put on 12th epidose without any real idea of what they wanted to do. If this is all they have to offer, it is time to wrap up the show and move on.
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Dec 23, 2014
yeah this felt like a filler ep - at the end of the season! no excuse for that - bring the action for the finale or go home indeed!
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Dec 22, 2014
A whimpering finale that seems to be adding the fatty emotional elements back into the show. This season worked because it was Diet-Homeland; all of the spy adrenaline, great acting and action, without any of the sloppy familial aspects of the Brody Family. Now we have estranged mothers, a new brother, and will-they-wont-they love plot and some more Carrie Vs Saul dramorama.
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Dec 24, 2014
You hit the nail on the head. I got the sense that whichever writer(s) were responsible for all those BORING, SAPPY episodes with the Brody daughter, have been waiting to get their revenge on all us dolts (the vast majority) who dissed those episodes, and they got it with this stinking finale.

The "mother" is a lousy actress and the scenes between her & Carrie felt completely false to me. It will be the end of the line for this series if the powers that be feel compelled to continue pushing this story line.

Homeland is an interesting show on many fronts. It fascinates me how brilliant the writing, acting, and directing is when it sticks to the terror plots and related action, yet how pedestrian and plodding the show becomes when they try anything else.
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Dec 25, 2014
I agree the mother - daughter scenes did not work at all. But I think for different reasons. In my opinion they just came at completely the wrong time. It was the wrong story. We wanted someething different, ffrom what had been before.
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Dec 23, 2014
Well put. Especially this:

Now we have estranged mothers, a new brother, and will-they-wont-they love plot and some more Carrie Vs Saul dramorama.

Not what I wanted either.
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Dec 22, 2014
I fast forwarded through most of the episode, nothing really happened which was dissapointing after a string of really strong episodes.
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Dec 23, 2014
same here - i was very, very disappointed by this action-free finale.
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Dec 22, 2014
is this a fucken love story every fucken season we need to watch carries love life this is abt the cia gone watch a chick flick if you want to watch a love story wtf are you on crack this was shit and waste of my time who gives a fuck and they bring her mum back is this a soap wtf happened to american television wtf fans like you ruin the series wanting a love story and all the other shit
what the hell has happened to homeland run out of money forget the performances the story line is crap and what a waste of air time episode 12 is so angry where is the torture or any action or any story with substance in it and come on filmed it in south Africa i know Pakistan is dangerous but should have least used India black guys playing brown people what a joke what happened to the story line from season 3 and where are we going how seriously we need to wait another year to watch a series turn even craper 12 episodes of noting who else is pissed off wtf happened here showtime seriously i could have came up with a better plot line in my sleep wtf are you people on crack

fuk showtime and it`s writers who are a waste of time i could have written a better plot we have to wait a whole year wtf and the season final was so shit wtf holy crap fuken waste of time you finished with that shit wtf wankers who ever produced and directed this give me my time bak watching this assholes your killing american television

this is a reply to a question i was asked what the hell was that all abt

your missing the point carries baby is a assassin and her mum coming back is because she works for mossad and brody wil come back to life and carrie will have a love affair with Quinn and brody and saul will watch then her sister will let her know that her dad is on a mission and never died who works for mi6

and then that isi woman will become the prescient of Pakistan will come and have an affair with the president of america and then may be the truth will come out that israel was created by the same zionist that funded and started ww1 and ww2 and who are responsible for the killings of the jews and then the cia will get approached by the lobbyist and wont let the truth come out and will give more funding to israel while the american people are 19 trillion in debt

and so the cia will come up with a genius plan with mossad on how to kill more Americans by creating a false flag event but before that happens a story will break that the rebels they have been funding and training are actually isis and then boom some buildings will blow up and ww3 will start with iran even thou isis was the enemy as the plant they made in season 3 will helpamerica start the war by committing a act of terroism and give america the excuse to invade iran
some where in there she will have a sex fest and go to hospital
and then carrie will bring out a secret weapon but we have to wait for season 6 after she takes a break and drives around america getting to know her half brother who is actually a kgb agent and then she decides to vist brodys daughter who has secretly converted to islam and is now working for the Chinese

CAN EVERYONE WRITE SHOWTIME A EMAIL AND CCOMPLAIN THAT THIS IS NOT A SOAP OPEAR AND THEY HAVE RUINED A GREAT SHOW AND THEY HAVE NO TIGHT TO TORTURE ANY OF THERE FANS AND

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Dec 23, 2014
Quite peevish about a television show, dude.

Also, even rants need punctuation.
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Dec 23, 2014
i don't really care abt punctuation. when i decide to show frustration did not know i was in a English class and your god dam right am pissed of wtf do you think puting me through a shit season and then finishing with the worst episode on tv
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Dec 22, 2014
b0ring.
Is it suppose to be a season finale? Nothing happened here, it was worse than a filler. This season had so much potential...
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Dec 23, 2014
very good season imo - yet you're right - terrible finale that had no place - none - in this season.
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Dec 22, 2014
That's what I thought as well, except it doesn't end on a huge cliffhanger (thankfully) and it can serve even as an end to the series.. You know, their stories live on. Anyway, it was fine for me; a nice wind-down, we can reflect on what happened.. & wait for the next one (in peace, hehe). :)
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Dec 22, 2014
*err relative peace, since Quinn is on a suicide-mission =)
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Dec 22, 2014
A really "meh" finale. While watching this one, my mind kept wandering away, and I felt like multitasking as I watched. Why should I care about Carrie's mom, a mother I didn't even know she had? I also don't care if Carrie decides to take care of "Brodette" full time from now on, or if she'll get a mom-of-the-year award.

And Quinn and Carrie's romance? Ambivalent. Honestly, I have problems seeing Carrie as a sexual being, unless manipulation is involved, or it's something completely crazy, desperate and sick. None of which is the case. I think Quinn had better chemistry with that fat lady.

OK, we had Saul's compromise, an interesting move, especially after last season's finale, in which Saul was congratulated for his use of realpolitik in supporting another psycho, this time in Iran. The issue raised is, where should the Americans draw the line and say, "We can't compromise beyond that point" or something. "Enough is enough."

But that was too little, especially for a finale. That would have been a fine buildup episode, one of the less-remembered ones for that matter, but never a finale.

So, in the end Quinn left for a mysterious mission just out of the blue. Whatever that was, we shouldn't care too much because that's only going to be developed next season anyway.

I'm not holding my breath for season 5.
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Dec 23, 2014
I mean...you know Carrie had a mother. She's not a test tube baby.
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Dec 23, 2014
I thought she just... hatched somehow... from an incubator. No, seriously, I thought she was dead. The mother, not Carrie.
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Dec 23, 2014
Carrie is just dead inside.
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Dec 22, 2014
No One Wanted To Listen - ISIS Was Too Rich Of A Vein To Ignore - S5E1 Prediction And Justified

S5E1 Prediction.
Remember one of the letters to be sent - if the mission goes wrong - was to Carrie. Quinn will be killed by ISIS. Carrie will have to weigh her guilt from abandoning Quinn and Saul will tip her toward the ISIS fight. Again, for S412 to payoff, it had to be a great set piece. And again I think it was. But ultimately that will have to be judged next year. Also in defense of Homeland, the great shows like the Sapranos, have to have some balance between action and pathos. Both provide the needed contrast and emotional investment in the characters.

Justified. It has been great to be a part of this message board. I look forward to it each week. I was active on SOA and Fargo. And as my handle would suggest, I will be active on this message board for the final season of Justified. The show doesn't get the notice of other shows, but I think except for Fargo, its the best show on television. If you are already a fan, I look forward to posting with you after the first of the year. And if you are not, maybe check the show out, and join me on this message board.

Happy Holidays!
JC
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Dec 22, 2014
Homeland writers like to tease us. Giving us action through out the last few episodes and giving us a finale like this.

I am on the fence. It is not a weak episode but I certainly prefer a more espionage style ending. It does not have to be all action but this feels more like a mid season finale. Now I would be piss if season five is not a continuation of this story.
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Dec 23, 2014
I've got a feeling this will tie in for season 5. Haqqani and the ISI seem to be bigger than just one season.
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Dec 26, 2014
They better be !

Season greetings !
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Dec 22, 2014
I liked this episode!
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Dec 22, 2014
So now is not a show about the CIA, espionage and etc. Is a show about love... I like the idea of Quinn and Carrie together. For the end of the series, it would be nice if they got out of the CIA and lived a normal life (I don't think it's possible, after everything they went through, never the less...). I don't mind a little romance. But the way is going, next season we're going to see Carrie doing everything to get to Iraq or Syria to get Quinn out. I'm sorry, but this is not the show I sign up to see. It’s like almost every move in Carrie's life AND her career is motivated by who she's in love with. It is so unrealistic that sometimes I just want to scream!
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Dec 22, 2014
Wow, seeing some of the comments is certainly...discouraging. And confusing. Have we been watching the same show? Did you just tune in for like last week's episode and that's that? Homeland has never been an action packed show. Like, a good deal of the first season that we all praise consisted of Carrie's camera shenanigans with Brody. Speaking of, hey, remember Brody? I'm talking season 1 Brody, the one that (most of us) seemed to like? Remember how a good chunk of his material in the first season involved his family drama? Yes, by season 3 that certainly got stale, but that was because we kept cutting back to them when nothing was going on. This is the first time in what, ten or so episodes that we've cut back to family life in America?

That being said, the episode wasn't without faults. Carrie dealing with the death of her father was a nice humanizing moment, and was also probably an instance of real life likes the plot. They might have gone a little overboard with it. The scene with her father's friend in the park seemed a little unnecessary, especially since it was a little ham fisted in delivery. We didn't need someone outright saying that her dad cared about her and thought she could make it etc. because that was all shown just fine throughout the rest of the episode.

Carrie's mother was...okay. Again, it felt a little longer then it needed to be. I get what they were going for to show the parallels with Carrie and her own child, but that could have been done without the road trip. I guess it was an excuse to keep Carrie and Quinn from being able to speak together face to face?

Not seeing the Boyds kind of sucked too, especially since I can't imagine them reappearing at all next season, but you never know. It was definitely a slower episode, but that isn't always a bad thing, and certainly not unheard of on a show like Homeland. It definitely was setting the path for the next season, but again, I wouldn't say that's a bad thing. A lot of season finale's tend to do that. It might not have been the strongest episode of Homeland, but it certainly wasn't the worst either.
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Dec 22, 2014
I did like it, and i am firmly on the ship of Homeland is back and that's great news from Television. A little worried about Quinn having to extract himself from... Irak? Oh, but he is not Brody, he can do it. Please Rupert Friend, stay put!
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