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Homeland S03E11: "Big Man in Tehran"


We knew that Saul's grand scheme involving Brody, Javadi, and an Iranian coup was never going to go as planned. Homeland's schemes never work out exactly how they're plotted, even when they're developed by seemingly smart, capable analysts and agents. With Brody involved, instability and even flat-out anarchy are more likely to happen than not. Armed with that knowledge, I went into "Big Man in Tehran" assuming that all hell would break loose sooner rather than later. That more or less came to pass. Yet, amid some strong moments for the leading trio of actors, this episode underscored something else we all know: Brody has to go. 

Homeland has actually done a better job of using Brody in Season 3 than I ever thought they would. Season 2 showed me that Alex Gansa and his team seemingly couldn't help but pull Brody and Carrie back into one another's orbit, constantly reinforcing their fated love story that I'm not sure many of us in the audience have truly bought into since the first few episodes of the second season. When Brody appeared in the third episode of this season, I figured that meant he'd be back in the States by Episode 5 and the show would return to doing the same sort of "We'll make it work, somehow!" stuff with Carrie and Brody. Thankfully, that didn't happen, and weirdly, it now sort of feels like Homeland waited a little too long to bring Brody back into the fold. Although keeping him away permitted Saul's multi-level operation to unfold methodically, Brody's road to redemption has been a bit rushed, particularly in "One Last Time" and tonight's "Big Man in Tehran." 

On one hand, Brody's story this week was a victim of the show's weirdo pacing. After last week's balls-to-the-wall get-Brody-into-Iran operation in "Good Night," "Big Man" started by following a similar framework. Though the show jumped ahead a bit, we were quickly caught up with Brody making it through the first rounds of interrogation, Carrie landing in Tehran (because of course she had to be there), and Saul setting up the operation in Langley. From there, the development of the plan to take out Akbari worked relatively well. As is so often the case with Homeland, we just had to believe that Javadi could so easily convince Akbari to meet with Brody in the first place (even if it was a partial swerve), and that Fara and her uncle in Iran are really just living, breathing plot devices. Nevertheless, I didn't totally expect Abu Nazir's wife to show up and completely derail the plan. I knew the plan would derail, but that was a nice touch, as was the following scene, with Brody embracing his newfound celebrity in Tehran. But then, the episode immediately jumped ahead in time again, moving us away from what could have been some really fascinating moments. Who wouldn't want to watch Brody make awkward speeches and kiss babies? And why wouldn't we want to see more of Saul and Carrie squirming for nearly a week, without any real contact from Brody? Homeland enjoys zigging and zagging with its pacing—sometimes drawing things out way too long and leaving us desperate for them to be over, and sometimes zooming through cool stuff because, well, I don't know why—but this was perhaps the most egregious example of the latter, because it robbed us of more interesting stuff that it preferred to wave away with a quick clip of Brody on TV and Lockhart doing some half-assed gloating as Saul admitted that the operation had gone belly-up and there was no way out but to end the Brody experiment once and for all. So, by the time "Big Man" reached its climax and Brody ultimately made the choice to enact the worst possible version of the original mission and kill Akbari, it felt like yet another sudden choice where we didn't have the right kind of information leading up to it. 


However, on the other hand, there's a chance that, had we spent more time with Brody, Iranian Idol and YouTube sensation (again), that time would have just been yet another frustrating chapter in the Brody experience. The character is fundamentally flawed to the degree that it's now mostly impossible to tell the difference between his character traits and problematic writing. Brody has swapped allegiances so many times, often in an instant, that it's really, really difficult to determine what he cares about, other than some vague sense of redemption. This episode sent us down memory lane with him, allowing us to see him reflect on his time with Nazir, and on his family, and come to the realization that he could close the circle on his destructive existence by killing Akbari in the same room where the now-dead Iranian first spoke about Brody with Nazir. There was a sense that this was Brody's moment, perhaps his final moment, where he finally took control over his own life and did what was "right." The problem with that narrative is that Brody's still serving outside masters in killing Akbari, no matter how villainous the show wants us to believe that Akbari (and certain sects of Iran) are. Brody still did what Saul and Carrie told him to do, just like he did what Nazir or the vice president told him to do before that. Not to mention that he did it at the worst possible time, with no logical extraction possibilities in site, perhaps blowing the lid off the operation, and after cutting down America on worldwide media for six days. Like, the dude's not coming home a hero; he's not getting his life back. 

So the questions still remain: How does the show really view Brody, and was this moment truly his redemption? I legitimately have no idea, and that's the problem. He flip-flops more than a politician during primary season, shifting his allegiances onto whomever wants to give him some attention and adulation in the moment. That's why he probably has to die, whether he gets a hero's death or not. Homeland cannot—I repeat, cannot—move forward with Brody in its world. Not after what people think he did, not after what he did that we didn't see much of during those six days, and not after whatever the heck he's going to have to do to escape that room at the Republican Revolutionary Guard. 

The real redemption we should care about is probably Carrie's, considering she's our lead character. Unfortunately, Homeland's wonky plotting and characterization has had similar effects on her as well. In theory, Brody killing Akbari makes Carrie RIGHT, and at the moment when it matters most. She trusted Brody and constantly put her job and life in jeopardy to prove that he wasn't the monster Saul and the media bonanza around the CIA bombing made him seem. But we've seen so many angry Carrie-Saul conversations where the latter is frustrated with the former for being deliberately insubordinate, and these things have gone so poorly so often (I really appreciated Brody's resigned "What are we going to do, come up with another f*cked-up plan?" line) that there's very little believable reason as to why Carrie should still have her job, nor is there much of a reason why we should care that Carrie scored this big victory. I'm especially skeptical, considering there's one more episode left for Homeland to allow her to try something especially troublesome to save Brody. The fact that she suggested she and Brody could go on the lam again didn't instill me with a lot of confidence in the future of Carrie's character. She too needs Brody to go away, so she can move on—or at least try to move on.


After quite the uneven season, Homeland has one more episode to do what it's needed to do for a while, and what many people working on and around the show have probably wanted to do: Let Brody go. He's served his purpose for this season's primary CIA narrative and he's made enough silly last-minute decisions. It's time.



WACKO SCRIBBLINGS FROM CARRIE'S "I HEART BRODY" DIARY

– This show is so off sometimes with regard to what's right and what's wrong that at times during this episode, I couldn't help but agree with Lockhart's assessments, especially since he wasn't being a total prick. Is that what I'm supposed to be doing? 

– I have to say, Quinn's "What about Carrie though?!" moment during the operation pep talk was pretty great. You can see the show wanting to set up that relationship so badly, it has to get rid of Brody. We certainly don't need a love triangle.

– When Brody picked up the Blackberry after killing Akbari, I experienced terrifying flashbacks to last season, when he spoke with Nazir via Skype. I hope the show was intentionally trolling us. 

– Mira's side-piece joined Fara's uncle as a pure, living and breathing plot device in this episode. That was definitely time well-spent, huh?

– After Brody's actions throughout the course of this episode, there's no way that anyone involved with this operation keeps their job, right? RIGHT? I'd be in for a Season 4 of Homeland if it were Saul, Carrie, Quinn, and Dar running ops out of a van. A van that Virgil is driving.

– Real exciting batch of press photos this week. Hope you guys really enjoy grainy shots of people staring off into the distance.


What'd you think of this one? Will Brody live? Should he live?


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 11/22/2016

Season 5 : Episode 13

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dafuq brody is dead!!
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I already saw the finale episode.. No worries I won't spoil.
Grasp!
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I am easy to please with shows I love, but this season sort of sucked ;o( I will still give them a chance next season but still I did not care for it much. So far I only loved like 4 episodes.
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Hey, I don't think it was that bad an episode! What I feel everyone else doing in this season is just criticizing each and every bit that the show is trying to portray. Well guys, this is ultimately a fiction. Things don't always work how we suppose them to, and improvisation does happen now and then. What I really like about Homeland is how it goes about the improvisations, and never ceases to amaze me with what they pull off! Yes, some are over the top and unbelievably so, but it's still so much fun to watch nonetheless. At least for me. They are rounding off things now, and the show never tried to portray anyone as a model citizen or agent. They're just showing how a certain person would react when faced with a situation and adapt accordingly. And I do think that Brody adapted well. And NO, I wouldn't have wanted them to stretch on what Brody is doing selling himself as a traitor and how many YouTube likes he's got doing that! I'm happy with the pace the show is setting for now.
I wish Quinn gets a good story angle for the next season, and it's clear that although he cares deeply about Carrie, she doesn't even think an iota about him. He deserves better!
Let's see what the finale has in store for us now. :) *fingers crossed*
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Terrific episode. They had me doubting Brody like in season 1. Classic Homeland.
Lockhart lines about him sum up the core of the show, nobody really knows what he's thinking, the mystery of Homeland is always Brody's loyalty.

It's been a while since I enjoyed this much an episode, reminded me of the episode before Ozymandias with Walt driving to the desert desperately.
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I think it will be a good ending if Brody doesn't make it even after Carrie tries really hard to get him out of the county. If he does make it he still will be one plot issue like his status as a theorist in the USA is even stronger now after his "YouTube" videos! Killing him off will make it much more easy to fix the story and get Carrie to come to her senses like she is a huge risk right now whenever the name Brody comes up!
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Dear Cory Baker… As the TV expert that you are, I am truly surprised at the lack of credit you give Brody and the character he plays within the show. You say that Carrie is the lead, which I agree, but Brody is definitely a very close second (he's definitely had his fair share of solo air time in the show), but most importantly you have to think of how the show has positioned each character to complement the other. The anarchy that you mention is ultimately a reminder that no matter how much each character's allegiance changes, their allegiance to each other (though twisted as it is) always remains in some way or another.

**Though I agree, there is NO way Brody's returning a hero... Too much damage done.
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I'm going out on a limb to make a few predictions for Season 4 without having seen the Season 3 finale. (So front me a few brownie points for that!)

  • Brody survives and the early episode(s) of Season 4 will involve Carrie (and probably Quinn) trying to get him out of Tehran
  • Reconciliation between Brody and Dana will be a large sub-plot for the season
  • Brody will end up working for the CIA in some capacity although he won't be redeemed, in the public eye, until later, if ever
  • Brody, Quinn, and Carrie will form natural allies throughout a nasty internecine battle in the CIA involving Saul, the Senator, and Dar and probably revolving around a crisis in Tehran sparked by Akbari's assasination
  • Saul's brilliant plan to install a double-agent in Tehran will go horribly wrong and Saul will start to lose it
  • Brody will get his shit together, finally stabilize, and become a major CIA asset
  • Brody will be conflicted between his feelings for Carrie and his broken commitment to his family
  • Chris will continue to do nothing
  • Jessica will continue to be a wet blanket

That'll do. And remember, a .333 average is, like, MVP caliber in baseball.
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JP5, go read the Matthew Perry thread, if you like spoilers as much as I.
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I just saw the finale, a day early for some reason. No spoilers here, and that's just as well ...
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If you think about it, what's gonna end up happening is Brody will either live or die, but either way, the CIA will end up giving him his redemption by telling the nation what he did. The CIA can make his first video tape, where he was going to attempt suicide in season 1, and his acts of being a celebrity in Tehran look like a crazy show which was part of the plan to pull of this entire operation. I think he will die as well, but this way his family and everybody will see him as a hero because they will all realize that since the show he put up in Tehran was a fake, then that must mean that the video tape of him from season 1 was a fake too (Even though it wasn't). And the CIA can back that up easily now since he just pulled off killing Akbari.
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my review
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Skip the press photos and use screen shots. I've all but given up on Showtime press photos for sites where I don't have to use them. I decided in my review that Brody had every intention of killing the dude, and also had no choice but to go along with the Iranian rockstar plan that pretty much ended what little bit of life he had left. Saul and friends would rather put faith in a murdering bastard who is going to rule Iran unchecked than an American marine who ended up where he was after being tortured and begged for redemption. How quickly they forget he was the only reason the plan was still in place after he ran across the border when they called off the plan once before. He made it clear he wasn't giving up the ghost - of course he didn't meet them at the pickup spot. This way Brody can go out the hero and the American government, as always, can look like a bunch of stooges. Except Carrie, who is mentally unstable. Aack.
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I think we're definitely starting to see the depths of Brody's true character and the depths of moral depravity to which the CIA will sink. Good review, BTW.
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Frankly I find Quinn and Carrie a LOT more believable as a couple than her and Brodie ever was, so not really caring if Brody goes - even though I like Damien Lewis as an actor.
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hm, believable because of what? you can hardly argue that the carrie - brody connection has a far deeper and more intense background and "chemistry", i really didn't see any real (translate "obvious") story going on between carrie and quinn. it's more like at work where you have that cute coworker flirting with you but both know it doesn't really have to happen at all..
my girlfriend, of course, also likes quinn much more than i think the writers intended and maybe i fully agreed with you on this if i was a woman ;)
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I'll be honest here - I happen to have inside information; I have a best friend who just happens to be bipolar and who said that she wouldn't give a nightmare like Brody house room if she was as fixated on her job as Carrie is.

Basically she believes that Carrie would never, whether on or off her meds, ever put her career at risk because she needs it so much. She said it goes against everything she is, and "for a bipolar person that just doesn't fly, girlie; take it from me." (her words).

She said that for that same reason she would find Quinn the better bet - just as fixated on his job and more caring of Carrie's safety (compared to the wannabe terrorist anyway, who seems to have her risking life, limb and job every 5 seconds). Quinn is the one she would naturally gravitate to as he would offer the most security within the protective bubble of her work.

So, bearing all that in mind, I'm going with my bipolar pal's theory and sticking with Quinn and Carrie over Carrie and Brodie. Of course we both agree it doesn't hurt that Rupert Friend (Quinn) is so very easy on the eye. :)
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I truly can't decide if this is a Great series that does almost everything terribly or a terrible series that has some incredible TV moments.

I can't help but think a fitting ending for the series would be a shot of Dana Brody walking down a deserted Richmond street near dawn with her 6" hooker heels contributing to the universal limp of a 'mount rode hard and put away wet.' A bright stenciled T-shirt over a faded K-Mart print dress with the words "My Daddy went all the way to Tehran."

Dana Brody really sums up the series for me. Terrible for no particular reason.
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Some of the show's best moments involve Dana. The only problem with her is that the writers gave us a couple of Dana arcs too many. No one really liked the season 2 hit-n-run, or the season 3 road trip.
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Damian Lewis does a very admirable job of acting his way through these endless flip flops his character is given by the showrunners.
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For me, and I say this without hesitation, the best part of Homeland was during the first 3/4 of season 1 in trying to figure out "Is or isn't Brody a terrorist?". And for maybe 10 minutes, I got that same feeling again. The motivation, consequence or allegiances didn't matter.

- Was Nazir's widow re-recruiting Brody or was Brody playing her?
- Was he basking in the glow of his fame or stalling to try and come up with a plan b?
- Did he believe what he was saying or saying what would keep him alive?
- Was he really going to sell out to Akbari?
- Was Akbari's mention of his conversation with Nazir enough to change Brody's mind on the fly?
- When would Carrie second (and third) guess Brody's motives? Would she continue to help or try and take him out herself?

Why not take one of those cheating misleading first few episodes and turn Brody's Iranian adventures into a two parter to really let this play out? Instead of stringing the audience along for 4 episodes on a meaningless diversion, get back to what this show does well...character studies of two very broken people.

"Not to mention that he did it at the worst possible time, with no logical extraction possibilities in site, perhaps blowing the lid off the operation, and after cutting down America on worldwide media for six days. Like, the dude's not coming home a hero; he's not getting his life back."

No hero. No home. No life. If Brody lives, I'm done with this show. Hell, I'll be pretty upset if he makes it out of the building.

Of course, much of this wouldn't have happened had Saul not sent Carrie to Iran in the first place. Seriously, she's almost blown one operation by trying to protect Brody...what did you think was going to happen? Put her on the no fly list. Lock her in a cell. Put her back in the hospital. Anything but send her to freakin' Iran to handle Brody. Saul, "You're fired!". Carrie, "You're f*cked!"

Some fleeting moments of joy surrounded by head shaking frustration. This was, all at the same time, the best and worst Homeland of the season.
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Ok, first of all, the nerve of those people. I don't consider myself a particularly timid man. I like to think I've got guts. But I would never have had the nerves to pull off any of the things any of the American or Isreali agents did in Teheran. I would have been a wreck by the time I'd crossed the first street.

That being said, that was one far out operation. One little pat down on the way to see the general. One guard looking at the medics equipment. A curious bellhop at the hotel. So many tiny, little things could have brought the whole thing crashing down.

That final "Get me out of here!" was almost funny, except that, well, it wasn't.

Will Brody live?
He's alone in the office of head of intelligence, of an enemy nation, standing over his dead body, with blood on his hands.
If he gets out alive, the show has gone all the way to parody.
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I don't think they'll kill Brody off because I just don't think it's that good of a show, and the writer's aren't daring enough. It's not a TERRIBLE show, aside from the world's worst ever opening credit sequence, but it's not the great show everyone made it out to be in the past. There ARE some excellent moments, and the acting by Damien Lewis in particular is stellar (I don't find Danes' character convincing at all), but again not all that great, and I doubt they will kill Brody off after investing so much in him to date.
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For those who root for this show to end in a train wreck (killing off Brody),

writers “love” to put their main characters into impossible places,

then they turn to the audience and say: “You want to see this resolved? Tune in next episode/season!”

They also enjoy them to face extremes.

Brody: Prisoner of war for 8 years to Hero/Congressman to most wanted man in the world.

Carey: Bipolar CIA-agent who fell in love with the enemy and gets pregnant(and still drinks and smokes).

Both are damaged goods – a perfect match!

After everything Brody has been through so far, it is hard not to feel “sympathy” with his character.

This season they send him to the Irak/Iran border, get cold feet and try to abort the mission.

>Brody moves forward.

They say the assassination window closed and try to get rid of him.

>Brody moves forward and gets the job done he was asked to do.

Now it’s time for Carey to shine and get him (and herself) to safety.

While some people cheer(-lead) to change this show into a “24-spin-off” with Quinn,

my money is with Brody on “Homeland!”

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Ok, I'll say this, I don't know if Brody will live but I strongly disagree with you that he should or has to die/go. Brody is the only character that I still care about, if for no other reason then for the fact that EVERYBODY has fucked him over repeatedly while all he ever was is a man who thought that "serving his country" was a noble goal and a good career choice. I can't believe that once again Saul's character is being turned into a heartless asshole by having him order the hit on Brody without any sign of remorse. WTF!?
Brody had to pretend to be "the man" or else the Iranians would've killed him. It's not that he chose to align himself with "the enemy" just 'cause (even though after the way his homeland has treated him It would have been justifiable) he did it to survive and to complete the mission. Which he did!
I don't know about the other viewers but if Homeland gets rid of Brody, I'm done with this show.
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Homeland is back to being the show I loved way back when. And really, if you put this whole season in perspective (minus f'n Dana), it never really left. It all payed off in my book. Crazy and outrageous as it may be. This episode was awesome. Finally another ending that made me jump out of my seat (not literally). Kinda shit there's only one episode left. The one thing they should've done was put those first 4 episode into 2 at the most. Oh well...can't wait for next week. And seriously, Brody is fantastic. Him gone = show gone.
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This show felt so fresh, exciting and intelligent in season 1 but oh how the mighty have fallen.

Always going to happen given the premise I guess.

I mean how much more can you do now with a character who in reality would be untrusted by those in power at the CIA and hated by the citizens.

How can he possibly be redeemed?
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Poor Chris... When do we get an episode where we find out how he feels about being Brody's second-favorite child and third-favorite family member?
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And nearly non-existent cast member?
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Before you feel too bad for Chris keep in mind the actor is making some good money (certainly by the standards of people going to work 5 days a week). Also a good resume builder. Given how little Chris has been used, especially this season they may as well had him get killed somehow to contrive drama into the Brody household. Probably could have done that in lieu of all that wasted Dana time.
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Brody is such a badass, it's unfortunate that he's probably not going to last much longer. I don't like agreeing with reviewers, but I do think that Brody's character has been completely exhausted. He did what he had to do, he got his weirdo redemption and he kinda bailed Carrie out, he doesn't need to be back in the fourth season for any reason. He's still not going to return a hero in America, his family is still going to disown him, he's still probably going to be a prisoner when he returns. It was great that he pulled off the mission, completely badass, and completely on his own. It was the great last hurrah of Brody, and that's how his character should end. We don't need more Carrie/Brody crap, because while their dynamic was phenomenal in Season 1, by the end of season 2 it was just awful. And we definitely don't need more Dana crap. That's really all that Brody's character can do right now. Once everyone in Iran figures out what he did he's not going to be safe there at all, he's not going to be safe anywhere.

But at the same time, I kinda wish he didn't bail out Carrie, she actually did mess up, big time and Brody really didn't have any incentive at all to do what he did, especially because he knew the CIA were trying to kill him. Carrie wasn't right at all, she was lucky, she made a stupid decision and she got bailed out big time. It was another good episode and this season is doing exactly what I hoped it would do, get better in the final third. Here's hoping that all three four episode blocks of season 4 are great rather than just one.
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I think the most important piece of this series puzzle is the reveal that Brody has well and truly had enough of being manipulated and used and he's not taking it any more. The office genesis, realisation and conclusive scene has me hoping the Brod'ster is going to at last turn into a decisive and more complete actionable character - kinda the Marine he once was.
Although of course, the come and get me call was hilarious. I now await the Black Hawk squadron to magically descend.
Just as well the Iranian secret and/or police have given up tracking crowds, visitors and photographing them etc., or Carrie may as well sign in as Jamie Bond. And at this point in the series it's not even worth mentioning her 'wild card' behaviour because; if the other characters in the show are willing to put up with her, then I guess as a viewer I have to now - like it or not.
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That was Effin Bad Ass! I love it when you don't see it coming. That was brilliant. I think Brody has been so mentally compromised from going through so much that his actions are really knee-jerk... it will be amazing to see how this plays out.
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oh please, they won't kill brody. the dynamics of those two are the heart of the show. although i do like quinn, carrie will never fall for him at all. btw, is it brody's kid or the brody look alike guy? was she just lying? and what do you think about saul shaving his beard? i mean not saul but mandy pantinkin (sp?), do you think it has anything to do with the show?

i agree with others that the stuff about dana was unnecessary. we didnt see brody must of the season and instead we focused on irrelevant characters. now its almost over and yeah, like someone else said. just when it was starting to get interesting. sometimes i wonder why do i keep watching this show.. i think it's just a matter of i like to see things through.

like with supernatural... it's sad when only good looking people is the only thing that keeps you coming back. im sure most people disagree with me but anyway, i digress.

what will happen to carrie's baby? im sure she'll lose it, she has to... the first thing the doctor said was to not be under stress and that same day she got shot! and she didnt even ask about it and the doctor was all like "baby's fine, in case you're wondering" which she wasn't.. LOL! typical carrie. im surprised she hasnt had a miscarriage yet with everything that happens in her life! but i'm expecting that to happen. why would they even do the whole baby plot thing... so useless unless she actually goes through with the pregnancy and it's actually brody's. otherwise what a waste of time...

by the way, saying carrie would be fired for insubordination it's like saying jack bauer wouldnt work at CTU after all those years... it's unsubordination that SAVES PEOPLE'S LIVES. so no, i dont think they will lose their jobs. ridik
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"oh please, they won't kill brody. the dynamics of those two are the heart of the show. "

JOKE'S ON ME I GUESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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"btw, is it brody's kid or the brody look alike guy?"

It's Brody's. That's what the drawer full of pregnancy tests was telling us. The number of tests she did strongly suggests that she had already know that she was pregnant for a month or so when we found out. And she wouldn't be so obsessive about it if the baby daddy is just some guy.

"and what do you think about saul shaving his beard? i mean not saul but mandy pantinkin (sp?), do you think it has anything to do with the show?"

I think he does that between seasons. He was talking about it on some show where he was a guest before this season started, either Stewart or Colbert.
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oh really? i may have read that as well a couple of days ago but maybe it was an old article and i didn't notice the date it was posted. also i think i got mislead because the article said "shaves 2yo beard" so i just assumed he never shaved it at all, not even in between seasons, i just thought he trimmed it or something hahaha. thanks for the clarifications!!!
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I don't agree with you, Cory. I want Tim back!!!!!! He is writing about other shows, so I don't believe your reasons about why he is not here...
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I'm sure that when the show ends, Brody or Carrie will die, but not for now. I can't believe there's only one episode left of the season !!! Just when everything is finaly interesting :(
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Well they can't kill Brody anyway, as far as i know he signed for 4 more years, so they probably won't let him die ;)
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If this episode seemed rushed, it could be that these on-location episodes are prohibitively expensive, and they can only do so many.

Brody has only changed allegiance once during the series. (episode 2.5)
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Cory, I mostly agree with everything you said there, but believe it or not, this season I feel like Brody should stay.

In Season 1, and then especially in Season 2, it was clear that the show was pointing towards killing Brody, and then of course we all know the story now of Showtime stepping in and not allowing it. I think it was obvious in Season 1, and a glaring giant hole in the plot in Season 2, that the writers had to struggle to find a way to wrap up their story without killing Brody, since that was clearly the original plan.

This season, however, I feel like they designed the season knowing killing Brody is off the table, and giving him an opportunity to redeem himself. And that's precisely why he should live, because it's not going to be easy to give him that opportunity in two episodes without feeling rushed. I think they knew they can't kill Brody now, and the end of this season will be better for it.

So where I wanted Brody to die in Season 1, and I was practically begging for it in 2, this time I'm actually ok with him living if it leads towards a more satisfying redemption for the character.
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if i had to rate this episode i'd barely give it a B for the first two thirds and a grande A+ for the last. so.much.tension.

other impressions:

- i guess the writers didn't roll out the story of brody being a hero in iran for the week, because with just one episode being left this season, they didn't want to pump it all up again and by that give the viewers time to get a (probably different) perspective of him and develop different opinions on him that might all get destroyed once again when the ash tray hits the face.

- maybe i think too obvious but to me it was clear that brody - after all being not that much more in his very core than what he was before the events of homeland started and also what's left of him now again: a soldier - had to solve the problem after not the bike but the whole plan blew up. he needed to get it done and he found a way.

he knows strategy and boy he knows lies and masquerade, so i think it was both the oooold trick and also quite clever to first make a good impression and gain sympathy and trust from akbari and then get close to him by revealing secrets which doesn't matter because he wouldn't talk anyway after it.

the unpredictable brody comes into play when he goes all in on akbari without knowing for sure if there's a way out.
but we all have seen it happen just often enough :)
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As Tnnetenba said: "I think this statement is very wrong. Nazir turned him bad before the show started. On the actual show, he was just slowly getting better. He stayed "bad" throughout season 1, started season 2 at "pretty bad", and was close to "neutral" when Carrie brought him in for the Q & A. He then realized that he would rather work against Nazir than for him, and kept getting better slowly. At the end of the season, he was almost back to "good".

So there has only been ONE flip during these three seasons, and it was more of a slow drift from bad to (almost) good.
"


Yeah, this is exactly how I see it too! And I am pretty sure the writers of the show. Don't understand what flip flops the reviewer is talking about. Maybe it's the shoes, I think I have seen Damian Lewis in a great variety of flip flops in Homeland.

Secondly If there is no Brody, there is no Homeland. He is so involved in the concept of the show that it wouldn't work without him. As is Carrie. You know one is home, the other is land. So of course Brody is going to die, but not before season 5 when he realise that home will never exist for him, and it will be a beautiful silent suicide.
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They wont kill off Brody ! Damien Lewis signed up for like 7 seasons apparently. (He is just an amazing actor!! loved him since Band of Brothers.)

But boy what a tense episode. I reckon next season is going to be how Brody and Carrie are going to be on the run in Iran.. and tensions between Iran and USA will grow once they know what has happened.

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Seven-season contracts are the norm for most TV shows. That doesn't mean the character is guaranteed to stay on the show for 7 seasons, even if the show makes it that far.
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Fair enough
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I forgot all about his long term contract! Yup, he's going to fly out of that window and land in Carrie's arms and she will have a miscarriage because of it and love him nonetheless. ************ sigh ****************

I wish you all well with Schmoopy Carrie and her luvah Superman Brody, after he goes back to his wife and family, and she is left with an empty uterus.


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It was one of the best episodes this season, I felt entertained although the plot and logic were far away in space.
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The best thing in this episode was meeting Evil Virgil and Evil Max from the Tehran Universe.
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Wow, the second half of this episode reminded me why I really like this show. I do think that the pacing this season has been reeeeally uneven though. I like what they are doing with the Carrie-Brody relationship. Mostly because I thought they were going to screw it up...
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I agree with many of the comments made. The most important of all being Brody really needs to go. Problem is many viewers loved Brody so much that it made the Showtime executive think they need Brody to keep the ratings for the show.

This is where Homeland writers really failed. They should have learn from those doing Boardwalk Empire and The Walking Dead.

I agree the plots of this episode jump too fast and it also proves the writers do have some stories to tell us than why do they spend so much time on Dana in the beginning.

It is the greatest mystery of television 2013 !

Did someone wearing a suit and a tie decided again to give Dana more air time to get ratings?


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Apples and oranges. Neither of those shows focus on two characters so exclusively as Homeland does. (and Boardwalk Empire's ratings are going down every season, so I don't know if they're the ones to emulate)
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Is Brody a flip flopper or is he simply unpredictable? From the time he got across the border to Iran, as a viewer I felt Brody was going to complete his intended mission even though the plan was well....kind of stupid on Saul's part. Even when Carrie pretty much told him that the US was out to murder him, I kind of felt he would stay on course to complete the mission. Even when he was spilling the beans to Akbari, I was like Akbari was not leaving that room alive. Brody stayed his course; it's the other characters I've kind of lost faith in. After this season, Saul is no longer the quiet intelligent man of rational thought and behavior, Carrie is no longer the high strung emotional ledge walker who gets the mission done and Peter is well...what happened to Peter can't they find better use of this man. So, I was entertained by the eppy but left with wondering what sort of exit plan will they have to get Brody out of Iran because it seems kind of impossible for him to even get out of Akbari's office alive.....even with smile on Carrie's face which I assume she's practicing when she tells Saul "I told you so."
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Your first question is the most important one. Like I said, I can't tell what's purposeful by the show and what's just bad storytelling at this point.
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"There's very little believable reason as to why Carrie should still have her job"

Strongly disagree. Carrie is ALWAYS bang on the money. Saul even agreed in this episode when Carrie said "I've been right about [Brodie] this whole time". Hell, it's part of this season's theme/into "I'm the only one that got it right". Carrie is an immeasurable asset. At least Quinn understands :)
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Working for the CIA ain't like working for Walmart. It's not easy to get fired when you're carrying all those state secrets around with you. The bosses have only two choices when faced with an unpredictable agent -- keep them as close to you as possible, or arrange the funeral.
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She's often CORRECT, but she's also unstable, insubordinate, awful to work with, etc. That's what I'm saying. Does being right about THIS change anything for her?
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Carrie is supposed to be some type of crazy savant: her craziness is supposed to make her see things that other people don't see. She believed she could have prevented 9/11 from happening. She wants to save the world.

No, it doesn't change anything for her, but her job has often been in jeopardy, and Saul has been the only one able to -- marginally -- put up with her. That's because Saul has a weird relationship with her -- he treats Carrie like she's his daughter and is trying to take care of her.

That's just one of the basic dynamics of the series. Brody is the second, and I think Carrie is obsessed with him and in love with him because he's symbolic of everyone she's trying to save. Saving Brody is like a microcosm of saving the world.

There's a lot that's preposterousness about the show's characters (and others, like Dana Brody, the angstiest teenage girl in the world), but this was all pretty obvious since Season 1.
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In a gummint job? They encourage and tolerate nut jobs like her?

I don't think so.
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this show started off great and ended up with the most ridiculous and unbelievable plots.. after this latest stunt i think i have truly lost patience with this show.. its like prison break continuing with its ridiculous plots.. RIP Homeland
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Very good comparison, Prison Break and Homeland.
Very good to stellar first seasons and then ...
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Amazing episode with almost unbearable suspense! And despite all the quite reasonable criticism of the show - I loved this episode! I even briefly fantasized that Tim would somehow manage to return from Caracas to join the fun! :)
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Tim is still trapped with spider tattoo guy!!!
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They need to kill off Brody. To me, the only way the show can continue is if the mission succeeds and Brody dies. I can see Lockhart keeping Saul and Carrie around if their stupid plan actually works, but there's no way in hell he'd ever work with Brody.
With Akbari dead and nobody but Brody knowing Javadi's secret, they could get rid of him and the show could reboot itself as a 24-esque spy drama with a new threat each season.
That probably won't happen because Showtime are fucking idiots, but that's what I would do.
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Brody should've died at the end of season 1 like the writers had originally planned until Showtime higher ups stepped in and forced us to live through another two seasons of the crap storylines involving Brody and his family.. so of course he'll stay alive as long as they can possibly keep him alive even if it means the integrity of the storylines dies instead.

why hasn't there been some sort of online released version where they cut out everything to do with Dana? seriously...
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LOL! You wrote republican guard, I'm pretty sure it's revolutionary guard!
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Iran-Iraq same diff. LOL
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shit, is it? *looks* it is. thank you!
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will Brody live? Yes. Should he? Absolutely Not! Brody Gotta Go-dy! Episode was OK if you can wrap your head around the scene where Brody gets to sit alone with Akbari, the same man who met him earlier in the ep. in a public place with 40 security guards. Whole ash try, pillow scene was rushed and pretty weak. Lazy in fact.
Of course Brody should go down with the ship here and save this show for possible upcoming seasons but I just don't think Showtime sees the Forest through the trees on this one..
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You got that right.
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So Cory does this mean you are staying with us for the finale?
Also I'm not seeing the further Quinn and carrie love plot. I just think he cares in a brother sister type way..
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good thought on that lane, that's what i guess (and kinda wish for) the whole time. transfering the setting over to "friends and buddies", i always imagine quinn as the awesome and funny sidekick of the crew. to me he fits perfectly into where he already is.
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Yep. You get one more episode with me, like hopefully you will with Brody.
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I haven´t watched this season much, just the first episodes. But I have been having a good time reading Cory´s reviews of each episode. I just won't to mention one simple truth:
Brody always manage to come out of the hole, doesn´t matter in how much deep shit he is, he is a survivor, and one way or another I believe the man will still be in (theoretic thinking) season 4.
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thanks! and you're probably right.
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I hope so, I would like to see the Homeland from the first season where Brody was the question mark and Carrie the antagonist, but we did not know what was right or wrong until almost the end.
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Seriously we got all that crap with Dana earlier this season but they didn't have time to focus on Brody in Tehran?

They just skipped over it completely, what a waste of great subject matter.
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This season has turned out allright but I'm having a tough time forgiving it for wasting so much time the first 1/3. 4 eps that could have been covered in 1 has led to the exciting part of the show being covered in 3 eps when it probably should have taken 6! Bad pacing overall for this season, I hope the writers see the light and use Dana only sparingly in the future.
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yeppppp
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TV has a long history of having characters being killed off. The actors playing them would get sick or pass away. Most times they would leave of their own volition and get written out. But normally they were secondary characters. I will have to think about what Homeland would be like without Brody. Maybe Nazirina will have a part to play in all this.

I agree with one of the comments below, this episode was very well paced for building the suspense. Also, I agree with the cyanide weapon. I thought. "How can someone not see that?" But the scene in Agbari's office was epic. When Brody grabbed the ashtray and smoked him I thought, "Whoa!" My next thought was, "How the hell is he going to get out of there?" Talk about f*cked up plans.

I look forward to the season finale next week. What twists and turns have they got in store for us?

Finally. How does Saul's head not explode from the stress? Yikes!
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Didn't we get a taste earlier this season, before Superman came back to the show? Quick, tell me six things that happened in those episodes, Dana annoying the hell out of all us doesn't count.

That would be Homeland without Brody and his sidekick CM, imo.
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In retrospect, I have to admit that those earlier episodes don't make a lot of sense now. I thought they were going somewhere but they just dead ended. It's almost like they had to fill those weeks until the main players were available. It was very surreal.

i agree with you. I cannot envision Homeland without Brody.
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All that Dana stuff MUST be part of a larger arc for season 4. If not then, yeah, it was pretty much meaningless.
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Brody comes home, again and tries to assimilate, again. If not, you're right, what's the point?
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Those earlier eps. were Filler! 4 eps. in what could have been done in one.
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