OK, so I've held onto the mystery long enough: It happened. Might as well put Homeland’s biggest season three finale reveal right up front, so as not to get it twisted; Nicholas Brody be dead, y’all. And thank goodness for that. Indeed, after a bit of redemption and knowledge-dropping from Carrie on that status of her fetus and the life she hoped to live with him, a gruesome hanging took our ginger pariah from this earth. We knew he wouldn't get out alive. He was, at long last, at peace with the life he had lived. And we were finally relieved that the inevitable (and long overdue) took place. The death of a cockroach, as told by the heroin pusher (sorry, doctor) of Caracas — and P.S. that doctor was way right.

Carrie’s life is about to be rebooted, thanks to that death, and there's literally anywhere they could go from here. Which, considering the series' consistency problem, gives cause for pause. Great performances from everyone involved, to be sure, but the storytelling felt a bit ...overdone? (Or maybe everything after these past few episodes was destined to feel this way.) It was a finale so it was supposed to be big, sure, but there’s big and then there’s drawing a star on the wall of the CIA with a Sharpie, complete with security guard standing 10 feet away from your squeaky-inked ass, doing nothing.

Brody’s exit was very fine, though: very full-circle-y, right down to what some could call his his rebirth in the desert — just like his original birth (only that time was in the Mojave)! (See guys: I know what circles are.) You always see the stars better out in the desert anyway (ooh, look at that). But yes, Brody has finally accepted his fate and legacy as a man, with redemption on his side (at least to those who mattered). These few moments of the duo in East Bumble, Iran, felt like a direct nod to the oft-referenced “Cabin” episode: two characters reunited, that were only ever fully honest — with themselves and the world — when they were with each other. (Hello, disasterpiece: thy name is the Carrie-Brody shippers.) What’s Carrie going to do without her honesty equal? She thought for so long that Brody would be in the picture; somehow this would all just work. She hadn’t planned for the possibility that her plan wouldn’t work.

Which led to Carrie getting a major case of the sads, wherein she decided that maybe going through with Baby Girl Brody (a.k.a. Dana Part II times A BILLION) times just ain’t for her. Sooooort of late to make that call, Ms. Eight-Months-Preggers. I suppose that’s to be expected, though: to not want the baby of the love of your life that you just had to watch die by hanging in a square in Tehran for killing the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Might be a bit of a stinger, that wee bairn, and her father’s declarations of “I will not let you be your mother and walk out on your baby like she did no pressure!” probably didn’t help matters either.
Though Brody’s death itself was a satisfying exit for a necessary and bumpy storyline, it sort of left us feeling blah about where it pushed the other storylines forward. A bit meh on that front. I, for one, was surprised-but-glad that it all ended with a flash-forward four months into the future. Even if, sigh, things were left a bit muddled. A bit head-scratchy. A bit, ‘huh, OK. So that’s a thing.’

Of course it wasn’t all left to suspicions. Javadi came though! Gave us a sigh of relief, a chance to feel like someone was actually, definitively on the side of something good, that one did. At least that he’s true to his word and honors his allegiances. Look at him go, though — made shit happen, opening up Iran’s economic sanctions, even if it looked like a win for Senator-now-CIA Director Lockhart. He also saved Carrie, too: that was nice.

Though it didn’t come without an ominous warning: don’t rest on your laurels too long, because no person is one thing — to paraphrase Javadi. He drew the lucky ‘expositing on what was implied in the Carrie-Brody relationship’ card, and now “we” (hint hint: Javadi meant the audience there, though I’m sure you figured that one out pretty quickly because you’re clever, you are!) see Brody through her eyes (because redemption!) and now we can all move on. To something else, something new.

Or in Carrie’s case: to Instabul! And a bab— oh no just kidding, her dad. Her dad is going to take the baby, get rid of that one nice and quick. (Maybe?) I mean of course she can’t keep the baby. Of course. Carrie Mathison is not really in the right place in her life to be handling a baby, much less doing so in Istanbul running a CIA operation (especially without her main dude Saul to be the ying to her yang). I mean I respect the opinion of her sisterdoctor and all, but I’m not really sure I’m board that a baby would ~calm~ and be good for Carrie. I mean: right? Those are a lot of pies to handle at once. Too many pies.

So what’s next? Where do we go from here? What do we know and what’s still left up on the table? Enough, it seems.

— Saul is a-movin’ on up to New York City and getting his private sector on. He and Mira are back in love (though she’s still never going anywhere with Saul — always the excuses with this one!) and probably getting some real cushy space near something green (ed. note: that means really expensive and nice because there’s not much green stuff in New York City, just so you know, anyone who’s never been to New York City). Good for them. I can see them living in a nice townhouse near 68th Street, so they could walk to the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, see the latest foreign pictures, maybe a Woody Allen if they’re feeling frisky.

— Peter Quinn is still a CIA guy, still hanging around for Carrie to have her little random conversations with about love and family and feelings because now apparently the stealth killer is the sentimental one. He talked about his kid insofar as he said he “fucked it up” and didn’t want Carrie to do the same with her own kid (am I really this heartless a.k.a. the only one who doesn’t think Carrie Mathison should have a child?) Twelve bucks he ends up on Carrie’s team in Istanbul if that becomes a thing.

— Lockhart is in charge, and he’s got Dar Adal hanging fast and loose alongside him. And that’s pretty much as far as that storyline went. They kept things tight! No muss no fuss, here: only the main event.

— You know there’s got to be a scene or two in season four’s future regarding how his family deals with hearing about the hanging. We’ll have sad Chris Brody to look forward to forgetting about, too, no doubt. Just like everyone else in his family. In his whole life. (Lo, the tale of Chris Brody is a sad and epic one.)

One thing’s for certain: Homeland season four has no choice but to be a reinvention of itself — here’s to wondering how it’ll move on from here for the next however many months, and worrying about whether its ruining America's image.

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