Brody lives on for another “Good Night,” as Homeland Season 3 nears its conclusion

Jay: This was a riveting hour of television. And even aside from the theatrics of trying to get Brody across the Iraqi border and into Iran, the episode did well in other ways too — especially by avoiding some other pitfalls that could have easily induced some eye-rolling.

For one, I was cringing pretty hard as Carrie shouted at Brody over a secure line: I was just waiting for the moment when she’d scream, “I’m carrying your baby!” Perhaps the show’s writers realized that that would’ve truly been the moment Homeland would’ve jumped the shark. But it came perilously close.

Another nice little non-moment was the senator’s relatively reasonable behavior at the secret CIA site. You can often discern the quality of a show by the dimensionality of its heroes and villains. So the fact that Homeland has been gradually willing to portray the senator in a more sympathetic light is a good sign, methinks.

Personally, I could quibble a bit with the way that Brody’s vehicle looked like it had been utterly destroyed — occupants included — before they both miraculously escaped. But the moment actually turned out to be rather useful, as Brody’s Marine instincts clearly kicked in and he went from being a blubbering victim (as any of us would’ve been) to a man in charge instantly. I also liked the fact that Javadi killed Brody’s partner, which at least somewhat tempered the miraculous nature of their escape into Iran.

I’m a little less clear on what comes next. I tend to agree with some other predictors who are guessing that Brody isn’t actually the father of Carrie’s child — a point which she seemed to confirm to Quinn in this episode (although that could easily be a lie). On the other hand, if Brody’s fated to die this season anyway, it would make sense to have a mini-Brody born soon thereafter so as to provide Carrie some measure of solace, at least. (There, even more ridiculous theories for you.)

What did you think?

Sam: Holy cow. That was intense. No major deaths as I had previously assumed, but boy, the casualties that did occur were unexpected — the last scene where Javadi took out the guy accompanying Brody was somewhat expected but still cruel.

My first complaint as the show started, though, is why Carrie is allowed to be in the room after very recently disobeying direct orders? That she still commands as much respect as she does is a bit unrealistic, isn’t it? Saul telling her to “bite it hard” in response to Mike from the White House was certainly well deserved.

As for her baby, I have always suspected the baby being Quinn’s, but that’s just a strange, drawn out story if true. I think you said it previously — that the baby’s father could be that random dude Carrie slept with at the end of last season.

But I do agree that the Senator was much restrained in this episode, and that is definitely a good thing. I think this measure of restraint is certainly what gives Homeland the respect it’s earned, though it certainly has many other absurd developments. Likewise, I thought the general taking over command of the mission when things went south was also telling. For as much of a pulse as Saul had on the mission, things in the field can still go terribly wrong very quickly.

With only two episodes left in this season, I do start to wonder whether Brody might still live to see another season. I’m beginning to think it’s entirely possible that season four could center on his mission in Tehran. Then again, they may just end that in the next two episodes. But what will carry them into season four? Something crazy happens and Carrie, Saul, and Quinn go rogue to address the problem after the Senator takes over as CIA Director?

What would a season four look like for you?

Jay: That’s a good question. I read somewhere that Saul has put so much faith in his ability to keep Javadi under control that the likeliest path for these next few episodes is for Javadi to throw everyone for a loop, which he could do in multiple ways — most notably by exposing the CIA plan to use Brody to assassinate Javadi’s boss. You’d think his superiors would appreciate this enough to forgive the money he embezzled. (Or maybe not.)

So what would a fourth season look like in that scenario? I could see Senator Lockhart running the agency but with Saul’s input as they try to reconstruct the CIA’s credibility following a massive embarrassment resulting in Brody’s death. Again, I could be completely off-base here by predicting Brody’s demise, but there are signs that would suggest his time is coming to an end. One such moment came when he and his comrades were eating near the Iranian border: one of his buddies suggested they had to relax the goat before slitting its throat. Again, I’m somewhat borrowing from other reviewers’ interpretations here, but this could easily serve as a metaphor for Brody’s own chances of survival.

You’re completely right about Carrie being allowed in the control room. Absolutely absurd — but then very little about Homeland makes sense from a practical point of view anymore. This would be fine if the larger philosophical / psychological struggle from Season 1 were still intact, but that’s been shot entirely to hell by now. So there’s not much left besides 24-style action and a bit of a soap opera-esque drama unfolding regarding Carrie’s future with Brody (not to mention with his possible baby).

How do you anticipate the season closing out?

Sam: All very possible outcomes. My gut feeling is that Javadi’s going to go rogue. His higher ups are probably going to take him out anyway, regardless of what he does, if the truth comes out about his embezzling. But, it does seem extremely likely that Brody’s days are indeed numbered.

In terms of how I see the season closing out, I honestly don’t see Carrie having her baby. I think something will happen where she ends up losing the baby and finally admits that the baby is, in fact, Brody’s. I know I’ve said over and over that it’s probably Quinn’s, but I could completely see this happening.

Either way, this season is shaping up to be quite interesting. It started off on shaky footing, but it’s really picked up a lot of steam in the last few weeks. Let’s see if the last two episodes can deliver.

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About Samson X. Lim

Samson Lim is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Scholarship Junkies, a Seattle-based scholarship resource organization that works to help students make higher education more affordable. Sam spent the 2010-11 academic year in Berlin, Germany, as a U.S. Student Fulbright Scholar and is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Education Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University. When he’s not buried in grad school reading, Sam emerges every once in a while to highlight higher education and financial aid issues in 140 characters or less at @samsonxlim.

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