Homeland Recap: The Choices We Make

Homeland resets after an explosive finale and a season that challenged viewer's patience.

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I have feeling the show is not going to answer these questions, and rather start Season 3 as a clean slate for our major characters. But as we hoped, Carrie and Brody's devotion to each other was not just a soap opera-type romance, but a force that is driving Homeland into its third season.

Greg: While it is still unknown (and could be explored in following seasons) if Brody had more to do with the CIA bombing than we've been shown, Gansa also took to the Internet airwaves to say Sunday's episode pretty much ended any hope of Nussbaum's theory being valid. Yes, Brody's weird internal moment prior to the bomb going off will raise doubts to his real motives, but then how do you explain the cabin scene, where Brody and Carrie are talking about being together once and for all? If Brody's true intentions are simply to destroy the CIA, he doesn't need to lay on the lovey-dovey stuff. That memorial is happening whether or not Carrie decides to confess her love for him, or vice versa.

However, that doesn't mean we can suddenly root for Brody, and hope his name will be cleared as a hunt goes down in Season 3. I thought one of the most important scenes for setting up Season 3 was the Saul-Carrie confrontation, where Saul pulls no punches ("You're the smartest and the dumbest f*cking person I've ever known" may be the greatest line in Homeland's history) by reminding Carrie of Brody's sordid history. It will be interesting to see if the writers hook us into rooting for Brody to finally be cleared, or lead us to believe that you can never outrun your past.

Tierney: I did hear that Gansa clip, but I didn't agree that the episode entirely invalidated it. Sure, there were some holes in her theory, but no larger than the ones the show has already left open. With Gansa's comments, as well as the general direction the show has taken over the course of two seasons, it's clear that Carrie and Brody's relationship is a major focus for Homeland, and not just a cover Brody would be using for a long con. But if the show is allowed to sneak a major terrorist into the United States by shaving his beard, I am allowed to hold on to my Homeland fantasies, at least until the Season 3 premiere.

Will Saul stay in the CIA driver's seat? He and Carrie appear to be heading into Season 3 as the big cheeses at Langley, with Saul the ranking agent, and Carrie being offered station head. It will be interesting to see them be in charge, rather than the underdogs flying under the radar. We know their flaws as spies very well—Saul is too emotionally attached, Carrie is, you know, crazy. So with the Brody fall out, I think their motives will be a main point of exploration, especially since up until this point we have been led to believe they are pure. Alyssa Rosenberg is pushing the Shady Saul theory again, but that would be too heartbreaking for me to even contemplate.

Greg: Was Carrie really crazy this season, though? We were led to believe that she has been mentally stable since around episode 5. There were no manic-depressive moments after she realized she was right about Brody. But she was right about Brody because she was harnessing the genius behind her illness. This time around, she missed the "bigger, Abu-Nazir-worthy" plot, partly due to being well medicated. Carrie is going to have to wrestle with the fact that Nazir's plan worked this time around, despite her "sixth sense" leading to Nazir's death. Would she have seen the long con had she been ignoring her medication? I think Carrie is going to have to come to a decision next season: How do I do my job well, but keep my mental state stable?

And speaking on leaps of faith, while I thoroughly enjoyed Sunday's finale and where this show seems to be moving, the way we got here was sub-par. The BlackBerries, Abu Nazir in America, a helicopter operating in Northern Virginia airspace without a peep from the FAA, Season 2 will always be remembered for the absurd plausibility that was given to us on a weekly basis. If every one of our characters is stuck making tough choices in Season 3, I hope Homeland's writers follow suit and choose to bury the "the-plot-is-what-we-say-it-is" method, and head back to letting viewers navigate the grey areas of their characters instead of questioning the black-and-white details of the plot.