The following article contains massive spoilers (and not just like, "Estes acts like a d-bag" spoilers) about the Season 2 finale of Homeland.
In 2011, United States Marine Nicholas Brody was rescued from an underground terrorist base in Afghanistan, after having been captured and held prisoner by the forces of al-Qaeda for eight years. Brody, as he is affectionately called by his wife and friends, was returned home to America, where he would reunite with his family, earn notoriety as a nationwide hero, and accelerate professionally to the level of congressman and vice presidential hopeful. But there was a side to Brody that the world didn't see, even with the influx of reporters and public figures storming his home from every corner of the Virginia countryside. What CIA Agent Carrie Mathison, her associates Saul Berenson, freelance surveillance experts Virgil and Max, and the highly addicted Homeland audience began to suspect: is this dude a terrorist? Long story short, yes. At least, he was.
Sunday night brought the second season of the Showtime series to a close, also seeming to put a lid on all of our distrusts regarding Brody. The episode concluded with a gigantic explosion, which took the lives of dozens of attendees of Vice President Walden's funeral, including his wife and teenage son, and CIA Director of Counterterrorism David Estes. Absent from the event, quite conveniently, are Carrie Mathison and Nicholas Brody, who sneaked away to have a romantic foray just in time to avoid the wrath of the bomb... which was detonated from within Brody's car.
If you didn't catch the episode, the above synopsis will probably suggest with near certainty that Brody was responsible for the act of terrorism (which was followed by a television broadcast of an al-Qaeda message proclaiming patronage of the explosion). But Homeland seems to want us to think that our pursed-lipped hero is in fact innocent. The final moments of the episode had Carrie sending Brody off to the freedom of Canada (where no one will ever find him!), and set our favorite secret agent off on a quest to prove her inscrutably beloved soldier's innocence — such, we assume this to be the course of action for Season 3/the show's Lifetime movie adaptation: My Boyfriend Is Not a Terrorist: The Carrie Mathison Story.
But something seems... missing. We were invited into the world of Homeland on the premise of a huge-scale whodunit. For the majority of Season 1, fans weren't sure what exactly was up with Brody — was he really a terrorist? Was Carrie Mathison, in fact, crazy? And what was lurking beneath Saul Berenson's beard? All mysteries with which we happily engaged. But Season 2 put a lot of this ambiguity to rest, instead allowing us to watch idly as one crazy, adrenal situation after another played out onscreen. And this seems to be the way Season 3 is setting up to introduce its formula.
What we really need from the show, however, is a return to this active-viewing form: the "Is Brody a terrorist?" game that was as fun and engrossing as a round of international Clue. Of course, that's just one opinion. A few members of the Hollywood.com staff chimed in to give their take on directions that would best suit Homeland's third season:"Despite what the showrunners may say, the Season 2 finale still had me doubting Brody's intentions as well as his feelings for Carrie. Season 3 needs to get rid of this question mark once and for all by telling us definitively whether Brody is a good guy or a bad guy. Because this flip-flopping business is exhausting. Also, the 'Carrie is alone and crazy' card is so thoroughly played out, in order to hold my interest Season 3 needs to give Carrie a team. Let's see a Brody Berenson Mathison Quinn coalition (a la Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce). And bring back Galvez!" - Abbey Stone
"If Season 3 went back to exploring Carrie's work on the ground floor (especially now that Saul is in charge), not just her trying to cover up for Brody, the show might have a shot at getting back to the fascinating, intelligent show about terrorism that it it was when it started out." - Aly Semigran
"I think that Season 3 of Homeland should mostly be about Dana. She needs to get a new haircut and change her name so that no one knows who she really is. I think we should see her go to college and meet a nice boy. She has a hard time trusting men, considering that her father is now an exposed terrorist and that her last boyfriend ran over a lady and left her dead body in the street and then he died in a CIA bombing that her father may or may not have orchestrated. But she meets a guy and they fight and break up and then they get back together and she wears a lot of black... Oh, wait, that's what I DON'T want Season 3 to be about." - Brian Moylan
"Homeland would benefit from jumping ahead 100 years into the future. Don't worry — they invented technology to keep Carrie and co. around. So they'll still be trying to figure out if Brody is a terrorist or not, but now they'll have laser guns and teleportation machines." - Matt PatchesWhat are some of your ideas about where the show should go from here?
[Photo Credit: Kent Smith/Showtime]