In the second part of the series on cliffhanger endings, I examine Episode 12 of Season2 of Homeland – The Choice where Carrie and Brody finally have the chance to be together. If you haven’t seen this episode then look away now.
The start of the episode sees Brody and Carrie finally together as all obstacles that kept them apart have been overcome. Carrie has spent the past ten years hunting down Nazir and in Episode 11, finally got her man. And now even Brody’s highly dysfunctional family seem curiously at peace. Jessica is happier than we have ever seen her in the entire second season and even the troubled Dana seems resigned to letting Brody go. And now that Walden is dead and Brody is never going to be Vice President, none of these people have to pretend to live a lie any more.
In this episode Carrie has to chose between being with Brody and furthering her CIA career and at times she wavers but chooses Brody. It is at this point that there is a curious lack of dramatic action as Brody and Carrie return to the cabin in the woods where they were holed up last season. They talk openly about their relationship and make affirmative statements that they could be happy together. Only there’s one thing that isn’t quite right. There seems to be three people in this relationship as Carrie’s CIA colleague Quinn is observing and tracking every moment of their loved-up bliss. Quinn is there under orders from his boss Estes, who has instructed him to cover his tracks and get rid of the evidence.
At times Homeland really does lay it on with a trowel – I mean was it really necessary to cut between Brody peacefully praying by the lake and Quinn preparing his hunting rifle? And in a remote cabin in the middle of nowhere, what is Carrie doing, going out in her car to find croissants, leaving Brody on his own? Did she bury some last time they were up there, in an underground freezer, ready to access at a moment’s notice whenever she happened to be passing and had a craving for patisserie? Because sure as heck, the last time I went into the wild I didn’t find a little French bakery tucked away in the wilderness.
But if we are talking realism, then, much as I’ve enjoyed the series, there’s not much about Homeland that is real. But if you are prepared to suspend your disbelief about pastry shops in the woods then you will probably swallow that Carrie has an emergency escape plan all prepped and ready to go in a lock-up garage in the city.
Carrie is in dire need of her emergency escape plan when the explosion rips through the heart of the CIA building in the middle of Walden’s funeral. Quinn, meanwhile has had a change of heart and gone all soft on us. Maybe he just couldn’t face another lonely night out in the woods, eating cold baked beans while his prey feasted on lovingly crafted hand-made pastry? Instead, Quinn turns on his CIA boss and appears, like an extra in a vampire movie, magically turning up in Estes office in the middle of the night.
Quinn tells Brody that there can be no justification for a CIA endorsed killing of Brody. What Quinn does know is that Estes motivation is merely a personal vendetta. Estes better watch himself, Quinn tells him, telling him, “I’m the guy that kills bad guys.” So if any harm was to come Brody’s way, Quinn would make sure that the number one bad guy sitting in front of him would also be taken out.
As Carrie and Brody attend Walden’s funeral a life-changing event rips their love apart and their hopes for the future are shattered. Carrie switches back into CIA operative mode, even pointing a gun at Brody as suddenly everything she believed about him has turned on its head with one mighty explosion. Brody points out that this must be Nazir’s last stand and that the bomb in his car must have been planted by someone else as he sure as hell didn’t move it.
You know that Carrie so much wants to believe him and what persuades her is Brody’s suicide confession being leaked to the global media. Knowing that her job will be over if anyone finds out, she nevertheless decides to raid her lock-up garage and get Brody out of harm’s way and across the US border and into Canada. She promises that she’ll do everything in her powers to clear his name so that they can be together.
By the end of the episode Brody and Carrie are once again separated by circumstances but this sets up a brand new season. Will Brody and Carrie ever be together? Has Brody in fact conned Carrie with his charm and is in fact hiding a monstrous lie? Because let’s not forget, that the actor who plays agent Brody, Damian Lewis, (although many Americans may not be aware of this) is in fact, British. And we all know that in Hollywood that if you want a bad guy, the go-to candidate is always a foreigner – and if you want a really superior bad guy then it just has to be a Brit!