Lamenting Nicholas Brody


Advance Warning: This is a LONG, RAW, and EMOTIONAL piece that I had written on December 21, 2013, almost a week after Nicholas Brody died on Homeland. Just because it is long, raw and emotional, I thought I would not share it on Fan Fun with Damian Lewis. On the other hand, this is the first ever piece that I wrote on Nicholas Brody — so, in some way, this is the piece that started it all! So, why not share it with fans that love that amazing character as much as I do? Just so you know, I am at a much better place now 🙂 Having said that, I still cannot let him go…


Almost a full week has passed since the season finale, and I cannot believe that I am still heartbroken. But I am.

Do not underestimate the power of TV. Good TV shows are like good books. Each episode is a chapter and you just look forward to the next chapter, and form bonds with characters as you go and you have thoughts and sometimes hopes for them. OK, I admit it, everyone doesn’t, but I have 🙂 I love fiction, I cannot think of a life without fiction, I believe that fiction enriches life in so many different ways that good readers/viewers live many more lives than the non-readers/non-viewers.

Thus, even though some may find this unusual or funny or crazy or just very ME (you know who you are), I feel that I have to get this out of my system and move on… This is really not about being a drama queen, not at all; it is just about feelings…

The season finale was a shock. I was not able to watch that horrific scene, and my husband says I definitely cried more than Carrie did. He’s probably right.

Nicholas Brody needed redemption. I need closure.

Brody has been one of the most complex characters I have ever seen on TV and my favorite character ever. His “otherness”, his isolation, his confusion, his vulnerability, his pain, his love for his daughter, his faith, his survival, and the chemistry between him and Carrie were all fascinating to me. He was not a character one would love at first sight, but he grew on you—all thanks to brilliant Damian Lewis who received an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his fantastic portrayal of Brody.

Yes, I am pretty biased about Brody and his storyline in the show; however, as I think more and more about the season finale, I just see that the producers pulled a cheap trick on us. Alex Gansa said the other day that this whole season built into the two last episodes—to Brody’s death. I find this unacceptable. They kept Brody alive at the end of season 2 (Quinn did not get to kill him) so that we would look forward to Season 3. Then, yeah, they kept him alive, they did not even give him a lot of screen time (which was apparently a test on the audience, but more on this later), and killed him at the end of Season 3.


That scene in the safe house was powerful. When Carrie told Brody about the baby, he said “this is the only fucking sane thing left to hold on to.” It was almost a domestic argument between the two of them, like a married couple in their living room. Brody wanted that. I wanted to see more of that relationship. I know a lot of people wanted more of that, too—just check out the Homeland page on Facebook, and you will see. It was the writers that wanted that to be over.

I am well aware that there are arguments about Homeland not being a show about relationships, but a show about the CIA. Yes, it is a show about the CIA, but like every other serious thing in life, it is fundamentally about human relations. Homeland is not 24. What makes it great (and not 24) is its complex characters with exciting, interesting and compelling relationships: Carrie and Brody, Brody and Jess, Carrie and Saul, Brody and Abu Nazir, Carrie and Quinn, Brody and Dana, Saul and Myra, Saul and Dar Adal, Dar Adal and Quinn, and all other possible combinations. Killing the most interesting relationship here is not a great idea in my opinion.

There could be many reasons for the way they chose to write Season 3. One particular reason I can think of is the fact that the show lost two of its most brilliant writers last year. Henry Bromell passed away early in the year, and Meredith Stiehm left for “The Bridge” (she came back to co-write the season finale with Gansa and she is staying for Season 4). And, with these big losses in the writers’ room, maybe they could just come up with this “let’s build Season 3 just to kill Brody at the end” idea. I have to say I do not buy the “Brody had no place to go, he had to die” argument at all. This is a fictional character on a TV show, and the limit lies with the writers’ imagination. They just chose the easy way out here.

Another possibility is that they just sucked up to the critics. As someone that has probably read all the “recaps” week after week, I have known for a long time that the critics wanted Brody dead. Honestly, I just think that the critics sometimes love to play God, and say this or that character should die and probably get some satisfaction when those characters die in the show. And they did it again and again for Homeland. I just think that TV shows must not be tailored to make critics happy. This is entertainment after all. And, honestly, I don’t think keeping Brody alive would have been the only unrealistic part of the show. Homeland could actually get ridiculous at times, and it is much more fun when it is exactly that. Yes, Season 1 was incredible, and Season 2 was a bit over the top, but I liked Season 2 much better just because it was a bit over the top—it was so much fun!

There is some weird understanding nowadays that a TV show is good if it kills one of its main characters. Why? I don’t think this is the right measure of being a good show. It should be all about character development, creative storyline, and acting. Think about Breaking Bad, which I also like very much (and which all critics love): I am still watching Season 5 so I don’t know who is dead and alive by the end of the series, but so far the only (sort of) major character that died is not that central to the show. And I have not heard anyone asking about why Jesse Pinkman is still alive in Season 4? Jessie is alive because he’s central to the show, and he’s very popular with the viewers. Or, think about Mad Men, another fantastic TV show. Yes, I know that the genre is different but still I just do not think Jon Hamm (Don) or Elisabeth Moss (Peggy) ever thought they’d be dead, at least before the series finale.

source: Showtime

I understand that they knew all along that Brody would not last long in the show. But then they either set the storyline wrong from the get-go, or they could not figure in the “Damian Lewis” factor: He is terrific. Lewis made this very damaged man a painfully believable character that Brody grew on the viewers over time and, lo and behold, many, many viewers started to root for him. Brody became very central to the show, and even though Claire Danes is a great actress with, as New Yorker says “volcanic performances”, Homeland has not been only about Carrie Mathison. That may be what the writers had originally intended, but I think they were also captivated by the complexity of the Brody storyline that the show has turned out to be about Carrie and Brody. Otherwise, Brody should have exploded that suicide vest and killed Walden and others in that bunker in Season 1.


Yes, Homeland could have gone into a different direction long ago if Brody had exploded the suicide vest in Season 1. But he did not, and he gradually became the show itself. That is why I just cannot see any slight benefit to killing him. I really think it was not the benefit but it was probably the cost, the cost that writers would have to incur to write that difficult part, and the easy exit was to get rid of Brody, kill him with a bang, get the highest TV ranking ever for the show and move on to the perks of having a clean slate: Carrie moving to Istanbul to be a station chief, so there is new life, and possibly new love (please don’t make Quinn that new love interest!). I know the writers particularly with Meredith Stiehm in the writer’s room will do a good job with the show in Season 4, but again I think this was the easy way out.

Alex Gansa, the executive director of Homeland, said this week that they tested the audience by keeping Brody out for the big chunk of the season (he only appeared in episodes 3, 9, 10, 11 and 12) to see if the show would still be popular without Brody. I am sorry, but this is bullshit. What kind of a test is this? Yes, Brody was absent from more than half of the episodes, but even when he was not physically there, he was still there all over the place in Season 3. All Carrie was trying to do was to clean his name. All Dana storyline was fundamentally about Brody. And many viewers looked forward to the next episode because they anticipated Brody’s return. The show really picked up its breakneck speed only when Brody came back in “One Last Time.” He was Homeland. And just think about Season 4 for a second… Carrie will be a new mom, and to Brody’s baby, no less. Thus, Brody will still be there. And, knowing Carrie, I am almost positive that she will try to reach out to Jess and Dana to let them know about why and how Brody died. Or maybe even introduce Dana to her baby sister. Again… Brody…. So, I am with the doctor in Caracas on this one: Brody is “unkillable” now when you have killed him. I do not believe that you can really start with a clean slate after 3 seasons. You have a ghost that will always be there.

Last Sunday’s episode was the series finale—for me. Period. Once Carrie made that star on the wall, that was it. I want it to be over exactly like Brody said just before his execution. Again, I know that they will do a good job with Season 4, but it is just that I am not interested anymore. So… Dear Showtime, please stop sending me messages like “relive every moment of Season 3.” Are you kidding me? Why would I want to live every moment of this Season? When I miss Homeland, I will just go back to Season 1 or Season 2, and watch “The Weekend” or “Q&A” or “The Choice.”

Well, it was a great ride as long as it lasted. Damian Lewis is an amazing actor, who I believe will do better and bigger things, and I will happily follow his career.

And, my Brody t-shirt is a keeper 🙂

source: Damianista
source: Damianista

December 21, 2013


Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

21 thoughts on “Lamenting Nicholas Brody”

  1. Meredith Stiehm, Alex Ganza want a relationship between Carrie and Quinn. = / I’m giving up this relationship happen!

    Congratulations! I’m in tears! I know they are characters, but as not love Carrie and Brody together? The pain he went through, isolation, away from the family who were already moving on while he was perdido.Ninguém would understand it, he would not be forgiven! He found a true love, friend, which was destroyed by fear. I think Carrie would rather see him dead and not preso.E strange that love? Yes! It was love! Love between an agent that does anything for his country and a soldier who becoming the nation’s enemy! I think the death of Brody was because of patriotism. Some people could not separate the show of real life. It is strange why we are talking about a first world country. I think they should separate the real life of the TV! This part you wrote …
    That scene in the safe house was powerful. When Carrie Brody Told about the baby, he said “this is the only sane thing left to fucking hold on to.” It was almost a domestic argument between the two of Them, like a married couple in Their living room. Brody wanted that. I wanted to see more of relationship.

    I’m very happy to think like you! Carrie and Brody could go a long way together! And Brody had to know Frannie. Brody loved Frannie?Congratulations!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words!!! I am not surprised a bit that we are thinking alike — great minds think alike, Iza 🙂 But, joke aside, I just loved that sweet, impossible love in Homeland, and wanted to see much more of it — especially after the scene in the safe house! Ah, Brody had to see Frannie. He would LOVE her like he did Dana. My dad passed away when I young, so I am a sucker for sweet father – daughter relationships in fiction, and Brody & Dana was no exception!

  2. Thank you! You are smart! I was sad when Danna fought with him before heading to Iran, and in the second season when she said, Mike was more father than you. = / He always loved! Wanted to go back for her and Carrie! These writers… =/

    1. Oh, thanks so much! Not to make a case for Dana… but Dana is a teenager — we were all like that at that age, at least I was like that 🙂

      1. Yes! I understand the Danna! She was sad, but Brody was doing his best! I do not hate the Danna! Haha Could you tell me the right name is Franny or Frannie? Thank you! 🙂

          1. I didn’t really know the right one, either. Now I know — thanks to you! 😀

  3. I like caracas imam quotes for brody, ” you are terorist not muslim”. btw iam muslim lol.

    Maybe its time when bad ending become mainstream of movie.

    For me season 2 is ending for homeland. just keep season 1-2 and delete 3-4 in my pc folder. Brody-carrie are the soul of homeland.

    1. Thanks so much for visiting and reading us, and hope you enjoy our blog! I love the way they portray the imam in Homeland – first they make you think he’s hiding a wanted terrorist, but he’s an honest man. I grew up in Turkey, I am not religious but I am coming from the Muslim tradition, too. You are so right that “bad ending” becomes the mainstream — as the quality of TV gets better and better, they now make the shows more realistic, and when you think about it, maybe, just maybe, Brody had to go. But, you know what, I am still in mourning. I MISS my Brody <3 I can say my Homeland can go until Episode 11 of Homeland Season 3 - I loved Brody in Tahran. But I still didn't watch that horrible execution scene and I simply won't! By the way, if you are Muslim, coming from the tradition, I also wrote about Brody and his Muslim faith in Homeland - you may like that post.
      Again, thanks for reading our blog, and hope you come visit us again!

    2. Thank you for reading and for your comment.
      Yes, Carrie and Brody were the soul of Homeland. Luckily the creators of the series had the skills to do a complete reboot and the series is able to survive quite well without Brody. He does live on, of course, in his daughter, in Carrie’s heart, and in our hearts and minds.:)

      1. Haha as I was reading your response, partner, I was like what daughter, he’s living on in my heart — it seems I’ve really overdone the Brody part of things… I am not thinking about Dana or Carrie, it’s like, oh nobody loved Brody as much as I did… 😀 I agree, they reset the whole story and Season 4 was very good… Having said that probably because I just could not get myself out of the whole Brody thing, the show was just missing something, in fact, someone, for me… Now that Damian will be back in Billions, I think I can just move on and watch Season 5!

  4. I started watching “Homeland” for the first time, this week, when my Blu-Rays were delivered (newly deaf). I first became “involved” with Damian Lewis in Band of Brothers, and he looked so much like my son, now 31, that I immediately fell in love.
    I knew coming into the beginning of Homeland that Brody would die at the end of Season 3, and I questioned my ability to view it then. I fell in “Love” with Brody at first glance and that just intensified with every episode. I hated everybody who gave him a bad time from his wife, to Dana, to Carrie, to everyone. I hated Saul for not saving him.
    I just watched the end of episode 12, at 2:38 am, 1/3/2016, so the feeling are still very raw. I thought that by watching “The Filming of Season 3, Finale”, that I would feel better, and maybe I did, but not for long. My memory keeps going back to Brody’s life and how much of a patriot he really was. I was shocked when he really did pull off the assassination at the end because I didn’t know, for sure, his intents. And then to kill him?? I’m still upset. I’m mad at Carrie for wanting to give up the baby. I’m mad at Dana for being such a bitch to him( and I raised 2 girls, and 1 boy).
    I will watch S-4 and S-5 out of curiosity, but nothing will ever be the same without Brody.
    I’m sure that, like you, the heartbreak will ease in time. Right now, I feel like I’m mad at the world :(. I don’t know if I could ever watch that last episode again, even though I knew what was coming. They DID NOT have to kill him!!

    1. I feel you, Cindee! The night Brody died my husband was saying if he saw Saul or Dar-Adal on th streets of New York, he would give them a good beating! Because I cried so much, and hey, I still have not seen that scene. I just can’t! By the way, we, in fact, saw Saul at a restaurant months later, but of course didn’t say a word 🙂 I was so pissed at the show creators for killing him, but looking retrospectively, after two years, it may also be a good thing to take your leave after three years. Damian gave us one of the most, if not the most, complex characters in TV history in Brody and noone, noone can take S1 and S2 away from us. So, episodes like The Weekend, or Q&A will always stay with us, and we will keep following his bright career… Next: Billions is here already and I know he will make us all fall in love with Bobby Axelrod! Thanks for reading, and for your constant lovely feedback, much much love!!!! <3

      1. It was so nice of you to share this with me as it did help. Even while cleaning up after dinner, I keep having scenes of Brody, popping into my head. I did not want to watch that scene of the death, but I could not stop it either.
        I have started Season 4 and I want to be caught up before Billions actually starts.
        I have never known such a brilliant actor as Damian Lewis. How he could portray someone so well that I could be mourning his death for so long. I’ve never had that happen before. I liked Breaking Bad as well and have watched every episode. It was well written and acted, but I didn’t grieve for anyone throughout, or at the end.
        I feel like I can move on, but I will always miss Brody.

        1. Thank you for your kind words and it was my pleasure to share it with you! I know what you are feeling because it took me over a year to accept Brody’s death – a fictional character for God’s sake! But it is what it is and I can’t help it! I miss him! Oh, I loved Breaking Bad, too; and I have good news for you that, David Costabile — who was playing Gale Boetticher assisting Walter for a while with the blue — is Bobby Axelrod’s right hand man in Billions! I think in terms of good writing, no other show could beat Breaking Bad. I believe they figured the whole story out from the get go. And yeah I did not mourn for Walt, either; but I cared about the characters, in particular Jesse and poor Hank 🙂

  5. Okay, I just started watching Homeland so I’m a little late in the game. Like many, I am so upset with what happened in Season 3. I spent days brooding and just had to sit down and write down my thoughts, so here it is..
    Why is it painful? It’s just a show, it’s just another character. Why does it matter so much?…
    Brody is a tormented soul. Just like the rest of us, he’s just trying to find his way. Yes, he’s made mistakes. Under extreme circumstances. He got lost, and then was found. Be it as it may that he was “found” by force and had no choice, in his own tormented broken way, he made amends, righting a wrong on each side, trying to do what was right. He did the best he could, period. The least the show could have done is let him live. He didn’t have to be with Carrie, but at least he was alive. We know that he was going to be okay.
    There are many veterans out there that come back from war, suffering from PTSD, depressed and broken. Every day, many people struggle with depression, finding any good reason to live for another day. Seeing Brody gave us hope. A glimmer of a second chance….
    In an uncertain world, we needed something certain. Something we can hope for. We needed something to assure us, that in spite of the horrible things that’s happened in our lives, in spite of the terrible things we see in our world everyday, WE CAN MAKE IT. Brody was that. And they killed him. They sent him to the gallows of hell and despair, a place many of us are already in. Damn them!!!!
    I am so pissed, I’ve been crying each morning that I wake up! I’m so happy at thesame time that I’m not the only one who feels this way! Thank you so much for sharing this on the web!!! Everything you wrote was SPOT ON!!!

    1. Hi Christine! First things first: Thanks so much for visiting and reading us and for your very kind words! What can I say about Brody? I did not know Damian Lewis before I met Brody. I had no idea. Brody just came along and turned everything upside down. I have never had any other fictional character that I loved more, and I am so lucky that I was able to tell this to Damian Lewis himself. Exactly like you, I was devastated (you know this already from the blog post) and I really needed to get the grief out of my system so I sat down and wrote that piece. But there was no blog then. I, in fact, think I don’t think there would have been a blog should Brody have not died. It’s so interesting but my love for Brody pushed me to do something completely crazy and I started writing on Brody and then I saw almost all of Damian’s other work and the rest is history. So, Brody made me a Damian Lewis fan for life and a blogger, too! Good news is I am at a much better place now. I think we will all carry Brody in our hearts, and no one can ever take the first three seasons on Homeland from us. Ever!!!! But, like you, I also had thought about an alternative scenario where he lived in Iran and may be even falling for someone there, at least in my imagination, and be happy. He deserved it. I always wanted to cuddle him and tell him everything would turn out to be alright. By the way, Damian’s new show Billions is amazing. 4 episodes in and I just crave for more. One of the best written shows I have ever seen in a quite while and Damian just ROCKS as Bobby Axelrod — a character that is different from anything else he did before! Hope you don’t be a stranger and leave feedback again! The more the merrier on the blog! All the best!!!

  6. This is like the support group that I never had. Wished I had stumbled onto this blog at the time when I was likely just as devastated as you. I was aware of Damian Lewis from Band of Brothers and Life. But I was obsessed with him, the actor and the character that he played in Homeland. Binge watched the 1st two seasons before season 3 started. I couldn’t get enough. Felt like an addiction. I didn’t tell my husband that I was exhausted from staying up every night to watch tv. He’d think I was crazy. I could really relate to what you said about never having loved a fictional character this much. I joked that a pale, British ginger is not Hollywood heart throb material and not my type. (Stupid American me hates Damian’s real life accent. Is he a native Londoner or did he grow up elsewhere in the UK?) I was vested in the Carrie/Brody romance. They were both so damaged. They understood each other like no one could. Jess tried to be the dutiful wife to a hero, but the writer let her have an out with her own love interest so it was mutual…unlike Life where Jen didn’t stand by her wrongly convicted man and the split was one sided. I was a bit disappointed in season 3 of Homeland where they were “transitioning” Brody off the show. Having fought so hard against family, duty, faith, tradition, normalcy, forces of good and evil and the gray area in between and me riding along on an emotional roller coaster for 2 seasons, the 3rd season seemed a little lazy. I watched the Brody-less 4th season and it did nothing for me. It’s dead to me.

    1. I think S3 is the weakest link when Homeland is concerned. The show got better in S4 when they reset the whole story. I cannot say it’s dead to me since I still like Carrie probably being the only major strong flawed female anti-hero in a major TV show (the feminist in me can’t help like that) but I absolutely don’t care as much as I did. I usually care about shows when I care about at least one character and I was so invested in Brody — I admit I was invested in him more than in him and Carrie since I sort of wanted him to be happy with Jess but of course I also gave up on that already dead love story at some point. Brody is such a wounded, confused, vulnerable character – a true “victim” of the war – that I wanted to cuddle him and tell him everything would be alright. Yes I never loved any fictional character as much as I loved him. But the blog came later so you did not really miss it then. How nice it is that we now have our support here altogether, and hey no one can take S1 and S2 from us. Ever. <3

      Damian is as a native Londoner as it gets. He was born in London and grew up on Abbey Road of all places!!! But he always says he became a Londoner a bit later in life since he was in boarding school between ages 8 - 18 and came back to London for Drama School in 1989.

      Thanks so much for reading us, Elena! Please keep your feedback coming!

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