Brody in Homeland Season 6

When Brody died on Homeland, I was one of those fans who searched high and low, scrambling to find somewhere to talk about him and about the show. At one point I ended up on the Facebook page for Homeland and tried fruitlessly to sift thru all the flat “No Brody No Homeland” pointlessness to find someone who saw what I saw in the character and in the show. Brody will never die, I thought. So why rage into the void, begging for him to come back from the dead? Shows do listen to such things, I suppose. But, even if they did listen to all the pleas from fans, what would Brody come back for? To be a dad to his new daughter? To live happily ever after with Carrie? Really, fans?

No. Brody was dead. In fact, he was dead from the minute he got off the plane and saw Jess for the first time. I spoke at length of this aspect of the character before, here and here and here. The remarkable thing about the character was this very thing, that he was a dead man walking. A cipher, a mystery, an empty vessel filled with nothing except what various people put in his head. The fact that Damian played that emptiness so FULLY is the remarkable thing, the memorable thing, the thing that compels us to never let go of the character. Characters written so completely and played so fully never die, do they? The truth and the reality of Brody lives on and will never die.

I even knew back then that we’d hear of him again. I recall an interchange with a Claire Danes fan about the fact that everything Carrie does from now on is colored, shaped, by her experience with Brody. Every time she looks off into the distance in pain, there’s a very big chance she’ll be thinking about Brody. Claire Danes is able to do such a thing too….with her face, she can give life to a ghost in her head. It’s not just the memory of him. Memory is too small a word. She gave it up to him, completely. No one comes back from that.

She fully, totally, absolutely, fell face to the curb in love with him. Despite the inherent destructiveness of it all. Despite the fact that he was in large part incapable of returning that love. She was consumed by him. She would have died for him. It was the most self-destructive thing she could have done, love this man, but her love for him drove her every breath and action. No one comes back from that.

The show, since they wrote this perfectly resounding tragic love story, had to remember. Brody had to stay alive. If not in body, then in spirit, for ever. FOREVER. In Carrie’s mind, in her soul. Sure, she has his child too and that only makes the bond stronger. But even without Frannie, even if they hadn’t written Claire Danes pregnancy into the script (something I had mixed feelings about at the time), the fact remains that Brody was seared onto Carrie’s soul, she was branded by him. Call me a raging romantic fool, but, I must repeat, no one comes back from that.

As I hoped (and expected), the show, bless it forever, has never forgotten Brody. Just as he appeared in Season 4 in the form of a hallucination…

source: fuckyeahnicholasbrody.tumblr.com

…and in Season 5 as a picture on the wall in Carrie’s flashback to her first job in Baghdad…

…Brody appears again in Season 6. No image or flashback this time. Heck, his name isn’t even uttered. But we know exactly who they’re talking about. Such is the power of a character, right? That, what, three years after his death, all they need to say is “he” and we know exactly who they mean?

First, before we get to Season 6, let’s go back, shall we, to the circumstances of Nicholas Brody’s sad demise in Season 3.

It is the beginning of the end, and we find Brody forceably detox’ed and debriefed from his time in exile in South America. Saul is in cahoots with Dar Adal to get Brody up and running, fully functional for the mission ahead. Meanwhile, Carrie is recovering from the bullet she took in an effort to clear Brody’s name. She has been searching for Brody all season, trying to get him back home, trying to save him. Saul and Dar Adal are keeping them apart. Once the guys finally have Brody detox’ed (with an outlawed drug that makes him nearly slice his own arm off, no less), Saul presents him with his options.

Brody: Please. No more. I’m done.
Saul: You are not. You will do this one last thing.

Saul then tells Carrie about the play:

See, the play was not Carrie’s idea; she thinks it’s crazy. But she also thinks it’s brilliant and may work. Such a thing, she thinks, will redeem Brody and he’ll be able to come back home, a hero…of sorts. She absolutely goes into it thinking he will come back home. Remember, she doesn’t want to take him to see Dana until he gets back? He says: “That’s a long shot.” She says: “You never know. We’ve come this far.”

She’s a chronic, pathological optimist, this Carrie Mathison. She wants to try it all, give every possibility a chance. She knows the worse that can happen, but her mind takes her always back to the shining beacon of the BEST that can happen. And the raging flame of “The Best” blinds her completely to addressing the possibility of the worst. Like Saul says, she’s the “smartest and the dumbest fucking person” any one will ever meet.

Now, here’s the one point where I stand apart from damn near everyone who has seen this show, including Carrie herself – a point I will argue till I’m blue in the face : Carrie did NOT lead Brody to his death. No matter what she thinks after the fact. She wanted him back, she wanted him redeemed, she wanted him whole and safe. Of course, he wasn’t interested in any of those things for himself. He was ready to die. He’d been ready to die from Day One. She was the one who wanted and needed him safe. How could she have lead him to his death if his safety, his LIFE, was so very important to her? So why does Carrie so adamantly believe she was responsible? Because that’s what women do, that’s why. Anyway, I could go on. Suffice it to say, I’ve never felt as strongly about my sole lonely reading of events of a TV show before (or since) Homeland and this story.

Here’s Carrie in Season 6, talking to a shrink about getting her daughter back. 

Back to the end. The plan is set in motion, we cut to a boot camp that lasts maybe ten minutes, and, voila, Brody is primed for travel and combat. Once in Iran, he’s lauded as a hero by the Iranians who, like the Americans, believe he blew up the CIA.

From their first meeting, there is no love lost between Brody and Javadi, this snake of a man who’s supposed to be the harbinger of hope for peace between the U.S. and Iran. Javadi is a cold-blooded killer. We remember what he did to his wife, right? With a jagged bottle, no less. It’s that same remorseless murderer who takes out Brody’s companion and protector once they cross the border to Iran.

Thus, given the evil he’s exhibited, it comes as a bit of disconnect when Javadi shows such insight into Carrie’s connection to Brody. Given how odd it is to hear this murdering man have any insight at all, Shaun Toub performs both sides of Javadi’s two faces brilliantly. Javadi not only arrests Brody for Akbari’s murder, he then sits back and watches as Brody is sentenced to death. Yet, Javadi knows enough about the big picture of the situation to tell us and Carrie what she’s really thinking, helping her (and us) come to terms with what is about to happen. Not sure I totally buy him getting to say such perfect words. But here they are. And, lo and behold, it is this very character who provides a connection back to Brody three years later. (did they plan that far ahead? who can say.)

It was always about him…what he did, there can be no debate. It was astonishing and undeniable. And what you wanted, for everyone to see in him what you see. That has happened. Everyone sees him through your eyes now — Saul, Lockhart, the President of the United States, even me.

Wavy old school transition screen change back to Season 6. Javadi is back, this time in the States. He’s wrangling some deal with the President, and again the two sides of his face say diametrically different things. The CIA and Saul want to assure the President they still have Iran in their pocket. Javadi has other plans. He wants out. He wants to go to a beach somewhere and forget all about politics and its murdering ways.

Carrie’s like “Whaaat?” Brody DIED for THIS?? It was Brody’s action which single-handedly put Javadi in a position of power, in the position where he could be of use to the U.S. And now Javadi wants out?

A remark on how resigned Carrie is to the constant barage of shit thrown her way (a remark on how resigned we ALL have become to it) is that there is no big emotional “HOW THE HELL COULD YOU?!?” scene. Carrie knows, Homeland knows, shit happens and it’s going to continue to happen. We can all work towards abating what we can, but, ultimately, some part of us has to accept that we, to whatever small extent, are all Brody looking out his window at the windswept desert.

Javadi, the murderer, the deserter, again, gets to have a moment of tenderness. Carrie quietly asks him if he’s sure. It was good work they did, she says. Is he sure he wants to throw it away? I know, I know, saying “good work” in the same breath as acknowledging Brody died for it, is….painful. But, it’s real.

And here’s where she says “People died for it” and we know, with no names mentioned, who exactly she means.

Javadi knows too. And he has an offering for her.

He picked a nice shady spot among pine trees. Of course, I looked up the place Javadi mentions, Behesht-e Zahra, and, of course, the show nailed it: it’s the largest cemetary in Iran and does indeed have a section devoted to martyrs. And it has pine trees.

So, Homeland fans, here you go, some images alluding to where Brody’s body lays at rest. Let these further feed the imagination already richly stoked by the immortal Nicholas Brody.

19 thoughts on “Brody in Homeland Season 6”

  1. I salute you, partner! This is a WONDERFUL post. And not just because it is brilliantly written, but also because it is WRITTEN. You are brave enough to tackle this. I am not!!! You have been able to go there even though your tweet says you cannot. Yes, you have. Bravo!

    YES. Homeland has never been able to forget Brody. Neither have we! And I do not think we will ever forget him. I like most of Damian’s characters from Henry to Charlie to Bobby to Winters but I never feel about them like I feel about Brody.

    “People died for it.” Yes, they did. And I wanna kill that Javadi right there and then. I never thought, and I do not think many people did think, that Carrie led Brody to his death. Did they really? But I really think Saul and Dar Adal did lead him to his death and I really wanted to say that to Mandy Patinkin’s face when I saw him having lunch with a friend at Eataly a few weeks after the episode aired. I, of course, restrained myself, but I was so tempted. Funny, isn’t it? We are talking about a fictional character but, for me, like Agnes said in her fan story, Brody was like a real character. A real character who sent to his death by that man having lunch a few feet from me. Hehe. Brody felt like someone I knew. Someone I deeply loved. I LOVED him. So, I don’t think you are a romantic fool. No one comes back from THAT. Well, I did not. Carrie had a baby. I started a blog. It is as maternal as I can ever get, I guess 😀 And when you think about it, all five of us on this blog came to the fandom through Brody. That character triggered something in us, and it is ALL Damian to blame for all of it — even for “No Brody No Homeland” fans because he really made the show his own. I know you love Carrie, and I do, too; but the extent to which I or many “No Brody No Homeland” fans cared about Brody is probably not comparable to how much we cared about anyone else in the show. There is no right or wrong about that, it is just what it is 😀

    To this day, I have not seen that horrific scene in Season 3, and I never will. I may write about a funny exchange with Damian about this in a few weeks! 😀

    1. Ha! My bad then. Sorry!

      Oh by the way, one thing: They did not write Claire’s pregnancy into the show. She was pregnant during Season 2. She already had her baby before Season 3.
      So, I think, the pregnancy was planned on the writers’ side.

      1. Gah, of course, how could I forget! Who can forget Claire Danes saying how her baby was kicking extra hard during one of their love scenes. i’m guessing she was referring to the scene right before the explosion at Langley. She looked very pregnant in that scene despite the camera working hard to hide it.
        I do remember her saying how nervous she was to tell the bosses about her pregnancy as they filmed S2 and her relief that they were okay with it. I guess I leaped to the conclusion that her real pregnancy is what sparked the idea of Carrie becoming pregnant too. Chicken vs. egg scenario, i guess. 😀

        1. Or the crazy sex at the cheap motel when Carrie took Brody when he melted? Oh God I MISS Brody so much I just convinced Lewisto on the subway that we needed to watch Homeland 1-2-3 all over again! But NO I will never watch that horrific scene! Hehe.

          1. Doubt it was that scene. No baby bump at all. Hey, that motel had a porch with a view. Who says it was cheap?

          2. I, of course, have no idea what scene she was talking about but what I know is she was more than 7 months pregnant while she was chasing Abu Nazir in that industrial complex! I salute her and the movie magic, too 😀

  2. Mmm kay. I kind of lost it when you shared the real life picture of the fictional resting place for “him.” See? I cannot utter the B word. Sheer torment. This is a wonderful, heart wrenching post. I stopped watching Homeland after season 3, with the exception of the 1 episode of season 4 in which Damian appeared. So I want to thank you for sharing when B appeared in season 5, merely as a photo on a wall and how he was talked about in season 6. B lives on…

    1. Oh, believe me, it’s been slow and arduous getting over this character. I’m just glad to see the show is still with us on that. I don’t envision ever not watching Homeland, but, it’s true, my watching now is not as desperate and immediate as it was back in the Brody days.

  3. What an amazing post <3 Thank you so much for this!

    I stopped watching after they killed Brody, since other than Mandy Patinkin's character I literally could not watch the show. Clare Danes is amazing, but her character annoyed me so much as did Brody's wife and his kids were absolutely insufferable.
    I gave season 4 a try, but the interest I had in the show was already gone.

  4. Thanks for this post and for the blog. It helps me know that I am not alone in (or crazy because of) my attachment to Brody. I have never had this kind of attachment to a fictional character! I am new to Homeland and Brody’s death is still very fresh for me. So as hokey as it maybe, if they can bring him back for the dead for a happy ending with Carrie, I’ll take it.

    1. Dear Newfan, welcome to the blog! Your comment is of course for JaniaJania’s post but I just could not help jump in… Ah, Brody! No you are absolutely not alone in your “crazy” attachment to Brody. I never loved any fictional character more than I loved him, and I still love him. I certainly MISS him. And as much as I do not like cheesy endings to TV shows I am with you that I would be OK with it if they brought him back from the dead!!! And, hey, did we ever see a body? 😀

      I was DEVASTATED when Brody died. And here is the first write-up I ever did about Damian Lewis at the time in December 2013. I shared it with my family and friends. It was MY WAY of protesting his death and maybe also trying to come to terms with it — which took a bit of time. And I know for a fact that this blog OWES its existence to Nicholas Brody. I don’t think I would ever had this “crazy” idea of starting a blog should I have never met Brody.

      Anyway, it is a long, raw piece you may wanna take a look at. Happy to say I am certainly at a much better place now <3
      I give you Lamenting Nicholas Brody: http://www.fanfunwithdamianlewis.com/?p=1421

      Hope you stay with us and keep your feedback coming!!!

    2. I absolutely hear you. I’ve never had this kind of attachment either. I found Homeland very late as well, after the news of what happens to Brody was already out there. Yet, I still put myself thru it over and over again. And will continue to remember and write about him any chance I get. 🙂

  5. Oh Newfan, I was late to the party too! I only found Brody in January ’17. I binge watched through season 3, went back with fast forward watched every scene in which Brody appeared. I continued through seasons 4 and 5 but I felt Brody’s absence so keenly. “Will someone not talk about what just happened?!?” Lately I watched season 1 and 2 but couldn’t make it to season 3 at all or maybe not yet.
    Anyway I feel ya, girl. 100%. It’s unexplainable but it’s real and I love for it!

    1. Season 3 is tough going, no doubt. But, ultimately worth it. Folks worked really hard on it, afterall, and we owe them a watch, for even getting us as far as they did with the character. Even if it didn’t end the way we wanted it to, it ended the way it had to end, and I frankly applaud the creators for going against popular sentiment and not prolonging the inevitable any further. We’ve all seen shows where they’ve kept popular characters going for as long as they can squeeze a dime out of them, only to have them die smaller deaths slowly when an audience eventually abandons them. The way they wrote Brody’s life and death compells us to remember him forever. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    2. Yes, and I am as happy as NewFan that I am not the odd one out — Brody DOES THAT to people, and it is all Damian to blame! <3

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