Nicholas Brody was No Hero, Part Two

Back to Brody

More than anything, and more than any other work about terrorism, Homeland is about exploring the gray areas, between good and evil, between “warfare and terrorism”. The show is about forcing us to think about the real costs and rethink our understanding of the real victims of both war and terrorism. We meet Brody and we see what he is planning to do. And we’re encouraged to think: Okay, if this conservative white man from middle America can become someone who would blow himself and a bunch of people up, then….maybe, just maybe, those men strapping on vests all over the Middle East, or even those men flying planes into buildings, are also men who were led on a path of evil the same way Brody was, by pervasive systematic abuse? And maybe, part of the abuse on those men and children strapping on vests was perpetrated by someone you and I and our neighbors voted for? I don’t think Homeland ever sought to be an apologist for terrorism, they’re not trying to justify any of the evil. They just want to shine a thoughtful, intelligent light on it; a light radically different than any other treatment of the subject.

Okay, so back to Brody. Here’s where I stand: Brody was not a hero, he was a terrorist. Every fan of Homeland has heard the creators’
take on it. So everyone knows that when the writers and producers decided that Damian Lewis was too great an asset (pun!) to let go after S1, they scrambled to do something else with him. DL’s inimitable way of, again, inserting sympathy into the most unsympathetic of characters kept him in that job for two more years. But, what the creators don’t do, at least not with any detail, is spell out just how DL got everyone, viewers and creators alike, to want to keep Brody alive.

Brody was tortured for eight years. Eight years. The full import of it needs to be adequately communicated. Brody was taken prisoner pretty much as soon as he landed in Afghanistan. He spent that eight years in and out of a hole. The repetitive nature of the abuse needs to also be adequately communicated. Nazir’s first slice into Brody’s soul was to have him think he killed Tom Walker. He orchestrated the entire event, forcing Brody to keep punching and punching and punching, feeling the blood on his knuckles and splatter from his friend’s face onto his own, then forcing Brody to dig a grave for Tom and letting him watch as Tom was rolled into that hole. All that time Nazir knew Tom was alive and was going to be kept alive and be subjected, in isolation, to the same sort of breaking as Brody was.

As Nazir did all this to Brody, he would punctuate the blows with brief glimpses of mercy: the cup of water, the embrace while Brody wept, the soft merciful eyes keeping Brody from giving up hope completely, telling him that Allah loved him and wanted him to live to fight for Him. The “killing” and “burying” of Tom Walker was just one event. Insert your imagination into the subtext, and you can see repeated cycles of torture and mercy, torture and mercy, repeated for eight years. It was this system of abuse followed by the mercy that succeeded in breaking Brody. And once he was broken, the idea of exacting revenge was inserted into his mind. But, it wasn’t a straight-up brainwashing. When we see Issa die, and Brody mourn more for his death than his own father, I kept thinking that Issa was all part of the set up. That he wasn’t Nazir’s son, but just a boy sacrificed to the cause of turning Brody. But, as we know, Issa was Nazir’s son. In his all-consuming plan to wreak any havoc he could on the satan West, Nazir used the occasion of his own son’s death as a way further into Brody’s psyche. We are left to assume that if Issa hadn’t been killed, Nazir would have found another way in. But, what a genius move by the writers to have it be a child’s death that further breaks down Brody. Because that fact lends Brody a bit of sympathy, right? And the conflict within him gets that added layer.

Then there was the love story lending Brody even more sympathy. The love story that happened all on its own, no planning or prodding or subterfuge needed. That Brody was Carrie’s target and she held such strong suspicions about him had nothing to do with her falling for him. Love, morally ambivalent force of a thousand suns that it is, doesn’t care about who is agent, who is terrorist, who’s good or who’s bad.

In S1, we see Brody feel something real for Carrie. He lies to her face over and over. Yet, through the lies, we feel his real feelings for her. Yes, he actually says, that with her he’s finally found some peace. But it’s not even that, because that could be just words spoken by a consummate liar. See, we don’t need him to speak his true feelings. Instead, we have Damian Lewis showing it to us in the most magical and exquisite way any actor can ever show us anything.

Even as he has just told her he never wants anyone to know about them and the weekend they spent together, when he’s back alone in his car and he’s sure no one is watching, he leans back and shows that he’s hating that he’s hurt her.

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source: Showtime

Even as he is saying “leave me and my family alone,” when she turns and says goodbye, the realization that she may actually mean it makes him catch his breath. And again, he knows he’s hurting her and it stings. He’s shocked actually that she let him in far enough to do this to her. He’s shocked at her love for him, because, since he went to war, he no longer thinks of himself worthy of anyone’s love.

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“Bye Carrie”. source: Showtime

I can’t even fully describe the nearly imperceptible, subtle, gorgeous ways, DL communicates these things. You watch it once, and you feel it. But then you have to watch it again and again to really see it and make sense of it.

Folks have said that Homeland lost the spark when the writers sought to reinvent Brody in S2 and S3. The story of Brody as terrorist was turned on its tail in S2 and he became someone else: an asset, and informant, an agent for good. We saw Carrie break thru the lies in “Q & A,” and him collapse in relief that the torture of maintaining his cover was finally over. DL literally showed us Brody being emptied of the mission Nazir has injected him with. And he collapses into a fetal position, empty once again.

Brody then goes into a panicked angry phase, then finally into grief over what he has lost. We see Brody contrite and expressing regret for the first time in “The Clearing”. He’s just met a man who was in the thick of Vietnam and “saw all the shit you see” and still managed to make it out, unbroken, able to make a very nice life back home, not necessarily forgetting his experience (as if that’s even possible), just processing it in a healthy constructive way. Brody sees the man he could have been had he not allowed himself to be broken. Of course, Brody is blaming himself for the torture. That, after all, is part of any torture.

It’s in “The Clearing” where we also get Brody realizing that there is only one place he can have any peace. It scares and angers him, but the only place he can ever be happy, possibly ever again, is in Carrie’s arms. We see that kiss and we see how he wants to devour her and be devoured by her. She’s his only confidante, his only hope, and the last beacon to the shore. And she’ll try her damnest to save him from drowning. Until he tells her to stop. Until he knows that no one can save him.

I think we can all agree, S3 was tough watching. That shit was dark. We saw Brody deserted, again. Tortured, again. So, why did the show pick Caracas for Brody’s exile? My read is that the creators took Brody to Caracas to show us the parallels between the Middle East and South America. Economies rich with natural resources, but mired in poverty nonetheless, thanks to the opportunistic dark side of globalization. The episode “Tower of Babel” is, of course, named for the Old Testament story where mankind tries to build a tower high enough to reach heaven and God punishes their hubris by destroying the tower and forcing man to have different languages so as never to understand each other, to be forever separate and scattered around the earth. So this hollowed out building in Caracas where we find Brody looks like it’s been bombed, but if we look closely, we see that actually it’s a victim of aborted construction. Somebody investing in a building, then losing momentum thanks to corrupt politics and the fickleness of the free market: a different kind of “shock and awe.”

The people around Brody, the victims on the ground of the ravages of the free market and their own corruption, are driven by one thing: getting paid. To me, the show went a bit overboard with the pedophile doctor. But him calling Brody a cockroach that could never be killed was again another metaphor, ie if we think of Brody as the embodiment of war itself. Alas, all this subtext of South American politics and what the tower and the doctor symbolized was lost on much of the audience I think. Who can think about such things when all we want is for Brody to know that Carrie is looking for him, moving heaven and earth to try to save him. How we ache for them to find each other again! How painful it is to see all the “I really have a second chance”, “we could be happy, couldn’t we”, “I’m in”, all those notes of Brody finally awake and engaged in having a future, all that hope shot straight into Brody’s arm as destruction, as heroin. When we finally do see him in S3, he’s disintegrated into madness and chaos.

It was painful to watch but it was the story that needed to be told to bring closure to Brody, a character who wasn’t supposed to last past S1. And the story they told in S3 was this: Brody needed to be redeemed. Killing Akbari redeemed him. And, so he was able to die a hero’s death. But this was a hero defying every convention of heroism.

Minor aside: When Damian Lewis’ character in Colditz escapes the prison camp, he’s approached by the British Secret Service to become an agent. The guy recruiting him says: “War’s a strange beast. Crushes some, makes others. I rather think you’re made for it. Devious, obnoxious, boorish, with a tendency to criminality. Perfect officer material, in fact.” The remark is obviously sarcastic and meant to be humorous. But, still kind of pertinent in classifying the various soldiers Damian Lewis has played. Neither Brody nor McBride came out “made” by war. They were both destroyed by it. (Dick Winters, on the other hand, wasn’t necessarily “made” by war either, but he did survive it and stayed strong and whole throughout it.)

Brody was always a vessel. His life as a normal human ended the day he went to war. Brody was an empty vessel for various people to put their crap into. Jessica to put her little house and family into, ignorant of the fact that he was still gone even after he came back. His captors to put pain, sorrow, loss, insurmountable destruction into. Brody reached out for faith, any faith, and maybe he found some to keep going, but mostly, he went through the motions of living. A soldier in an interminable war fueled by hate. That is the story Homeland wanted to tell. How war makes tools and puppets out of innocent people. (Band of Brothers, on the other hand, wanted to tell the story of how war can bring out exemplary courage from ordinary men, how grueling circumstances can bring the best out of people: a totally different war, story, and hero)

And when Brody killed Akbari, wasn’t he just performing yet another suicide mission? Killing Akbari was equivalent to killing Walden. In Brody’s mind (and to ours) both murders were morally equivalent. Both equally “heroic” acts. After killing Akbari, Brody was able to process it all, come full circle. He was resolved and redeemed. His time was done. And both murders were meant to end with Brody’s death.

Lest there be any doubt, tears were shed on both sides of that tenuous fourth wall that final day. Behind the scenes DL’s last day: ouch.

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NEXT POST: Enough with Angsty Americans (for now), Let’s Talk about Angsty Englishmen : Soames Forsyte

48 thoughts on “Nicholas Brody was No Hero, Part Two”

  1. This is brilliant not least because of the emotions it evokes and the discussions arising from it. You capture so much about the show. I can’t agree that killing Akbari was the right thing to do or that it redeemed him. To directly quote him from the star. “This is about redemption. Thay’s a f***ing joke. You cannot redeem one murder by committing another.”

    Canmot ever agree that carrying out Saul’s plan.was the right thing to do.

    1. Brilliant as always, amazing how much wakes up in me… again 🙂 Have to side with TBkWrm about Saul’s plan tho. He knew Brody would not get out of there alive… But, Brody sort of knew it, too… Oh, well. 🙂

      1. Hi all,
        I am so happy that I’ve found this blog! During last few days I was just reading your guys posts and they made me happy.
        I wanted to speak about the Homeland, DL, Brody-Carrie and all this things so much but just didn’t have whom to speak with. 🙂
        Your posts are exactly what I needed. Thank you!

        I like DL a lot. I like watching him, listening to him and I am just happy that such people live in this world. 🙂

        About Homeland I can say like this – I watched 2 seasons of Homeland, I just swallowed them, I couldn’t stop and became a little obsessed with this show, but then I made me to stop and I read some spoilers. Did it on purpose actually because I know that sometimes I can take some things so close to my heart that it can influence my real “offTV” life and I didn’t want this to happen. Like DL’s wife told in one interview that she stopped watching Homeland when she saw her husband was beaten and other things that happened to him, because she is this kind of viewer who believes what she sees, even if she knows that it is just TV. And in this case we are alike. So when I got to know what is going to happen in S3, I just stop watching it.

        Normally I try to avoid shows that are too cruel, dark, shows where people are tortured, where people are killed too easily, shows where life of one human is not so important or costs nothing.

        I did watch some small episodes of S3 though, but really I couldn’t make myself watching Brody suffering and being humbled again and again. (I prefer to watch nice looking DL)

        And yes, I perfectly understand that it is just this kind of show and such darkness has also its fans, that it is not Downton Abbey. 🙂 (BTW, The Newsroom is my most favorite show. )
        But first two seasons I really loved a lot. I think they were very good. Not extremely dark that even I can watch and enjoy them.

        I just want to share some random thoughts, that came across my mind while watching and rewatching.

        I did like Brody almost from the first sight (because I did like DL almost from the first sight).

        I did like this line Carrie-Brody, though again, I have some “moral issues” about it.
        For ex. why no one was concerning that Brody had actually been married and had a family. Probably, it sounds old-fashioned, but really, above all, Carrie played a huge part in destroying his family. To make it simple – she had an affair with the married guy without any moral concerns about it.

        Another thing – I don’t quite get why did actually they fall in love with each other? What actually had happened? Or it’s just the “chemistry”, love from the first sight, this short meeting “under the rain” was enough for this? What happened there? Or probably there was no love at all? Just kind of passion and obsession? Next time when they saw each other, they were drunk – and this “drunk” love makes much more sense for me.

        And the last thing for now.
        What seems very unrealistic for me, that when Brody came back after 8 years, there was no sort of rehabilitation program, nothing. He just went back to his house and his wife, like he was in a short business trip, but obviously it couldn’t work that way. It should be kind of special adaptation program to him. How can such person that had such traumatic experience just be left with his family without any support? It is obviously for me that no one can stay mentally healthy after such experience that he had, that some special support should be organized. That just staying with family is not enough. It seems strange for me that there is nothing about it.

        I have to stop now, because, yes, I can speak about this show forever and I’ve already written too much. 🙂

        1. Dear Polina, thanks SO MUCH for taking the time to write to us! Fantastic! Hope you come back and keep enjoying what we write.
          Re Homeland: I completely see your point regarding rehabilitation. I think they suggested some support group that he really didn’t want to go — but re-adjusting is not that easy and maybe you need some real professional help, you are right. Honestly, I don’t know what the formal procedure is for the US army veterans that come back from the war. Love part is tricky. I mean, the four of us on the blog have all different opinions on if it was love, or who loved who, or who loved who more 🙂 Maybe we should each write at some point about the LOVE and what we understand from that portion of the show and see which fans resonate with which idea and some fans may come up with their own versions. That could be FUN! Again, thanks so much for your comments, hope to talk again!

          1. Hi again,

            Don’t know why I can’t leave the message directly under your last comment, but OK, I’ll ask it here 🙂
            I am very interested how did you understand this scene under the rain? Why did Carrie run from him, right after she came met Brody “accidentally” in this support group? What was the point of all this meeting? She understood that she made a mistake to come there?

          2. Oh, sure! I think that scene is open to interpretation. Mine would be she went there and saw him at the support group to signal him that he’s not alone, and she is also LIKE him — she is essentially someone he can relate to and talk to when he needs. I think she wanted him to APPROACH her later and just started the cat and mouse there. Carrie leaving the support group suddenly, for me, was a calculating move, to have him also go out with her. She makes her point and leaves and now the ball is in Brody’s court 🙂

          3. Oh, wow, Damianista, that’s great!
            Wow, you showed me another perspective. I need to think again about it. 🙂

          4. Thank you! But I am sure it can be interpreted in so many different ways… but hey let’s keep talking, this is FUN 🙂

          5. Ha, you know, I also together with Brody felt myself confused and surprised when Carrie told this famous “I loved you”. It’s still unclear for me why did she say it. And what was the base for these words. Attempt to manipulate? And the same is with “you ruined my life” during the interrogation. Really? Did he ruin her life? Or probably, she put too much responsibility on him, way to “handle” him.

          6. Again, I think this is very much open to interpretation and each of us her own version. I’d say she said it wholeheartedly though. She was very open with her feelings at that very moment. She loved him in her own way, which is quite different from how I would love the man, but she really loved him and she said then and then again during Q&A — my favorite episode ever!

        2. Thank you for your comment!
          I know what it feels like to love something so much and want to find people who love it too. So it was quite a relief and joy for me to find this blog too! And writing for it? Even better!
          I so love this: “I like DL a lot. I like watching him, listening to him and I am just happy that such people live in this world. ”
          That is EXACTLY the way I feel. Knowing he exists and is working and showing us his amazing talent renews my faith in the world 🙂
          As for the love story in Homeland: I felt it all from the beginning. Sort of unbelievable at first, then the most real thing in both of their lives. Carrie and Brody were both deeply damaged people who somehow found something in each other. Sure, there are different perceptions of what that “something” was. But like Carrie said: “whether together or apart…I believe the reason I was put on this earth was for our paths to cross”. To me it was the most deeply felt love story possibly ever told. The “perfectly impossible love”, as Claire Danes described on Charlie Rose.
          As for counseling: Of course, a POW needs counseling. Most dramatic fiction characters need counseling. But if the characters we all love all went to therapy, we’d be left with no stories to watch. 🙂
          Again, thanks for reading!

          1. Thanks a lot for you comments!

            I read this great discussion that you had below and now I would like to use this opportunity and to express here my own feelings about our beloved couple.:)
            I’ll post it here, but if you want to move it somewhere, just let me know.

            I assume that at the beginning, writers thought that it is just an original, fresh and exciting idea – let’s push this two together and see what happens. CIA agent and the terrorist as a couple – that sounds interesting.

            Carrie – yes, she was really obsessed with Brody from the very beginning. They were in very unequal positions – she spent 4 weeks following him at home, she got to know a lot about him, about his family life and, what turned to be more important, about his sexual life. She could see that he couldn’t give Jess, what Jess needed and at the same time Jess couldn’t give it to him.
            And I believe that later on this knowledge will play an important roll in their (C-B) relationships.
            We also have to keep in mind that he was an enemy to her. She hunted for him.

            Carrie followed Brody to this support group because she believed that probably she could get some new information in this informal way.
            But then, a very unclear scene for me – why did she run from him? What was the point of all this situation? Is it there when this cat and mouse game really started. Was it her plan from the beginning – to flirt with him, try to know him closer but at the same time keep the distance?
            I really don’t get why did she run from him at this support group.

            But, yeah, I assume that at that point Brody started to feel smth towards her, some sympathy, some chemistry. Unfortunately, this episode after support group was very short. I myself couldn’t read anything more then just a flirt talk, but somehow it pushed the trigger. If you start flirting with someone, things can happen very fast especially if two people behave themselves as people without any obligations. 🙂

            So that’s how I see it – Carrie, the hunter with the desire to find any approach to her object of surveillance. And an unhappy, damaged man, who suddenly feels smth towards this woman.

            Then they were drinking, that ended up with a sex in the car. Rather standard development, I can say, except one important thing – Brody’s wife couldn’t give him what he wanted and needed, but Carrie could. And she new, what he wanted. That’s an important.
            Later in the cabin, she will even say that sex was good. Well, I can assume that Jess on her place wouldn’t enjoy it.

            They met again, that is also very logical, then they drove to the cabin and probably there Carrie started to feel smth as well, there she started to open her own personal Brody, there he began to become smth special for her …

            And then the culmination – the feeling of guilty – that became a great quickener to her feelings. She got a call that Brody was innocent and suddenly she understood that it was just a very nice guy, not a terrorist or monster, but nice and unhappy guy, whom she hurt with her suspicions. She understood that she ruined their relationships and this made her to want him even more.

            But what about Brody. I do think that he enjoyed time with her, I do think that he liked her (as he would tell her later). To make us believe it they even showed us a real love scene, but when he was leaving and driving away from cabin, last words that he told her – ” f*** you Carrie”, I didn’t see any love there. I didn’t see any vibrations there, any internal struggle, that it wasn’t easy for him or smth like that, no, there he acted really like a monster.
            I even didn’t see any respect there, that could be, because actually she was right and he knew it. He knew that she solved this puzzle correctly.

            I need to make a pause now, but will follow soon with part 2, if you don’t mind. 🙂

          2. Why would we mind? This is great. Please keep them coming! I really think Brody was playing Carrie more at the cabin even though Carrie TAKES him there to work him 🙂 I think after the evening in the cabin though Carrie liked him more than he liked her. He had a good time though — no question 🙂 Remember Season 2 when she finally gets him in the hotel room just before taking him into interrogation – he says “I liked you Carrie” and she says “I LOVED you” and we see Brody’s face — surprised & confused. But it was really love that Carrie felt there? I don’t know, I don’t think so, but it is ME — that’s one of the points we the blog girls respectfully disagree on 🙂

  2. Nope, not willing to let Saul take all of the blame in this. The story is written in a way that we can all assign blame to many MANY characters. And what a hallmark of a compelling story, that it leads to such passionate discussion!
    This story was filled with a bunch of people just trying to do their job to the best of their ability. And doing that work post Old Testament Tower of Babel now that all of us are separate and confused by all of our different tongues is no small job. Saul was offering an out. It went to hell, yes, but he tried. Even if all odds were against him, Saul never wanted Brody to die. And Carrie would have gone on saving Brody, putting that noose around her own neck, if she could. She sure as hell didn’t want Brody to die. Brody wanted to die. He was done. But he’s not to blame for any of it either.
    Me, I like to step back and not assign blame to anyone. If no one is to blame, then all of us are. That’s sort of the “personal responsibility” world I choose to live in. 🙂

    1. Oh, I agree that Saul did not deliberately send Brody to his death but he knew the odds were not on Brody’s side for him to get out of Iran alive. And, Brody knew it, too. He went to Iran for redemption — especially for his family. And, Brody did not blame anyone for his death, either — yes he wanted all to be over knowing that he would never really have a normal LIFE. Saul tried to get him out of Iran, too, but those bastards, Lockehart and Dar adal, man, if only I could see them somewhere 🙂 You know, regarding Carrie’s love for Brody, I have my reservations 🙂 Ah, I just love our personal disagreements on this! I really do! Bookworm, are you in for each of us writing what we think about Carrie’s love for Brody sometime? JaniaJania is already IN 😀

      1. They all carry some portion of blame in this. Brody was easily manipulated, a point both Carrie and Saul were much aware of. Who are they to determine that he needed to do this to
        gain “redemption”? They manipulated him plain and simple and they sent him to his death. Brody was not mentally or emotionally fit to be doing any missions another point they were both aware of, but they ignored it because it suited them.

        Brody at one point was talking about making it home. Clearly a thought to convince himself he could do it. Once In iran that changed as reality hit home. Why would you want to live when you suddenly realise how much of a puppet you are…even to the woman that says she loves you…and I know she does love him, but she should have been looking after him in this instance, but she could not put her child or its father first. Nope. Saul’s plan takes priority and that is sickening. Don’t even get me started on Lockhart or Adal, or Saul sitting in that diner with Adal during the flash forward smirking away.

        I am absolutely in for writing about Carrie’s love for Brody.

        1. Just rewatched The Star yesterday. (S3 was the only one I couldn’t bring myself to watch more than once)

          And, yes, Carrie waltzing into Lockhardt’s office, all ready to get back to work, was a shock. But, I guess it all depends on how much subtext you’re willing to see to sympathize with Carrie. I see this: Work is very important to her, it’s CRUCIAL to her. She doesn’t feel alive unless she’s working. And the CIA is the only job she can do. She needs the high, she needs the danger, when things are “heightened somehow”. And in Lockhardt’s office, she was just kissing up to the boss. She did not side with him on anything (and still doesn’t) but she wants and needs the job.

          (The issue of the baby….requires an entire other post…because her ambivalence towards her baby was the most real picture of motherhood ever shown on any show EVER. But some (most) hated Carrie for her willingness to desert her child. All I saw was the most real depiction of the complexity of motherhood EVER TOLD.)

          So back to pre-hanging, Carrie was still willing to move heaven and earth to save Brody. When she sees Javadi and he tells her Brody’s been sentenced to hang? (BTW, a scene totally written by Chris Johansen, I learned from the DVD commentary…my favorite of the writers for Carrie) She tried….oh my god how she tried…to reach him…to do something. She had nothing. No power to do anything. And eventually I guess she did see (as Brody did) that his death was inevitable. But she was reaching out to him till the very last second!!! No one can convince me she wasn’t.

          Yes, Brody was manipulated by the CIA, and he was never mentally and emotionally fit for anything, but what other option did Carrie and Saul have? Yes, Damianista’s idea of him being an informant/operative in exile was a fabulous idea. But wouldn’t that have been manipulative too? Could he have believably gone on to an average-joe construction job, or a teaching gig, back in middle America? The CIA was his only option. Either that or a life on the run. Or, if this were a soap opera, a face transplant and total identity change. (Thankfully those things only happen on soap operas) And Carrie and Saul wanted to give him that opportunity to make up for everything he planned to do (and did) for Nazir. The country wasn’t just going to forget that, were they?

          They are ALL puppets. Every character on this show is a puppet. That is the crucial point of the entire show. Carrie and Saul and even Dar Adal and Lockhard, just as much as Brody, are all puppets. Yes, Adal is a nasty cold piece of work. But, there is a sick logic to what he says about the job of the CIA. The success of the operation trumps the people in the operation. Collateral damage is just that: collateral. I guess the buck stops with the President (who btw was the final one to give the okay for the operation…and is the last okay in the real world too I assume) The US President in Homeland was not as prominent a character as he was in 24, but, ultimately, if you want to blame anyone, then blame him. And then blame the folks who voted for him. ie ALL of us are culpable. Not accepting culpability makes this entire story just another show, to entertain and frustrate us. Yes, it is fiction, but it’s the most politically real and relevant fiction ever shown. As such, I find it a lot more satisfying to accept the tragedy of it. And see how beautifully truthful the telling of that tragedy was.

          Now that Chip Johansen is leaving, who knows how my feelings about Carrie will change. I hope not much. I freakin love Carrie, probably more than I loved Brody. Sacrilege, I know, but true.

        2. I think we should do it in the same week, huh? 🙂 Oh, that would be a lot of fun! 😀 I’m already excited, and ideas are just running towards me… 🙂 Love you, girls! And, ok, I can live with Saul… but Lockhart and Dar Adal… no way!

  3. Brody loved Carrie? Carrie loved Brody? I did not forgive Saul!Carrie Quinn love and forget Brody? I do not like Brody stop being important for Carrie!

  4. When Brody got in the car after speaking with Carrie to forget the weekend, what was he thinking? Carrie was the anger? Bravo to him? He was not worried about them? Was sad?

  5. Yes, absolutely right. She was in mourning and, to some extent, will be for the rest of her life. Brody was the father of her child. And she loved him through everything. Practical matters came in the way, her job came in the way, but she never stopped loving him.
    And, no, she has not rushing into Quinn’s arms at all. Here’s what I see: Quinn is very self-aware and also aware that Carrie is not. She’s impulsive and headstrong. In every other way, though, they seem to be just male and female versions of the same character. At PaleyFest, the director (Meredith Stiehm) was really pushing for that Carrie Quinn kiss and the other writers kept pushing it back to later and later episodes. Chip Johansen didn’t want it at all. I’m with Chip. Quinn has feelings for Carrie and sees how they could be compatible and healthy for each other. Carrie doesn’t do healthy. It would be boring for her to choose a guy who could actually be good for her. I think she will move on, but I don’t think it’ll be Quinn. Or, who knows, since the writers who didn’t want it are leaving, Meredith Stiehm may get her way. She had some really poignant things to say about that relationship, that made me rethink it. I don’t know, I’m okay either way. I know for a fact that Brody was the love of her life. That kind of love only happens once. Sad, and true. Maybe she’ll be happy eventually. Everyone wants their favs to live happily ever after. I just want her to live :).

    Her admitting that she was willing to let Brody die in Redux? That was a woman in extreme emotional pain, putting all responsibilty on herself. Women do that a lot. She feels guilt for Brody, she feels guilt for Frannie, she feels guilt for the state of the world. Women do that A LOT. Of course, she was guilty, but so was every other person in the show. She still sees Brody when she looks at Frannie, and the bathtub scene….was her panicking, her at her weakest, mourning, in pain. She realized she could not go through with it, she realized she loved her baby, and she realized her responsibility to her baby. When she takes Frannie on as a responsibility, it doesn’t mean she’s forgotten Brody. It’s just one more step in the grief over Brody: acceptance.

    Yes, I think her ability to envision a life with someone she loves has changed her forever.Now she knows it’s not an impossibility. Who that is doesn’t really matter to me (at least until I see who it is and get swept away like I did for Brody :). I know it’ll be fantastic as long as Claire Danes continues bringing it as she has been.

    Gah, guys, I could talk about this show FOREVER, I swear!!!

    1. I understand your point but i do believe writters did not handle brodys death well. Brody was suposed to be on one season but damian performed him so well that They could not get rid of him. At the same time the love story between them was not supposed to ocurr but the chmistry between claire and damian did change the story. I read ganza said after episode 1.4 and their Metting in the parking lot homeland story changed because of carrie and brody interacción. Not they saw something there They were not expecting I Mean brody is very important to homeland just to dissapear inmediately and in season 4 carries mouring was kind of strange. I do not believe it is fair enough for brody to be the person that show carrie that she is capable of loving. Also i do not believe it was fair for carrie to not tell brody about the baby útil the end. Why did she did that.? Also for me it was sad that she was the one that convimced him to go to irán and then she was working every second avoidimg him being killed why did she send him in the first place. For me carrie is responsable for brody s death and as ayan said to her will you tell your daughter that you sent her father to death. . What will happen to carrie when her daughter ask her how did her father die? As you can see i am a brodys fan and i Keep emití nf for brody to appear alive at some point but eventhough i wat her season 4 for me homeland Ended with the star and i am waiting for billions to start

      1. I just share your sentiments, and hope Bobby Axelrod comes along and eases our pain about Brody. What a complex character Damian Lewis has brought to us that more than a year later, we are still thinking and talking about Brody — and I don’t think it will end soon 🙂 There is still so much to say about him. 🙂

      2. I think the love story was written into the script. They were disappointed to not have seen any chemistry in the first time they met, at his debrief at the CIA. But then the rain scene put all their doubts to rest. Through the roof chemistry.
        She didn’t tell him about the baby because she was too busy trying to save his life. Also she was dealing with the reality of the baby herself.
        The mission to Iran was a way for Brody to do some good, to make up for the terrorist acts he had committed and/or planned to commit in the US, so he could come back and perhaps have a reasonable life at home. If the option of Iran had not existed, he would be rotting in a prison in Guantanomo right now. Lots of men who didn’t have a Carrie in their lives are rotting in Guantanomo right now. THAT is why Carrie and Saul agreed to the mission to Iran. They didn’t do it to get Brody killed.
        Brody is dead. Bobby Axelrod is a totally different incarnation of Damian Lewis. Damian Lewis is very much alive and working and keeping us all rapt in attention at whatever projects he chooses to do in order to appear on our screens, and keep appearing on our screens, forever more. Amen.

        1. But then the rain scene … <3 I think she was afraid to lose it! Before Brody go to Iran he questioned carrie! Why you moved away? I think Carrie did not want to worry Brody with the baby! But in the end he knew and I do not know what Brody felt about her son! I found it very sad farewell! Brody and Carrie hardly talk about? What could they say? And I think Brody was the man who sparked this love in Carrie why both were destroyed in the war and came back!Sorry, I do not write well in English!

          1. I just learned from the DVD commentary, apparently the last conversation they had when he’s in the jail cell and she wants “a couple more seconds” was drastically edited. They talked more about the baby, that it was a girl, they talked more about what Brody wanted for her future. It was originally a longer goodbye than those excruciating final “couple more seconds”. Alas, the creators found a longer goodbye too melodramatic to include in the final cut. Wish they’d kept it on the DVD as a bonus deleted scene for us melodramatic types!! :))))

          2. Oh my God, I had no idea. But with that scene, I would probably never be able to recover — not that I really recovered… but… Maybe it was OK that way. OMG. My poor Brody 🙁

        2. Amen — a million times — for Bobby!
          I don’t know, I still think Carrie could have told about the baby. But I’m keeping my reasons for my “Did Carrie really love Brody?” piece, sista! 😀

      3. Agree completely she should never have talked him into doing it. Her trying as hard as she could to save him pales in significance to the fact she should never have helped send him to Iran in the first place. He had nowhere to go that is true enough, but it didn’t need to be partly her doing. It was and she made it so. The father of her child should have come before Saul’s plan. She admitted she was willing to let him die. This equals me not happy with her.

          1. My first reaction to both of your comments was “Really?” My second was how sad, and what a terrible loss to be not sympathetic to or interested in deciphering and understanding the motivations of the main character of the show. If I had lost such faith in the integrity of the main character of my show, I’d have stopped watching immediately. Heck, I stopped watching Mad Men as soon as Don started keeping a diary. So kudos to you if you’re still watching, feeling as you do about Carrie! 🙂

          2. I watched Season 4 only because DL told me to — and I was on the fence anyway because both my mom and my husband wanted to watch and talk to me about it and I was boycotting the show 🙂 So, let’s say I watched for others who always watch other stuff for me — reciprocity 🙂 I just took Brody’s death very personally — it was like losing someone I knew and loved, I know it’s a little bit too much, but it is how I felt back then. And, yes, Carrie is the main character of the show, but for me, it was all about Brody. And when he’s gone, it was over for me. S4 was a good season, but could not really get into it, because I don’t care about most of the characters anymore. And, yeah, probably I am not watching S5.

          3. Zarqa, I take everything from Brody’s POV that means Carrie takes a back seat. That doesn’t mean I don’t understand why there should be/why others have sympathy for her or I am not interested in understanding the character. I simply took a shine to Brody most of all and understanding his plight. I did not actually watch all of S4 because I lost the desire to watch the show. It is not the show I fell in love with anymore.

          4. Haha we can’t stop, can we? 🙂 Season 4, in fact, had a really good storyline — I watched it all — but yeah I just did not care about it anymore. There was something missing for me: Brody. I think S3 was not as good as S4 but I was overexcited every single week anticipating what was going to happen… all thanks to Brody 🙂 I just cared about him so much that even the main character did not matter as much. Yeah, it’s weird, but it is what it is 🙂

          5. Brody was a prominent character on screen in S1 and 2 (and Damian involved heavily in promotion with Claire) pretty much as often as Carrie and his storyline so intertwined with hers that there were bound to be a lot of fans who took to him as much, if not more than her. Brody’s anger is very easy to understand and sympathise with.

            I pretty much detest season 3. I tried to watch S4 to give it a chance, but it just annoyed me even more.

    2. Thank you! Me too!I loved your comment! Fingers crossed that Carrie and Quinn are just friends! I do not like a novel Carrie and Quinn. Quinn has to be the friend that Saul went to Carrie. Please Meredith Stiehm without romance with Quinn!

      1. Stiehm is staying, right? I really think there will be Carrie – Quinn romance, and Homeland will lose me forever…

  6. I was sympathetic toward Brody since the very first episode. Why? Because he was subjected to torture for eight years. Eight years. Not one living person in existence can resist torture for eight years without eventually breaking. Even Robert De Niro’s character in the 1998 movie, “RONIN” made it perfectly clear that sooner or later, someone under torture will break.

  7. So very true. I fell for Brody the minute he got off the plane to meet his family and couldn’t quite look Jessica in the eyes. He was a shell, from the start, and already broken beyond repair. The fact that Damian so convincingly portrayed an empty shell while still filling him up with such convincing sympathy was a wonder to witness and truly a once in a lifetime TV event. Thanks to that performance, Brody remains alive for all us in our hearts.
    For months, my fellow bloggers have been batting around the idea of doing our own posts answering the question “Was it love?” between Carrie and Brody. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I didn’t see the show as a relationship drama at all. Nonetheless, it ended up being one of the greatest tragic love stories ever told and affected me more deeply than I could say. Recently, I decided to bite the bullet and to do an entire series of posts on the grand question of Brody and Carrie, scene by tragic scene. Stay tuned!

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