Brody Countdown 8

On December 15,2013 I, Jania, Jania and Damianista became Brody widows. To honor this era ending, heartbreaking anniversary, I offer my final “Star” post:

Falling Star 3: Nameless Star Pt 2

“She has a million names, and the star has none.” –  Jacob Clifton

Brody in Tehran supported only by Carrie pursues the mission to assassinate IGRC head Akbari thereby moving CIA asset Javadi up the ranks. Self preservation is his strongest motive; there really is no other way out. There’s no guarantee it is indeed a way out.

Brody is brought to Akbari who receives him warmly. He has no trouble believing Brody’s information on Javadi and trusting the man delivering it. In fact he begins to reminisce about first hearing Nicholas Brody’s name, “here in this office.”

Brody looks around, amazed.

“You spoke with Abu Nazir here in this room?

“How he would send you to America, a sword to strike at the heart of our enemy!” Brody relies, “Good.” Akbari is puzzled and Brody is feeling time collapse: an ambush in Iraq, eight years of captivity, Issa, Tom, Jessica …. it’s goes on and on. It will never stop.

“It all started here.”

He strikes quickly, using a heavy glass ashtray to bludgeon Akbari. Then he finishes him by smothering him with a pillow. As he checks for signs of life, hides the body and straightens the room his tortured face shows that his sought-for revenge is not sweet.

He calls Carrie. “I’m in Akbari’s office.” Even she has a moment of doubt. “Brody, what have you done?”

“I killed him. Get me out of here.”

Carrie’s face is the picture of wonder and hope. He did it! A bell tolls.

Then Homeland does what it does so well; shows us desperate people’s stories converging.

Brody cleans off the blood, hides the body and finds Akbari’s pistol.

Carrie slips out of her hotel through the kitchen.

Javadi glides out of the headquarters and slides smoothly into his Mercedes. Watchful as a cat.

Brody is escorted out of the building, he is stopped but it’s only to retrieve his visitors’ badge. Damian Lewis’ Brody is a commanding portrayal of controlled hysteria and grace. His car and driver almost make it through the gate when the alarm sounds! Pulling the gun, he presses it to the drivers neck.

“Drive. Drive! Go!!”

In Virginia Saul receives a call from Carrie.

” He went through with it Saul. He killed Akbari. Brody did… He completed the mission after all.”

If Saul will authorize it, an extraction plan can be initiated. Saul is less than confident about this development. He’s never seen Brody as anything but duplicitous.

As Carrie waits for him in the designated park, Brody commandeers the car in a desolate area. He spares the driver but tosses his cell phone into a crevasse. Yet when he gets to the park there’s no sign of Carrie. He lingers nervously for a bit, looking as blogger Jacob Clifton says, “all 6’3″ and red haired.” He gives up and returns to the car only to be accosted by Carrie. As they switch seats and cars, they bicker like a married couple.

They truly are the only people on their side for back in the states while Javadi has confirmed the kill, he’s also set the cogs of counter-intel in motion. He, Javadi, is in charge of the manhunt and should the murderer not be apprehended quickly, “The weaker I look  and the less chance I will be chosen to replace Akbari.” The worst case scenario, in fact, is that  Brody and Carrie be captured together

“I lose the ability to control events on the ground. Tell me where he is and at least I can protect your girl.”

It’s stark choice. Yet against Dar Adal’s  advice Saul initiates the extraction plan.

Carrie and Brody driving through a dangerous land, with unreliable allies, into an unknowable future. If there is a future. The desert and sky stretch endlessly. A mysterious, mournful music surrounds a woman rushing toward a destination  and her passenger, a man exhausted by the day, the month, the years he’s been made to endure and for what?

“I was born in the Desert.”

“I can’t believe I didn’t know that.”

“At least (my old man) isn’t around anymore. All this would’ve broke his heart.”

It has broken Nicholas Brody’s heart.

They manage to arrive at an isolated CIA safe house. They take care of mundane tasks and settle in to wait. It’s all somehow so ordinary.

The cold desert night descends. She bundles Brody up in blankets. She finally expresses the concern she’s felt since their rendezvous. “You want to tell me what’s going on with you?” He retorts, “I just took a man’s life today, Carrie.” Their conversation is interrupted by a call from Saul; he’s confirmed Brody accomplished the mission and that they’ll be extracted before sunrise. Carrie is so pleased. Brody is not. He asks her what’s next because, “I never expected to get this far so I try not to think about it.” She tells him, “I’ve thought about it.”

With the one person he can he tells a number of truths. He chooses this moment to tell her “the cockroach story.” “there was this man in Caracas … he called me a cockroach, unkillable but bringing misery wherever I go…In what world do you redeem one murder but committing another… I’m a lot of things but I’m not a Marine anymore. I haven’t been for some time.” His cynicism and disgust for everything she’s built her life around threaten her moment, her victory! She saved him against all odds. They are both at a loss. She tells her truth-

“I’m pregnant … from our time at the lake.”

“Carrie, Jesus.”

Now it’s her stage to act out on. “I don’t know…what kind of life we have back home either….but there will be a life! And I’m not sorry about that..

because I believe one of the reasons I was put on this earth was for our paths to cross

and, yeah, I know how crazy that sounds.” He goes to her and in his most tender tone tells her, “I don’t think that sounds crazy at all.

I think it sounds like the only sane fucking thing left to hold on to.

For them it always has been so as long they can be together.

So it is in peace that he sleeps, with Carrie watching over; it’s with joy she hears the sound of the helicopter and wakes him. “They’re here.” But it is with dismay and horror that they find troops outside the door are not rescuers but rather the Kuds Force. Forced at gunpoint to lie prone, hands behind heads, they look to each other.

As Brody is dragged off, Carrie invokes Javadi’s name for intercession. The commander says simply,

“The colonel is aware.”

Carrie makes a frantic call to Saul. He has no idea what’s going on. He soon will. Chief of Ops Scott, Senator Lockhart and Dar Adal are huddled when he accosts them.

He learns, in short order, that he is out as Director, Lockhart is in. That as first order of business Lockhart cancelled the extraction and called in Javadi. Dar asserts that “our people come before our mission is a sentimental idea and always has been”. That “Brody arrested is better for us than Brody back in America”. They know Brody arrested is Brody executed. We know it as well.

In Tehran a distraught Carrie is intercepted as she beats a hasty exit from her hotel. She is brought once again face to face with Majid Javadi. Deflecting his veiled threats she goes to the heart, “Where’s Brody?” He’s in Evin prison awaiting death by hanging.

“A public execution is scheduled for tonight.”


“Tomorrow to be precise, at 4 am.”

at the beginning of this encounter Javadi told Carrie “No one is just one thing. You, of all people should know that.” and Sean Taub proceeds to show us the truth of that. He sees Carrie and her sacrifices more clearly than most of her colleagues.”I’ve asked myself over and over ‘Why? Why would anyone do that to themselves?’…. I think I know now.

It was always about him.

That’s what you care about. Maybe the only thing….. Everyone sees him through  your eyes now…Even me.”

She can barely endure being seen by this guy, but he sees Brody as well. “Who Brody is, that’s for Allah to know, but what he did, there can be no debate. It was astonishing and undeniable.”

She can’t be allowed to see him,

“He is at peace, in his cell. A kind of peace. Let that be.”

but she bargains for a phone call, “Two minutes. That’s all I ask.”  Carrie battles between will and impending grief. There must be a way!

A tiny barred cage in Evin prison. Brody purifies his body. A guard wordlessly approaches and, through the bars, hands him a phone. He cautiously says,”Hello.”

Carrie launches immediately but he gradually talks her  down. “Carrie, it’s over.”

“I want it to be over.”

“Don’t say that!”

“I’m okay. I really am”

He makes a request of the woman who’ll move heaven and earth for him. “Don’t be there. Don’t put yourself through that.” This she cannot, will not agree to.

“I have to be there. I will be there.”

The guard approaches and Brody says, “I have to say goodbye now.” “Brody.” she quietly pleads, “Brody, can you just, stay here, just for, just for a few more seconds.” The lovers listen to each other breathe; they feel their closeness for the final time.

Of course she tries Saul once more – Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch. Only when she hears her mentor say,

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.

…does the unstoppable Carrie Mathison acknowledge the reality

“Oh, my god.”

At 4 am a crowd gathers at a harshly lit public square behind hurricane fencing. A large industrial crane suspending a noose, enormous murals of a mutated American flag and the Ayatollah Khomeini are all that occupy this desolate space. Fara’s uncle Masud accompanies Carrie through the crowd.

Brody moves from his cell to his transport in mounting yet contained fear. As his car approaches the excitement and noise quickly overtake the crowd and swirl around Carrie. When he emerges his  darting eyes and stiff shoulders betray his terror. Yet he refuses the blindfold.

Akbari’s wife and children stand before him. She spits in his face and places the red rope around his neck. The crowd roars. Carrie watches in shock. The crane rumbles to life and the noose tightens. Slowly, slowly Brody begins to rise. In this form of hanging the  victim is strangled to death. It takes a while. His eyes sweep the gathered throng. As his death draws nearer Carrie breaks her trance and climbs the fence.

“Brody! Brody! Brody!!

And he finds her. They lock eyes across the distance for the last time. They’ve reached out across time and continents, over tragedies and people in pursuit of the wholeness they felt only with each other.

A soldier swats the fence with a baton; Carrie falls and Brody, his body spasms and he’s gone. The falling star disappears from view.

Carrie takes a last look then allows Masud to escort her away. She shakes with grief.


                                      Four Months Later

Saul’s out. The covert plan, both Phase One and Phase Two are a success.   Carrie has accepted the post of station chief in Istanbul. She is now visibly pregnant. Yet Lockhart refuses her request that Brody get a star on the wall memorializing the unnameable fallen.

All of them attend a memorial for the CIA casualties. Saul, Quinn, Dar. The ceremony ends and Carrie is called forward into her new life. She turns to look back at Saul and her expression shows all that has passed between them. There will be no going back.

It’s night, the mourners and soldiers and officials are gone. Carrie enters the dark lobby her echoing footsteps the only sound. She slows and stops beside the wall of stars. Music drifts in as she mournfully walks to the wall inscribed

In Honor of those Members of the Central Intelligence Agency Who Gave Their Lives in the Service of Their Country

She draws a star among the others. Not a perfect star but a star nonetheless. And then…she walks on.


A few years have passed since I first joined the conversations on Fan Fun, my perspective on the story of Nicholas Brody has altered through my participation here and other social media. My admiration for Damian Lewis’ work has only grown as a result. My views on the love story have enlarged as well but to those who’ve sneered that “it’s not like it’s a grand tragedy”, I must say; Yes, I think that’s exactly what it is. Will it survive the ages? Probably not but it’s around for the foreseeable future. I’m no longer young. I’ve long ago ceased expecting symmetry in relationships. Love is not a power struggle.

I think I’ve said all I have to say about Damian’s stunning creation but don’t be surprised if during S12 of Billions I pop up to say, “Wait! I’ve had a thought about Brody!”

I’d like to say something beautiful. My heart has been in my throat in writing this final piece. Instead I’ll share the words of blogger Jacob Clifton of the late website Television Without Pity. You can find this work now on

She knew him before she ever saw his face. She climbed into the walls of his house, heard his sleeping breathing, and fell in love with him. She traveled side-by-side with him, through his trauma and his recovery, their hearts beat in tandem long before they met, and when they met the whole sky lit up. The purpose for which they were put on this Earth. She brought him back, so many times, she hauled him up out of there, every time it got dark.

So few of us are ever known.

She has a million names, and the star has none. But it shines on her, nonetheless. It always will. – Jacob Clifton

11 thoughts on “Brody Countdown 8”

  1. “The director destroyed a fragment of my score. He says I have to rewrite the opera. But if it is perfect like that. I cannot rewrite the perfect one. (Amadeus)”

    We can say that Nick Brody was one of the best-built characters in history – alongside Carrie, Saul and Quinn.

    It would be possible to clarify the following doubts:

    – I would like to see Homeland reveal how the CIA explained Brody in Iran and his death to the American press. Clearly, Javadi being able to take credit for capturing Brody helped his cause in Iran, but did the US government reveal Brody’s role in Akbari’s murder? Was his name cleared for the CIA attack? I’d love to know what you thought.

    – Another loose thread: Paul Franklin and the murder of the “real” CIA bomber. You just did that … why ??

    Carrie was publicly humiliated, beaten, doped, shot and put her life on the line countless times without hesitation, just to make others see Brody as she saw him … and succeeded. Abu Nazir, the CIA, Jessica and the show’s own audience, no one came close to seeing Brody with the clarity Carrie has always seen. Carrie has always read Brody like no one else.

    Ah, Carrie’s dialogue with Javadi was awesome, it will be one of the most memorable moments of the series, without a doubt!
    “And what you wanted, which was for everyone to see in him what you see. That has happened. Everyone sees him through your eyes now …”

    – How did Carrie see Brody? and how did the US come to see it? It’s the world?

    1. Hello Jordison, I am going to assume you’ve seen all 8 seasons of Homeland. If you haven’t I could spoil it for you, also my answers are pure speculation. To answer your first question: No I don’t think it was in the US or Iranian interests for Brody’s role in Akbari’s death to be revealed. That it was vaguely known inside Iran could be true but Tehran is a big city. Under the ayatollahs people disappear and only a few dare ask
      How the Number One terror suspects disappearance was explained to America I can imagine was presented as a a disappearance into Iran with no official explanation. No, Brody’s name was not cleared till Carrie wrote her book.
      Franklin was Javadi’s lawyer. Javadi was working with Nazir’s guys. None of them wanted Brody cleared, that would trigger further investigation. The killing of the real bomber made that possible. The truth died with him. Saul and Dar are deeply implicated as well.
      Carrie saw Brody as the hero of his own life. She saw him as the hero of her life as well. The ticket out of “alone my whole life”. The fact that was impossible just was not acceptable to her. He woke her up emotionally, spiritually. “One of the reasons I was put on this earth was for our paths to cross.”
      Brody was an object of distrust and hatred, as traitors are. After Carrie’s account is published I think that a large section of people were appalled by his tragedy. That she wrote the book from her home with a GRU operative, well, some will not believe. The world has always had mixed emotions about America but most will come to believe and admire and mourn the Star!
      So that’s what I think. I’m so glad you wanted to talk about Brody! Thank you so much!

      1. Here’s why Homeland should do a season 9 without Claire Danes as Carrie. The spy thriller might be coming to an end, but it’s more relevant now than ever.

        After eight years, dozens of wild twists and more than a few significant character exits, Homeland will be drawing to a close in 2019.

        Earlier this month, Claire Danes confirmed that she plans to put Carrie Mathieson to rest after 12 final episodes. So that’s that… right?

        Except, it doesn’t have to be, and, we’d argue, it shouldn’t be. Homeland deserves a life after Carrie, and here’s why.

        The show started out with a very specific premise, loosely adapted from the Israeli series Prisoners of War: Carrie, a dogged CIA agent with bipolar disorder, becomes involved in a relationship with US marine Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a newly-freed prisoner of war who may have been brainwashed by Al-Qaeda.

        But, in a bold and risky move, Homeland blew up its original format (no pun intended) just a few episodes into its second season. It dispensed with the Brody character altogether a year later and has since evolved to become a mirror on our times, albeit one that’s larger than life.

        Series boss Alex Gansa has suggested that a time jump in the upcoming season eight will help the show avoid any direct references or parallels to Trump. But since it dropped Brody, Homeland has told new stories by reflecting the geopolitical situation off screen: from a plot concerning allegations that Iran was ‘cheating’ on its nuclear deal to introducing a right-wing shock jock character in Brett O’Keefe (Jake Weber), the show post-2013 has been all about contemporary America and its relationship with the rest of the world.

        Though the buzz around the show has undoubtedly faded since the early days, it’s actually become a more substantial and more interesting drama since it ditched some of the more familiar spy-thriller tropes and begun delving into the seriously murky world of government policy and international relations.

        So to bring Homeland to a close at a time when real-world politics is becoming increasingly unpredictable and volatile feels short-sighted. There’s an opportunity now to tell gripping and complex stories about an America that’s seriously divided, from the man on the street to the highest reaches of government.

        The problem, of course, is that Danes is done with playing Carrie. But is that really a deal-breaker?

        The Homeland of today looks and feels very little like the show that first hit our screens in 2011, with not just a radically altered premise but also an almost entirely different cast.

        Unquestionably, Danes is brilliant on Homeland, as is fellow series veteran Mandy Patinkin as her conflicted mentor Saul Berenson. But that doesn’t mean the show couldn’t go on without either or both of them.

        Losing Carrie and/or Saul would have a significant impact, but arguably no more than losing Brody, or later Rupert Friend as troubled CIA hitman Peter Quinn (So incensed were these angry fans, demanding that the show’s creators explain themselves.).

        Losing those two key characters was a blow to Homeland, but a blow that the show withstood, changing and growing in the aftermath. The same would be true of any cast departure, even Carrie’s.

        Homeland has reinvented itself before and it could do so again. But seeing as Gansa and his writing team have been plotting the show’s conclusion since at least 2017, odds are that we won’t get to see the show explore a new format without Danes at the forefront.

        And that’s a pity. Because, if nothing else, this difficult period in America’s history offers up opportunities for film and TV – and especially politically-minded shows like Homeland – to deliver challenging and provocative storytelling.

      2. The “all my life alone” note … What does it mean?
        Did he wake you up emotionally, spiritually?

        Brody’s story is tragic. He was a Marine who was destroyed and rebuilt by the enemy to be defeated repeatedly. Pushed back and fourth. His loyalty was to whoever gave him the best chance to survive. He never had a chance. No one can judge you by the horrors you endured. And the worst ones he caused. Having to live and observe the lives he destroyed around him took everything away from him. Only Carrie hoped to find redemption for him. Brody knew his destiny was to die. In her last moments, she made a point of being there. To witness it, its truth, its history when it finally came to an end.

        In Homeland we had two protagonists, each with its central conflict (Carrie = CIA x bipolarity and Brody = the desire to be an American hero x the desire to serve Allah as a Muslim). With these irreconcilable objectives, the series had cloth for manga when creating its plots. Killing a protagonist is a bold move. Now was it unnecessary as they did with Peter Quinn?

        And due to his history, he cannot be honored … His story was so sad! He deserved better – Brody made a mistake.

        I wish they had shown a scene from your family in this episode. To show viewers that Brody was redeemed in the eyes of his family. The last time we saw them was how Brody ruined their lives after he was framed for the bombing. It would have been nice to end the chapter with confirmation that your family would be fine. It’s a shame that it ended so abruptly, especially since seasons 1 and 2 built that relationship with her daughter Dana. The last time we saw her was being emotionally destroyed.

        Did you like the totally pessimistic ending for Brody, with no redemption there with his family, just in Carrie’s womb?

        As for Franny, this character was one of the reasons why Carrie grew up as a human being and not as the bipolar schizophrenic character because it tires. Unlike the Brody family.

        I’m also so glad you wanted to clarify about Brody! Thank you!

        1. “I’m going to be alone my whole life, aren’t I?” Carrie says to Saul. He neither replies nor disagrees. Carrie believed in her youth that her mother left her because of her Dad’s bi-polar condition therefore love was not for her. Now she has layered onto that that love and loving are impossible because her job demands most of her time and attention as well as basic dishonesty to her partner. No Brody did not wake me up but my attachment to him and to Homeland is obsessive. What to make of that I truly do not know. Brody’s end? Well I can’t see any believable way out for him or a happy ending for our couple. The world would never let him be. Perhaps Carrie’s book will bring his family some peace of mind. I’m sure it will be nothing but heartbreak for Frannie.

  2. Hello and thank you for helping with these clarifications in the series. I’ve seen all of Homeland’s 8 seasons.

    Why is it not in Iran’s interest for Brody’s role in Akbari’s death to be revealed? Why would Carrie reveal Brody’s role in a covert operation of this caliber?

    With the book, Franklin was a lawyer for Javadi, and would Javadi’s role in acting with Nazir’s men trigger further investigation?

    How did the death of the real bomber make this possible? Doesn’t the CIA have evidence of Brody’s innocence? Why would the truth make Saul and Dar also deeply involved?

  3. Hey Jordison! The downside for Iran revealing Brody’s execution of Akbari are 1) it would reveal how deceived they were by Brody and 2) how easily he penetrated their security. As for Carrie revealing Brody’s role I assume you meant in the book she wrote (S8). She truly had an opportunity to tell his story … finally. Also by that point she no longer loved her country. She loved Saul and wanted to be connected to him and she loves the game of espionage.The book undoubtedly triggered A LOT of investigations but investigation into top security issues are touchy. Usually they are inconclusive. With the real bomber dead, the $10,000,000 bounty on Brody’s head stays in place and Saul can keep him in Caracus until he’s ready to use him. The CIA is not in the business of truth; it’s in the business of executing operations against enemies of the US and her interests. Brody’s innocence ceases to be useful to them – Brody dead is the best option for Phase 2 being a success, which it is! Saul and Dar (initially through Peter Quinn) are implicated in running Brody as a double agent to begin with, Saul knew Carrie wasn’t unconscious for 14 hours so he had a good idea what she was up to when he and she developed Phase 1 to find the truth about the bombing. Carrie’s separate agenda was to save Brody. “Maybe the only thing you cared about” Dar was involved in the scheme (Phase 1 as well as Phase 2) unbeknownst to Carrie. I will answer each of your comments separately. I so much appreciate your interest!

  4. “When homeland is in danger, God and soldiers are called for. When danger passes, God is forgotten and soldiers are judged.”

    This sentence sums up the horrible reality of Brody (Seasons 1-2-3) and Carrie’s sad ordeal (Seasons 6-7-8).

  5. The question is . . . in the Season 3 finale . . .

    Was he always planning on carrying out the mission? Or did he really just flip, plan on being the “Big Man of Tehran” for the rest of his life, and then just impulsively decide to murder the target because he was angry?

  6. She was pregnant and recovering from being shot. I think she wanted him home to raise Frannie with her. Women always feel guilty. Personally I don’t think she sent Brody on a suicidal mission, but Saul did. My take is that Saul wants Brody out of the picture so he can manipulate Carrie and not for Carrie’s benefit. I think Carrie’s mission is what Javadi said. He proves that he is that man that Carrie believes he is. Brody should have paid something for what he did, just not his life.

    If there is redemption for Brody, where is the redemption for the people that sent him off to the “bullshit” war?? I’m never quite sure what I’m supposed to feel about the first three seasons. The old men with power will sacrifice you in a minute??(There was no redemption for Nicholas just a pawn to be sacrificed as a pawn in a blood sport as we can see in season 3 episode 12. And being hated by the people of the US and Iran and not redeemed for Dana and Jess.)

    I think Carrie got caught up in Saul’s idea, but not for the same reasons as Saul (she’s not nearly as idealistic). Saul thought he could fix Middle East relations. And I think Carrie was honestly trying to fix her love for Brody – that is, to make it mean something. I really think she struggled greatly with how she could love a man that she also, intrinsically, wanted to despise (and did a little). As she said in 2.08, “Maybe that if we saw this through together… then you’d be a real hero. And that fact… would somehow make everything you did before not matter. That it would all just be about getting to there.” Season three is a continuation of season two and her sending Brody to Iran is a continuation of that as well.

    The end statement of season three is that redemption is hollow. Carrie had to DRAW a star on the wall for Brody, that’s how broken and hollow “redemption” is.

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