Homeland 2×12 The Choice Recap and Review
Homeland’s explosive season finale starts out at Carrie’s infamous cabin where Carrie has to make the titular choice between her lover and her career. Carrie and Brody seem oddly domesticated, bringing in groceries and settling in for the long haul. Not surprisingly, Quinn has followed them there and is tracking their every move. Why Brody, with all of his training and experience, hasn’t noticed this by now is beyond me.
Quinn speaks to Estes via cell phone. Estes figures out that Carrie with Brody and quickly disapproves. Even Quinn thinks it’s a mistake on her part. It is obvious the CIA wants Brody dead sooner rather than later.
Cut to Jessica packing up Brody’s things. Carefully, if first, then starts throwing it all on the floor carelessly.
Carrie and Brody start peeling potatoes. Brody walks away and finds his handgun stored in a side table. Carrie notices and unloads the bullets into an Altoids tin and places it right next to the gun. Apparently, she feels that no one will ever think to find them there. I must remind the audience that Carrie is probably a tad delusional at this moment in her life. While they walk outside, Carrie reveals that her father has the same mental disorder as she does, but is getting better. Carrie confides more to Brody.
Next, Saul is still being questioned. Saul brings up his assassination assumption that pretty much the entire audience has. An agent doesn’t believe Saul and won’t call Carrie, but does give Saul milk.
Back in the cabin, Carrie’s new “cabin boy,” Brody, is trying to figure out what he is going to do with his life now that he has an impossible second chance…with Carrie intact. Carrie says her career with the CIA is over (duh). They seem to agree to try to stay together.
Meanwhile, Quinn decides that playing voyeur is getting a little old as Brody and Carrie make out in front of the window and walks away and eats his food alone.
Carrie and Brody wake up together in the morning. Carrie vows to return with food. Brody goes to the lake to pray, with Quinn not far behind with his sniper rifle. As Brody rays, we are made to think that Quinn kills him.
Carrie returns later, only to find Brody sitting in the back room unharmed, not even aware of Quinn. Carrie’s been thinking and she will go to her sister’s b/c she is being indecisive once again. Brody says he’s alright with whatever she decides.
That night, Estes returns home to find Quinn sitting in the dark waiting for him. He asks if he has killed Brody and Quinn confesses he has not done anything b/c there’s no threat since Brody cannot be in politics. Killing Brody would hurt Carrie too much and she is too good to waste. Quinn does have his gun and threatens Estes to leave Brody alone….lest they meet again for the last time.
The next day, Brody calls Jessica. Brody needs his suit to go to Walden’s funeral. Chris is too upset to eat. Dana just wants to move on. Brody enters a bar and meets with Mike. They drink and Brody says that him and Jessica are done. Brody insinuates that he knows that Jessica and Mike had an affair and doesn’t care. Mike seems to feel guilty over this permission.
Back at the Pentagon, Estes lets Saul go. Estes claims he needed to settle down. Saul calls his bluff.
Brody returns to his house to find all of his belongings strewn about. Dana appears and reveals that she isn’t taking this well. Dana asks if Finn will be at the funeral. Brody says he will, considering that Walden was his father. Dana comes to the conclusion that it’s Brody, not Carrie who’s really crazy and walks away.
Carrie finds Saul in his office. Saul says Nazir is being buried bin Laden-style and he is overseeing it. Saul wants to promote Carrie to station chief b/c she deserves it and Estes is indebted to Saul for keeping him locked up for three days. However, Carrie is unsure if she can balance that position. Saul doesn’t approve of this relationship between her and Brody and calls her on it. Carrie walks away upset.
Next, Brody arrives at the funeral and accompanies Walden’s window and Finn. Carrie sits by herself. Carrie then signals to Brody to follow her somewhere. Brody gets up to follow her.
Cut to Saul overseeing Nazir’s oversea burial. Saul does not look happy to be there. A lot of inter-cutting the two funerals happen in completely different contexts. Brody runs off and makes out with Carrie in an office. Carrie wants to be with him now but Brody has some doubt and notices that someone has moved his car. This can mean only one thing: car bomb! How very Godfather. And this is why Homeland just plain rocks.
Cut to massive explosion orchestrated by Nazir from beyond his watery grave. Nazir’s corpse is dropped into the ocean.
Carrie and Brody wake up relatively unharmed. It seems their love saved them since everyone else in the chapel is dead. Carrie grabs a gun from a drawer and points it at Brody. She thinks Brody is behind it. Brody denies it and says it’s all Nazir’s plan. Carrie insists they escape as emergency vehicles arrive. After all, who else will believe Brody’s story since the explosion came from his car?
Jessica, Mike, and Dana look nervous as reports come in. An agent arrives and demands to search the house. Mike asks where their warrant is, but the agent insists on entering without one.
Carrie and Brody drive to a storage unit as they plan to escape to Newfoundland. Carrie has stored away fake passports and lots of cash. She says Brody will need one too.
Cut to Saul arriving at what used to be the chapel. A facilitator says over 200 are dead and only 27 are believed to survived. Estes, Cynthia, and Finn are dead. Carrie and Brody has not been found and are believed to be dead. They know the bomb came from Brody’s car. Saul will also have to oversee this as he is the leading officer. Saul calls Carrie and leaves an emotional voice mail.
Carrie and Brody drive to the passport maker’s place. Brody has his picture taken. The plan seems to be under way.
Jessica is being questioned by the agent. Jessica says they are not together and he just came by to get his suit. Dana tells the agent Brody wasn’t responsible for the bomb b/c they talked before he left. Chris turns on the television to see that the video where Brody confessed to his aborted bombing last season is being released to the public. Brody and Carrie are also watching it from the passport maker’s place. Nazir’s terrorist group have also released a video confessing their plotting the attack.
Carrie and Brody drive away. Carrie takes Brody’s phone and tells him never to call his family again.
Hammad calls Saul as he wanders through the rubble. She asks about Carrie but Saul says he doesn’t know for sure.
Cut back to Jessica lying in bed with Chris. She cannot sleep. Dana sees news crews start to descend upon the house.
Carrie lays out the plan to walk to a lake 20 miles away to a cabin where they will escape to Montreal via a contact of Carrie’s. Brody knows Carrie will not come. Carrie says she wants to but feels too attached to her job and the feeling she must clear his name. The stakes are just too high to leave her life for him at the moment. They say good bye….for now.
Saul orders an investigation to connect Brody to everything that he was apart of over the season. Cue a Gone with the Wind-style shot of Saul walking through rows of corpses. Saul reprises the prayer Nazir’s corpse received. Carrie enters. Saul seems pretty relieved and smiles, just as Carrie did at the beginning of the season.
I really cannot think of a better way to have ended this season. The question of killing Brody off was too cliché to really consider an option. The producers built it up so much that it never really became a question since the tension was too overstated. The episode really sums up to me that Homeland is really a show about two psychologically damaged people who find redemption within each other in ways that one else would see. It’s not really about the terrorist or politics so much as it is about a relationship. I know that’s not exactly why people watch this show, but that is what is really at stake here the whole time.
I don’t believe that anyone really moved Brody’s car. I think Carrie allowed herself to be talked down b/c she wants to believe in Brody too much to think clearly anymore, even though her first instinct was probably correct. She has broken herself by breaking Brody. Brody may not have known he was a part of the plan, but his allegiance to Nazir was too strong to give it up so easily. This was all Nazir’s plan. Though he did not die like was supposed to happen, Brody still has to manipulate, lest give up his anti-hero status too quickly. He is not yet redeemed completely by Carrie’s love. Carrie’s idea of going back wasn’t really the smartest move as politics will never allow her to ever really clear Brody’s name. But Carrie is so smart that she is her own worst enemy; she is bound to let her emotions get in the way of her flawless logic. Canada probably wouldn’t have suited her neurotic style anyway.
I did not like killing off Finn and Cynthia so suddenly. It just feels like the producers strung the audience along with the Dana/Finn story all season long just to make you hope he dies. This was the weak part of the season for me, but not its undoing. On the other hand, I’m very glad they got rid of Estes. The conversation between him and Quinn was too convenient for its own good and felt like a cop out move to keep Damian Lewis since he is under contract for five more seasons.
I can only hope that Homeland lasts that long and keeps us guessing and the surprises coming as good as this. Can’t wait till season three!
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