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Monday, December 19, 2011

Homeland - Marine One

The finale starts with Brody recording a video for the media to play after he suicide bombs himself. It very helpfully elaborates on his motivations for terrorism. He thinks that the politicians in America are enemies of America, because they are corrupt, and he really loves his country. We really can’t argue with that… Mixed with the killing of Issa, we are really buying Brody’s defection from sanity. The night before the big bombing extravaganza that Brody and Nazir have planned, Dana catches her dad praying to Allah in the garage. Dana tells her dad that this is a little freaky and that he’s been acting hella weird. Brody and Dana have a nice little talk and agree to keep the Islam a secret. Oh, that’s healthy (sarcasm).

Carrie is going through the depression phase of her breakdown and is on “administrative leave” from work. Saul informs us that this means Carrie is effectively, permanently fired, but no one is going to press criminal charges. Although Carrie would probably handle prison well. She’d cut one bitch and none of the other bitches would ever mess with her again. She’s so smart, she’d be running the place, crazily, in mere weeks. Carrie hitches a ride with her dad and goes to the rally were the vice president is set to announce that he’s running for president.

Maybe you remember this from previous episodes, but we totally missed that the Vice President is Brody’s biggest nemesis and the main culprit in the whole Issa thing. So, yeah, Brody is at the rally, ready to bomb. Walker is there too, ready to kill Elizabeth Gaines so that Brody and all the politicians will be herded down into a bunker for safety. Because of all the chaos, the metal detectors were going crazy from everyone just rushing through them, and Brody’s bomb went undetected. This was a pretty smooth plan from Abu Nazir, but we still don’t like him, because he’s a manipulative terrorist.

After the gunshot and the bunkering of the politicians, Carrie realized that Brody really is a terrorist and that this is all an elaborate plan to help Brody kill big cheeses. She calls Saul, but Saul just sends some goons out to subdue her. Carrie escapes and goes to the Brody house. She gets Dana to let her in, tells Dana that her father is about to blow the Vice President up, and tries to convince Dana to call her father and talk him down. Needless to say, this was a splendid scene. We were shaking our heads at Carrie, but at the same time, we were thinking, “Great idea! This kid is close to her father and has been noticing weirdness.”

Dana is the coolest teenager on TV (well, this week anyway). She doesn’t swallow Carrie’s story and calls the police instead. Carrie is arrested on the front lawn in front of an hysterical, useless Jessica. Meanwhile, Brody is in the bunker, nervous as heck, getting up the courage to flip the switch. It takes him forever, and it’s pretty intense. He pushes it and we are shocked that he actually did it! But the vest malfunctions. Brody goes to the bathroom, sweating balls, and fixes the bomb. He goes out again, and just as he is about to set the bomb off, he gets a call from Dana. Dana tells Brody that she is freaked out over Carrie coming to their house and saying that he was a terrorist, but Dana assures him that she knows it’s not true.

Then Dana starts to make Brody promise to come home. It’s emotional and it totally works. We have Dana, who really intuits that there is a problem here, and Brody, who actually listens to this kid. He doesn’t push the trigger. Very soon after that, the bunker is opened and the Vice President leaves, with the parting line to Brody that Brody “looks like crap.” He didn’t really say it in a nice or joking way either. Gosh, we kind of wish Brody had killed that guy. How rude. Brody was locked up before and doesn’t like it. That was his explanation as to why he was so nervous and sweaty. You’d think people would be nice about that, but nooooo. Wait. Why are we defending a terrorist and his feelings? Because this show is so good that it makes us want to.

The Vice President uses his wife’s death as a catalyst to announce his candidacy. Saul comes to the VP later and blackmails the VP into telling Saul why Nazir started getting all revenge-y. Then Saul goes to David Estes, who was in the room when the order was given to bomb, and confronts him. Saul threatens to tell the New York Times, but Estes tells Saul that would do more harm than good. It would also help the terrorists recruit. Brody meets with Tom Walker in, like, a culvert or something. It’s at night, and Walker has Nazir on the phone. Brody tells Walker and Nazir that the bomb malfunctioned. Then Brody lets Nazir know that he will be able to do more damage as a congressman.

Nazir buys this, but tells Brody to kill Walker in a show of loyalty. Brody does, and we are glad, because Walker needed to be put out of his crazy-eyed misery. We don’t see why it was a show of faith for Brody to do that though. If he was against Nazir, he would have no problem killing one of Nazir’s terrorists. But whatever. It looks like Nazir was just sick of Walker. Brody goes to meet Carrie when she gets out of jail. Carrie has changed her mind about Brody being a terrorist again, since no bomb went off, and she apologizes and promises to leave him alone. Brody is all, “I’ve heard that before” but accepts it at the end.

Carrie checks herself into the hospital and agrees to have electroshock treatment, which is something that actually works a lot of the time and isn’t the torture it’s portrayed as in the movies. It CAN cause some memory loss though, so we have that to look forward to next season. Ugh. Saul comes to visit and tells Carrie about the death of Issa. Man, he could totally get fired for that. Carrie gets sedatives before the electroshock and goes into a stupor where she remembers her good times with Brody. You know, those two days that made her fall in love with him, even though she thought he was evil during those two days. She remembers Brody murmuring Issa’s name in his sleep.

But she won’t remember the Issa thing when she wakes up next season, probably, and we will have to watch her put it all together again. Lame. We don’t like when we know something, but we have to sit and wait too long for the characters on shows to figure it out. However, these characters are so interesting that we are willing to give the next season a chance. It was an eventful and satisfying finale that left enough loose ends open for us to start season two in pretty much the same place we started in season one. Only Brody will be in Congress and having sex with Jessica. And Carrie will have to find some way to be working in Homeland Security again.

Episode grade: A-
Season grade: A-

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