Review: Homeland Season 3 (contains spoilers)

**WARNING – full of spoilers and crossness at season three finale so don’t read it if you haven’t seen it yet, or if you dislike people disliking things.**

I’ve had 24 hours to think about it (and to stop crying), and I’ve decided, I am still cross about Homeland’s season 3 finale. What the hell were they thinking? 

At first, I thought they were right. Brody has definitely used up all his lives and really, to keep it realistic they had to kill him off. 

But then I thought back to the rest of the series and how very irritating it is that they didn’t do more with him while they still had him. For weeks I defended it on Twitter, as loyal followers slammed season 3 for having ‘lost the plot’ or for becoming boring and way too Dana-focused. I thought it was all part of a bigger plan, but then realised there were just a few episodes left and began to question where it was leading. Never did I think it would finish the way it did.  

I was never a Dana fan but I thought that the huge amount of screen time she had at the start was building up to something – more than just that rubbish 2 minutes of him seeing her at her new place and her mentioning that maybe he should have thought of whether she even wanted to see him before knocking. Really, was that all we get?

Because the other thing that bothers me is that they kill off the main character, have the audacity to jump to four months later and don’t even show a hint of how his family felt about it all. After all that Dana nonsense, we don’t even get to see how she reacts to his execution? I realise we don’t need to watch a family mourn for hours on end but a little acknowledgment that he was a father, a husband, as well as a marine-turned-terrorist-turned-CIA-asset would have been nice. 

All in all it felt rushed, yet felt like a finale for the whole series rather than just a season. They had all this time to develop Brody’s next steps and instead we didn’t see him for weeks, then suddenly he does a crazy murder mission, walks out and is dead 24 hours later. Hours before, he’d learned he was about to become a father again and had made it sound like it was something worth living for – then as soon as he was captured he was all ‘Nah, I’m ready to die now.’ Infuriating. 

The execution, too, was harrowing to watch – angry Daily Mail reports are saying even Claire Danes found it hard to look at when acting – and I genuinely thought some sniper (perhaps Quinn. WHERE WAS QUINN?) might pop in, Kevin Costner Robin Hood  Prince of Thieves stylee, and shoot at the crane till poor old Brody was released and on his merry way. Yes, I have quite the imagination. I thought Damian Lewis did an incredible job but the simplicity of it all made it so much harder to watch. The general acceptance that what was going to happen was unstoppable made me more upset than anything else – and I think if they’d not rushed it so much they could have made this more interesting, more touching, and if possible more dramatic. 

ALSO. It massively bothered me that the most sentimental, caring lines – the only lines that really said ‘Yeah, the fact he has to die is really quite shit’ – came from Javadi. You know, the guy that stabbed his wife in the neck with a broken bottle until she died. Nice fella. Really? His comment about ‘not just being one thing’ may have been a hint that actually, as well as being a cold blooded murderer he has feelings too but come on, it’s more far fetched than when they didn’t spot Carrie’s positively luminous hair in that dark field. 

I loved what he said to Carrie – I thought it was one of the most moving scenes in terms of script. But that should have come from Saul or even Quinn (seriously, MORE QUINN), who has fast become a rather moral, and of course hot, friend to Carrie. If Saul had said it, it could have started to pave their relationship back to what it was – since the two of them stopped trusting each other it’s become harder and harder to like Saul at all (and I still thought he was the mole all this time). Plus, the even sadder part was that Javadi was wrong. Everyone didn’t see Brody through her eyes – Lockhart refused him a star (and I’m sure others would have backed him on it).

Ah, Lockhart. My other big problem. That utter twerp who the writers really worked well throughout the series to portray as a totally out of touch loon who should never be in charge of anything. He’s in charge and four months later everything’s wonderful? As if. And then, just to make sure we really get angry, he promotes Carrie – that idiot who has been so incompetent her own colleague shot her to stop her from messing up. Who is also about to go on maternity leave. You don’t have to believe in sexism to know that that is the most unlikely ending possible. 

I’m gutted. Gutted that Brody won’t be back, that Carrie isn’t going to play happy families and that we’ll probably see more of Dana in season four in a delayed reaction to her dad’s demise. I would have preferred season 3 to go slower, have Brody found earlier, and play out his/Javadi’s plans over the course of a few episodes. 

There are so many bits of the puzzle of season 3 that feel either pointless or not tied up, too. I’ll be watching next season, but only to see whether I’m right about Saul and whether Quinn gets to be on screen more. In losing Brody, it’s lost a lot of its magic. RIP. 

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