******They killed him, clearly and definitely. Brody’s dead******
The argument that could be made is that Brody has always been dead for as long as we’ve known him. Even here, in the last few happy minutes that he and Carrie shared together in the safe house (where it was all too clear to us, the viewers, that things were about to go horribly wrong) it was only Carrie’s impassioned speech about them being meant to be together and that she’s also pregnant, that seemed to bring Brody back to life if, only temporarily.
But this was the ending Brody needed. Any consideration of him becoming a super-spy alongside Carrie and Saul, or him is doing a Mr. Mom, while Carrie fought terrorists, would have ruined Homeland. A happy ending just wasn’t in the cards for him, that’s not what Homeland is about. This season in particular has shown us what the spy life can do to its best and brightest, how it exhausts and then discards you once you’ve completed your mission. Brody is the ultimate example of this. Also for Saul, having achieved the unachievable with his huge win on the Javadi front was still kicked out of the agency for his trouble. He seemingly got off easy compared to many of his peers.
“The Star” (on the wall) is perhaps one of the saddest hours of TV we’ve seen in a while, and it’s also a reminder that for all the Carrie low energy that’s been going around this season, Claire Danes remains an amazing performer. In the end, her and Brody’s story was truly tragic, and even with Brody gone Carrie is continuously reminded of his presence by the baby inside her. In fact, it amazes me how this one episode turned that entire pregnancy subplot around so that it’s suddenly a very compelling and painful part of the character. The easy route would be to go with the “this baby is a part of Brody” thread, but no, Carrie wants nothing to do with the thing.
Damian Lewis is less flashy than Danes in his final appearance as Brody, but he’s perfect in his world-weary, resigned approach to where his life has taken him. Any ideas of getting out of Iran for the sake of his daughter are gone now (Brody’s family isn’t even mentioned) as the ex-Marine reflects on the madness of it all. His remarking that at least his dad isn’t around anymore to see any of this is a heartbreaking moment, as are the final seconds of his phone call with Carrie where she begs him to stay on for a few more seconds of just… silence.
The episode certainly leaves a lot open as for where things will go next season. And yes, it has some illogical plotting bouncing around as well as a clunky conclusion, but that doesn’t really matter. Because when Carrie quietly scrawls that star for Brody on the wall, a star that no one will recognize except her and maybe a few other people, we couldn’t ask for a better memorial to the character. Brody may have outlived his usefulness on the show — as well as in the show’s reality — but damn if he wasn’t a great television character.
Wouldn’t watch it a second time, no need to because its below average, I can only hope that season 4 will have a great plot. 5.5 stars for this season, not worth comparing any other series with it, maybe prison break season 2, as it also lost its plot.