Major Character Killed in “Homeland” Season Finale

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It appears a recent casting decision was not exclusively attributable to fan backlash. For in the context of Sunday’s “Homeland” finale, it is clear there is also creative context for the news that Dana and Jessica Brody, played by Morgan Saylor and Morena Baccarin, respectively, will not be returning as regulars in season four of the Emmy-winning Showtime series.

In the climactic scene of Sunday’s finale, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), the aforementioned characters’ family patriarch, was hanged and thus officially eliminated from the show. While “Homeland” might revisit Dana, Jessica and Chris for an episode or two in the aftermath of their now permanent separation from Nicholas, there is no reason to continue placing them at the center of storylines.

Brody’s hanging was an undesirable–but necessary–consequence of his success in killing General Akbari. With Akbari out of the picture, the door was open for US puppet Majid Javadi to assume control of Iran’s intelligence. Capturing and publicly executing Akbari’s killer would instantly cement Javadi’s credibility.

As a result, the US President and new CIA director Andrew Lockhart agreed–behind the back of Saul and Carrie–to forego the extraction plan and aid Iranian authorities in capturing Brody. Once he was captured, there was nothing the “good guys” could do–Brody was going to be executed.

And executed he was, in front of an emotional Carrie and hundreds of Iranian onlookers.

Following the execution scene, the show fastforwarded four months to reveal that Carrie had been named station chief of the CIA’s operation in Istanbul, Saul had left the CIA to work a private sector job in New York and Iran had agreed to provide transparency into its nuclear operations in exchange for reduced economic restriction. The latter, a landmark victory for US intelligence, will forever serve as a testament to the operation Saul, Carrie and Brody helped execute.

Brody will also have a living tribute in the form of his daugher. Though Carrie had some fear and doubts about keeping the baby, as the season closed, her child with Brody was approaching imminent entry into the world.