TV Review: Homeland Season 3 Episode 12 – “The Star” (M) (US, 2013)

homeland

Homeland is back for another year. I will be chronicling the journeys of Carrie, Saul and Brody throughout the third season of the best show currently on television. Spoilers within so don’t read before viewing the episodes! *SERIOUS SPOILER ALERT*

Previously on Homeland…
Brody (Damian Lewis) has managed to assassinate Javadi’s boss, and Carrie (Claire Danes) is doing her best to get him out of Tehran before it’s too late…

The Plot:
Carrie meets up with Brody, who has escaped after completing his mission. They travel to a safe house and await instruction. Meanwhile, Saul (Mandy Patinkin) is running out of time, as Senator Lockhart (Tracy Letts) is taking over as Director within hours. He is doing his best to ensure the safe extraction of Carrie and Brody, despite opposition from the incoming Director.

The Good:
Wow. Now this is more like it! Homeland is truly back. After a run of average episodes followed by an impressive episode 11, the finale comes along and reminds us why this is one of the best shows on television. This episode is thrilling, exciting, surprising and moving. I am so impressed that the writers had the balls to actually kill off one of the show’s lead characters. I knew it was what should happen, but I also knew that we might still get a last-minute, implausible rescue. But nope, Brody died. We saw him hanged. It was an incredibly moving moment; Brody and Carrie’s eyes meeting for the last time.

However, this episode’s real strength lies in the final 20 minutes. After a ‘Four Months Later’ title card, we are given a new dynamic to work with. Saul is no longer working at Langley, and Carrie has been offered a Station Chief position in Istanbul. Way to mix things up for Season 4! Carrie and Saul’s farewell felt really final, which made it incredibly effective. But I know they’ll be back together before long. Carrie’s futile request that Lockhart give Brody a commemorative star for his bravery was touching, and the episode’s final shot is one of the most powerful in the show’s history. It is an appropriate way to honour a character who wasn’t always on the right side, but made us see that the world is not just a matter of good and evil. Goodbye Brody; you’ve been an interesting character to watch for the last 3 years, but it was definitely time for you to go.

The Bad:
There’s seriously nothing wrong with this episode. Although I did want Saul to shave his beard off to symbolise a ‘new beginning’.

The Ugly:
Saul in sandals! Saul in sandals!

Verdict:
This is an incredible way to conclude Season 3, and has ensured my continued dedication for at least another season. Homeland will be different next year, but a bit of change will do it good. Bring it on.

Review Score: FIVE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Homeland screens on Channel Ten. It will return for Season 4 in 2014.