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Dec 18, 2012

TV Review: HOMELAND: Season 2, Episode 12: The Choice

Claire Danes Mandy Patinkin Homeland The Choice

Homeland Season 2 Episode 12 The Choice ReviewHomeland: Season 2, Episode 12: The Choice began like an ordinary season wrap-up episode with a happy ending for Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) and Ex-CIA Officer Carrie Anderson (Claire Danes) then the show’s writers showed the viewer that this is no fairy tale.

Everything during The Choice was either happy, sad, or bitter-sweet until the pivotal moment in the episode: (spoiler) the explosion. The episodes greatest moment and its greatest flaw. No one noticed that Brody’s car had been moved right outside of the memorial service? That someone besides Brody had driven it there and left it in an area clearly not a parking area? The viewer will find this highly dubious, especially within the home base and compound of one of the most renowned intelligence agencies in the world. Something like that would never go unnoticed by their security people. Do you really think CIA lets cars roam around like that and park wherever they please? What about security protocol and a safety perimeter? Right out the window at that moment. Something far cleaner, something flawless, could have been thought of to place A and B together but it wasn’t. (end spoiler)

That eruption changed everything on the series and everyone’s life in it. None more so than Sergeant Brody’s life. The viewer may have seen people get screwed over before, but not like this. The CIA had given Brody his life back and brought Carrie into it. The terrorist that held him for eight years took it back again and changed his life forever. Changed is the wrong word. Destroyed is more accurate. The terrorist not only destroyed his Sergeant Brody’s life with (spoiler) that bomb (end spoiler), but his future with Carrie and his families’ life as well. His family will forever be the family of the Marine Jihadist that blew CIA headquarters, no matter what the truth really is.

It was a fantastic and very suitable conclusion to this season of Homeland, unlike aspects of Dexter‘s season finale (written about here: Dexter: Season 7, Episode 12: Surprise, Motherf—-r!). I have not thought about a season ending this much in a long time. The Homeland writers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa were actually able to make the viewer feel sorry for a former terrorist. It was not just them but Damian Lewis’ acting during pivotal moments that accomplished this as well. Seeing his world crumble before his eyes while his suicide message played on television, the emotion on his face, it was very good acting on his part. The reality and enormity of what he was witnessing, not just for himself but his friends and family, struck him to the core.

By all indications, it seemed as though Carrie was going with Sergeant Brody on the run. Once that video aired, the air got knocked out of those plans. Sergeant Brody is going to have a bulls-eye on his back for the rest of his life. Carrie might have stayed behind to save herself and to clear Sergeant Brody’s name somehow but she can never clear the video Sergeant Brody made. That is the nail in his coffin, his confession, his letter of guilt to the jury of public opinion.

Its also a social indictment against his wife Jessica Brody (Morena Baccarin) and his children Chris Brody (Jackson Pace) and Dana Brody (Morgan Saylor). “How could they not know?”, people will ask. “How could they not see?”, people will think. Sergeant Brody’s family will be pariahs for a long time, possibly for the rest of their lives. Their lives are going to be hell now.

Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) probably thought he was dreaming when Carrie began calling his name as he prayed over all the dead bodies, hallucinating, his mind playing tricks on him. It was a touching moment but the questions that will come after it will not be. Where was she all that time? Why didn’t she call anyone to say she was alive? Did she see Sergeant Brody during or after the explosion? His body will eventually be unaccounted for.

Cliffhanger endings do not get much better than this.

For more Homeland reviews, photos, videos, and information, check out our Homeland Page.