In an explosive finale we say goodbye for another year to Carrie and Brody, our modern star-crossed lovers whom fate has deemed shall never be together. It did seem after Nazir's downfall that the chance for them to be together seemed too good to be true.
Carrie appears to be presented with a choice between love and work, but in that one destructive blast her options are suddenly removed. If the obliteration of the CIA seemed the inevitable culmination of a season bursting to the seams with absurd and unbelievable plotlines, it at least will put the show in foreign territory for season three, and thankfully its two leads will still be involved.
Cabin in the Woods
Carrie and Brody, finally free from the pressures of al-Qaeda and the CIA, decide to rekindle their romance at the secluded cabin from season one. As the two cosy up in the idyllic location, Carrie observes, "It's not like last time". What's so strange is the easiness between the two of them, the lack of tension.
No longer is their anything at stake, the relationship partly a tool for their work as much as for themselves. Most importantly of all, there are no secrets between them, and the two are clearly basking for the first time in this liberation. What they don't realise though, is that in the world of Homeland you are never free and are always being watched.
Quinn, stalking the couple like a vampire in the shadows, is busy observing the two and waiting for the chance to take out Brody. Providing comparisons to the past where a lonely Carrie watched Brody and his wife, here Quinn shovels down a tin of beans in solitude whilst watching the bliss between the couple inside.
All the characters in the show are either lonely or have seen their relationships and marriages break down. Here the two of them are trying a fresh start together, but unfortunately it seems the ultimate crime in Homeland is companionship.
Who watches the watchmen?
Brody appears likely to be bumped off at any moment as he runs through the forest. The camera cuts between his perspective and extreme wide shots of him running, as if being watched from afar. In a contrived moment Quinn primes his sniper rifle whilst Brody prays by the lake and it really felt as if the congressman's number was up.
But Quinn decides he can't go through with the killing and continues his supernatural appearance by surprising Estes in the middle of the night. 'I'm the guy that kills bad guys," he informs the intelligence chief, before threatening that Brody better not be harmed or else. Brody's death would not be of any use to the CIA, just of personal help to Estes trying to cover his tracks.
Last season saw the institution drive her to the abyss when she was subjected to electro-shock therapy, and after her help in catching Nazir Quinn realises it would be monstrous to ruin her life once more.
But is a life with Brody the one she wants? In the cabin the two discuss their futures, with Carrie being presented with a straight choice between Brody and the CIA; love or a career. "We could be happy, couldn't we?" Brody asks.
After a decade spent hunting Nazir, his demise provides Carrie with a chance to start anew, away from a job that whilst she finds fulfilling has taken control of her life. At Walden's funeral she finally decides to pick Brody over the CIA, a decision that has explosive repercussions.
The terrorist attack at the vice president's funeral catches everyone off guard, and in one devastating explosion appears to wipe out the majority of the CIA. As if someone's pressed a switch Carrie goes from being doe-eyed lover to paranoid intelligence agent, as she whips out her gun and yells at Brody and accuses him of orchestrating the attack.
It can't really be him though, can it? Certainly it's his car that causes the explosion, and we know he went to pick up a jacket from his home before the ceremony, perhaps the very same jacket full of C4 that he was meant to use before. But from his reaction it appears a lot more likely that Brody's been framed as an act of revenge for his betrayal of Nazir.
Love will tear us apart again
From a pure storytelling perspective the explosion is farcical. As if the world of Homeland isn't unrealistic enough with the US apparently under constant threat from omnipotent terrorist megalomaniacs, we now have the heart of America's intelligence agency somehow taken out by one car bomb.
But in keeping with the melodramatic nature of Carrie and Brody's relationship the bomb does make sense. Her decision to abandon a career with the CIA for a life with Brody at the funeral is perhaps the most significant moment in the show's history, a decision so aberrant as to cause the world around her to rupture.
Against the world
This feeds into Brody's suicide confession tape being leaked to the public, sparking a global manhunt for the new man at the top of America's most wanted. Showing how much she cares for Brody, Carrie uses the emergency escape plan she was saving for a rainy day to get Brody across the border to Canada with the promise that she'll clear his name and one day they'll be together.
As ridiculous as its storyline's come, at the core of Homeland has always been Carrie and Brody's battle against a world that won't let the two of them be together. From here on in the show seems destined to become even more outlandish as it will find even more inventive ways to keep the two lovers apart. We'll just have to keep on watching to see if the two can ever find happiness.