‘Homeland’ Finale – The Verdict Is In

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What a disappointment – and yet nothing could have been less surprising. The first season of the Golden Globe-nominated, Showtime series Homeland came to a close last Sunday in a finale that drew mixed reactions from fans and set a record for the highest-rated finale for a freshman series in Showtime’s history. But more importantly, it confirmed that Hollywood is still not ready to take an unequivocal, pro-American stand against our jihadist enemy.

(Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead)

For those who haven’t been following, the show centers on a Marine named Brody (actor Damian Lewis), missing and presumed dead in Iraq since 2003, who is discovered alive, rescued and brought home to suburban Washington D.C. to a lot of CIA self-congratulation and media fanfare. Not only does he become “a poster boy for the war,” as skeptical counterterrorism analyst Carrie (actress Claire Danes​) calls him, he’s even urged by the Vice President to run for political office. But Carrie has reason to believe that Brody has been “turned” traitor and is a sleeper agent involved in an imminent terrorist attack.

She suspects correctly. Although the series toyed briefly with the idea that Brody is nothing more than the victim of Carrie’s increasing bi-polar paranoia, he was indeed working with the terrorist mastermind Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban) to take down the Vice President and Secretary of Defense in a suicide bombing. But the shrapnel-packed suicide vest fails him in the final episode, which ends with Brody pitching the idea to Abu Nazir that perhaps he can best serve their cause not by killing the Vice President, who has announced his candidacy for the Presidency, but rather by influencing public policy through him.

I wrote about “Homeland” before on FrontPage Magazine, at the beginning of the show’s season, when I expressed skepticism about how the show would depict the ill-named “war on terror.” My doubts were based on interview snippets with the producers, who hinted at the usual Hollywood moral equivalence and aversion to patriotism. But I was encouraged that the show at least didn’t shy away from portraying Islamic terrorists as the bad guys, and after seeing the complexity and ambiguity of the first couple of episodes, I was just optimistic enough to conclude that it would be necessary to see how the season played out in order to judge the series fully.

Well, now that time has come, and the verdict is in. As gripping and well-acted as the series was on plenty of occasions, the finale laid bare its disheartening true colors when the real reason for Brody’s attempted terror attack became clear.

The motivation for Abu Nazir’s murderous plan? While Brody was still a prisoner of Nazir, our Vice President had ordered a covert drone strike on a school harboring Nazir, killing 82 children – among them, Nazir’s youngest son. The VP then ordered any trace of the operation wiped clean– except for a heavily redacted document that somehow slipped through the cracks and made its way to heroine Claire Danes’ mentor Saul (Mandy Patinkin.)  Then video surfaced of the VP ordering the strike despite being made aware of the presence of schoolchildren. Screw it, he says, we can’t be held responsible if the cowardly Abu Nazir chooses to shield himself among innocent children. So he, the CIA Director, and the Secretary of Defense determine that “the collateral damage count” of the attack is “within the acceptable matrix parameters” and the strike goes forward. Nazir vows vengeance against the principles involved, with Brody as his weapon.

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  • mrbean

    Hollywood as usual always gets it backwards. It was Muslims who committed and are still committing the atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan against innocent civilians, just as it was the NVA and Khmer Rouge who committed the atrocities in Vietnam and Cambodia respectively, to the tune of over a million Vietnamese in the purges and reeducation camps after the fall of Saigon, and over 1.5 million Cambodians in the killing fields under Noam Chomsky's hero, the late Pol Pott. Of course, the Hollywood crowd will always bring up the single incident My Lai, but bring up the NVA massacre of 4000 civilians in Hue in 1968 to them or the post 1975 massive Communist atrocities, they suddenly have amnesia.

    • DogWithoutSlippers

      So well said Mr. Bean, so well said! Read John Del Vecchio's For The Sake of All Living Things. I remember the slurs against our side but nary a one about the other!

    • Questions

      It appears you have not even watched an episode of the series. At least Tapson has. If you recall, by the way, "The Killing Fields" was made into a very effective movie in the mid-80s. And much as I despise the unlamented Pol Pot, you at least could have spelled his last name correctly.

      • mrbean

        She does a good job of playing a bi-polar psycho (probably type cast of course) and it is another chance for all the artsy fartsy Hollywood pedofiles and gays to bash real men, like combat Marines. And yes they show the good and kindly American Imam in the mosque preaching moderation instead of Jihad and the raping of infidel women. Yes I agree with you, it was positively brilliant propoganda. Especially since the VP was of course supposed to be Cheney. I watched all of it by the way.

  • Fred Dawes

    mrbean can see all to well. soon the little monkeys in old Red Hollwood will be making movies on how to mass murder Americans inside death camps.

    • Questions

      Apparently, you didn't see Peter Weir's film of this past year, "The Way Home." It depicted death camps, all right — Soviet ones.

  • MCBUSSTOP

    "Being party to “events that kill innocent people” [this is leftist-speak for “acts of terrorism”] does most certainly make one a villain." Words from this article. This article which would like a solid good vs. evil stance taken in the form of America vs. Islam. The article does however point out the American intelligence operation that kills Islamic 'innocent people'. Yet the article has no sense that within it's own words it defeats the argument it is trying to make as it clearly points out both side are villains (US and Islam alike) at least by the definition provided by the author.

    • truckwork

      No sir you are wrong. Where both civilian casualties have resulted from Allied and Muslim extreamists actions in the middle east, Allied, mostly US activities have been to avoid civilian casualties. Muslim extreamists have targeted innocent civilians and use them as shields against the Allied forces.

      If you are going to equate the actions of a few US soldiers to that of the terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan to what terrorists have done, there is no eqivalent to what the terrorists have done in alahs name

      • MCBUSSTOP

        I recognize this is long over due, but I also recognize that, no sir, I am pretty sure I am right.

        My comment being direct quotes from the article and only about the article it was not wrong. I wasn't making any kind of statement about where you took it. All I was pointing out was that the word choice used by the author makes their point null and void. I was politely calling them (the author) an idiot.

    • mrbean

      War is a dirty filthy business and bad sh&t happens. It should be better it happens to a whole lot of Muslins than even to one American soldier. But the only American atrocities are by the Harvard mother's boy GW Bush and the clandestine Muslim with their suicidal rules of engagement laid upon our soldiers making the lives of Iraqi and Afghanstan civilians more valuable than our soldiers.

  • Johnc

    This is a show that has admitted that being Islam means you're more likely to become a terrorist. It's also a show that admits that government (from both parties) is tainted and sometimes ineffective. The show wishes to show a complex view of the world and not paint things as black-and-white. When it's said and done the only true villains on the show are Abu Nazir and the Vice President (who is a Democrat btw).

    • Johnc

      Also the motivation to kill American because of the bombing is clearly Brody's, while Nazir is using Brody's guilt and anger to benefit his ambitions to kill. It's obvious that Nazir was a terrorist long before that bombing.

  • Jay

    Brilliant, brilliant show. People who have mixed reactions are a) Incredibly picky b) Morons

    • mrbean

      She does a good job of playing a bi-polar psycho and of course it is another chance for all the artsy fartsy Hollywood pedofiles and gays to bash real men, like the Marines. And yes the good and kindly American Imam in the mosque preaching moderation instead of Jihad. Yes I agree, it was positively brilliant propoganda.

      • Betty

        lets dispense with the gay vs real mean sterotypes. many marines are gay. i have sex with a Vietnam Vet who also was a Marine on a regular basis.im also an ex Airforce vet.i am also transgendered.and i believe in America and hate movies like this that besmirch America and paint Islamists in a favorable light.

        • mrbean

          You sure as hell were not a transgender while in the Air Force, That means you are probably a medically created "She Male" It isn't sex, Sorry, it is debauchery you two practice.

    • davarino

      I agree the show was very well done and very exciting to watch. I just dont like the very narrow circumbstances that were setup in order to preach their back door hatred of America.

  • Jakareh

    I've lost my faith in the democratic "marketplace of ideas" because far too often, bad ideas win. Take Communism, Nazism, and Islam as examples. If I had my way Mary McNamara (and many like her) would be sent to some god-awful camp to do hard labor.

    • mrbean

      In any compromise between good and evil, it is evil that wins.

  • EIGF

    What's with all this criticism? The show isn't real, it isn't a documentary. Its a brilliant work of fiction. I think all twelve episodes tell a very well thought out story about morality, family and what is most interesting… Faith.
    Can't wait for another twelve episodes of intense storytelling in season 2!!!

  • truckwork

    I refuse to go to the movies and support the crap that hollywood puts out. Every now and then a good flick comes along and I'll wait till it appears as a DVD.

  • davarino

    I knew the second I saw Lawrence O'donnell on the show it would most likely turn out this way. The show is still good, but I am smart enough to know how the hypnotist is trying to guide my thoughts. The sad thing is most people dont know what the koran teaches and what these people are really about. They will use what ever means necassary to sway public opion. Look at what the pallies do with children. They put them on the front lines throwing rocks at the Isreali soldiers daring them to shoot. Or strap bombs to children. These are not men, they are cowards.

    For all we know, Nazir could have leaked his location to the US in order to entice the drone strike in hopes of blowing up children to gain support from the international community and Brody. For all we know Isa wasnt even his son. The boy could have been used to get to Brody's sense of morality and loyalty. At any rate the show is very contrived

    • geoplaten

      Why do you not trust viewers to have the same read as you?

      I loved the show, and I am about as anti-Hollywood as they come. As I see it, Brody is a puppet of Nazir and Carrie is the hero. By the end of the finale, Brody seemed to be having some doubts as to his role, and the role of terrorism in general. It wouldn't surprise me if he had some real changes in store next season.

      Fiction does not work without proper motivation and conflict. The writers did an excellent job of creating both.

      • davarino

        agree : )

  • fisherKing

    The last episode had major plot holes. How did he get out of the building wearing a suicide vest? ECT's rarely used today, especially if the person's coherent, had no suicide attempts, responded to drugs, and compliant. How did any other foreign government miss a cruise missile strike on a compound containing about 100 kids, so you're looking at maybe 300 people?

    The writing in Spartacus is so much better. "Though many brave men have fallen today, this arena is a wild beast, and hungry for more blood!"

    • mrbean

      Doesn't matter. It is a an indulgence by the Hollywood pedolfiles and gays as useful idiots of Islam to bash real American men like combat Marines, Unfortunately but in reality, Islam enjoys a large and influential ally among non-Muslims: A new generation of “Useful Idiots,” that Lenin identified living in liberal democracies who furthered the work of communism. This new generation of Useful Idiots also live in liberal democracies, but serves the cause of Islamofascism—another virulent form of totalitarian ideology.

      • fisherKing

        mfw response to "forget politics watch this great show!" goes completely over your head:
        http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7035/6512779193_4ee

        • mrbean

          Is that my little head or my big head! heh heh heh. The show is blatant left wing politics.

  • steven l

    In the meantime, "Hollywood" makes megaboxs lecturing Americans!

  • leciat

    i'm with you mark, i really loved the show till they revealed that everything is the great satan americas fault. i will NOT be watching it next season

  • crypticguise

    I absolutely REFUSE to watch Hollywood's depiction of ANYTHING having to do with Muslims, Islam or American soldiers. Hollywood sucks! Hollywood's despicable lies about America or anything good about America or the American Military deserves NO SUPPORT of the American People.

    Shows like this are twisted and vile. May the producers, directors and those supporting this cr*p go straight to hell.

    • ShesTheBeth

      Firstly, hell does not exist. Like heaven, hell is a fictional place created by fear-mongers as a means to manipulate superstitious people like you. Similar to the way the bullsh*t notion that the American military deserves unmitigated respect for everything it does, fear-mongers have instilled the belief in too many Americans that their nation is all about righteousness, and never indecency. So how about you put away your hero worship and use your brain for an instant?
      You may find that:
      1) 'Hollywood' is a successful, capitalistic enterprise. Isn't that what you right-wingers agree is the heart of 'merica??
      2) Just because you like to pretend, doesn't mean that the American military is chock full of nothing but ethical, scrupulous do-gooders. Your American hero worship is disturbing and one of the reasons why so many other nations simply hate America.
      3) NO NATION that participates in war is without blame for its own situation. On so many levels, America asked for it, America got it. Whether it's foreign policies or its own domestic financial meltdown, America has FAILED and continues to fail in the middle east. Again, denial doesn't make all that bad stuff 'not real'. Americans are like a dog with its paws on the toilet rim watching the turds go round and round – but the toilet's already been flushed. You can't unflush it. All you can do is make another turd that hopefully will stink less next time. Maybe try some fibre soaked in a little humility.
      Oh, yeah, and I love Homeland. It's a great show.

  • MethanP

    That plot is right out of a Nazi /Communist propaganda piece. N Vietnam seemed only to have hospitals & schools in it. And since when is the VP authorised to order attacks.
    By the way, is the VP supposed to be Chaney or Biden. They can't have a DEM doing this.
    I've not actualy sen the show as I don't get Showtime.

  • geoplaten

    "By the way, is the VP supposed to be Chaney or Biden. They can't have a DEM doing this. "

    Actually, they do.

    I am as anti-Hollywood as just about anyone, but I thought the show was fairly well balanced. After all, you don't even know at this point who the hero is – it could end up being Carrie.

    Also, Brody seemed to have learned a bit about himself and America toward the end of the show.

    All in all, I found the show compelling on almost all levels.

  • Sean

    Carrie is definitely the good guy in no way does the show make the terrorists look like good guys. This article just another example of how full of it every conservative and liberal really are. The shows portrayal of the government with blood on their hands is factually correct but thats beside the point the show like myself doesn't lean one way another politically. Nazir was hiding among kids and brought in brodie to create a bond that could later weaponize him against the US, how doesthat make nazir look in anyway decent. If you want to watch a movie with a100% good vs 100% evil plot go watch an old ww2 movie this is real life its complicated and messy. Im just pissed that i clicked this thinking it was a review of the homeland finale but ended up reading something about your political agenda.

    • geoplaten

      Very nice post, Sean, well said.

      • fisherKing

        "Carrie is definitely the good guy"
        Only a maniac can fear global jihad?

        "in no way does the show make the terrorists look like good guys"
        Nazir saying They call us terrorists? Brody calling the VP a war criminal?

        "The shows portrayal of the government with blood on their hands is factually correct"
        Glossing over al Qaeda's direct targeting of children? Pretending the US blowing up a school would go unnoticed?

        "Nazir was hiding among kids and brought in brodie to create a bond that could later weaponize him against the US, how doesthat make nazir look in anyway decent."
        They made it look like his home. When the Moslems were beating Nick Brody they said "This is for my friends in Guantanamo Bay…"

        "this is real life its complicated and messy"
        bin Laden's morality complicated? Ambiguity in life only exists if you listen to the lies.

        VP seems based on Cheney by the way. Looks a little like Biden, but acts like Cheney.

        • geoplaten

          "Nazir saying They call us terrorists? Brody calling the VP a war criminal? "

          You do realize these are the characters speaking on the show, don't you? If the most right wing person you know did a documentary on 9/11 and included video clips of Bin Laden's rants, would you say he was being factual, or endorsing OBL's views?

          "They made it look like his home. When the Moslems were beating Nick Brody they said "This is for my friends in Guantanamo Bay…" "

          And terrorists don't live in homes among children? Do you think actual terrorists are saying, "This is because we are insane terrorists and hate all Americans".

          The elements you cite reflect horribly on Nazir's character. Have some faith in the viewers that they can see the sickness.

          Brody's character was tortured and then "rescued" (read:used) by Nazir. You don't think someone going through that could be a little confused?

          The VP may seem like Cheney to you, but he is in fact a Democrat on the show. And he looks nothing like Cheney and acts nothing like Cheney. The implication is in fact an inference on your part, and an incorrect one at that.

  • Ghostwriter

    I don't have Showtime,so I can't comment on this show.

  • John_Kelly

    "H" is for Hollywood and "H" is for Hypocrisy.

    These champagne swilling Hollywood Hypocrites are a sad joke as they berate America and Capitalism which enabled them to seek fame a fortune.

    For all of the talk by so called activists like Sean Penn, Matt Damon, Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore & Alec Baldwin etc I have yet to see just one of these hypocrites open up their swank Beverly Hills homes and welcome the poor unemployed masses to move in and "share the wealth."

  • Amused

    Oh please ! Gimme a break …it's a bloody tv show ! containing all the ratings boosters , sex , violence , intrigue etc , man you guys project your paranoia into just about anything . you're watching way too much tv boys

  • Amused

    …….and YOU ALL watched it …boosting the Nielson ratings . Which boosted the Ad Bucks for the networks ,which inturn will guarantee another season of "hollywood lecturing " .

  • MERLIN

    The last episode was disappointing. One was hoping for Carrie to have some success rather than being stymied and ending up with electrodes on her head. The vest bomb sequences were far fetched, beginning with Brody's claim that he had to buy a toothbrush as the family was about to enter a restaraunt, and ending with Brody in a room full of people on high alert while he went unnoticed, shaking and sweating, as he he repeatedly attempted to set off the explosion with his hand on the switch with a bright red cover. One had the sense that at the last minute the writers were throwing this together at the last whim of the director or producers. The season began much more strongly than it ended, and in fact had become a bit boring.

    • maryanne3935

      you are absolutely ri ght Merlin, can you imagine standing in the middle of the most important cabinet members in the US, clicking away to try to detonate your vest???? HOW STUPID, don't think I will be watching this show in the future. Too bad also, because when it started I really liked the premise. See comment below.

  • JoeMensch

    Once upon a time, there was a guy named Mark Tapson who had strong political views. One day, he saw a television show that he believed did not entirely reflect these views. This made him so angry that he wrote an article criticizing all shows, and films, that did not reflect his views. So all the studios came together and decided to make shows and films that only reflected Mark's views. And from that day forward, all filmed entertainment was exactly the same. The end.

  • maryanne3935

    do we ever get a break, does the US ever get a break????? Here we are with a well acted show, and writers who if they keep apologizing for us, should probably go over and live with the enemy. They should really get a front row view of what radical islam is about, how woman, girls and boys are repeatedly beaten, raped, sodomized and mutiliated. I am so sick an tired of the crap that is put on my TV, that I am wondering, how my husband would fair if I cancelled Time Warner. I don't think he could be without his sports, but I can. If you look at the other station TLC encouraged, The All American Muslim, you wonder what happened to the America that came together when we were attacked on 9/11. I knew all the people at Cantor Fitzgerald's trading department and now they are gone. I hope our "Americanism and love for them and this country" hasn't left with them when they were blown out of the sky that day.

  • truckwork

    Agreed, but I gave up on having the public schools educate my children in world affairs many years ago. It is the parents responsibility to make sure that their children are educated in local, state, national and international affairs so that they make wise choices later in life especially in the voting booth.

  • awake & aware

    Agreed.
    I mentioned recently that I had a discussion with my kids about religious freedom in China & the difference between the underground & state approved Catholic church, you could have heard the huh? from all my friends. I was actually congratulated for talking to my kids about something besides TV shows!