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The Star
Season 3 Episode 12.jpg
Season 3, Episode 12
Written by: Alex Gansa & Meredith Stiehm
Directed by: Lesli Linka Glatter
Production number: 3WAH12
Running time: 60 minutes
Original airdate: December 15, 2013
Viewers (millions): 2.38

The Star is the season finale of Season 3 of Homeland. It aired on December 15, 2013.

Synopsis

Security forces close in on Carrie and Brody. As Saul plans a last ditch rescue operation, Brody struggles to find redemption.

Episode guide

Having just killed Akbari, Brody steals Akbari's pistol and calmly walks out of the building. He is picked up by the driver who took him there. Brody forces the driver out of the car at gunpoint. He goes to meet Carrie and they drive to a safe house about a hundred miles away.

Majid Javadi confirms that Akbari is dead but suggests that Saul abandon Carrie and Brody because their capture would increase Javadi's chances of getting Akbari's job. Javadi promises that he would get Carrie out afterwards. Saul refuses and proceeds to organize an extraction involving the military and several helicopters. Dar Adal betrays him and informs Senator Lockhart, who quickly gets the president's agreement to take command of the CIA, even though his time in the job is not for another 11 hours. Lockhart calls off the extraction and gives the safe house's location to Javadi, whose troops go there, albeit with orders to leave Carrie.

At the safe house, Carrie tells Brody about her pregnancy and Brody starts to feel confident about his road ahead. Brody and Carrie leave the house when they hear their rescue helicopter, not knowing it is false sound being generated by a loudspeaker. Brody is immediately seized by Iranian military forces and Carrie screams as she is left behind.

Brody is given a speedy trial and sentenced to be hanged publicly. Mathison is not sure how to help Nicholas. Though undisturbed by the notion of being executed while he waits, he tells her that he has accepted his fate. That he really wants to die, because Brody sees the world as a cruel place. Carrie attends, pushing her way through the crowd to reach the chain link fence surrounding the execution zone, having mourned that entire day. She looks on, devastated, then climbs the fence and calls his name loudly so Brody knows she is there.

Four months pass. Carrie has chosen not to have an abortion because she "wanted a part" of Brody, who is the father. She tells Quinn that she is afraid of motherhood; however, he encourages her to keep the baby. Lockhart has a meeting with Carrie where he promotes her to station chief in Istanbul. Not only is Istanbul the most prestigious station, Carrie has become the youngest station chief in CIA history. Carrie asks whether, at the upcoming CIA memorial, Brody might be given a star alongside the fallen agents, but Lockhart refuses because Brody was not a CIA employee and the director does not believe that an erstwhile would-be terrorist merits such an honor. Meeting later her sister and father, Carrie tells them she plans to give the baby up but her father offers to adopt the child.

Saul is fired after Lockhart took office and went to work in the private sector, paid much more money. He gets an invitation to attend the upcoming CIA memorial. He speaks with Dar Adal and Carrie after seeing them again, and conveys he still prefers the CIA over private industry. Later that night, hours after the memorial, Carrie walks through the CIA's halls, approaches the memorial wall, and furtively draws a star in memory of Brody with a marker pen.

Quotes

  • “I was born in the desert ... That’s where my old man was stationed ... At least he isn’t around anymore. I’m the son that broke his heart.” -Brody to Carrie, on the drive over to the safe house
  • Mathison: I'm pregnant. Nicholas : What? Mathison: I'm four months pregnant. From our time at the lake. Nicholas: Carrie, Jesus. Mathison: As if things couldn't get more complicated, right? Nicholas: You should've said something... Mathison: Well, I'm saying it now. Nicholas : Hey. Mathison: Don't. Nicholas : Hey, hey. Mathison: Look, I don't know what happens back home either, kind of a life we have or we don't have, whether it's together or apart, but there will be a life. And I'm not sorry about that. Not for one single second. Because I happen to believe one of the reasons I was put on this earth was for our paths to cross. And, yeah, I know how crazy that sounds. Nicholas : Are you through yet? Mathison: No. [pauses] Mathison: Yes. Nicholas : 'Cause I don't think that sounds crazy at all. I think it sounds like the only sane fucking thing left to hold onto. Mathison: Well, okay then.” - Carrie to Brody at the safe house, after she tells him she’s pregnant
  • “Fucking pussies, all of ya.” -Saul to Senator Lockhart and company after Lockhart authorizes Brody’s capture to Javadi
  • “Why would anyone do that to themselves? Why would you? And I think I know now. It was always about [Brody]. That’s what you care about. Maybe the only thing. Who Brody is, that’s for Allah to know. But what he did, that’s undeniable. It was astonishing ... Everyone sees him in your eyes now. Saul. The president. Lockhart. Even me.” - Javadi to Carrie, on the day of Brody’s execution
  • “No one’s judging [Brody]. I’m just not memorializing him on the walls outside the building.” -Lockhart to Carrie, after he rejects her request to commemorate him with a star at Langley
  • “It took me this far for me to realize that it’s impossible. I can’t be a mother. Because of me. Because of my job. Because of my problems. I’ll be a great station chief. I’ll be obsessed, I’ll be ruthless... all the same reasons I can’t.” -Carrie to Peter Quinn about her doubts on becoming a mother
  • “Two old-schools coming up.” -Waitress to Saul and Dar Adal at a smoky diner, a scene that looked straight out of the 1950s
  • “You’re not leaving her like your mother did to you.” - Carrie’s dad, emotional after Carrie admits she’s scared to be a mother
  • “I want it to be over.” -Brody

Comments

“The Star” begins with another of those “Homeland” sequences where you have to nod and smile and mutter, “Just go with it” for it to make any damn sense at all, as Brody somehow walks out of Akbari’s office while his secretary and bodyguards are all on a simultaneous coffee break and makes it practically to the outer gate of the most secure complex in all of Iran before somebody notices that he murdered the head honcho. Previously, “Homeland” has presented a version of Iran so dangerous, intractable and impenetrable that Saul would have to resort to this crazy plan to make any headway.

In addition, it’s the second episode in a row that skips over some of the most potentially meaty material: in this case, how the people of Iran, America, and the world react to the latest abrupt, insane turn in the story of Nicholas Brody, who has gone (in the public eye) from presumed killed in action, to rescued war hero, to rookie congressman with an inside track at the vice-presidency, to the heinous terrorist who bombed the CIA, to an international fugitive, to a revered hero in Iran for the aforementioned bombing, to a despised, swiftly-executed assassin whom all Iranians despise. I suppose this is one of many “Homeland” threads it’s best not to pull on too much, but it was only last week that he was being cheered in the streets of Tehran while Americans were appalled. Javadi(*) tells Carrie that now everyone sees Brody through her eyes, but I imagine it’s more that most people are confused as all get out by this guy. Was there any public statement as to why he killed Akbari? Has he just been written off as a mercurial, equal-opportunity murderer? - ALAN SEPINWALL

(*) During the stretch of the episode where Brody and Carrie are trying to get out of the country together, why does no one mention the very real and very dangerous possibility that Brody would be tortured while in custody, and reveal who it was who assigned him to commit this crime, and what role Javadi has in all of this?  For that matter, what on earth is Carrie doing telling the soldiers to call her pal Javadi to fix things?

Ruined: Nicholas Brody's Death

The decision to kill off one of the two best characters was a misinformed one. Part of what made the first three seasons so great was the presence of the radicalized Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis). His interactions with CIA agent Carrie Mathison were amazing. She was doing her best to bring him down yet she couldn't help but grow emotionally attached to him.

Sadly, in the third season, he was sacrificed to give viewers a shocking death. Shocking indeed as he was hanged from a crane courtesy of a death sentence in Iran. Movie and TV deaths can make the plot even better, but Damian Lewis was too good as Brody (he won an Emmy) and the void he left was alwsays felt. - BY ELIVA ANDRIAMORA

Mistakes

Continuity mistake: When Carrie is talking to Brody from across the room, her hair jumps several times between being tucked behind her ear to hanging down by her face. (00:20:30)

Continuity mistake: Shortly after halfway through the episode, Carrie discusses the fate of her unborn child with her sister and father. Her hair is not tucked behind her ears - then it quickly is.

Trivia

  1. Homeland is based on an Israeli series called Hatufim, which means something like 'abducted'. Gideon Raff created the original series because there were so many Israeli soldiers being held captive and not much was said about the difficulty they felt when they returned home and into society. Makram Khoury, who plays Samir Khalil in Homeland, was cast in the Israeli original.
  2. Ben Affleck was invited to direct the pilot episode of the series, and for family reasons he didn't accept the job.
  3. In the first sketch of the series, the main character was not bipolar. This particularity was added later, as Claire Danes had been chosen for the role. Incidentally, this was not the only thing to be changed, as initially Carrie would be called Claire. In this case, as character and actress they would share the name, they decided to change it.
  4. Halle Berry (Extant) was offered the role of Carrie Mathison and Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) the role of Nicholas Brody.
  5. To prepare for her role, Claire Danes met with CIA agents, watched videos about patients with bipolar disorder, and spoke with Julie Fast, a mental health specialist who also suffers from the disorder. In fact, in the early episodes, the illness Carrie was suffering from was never specified, and for the sake of preparation, Claire decided it would be Type 1 Bipolar Disorder.
  6. Damian Lewis did not audition for his role as Brody. Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, the show's producers, had seen him in the film Keane and were so impressed that they offered him the role over a phone call.
  7. Morena Baccarin was not the actress who played Jessica Brody, in the first version of the pilot of the series, but Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad and Lip Service). In this case, before the first issue of the series, it turned out to be Baccarin who took on the role.
  8. Navid Negahban, who brings Abu Nazir to life, was discovered by the Homeland producers at an open public reading session on Iranian poetry.
  9. Brody was supposed to have died in Season 1, only Showtime encouraged Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon to keep the character alive for as long as possible.
  10. In the opening of Homeland you can hear excerpts of recordings of five American presidents, in chronological order. First Ronald Reagan, followed by George Bush (father), Bill Clinton, George W. Bush (son), and finally Barack Obama.
  11. Still about the opening of the series, many of the photographs shown are of Claire Danes herself as a girl.
  12. Joan Allen (The Family) was offered a role in Season 4. In this case, the actress refused because filming was taking place in South Africa and did not want to be so far away in her daughter's first year of university.
  13. Meredith Stiehm, one of Homeland's producers, was seriously involved in the writing process for the character Carrie not only because she was the only woman on the series' writing team, but also because her sister suffers from Bipolar Disorder.
  14. Some viewers considered Claire Danes' portrayal as realistic as playing a bipolar that they wrote to Showtime asking the actress to take a vacation, thinking she might be in trouble.
  15. Homeland came in for criticism – which included slogans against the series – for its portrayal of the Muslim community and its members. In this case, its creator, Alex Ganza, admitted that the series has always been subversive and that it encourages an exchange of ideas, so he was delighted with this artistic sabotage, believing in the right to freedom of opinion.
  16. In the book 'Homeland Revealed' (page 86): The gist is that the writers' original plan for season two was for Brody to be so helpless in his own situation as his reign closed in that he would ask Carrie to essentially kill him for mercy and she would obey. Fortunately, after the success of season one and the complex Carrie/Brody relationship, Showtime asked them to keep Brody alive until season three.

The DVDs have four major features:

  • Behind the scenes of the making of “Tower of David.” I found this much more interesting than I would have thought, especially considering I don’t really care much for the episode. It does reinforce just how ambitious and unique the episode is, from the mere perspective of recreating this real location. Really gives you a good idea of how much thought and care and time goes into creating scenes that last for less than 30 seconds.
  • Behind the scenes of “Big Man in Tehran” and “The Star.” This is actually not the same set of interviews Showtime has officially released in the past few months. Claire, Damian, Alex Gansa, Lesli Linka Glatter, and more talk about what it was like filming the final two episodes in Morocco, and of course the final two episodes of Brody’s story. Very interesting. There are some soul-crushing moments I’ll be giffing later. Just prepare yourselves.
  • Commentary on “The Star” with Alex Gansa, Damian Lewis, and Joe Hobeck (editor). This was honestly kind of a letdown. The insight they did add was very interesting and enlightening, especially from the editor (surprisingly enough), but there are also just moments of complete silence. Weird for a commentary. Gansa says they are just getting “lost” in the moment, but I can’t help wonder how much better this commentary would have been with this trio: Claire, Lesli, Meredith Stiehm. Alex Gansa provides good background about why certain storytelling decisions were made and he uses the word “restraint” a lot, which if you think about it is sort of the like the overall theme of the season’s tone.
  • Deleted scenes. I saved these for last because they were really the true highlight. Usually deleted scenes are boring and dull, but there are some really interesting ones in here. A few with the Brody family (and TWO reference Carrie Mathison which in and of itself is rather thrilling), a few with Quinn (the oft-referenced Quinn/Julia scene is here, and guess what? I actually HATED it). But I really wanna talk about one with Carrie that takes place in “The Star,” during the denouement. I’ll gif it tonight but it takes place at her OB/GYN and it’s so so so relevant to this upcoming season I feel like it’s required viewing for everyone.

FUN FACT: THIS WAS THE SECOND EPISODE OF SEASON THREE THAT LEAKED BEFOREHAND … A WHOLE DAY PRIOR, AND THIS WAS BACK WHEN EVERYTHING JUST AIRED ON SUNDAY NIGHT, NONE OF THIS “STREAMING EARLY RELEASE” BUSINESS.

Scenes deleted

Season 3 deleted scene - Brody's name is cleared

Cast

Main Cast

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

  • Jack Solomon as David Weissman
  • Caroline Renfro as Anchor
  • Gezell Fleming as Waitress
  • Amal Essaqr as Bahar
  • Anas el Akil as Security Guard
  • Younes Bouab as IRGC Commander

Note

Videos

Season 3
#301 "Tin Man Is Down" #307 "Gerontion"
#302 "Uh... Oh... Ah..." #308 "A Red Wheelbarrow"
#303 "Tower of David" #309 "One Last Thing"
#304 "Game On" #310 "Good Night"
#305 "The Yoga Play" #311 "Big Man in Tehran"
#306 "Still Positive" #312 "The Star"
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