Monthly Archives: December 2013


Brody and Carrie open the episode by going rogue at full tension in Iran. Brody is getting ready for a new transformation with the duque he killed at the end of last episode, glass ashtray and green pillow in his wake. Brody is transported to an important Iranian government building and the tension mounts as he’s trying to blend in…we see the calculating and reactionary parts of Brody in this scene in equal measure. He goes through a bunch of Iranian security checks. Back at the murder scene, the wife of the man he killed discovers her husband’s body. His spot is blown up shortly afterwards, and he hijacks an SUV driver at gunpoint, fleeing angry Iranian police and guards in tow.

Carrie confers with Saul on the cellular and we know she’s all in and is going to go rogue; she wants to recover Brody. Saul takes a more pragmatic approach but Carrie’s not having it.
Brody gets his driver to drive him to a spot, then discharges him, throwing out his phone. He takes the SUV to meet Carrie where they switch into her car and she spirits him away to a safe house.

Javadi tries to call Saul to green light capture on Brody because it would look good in front of an Iranian magistrate. Saul hesitates because Carrie’s a part of the plan. Javadi speculates that if they were captured together, he would have less control of events on the ground and couldn’t secure her safety, or something like that.
Saul hangs up with Javadi and then consults that other CIA advisor.

Meanwhile, Brody gets emotional with Carrie during the ride, explaining how he was born in the Mojave Desert, and other bits from his past. He wistfully remembers his past. Carrie and Brody arrive at the safe house.
Special Ops and Blackhawks are arranged for the unrehearsed operations, up against some hi fi Iranian radar technology, of the extraction. At the safe house, Carrie and Brody reacquaint. She reassures him that killing that guy was no big deal, because of the evil nature of the man’s terrorism. Saul calls and Carrie confirms location at the safe house and hears that a recovery team is on the way to take them to Germany.
Edge taken somewhat off, Brody inquires what happens after the return home. Carrie doesn’t know. Brody reveals to Carrie what the man in Venezuela called him; a cockroach, and concedes that it’s true. Brody says he’s not a Marine anymore and hasn’t been in some time. They have an existential disagreement about the nature of FBI and military work.
Then she reveals she’s four months pregnant and Brody says he thinks that it’s the only sane thing left he can hold onto, so it’s a nice moment for both of them.

The next morning before first light she awakes him to meet what sounds like helicopters for the extraction. Instead, it’s Javadi’s men who have come to take Brody away. It’s a gun-toting, emotional scene with Brody and Carrie lying on the floor, hands behind backs. The scene ends with Brody being taken away by Javadi’s men as Carrie chokes back tears of shock.
She calls Saul and asks if that was a part of his plan, but Saul is angry because he figures out the CIA sold her out.
Javadi arranges for Carrie to meet with him. He tells her Brody’s in prison and has been sentenced to death by hanging. A public execution of Brody is scheduled at 4am. Carrie threatens him but Javadi’s like, or what? Javadi maintains that the plan Carrie worked for with Brody would be even more of a success if Brody dies.
Javadi says he knows that it’s always about and continues to be about Brody for her, and that now the world will see Carrie through his eyes.

Brody calls the efforts over as Carrie gets him on the phone. He says he wants it to be over, he’s okay with it, and Carrie is crying on the other end. He asks her not to be there whenever it happens. Carrie says she has to be there, and will be. Carrie is reduced to tears with Brody on the other line, hours to live until his death by hanging, right before morning prayer time.
Anticipatory grief sets in once she realizes that at this point, neither Saul, nor any other American entity can influence the outcome.
Carrie arrives at the town square with Farrah’s uncle and everyone else to be there at the hanging.
The murder victim’s widow spits in Brody’s face and tightens the noose around his neck.

Carrie cries, clinging to the gate, as she watches Brody hoisted into the air by a crane. Brody is dead. Carrie walks away in tears, bereft.

Fast forward to a scene in which Carrie meets up with the new CIA director and they agree she’ll be the new station chief in Istanbul She lobbies him for a star for Brody, for working as an agency asset. She wants him memorialized, but the CIA director does not.

Quinn and Carrie meet out in the parking lot.
Quinn convinces Carrie that she will make a great mother. Carrie is having doubts.

Carrie tells her sister and father that she’s going to have the baby, then go to Istanbul. She says she feels no love, only fear, and that she can’t keep the baby once she has it.

The CIA has a ceremony to honor fallen soldiers and Carrie runs into Saul. He wishes her well in Istanbul and congratulates her. They say goodbye.

Nighttime, and Carrie stealthily markers in another star to represent Brody, a last symbolic tribute.

Cut to black.


There is a huge Absent Teacher Reserve pool. For various reasons throughout the year, schools need to hire leave replacements. Vested teachers have lives, and often need to take breaks. The Department of Education must hire teachers from within this pool. The Absent Teacher Reserve pool has grown disproportionately large under Mike Bloomberg, largely due to Bloomberg’s large scale closing down of schools and a widespread divesting and subsequent diaspora of these teachers. Really good, professional teachers. 

ATRs have been displaced and largely have the mentality of freelance workers. Sometimes they get placed in gigs they really like. Other times, it’s not that great. It’s like anything else. It’s work. Sometimes their gigs last weeks, sometimes months, and then they have to pack it up and keep it moving.  

They are sometimes treated like second class citizens in their schools because there is a stigma that exists for some: that all these teachers are ineffective. Largely, that’s not the case. It’s just that the school’s numbers crunched out in different ways and earned letter scores of A, B, C, D, or F. 

Yeah, do you remember that? Those city-issued “grades” that made you feel good (or bad) about the school you were sending your kid to? There was no rhyme or reason for many of those closures. 
Schools that were highly rated one year tanked the next, and the statistics going into the letter grading system really amounted to fuzzy math. 

Listen I’m just calling it like I see it, people. I’m not here to condemn anybody. But that’s what the system is. Everyone wants to make a living. We’ve worked harder for less and less. Be grateful you have a job, right? And thank God we do. 

But what’s missing is solidarity. 

We used to have a strong union. It’s still strong in many ways. I’m glad to be a part of it. But mistakes were made and teachers were sold out. 

Plain and simple. Do I really need to explicate further? 

ATRs are the nomads of the Department of Education, the widespread refugees from all the displaced schools. Ask any ATR where they’re coming from and they’ll have a story of the way things were “before they shut it down”. Bigger schools got arbitrarily broken up and were replaced by smaller schools with auspicious-sounding names.

Educational fads and legislation come and go. Some of the more rigorous, highly bankrolled educational trends stick around longer, say for about five years. The conventional wisdom in the trenches is to try to be a good sport and pick up on the trends a little bit. Surely enough, after public interest has waned, a new group will come in. I’ve seen a lot of these consultants with entire zeitgeists come and go, bringing with them lots of paperwork and color coded expensive folders. Then they’re forgotten. 

ATRs are a valuable part – perhaps the most valuable part – of the DOE today. They’ve been through it, and they’re still coming back. 


**Spoiler alert**

It looks like the Iranian extraction plan is happening fast, possibly for the finale. I thought Brody would spend the next season in Iran.
Carrie does some nice undercover work, speaking French, hair darker, and wearing a hijab.
Saul is masterminding everything. He’s aware of getting played by the Iranians regarding the duque Mira slept with and he’s all in. We’ve known for awhile that it’s personal with Carrie, and so it is for Saul.

During debriefing, Quinn wonders why Carrie is so entrenched and why she’s not removed earlier and Saul says that it’s what she wanted.
We see some deprogramming regarding Brody’s brainwashing by Abu Nasir during a conversation with a female Islamic loyalist. He claims to be seeking asylum in Iran and is pronounced a “big man in Tehran” after making a statement to Iranian media.

The CIA proclaims Brody as going from asset to liability, but hasn’t that always been the case with Brody?
This episode cuts directly to the root of what Homeland is predicated on: the character of Brody. Is he trustworthy, or a wild card?

Carrie doesn’t want to cut her losses, but Saul and the CIA do and want her back.
Carrie goes rogue, asks for one last favor from Farah’s uncle being that she doesn’t want to just leave Brody there, seeing that he’s the father of her child and everything.

She arranges a cell phone call and remote meeting and begs Brody to leave Iran with her, but Brody isn’t trying to hear it.
CIA-ordered assassins come for Brody but Carrie is one step ahead, calling them out and telling him she’ll talk him through it. Brody tells her to get out of there and throws his phone into the bushes, assassins in pursuit.
The CIA duques realize Carrie warned Brody and Saul and Carrie hash it out on the phone. Carrie is revolted that Saul was down with a plan that involved Brody’s assassination if they were unable to complete extraction.

Brody knows the CIA tried to kill him and goes to the Iranian revolutionary HQ to blow up the spot – figuratively speaking.
Brody kills the duque there by bashing him over the head with a glass ashtray and then smothering him with a velvet pillow. We’re reminded in this scene that Brody is equal parts diplomat and renegade. He calls Carrie, sitting on the hotel room floor, on the cellular and tells her, then demands that she get him out of there.

End of episode.



*Spoiler alert*

Brody has been captured by the Iranians, where apparently Carrie and Saul have an opportunity to rescue him due to their connection with Javadi (sp). 

Brody was almost killed when he was riding shotgun with this duque and they hit a mine or something. Carrie was close to tears as she watched it on surveillance. 

Then he emerged from the car. 

Yeah, this show has completely jumped the shark. But I’m too far involved to stop watching it. Escalation of commitment and all. 

Anyway, Carrie suggested to Farah that she put her political activist uncle in play in Iran. She balked because of the gravitas of what Carrie was asking for. 

Carrie didn’t really tell anyone else she is pregnant and it’s Brody’s, including Brody. But of course the viewers have known this whole time. It seems like a cheesy storyline, when will she tell? Will Brody survive or even care? 

Next season, I’m going to wait until it’s all over and then mainline the entire season. This episode by episode viewing doesn’t allow me to appreciate overarching themes, because I’m so baffled by the plot choices. 

I heard that the Israeli show this was based on wasn’t supposed to be on the air past Season 2. (Not 100% sure of that, but in light of some of the plot lines this season, I wouldn’t be surprised at all.