TV Review: HOMELAND Season Two Finale 'The Choice'

The Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning drama series Homeland, which stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, is scheduled to return for it's third season Fall 2013, exclusively on Showtime.

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Developed for American television by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa and based on the original Israeli series "Prisoners of War" by Gideon Raff, HOMELAND stars Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Claire Danes, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Damian Lewis, and Emmy and Tony® Award winner Mandy Patinkin. The one-hour drama series tells the story of Carrie Mathison (Danes), a CIA officer battling her own demons, who becomes convinced that the intelligence that led to the rescue of U.S. soldier Nicholas Brody (Lewis) was a setup and may be connected to an Al Qaeda plot to be carried out on American soil. As we begin season two, Carrie is no longer with the Agency. The disgraced ex-officer is on the slow path to recovery, after her manic flight in season one nearly crashed Brody's political career. It’s this fragile new existence that Carrie's former colleagues Saul Berenson (Patinkin) and David Estes (David Harewood) threaten to shatter, when they come to her door asking for help. Meanwhile, Brody is several months into his inaugural term as a freshman Congressman, and finds himself buffeted daily by competing agendas. With every lie he tells, the walls around him close in a little tighter, threatening to bring him down, along with his family and everything they’ve achieved since his return.

Season 2, episode 12

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Major Spoilers Ahead:

Kaboom. Just when you thought the second season finale of Homeland was beginning to look a lot like a series finale -- everything blows up -- literally. The first half of 'The Choice' follows Brody and Carrie as they head to the woods to have creepy CIA/Terrorist sex. Quinn follows them and camps out with his Black Ops sniper rifle waiting for the chance to pop Brody the first chance he's alone. It's an unnerving sequence of events and because Brody's story at that point was literally finished, I thought he could have been dead. Wrong.

Quinn doesn't pull the trigger and instead winds up in CIA director Estes' bedroom with a silenced handgun and proceeds to drop his best lines of the season. Quinn tells Estes that he won't finish Brody because he only kills badguys and he won't ruin Carrie because she's the best CIA analyst that he's ever seen. He even tells Estes that if anything happens to Brody that he'll show up in his room again to kill him. OK – now can we please have the next season focus on Quinn as a main character because he's freaking amazing. This scene solidified that you can build an entire season around this Black Ops assassin and I would love to see that….

Everything is eerily quiet to almost the point of staleness while Brody and Carrie attend the funeral procession of the deceased VP at the CIA headquarters. While Estes delivers his speech, Brody and Carrie jet to go apparently make out in someone's office and we see a great comparison of the VP's funeral alongside Abu Nazir's sendoff at sea. It's a very symbolic scene that shows these two arch enemies bidding farewell as they head to their graves, until…. BOOM! Brody notices that someone moved his car closer to the building and it proceeds to detonate and kill everyone at the VP's funeral. Nazir had one more attack and his death was the lure in order for the CIA to drop their guard.

Commencing chaos: Al Qaeda releases Brody's suicide confession tape to the news and now everyone assumes that he was responsible for the car bomb. Holy s***. Carrie gets Brody out of the country while Saul returns to the CIA headquarters after overseeing Nazir's funeral at sea to find out that he's now the chief commanding officer after Estes and over 200 CIA officials and civilians were killed in the attack. What an eerie scene where we see Saul standing over 200 covered up corpses and even more sad and moving is Mandy Patinkon's prayer that he says in grievance.

It may not have been as strong of a finale as Season One, but this was a shocking and literally explosive cap to a great season of Showtime's best series. The upcoming third season will be a different animal and some may have issues with this change of pace, but I'm anticipating the shake-up. Brody is on the run and essentially the world's most wanted man, Saul commands the CIA, Carrie is messed up as always and let's not forget Quinn and what I'm predicting will be his return into the fold in order to re-hunt Brody after he will no doubt blame himself for letting the assumed terrorist go…

4-5 Stars