Homeland Watch: Casualty of War

Via: Tuned In

Spoilers for last night’s Homeland Season 3 finale follow: One of the first things you learn as a young TV viewer is that the screen has a magic power: the protagonist force field, which slows down fireballs and bends the arc of machine-gun bullets to ensure that major characters live until the day Nielsen kills them and everyone they know. The force field protected networks, who needed series to run until there was no more profit to be extracted from them, and fans, who could watch through their fingers knowing their favorites could never really die because their names were too high up in the credits. The mark of many “serious” dramas these days has been their willingness to power down that force field. As the likes of Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire killed off major stars with relish, it announced their daring, their commitment to drama over fandom, their willingness to go there. Now some TV fans and critics have become a kind of capital jury, deciding which characters “need” to die and when. Go on, Sons of Anarchy, kill off [name redacted]–if you’ve got the cojones! So did Nicholas Brody need to die? Well, he at least needed to go, lethally or not. He was a character in a CIA drama whose connection to any CIA operation had to be justified by more and more implausible twists over the last two seasons, as he went from war hero to terrorist suspect to congressman to assassin to wrongly framed terrorist to international fugitive to junkie to assassin again, but for the other team. (Homeland is a show that’s best enjoyed if you don’t stop to summarize its story turns in a sentence.) With Abu Nazir gone and Brody’s intel value gone with him, there was nothing to keep Brody relevant to the espionage storylines short of a implanting a computer chip in his brain. And while you can certainly find drama in a man trying to redeem himself to his estranged motel-housecleaner daughter, Homeland was not the show

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