One critic likened Season 2 of Homeland to an extended game of Mad Libs, so implausible were some of its plot twists. As the final episode approaches, we asked Slate writers and the folks who took part in the Homeland TV Club to offer their predictions for what will go down Sunday night. We also plucked a couple of smart suggestions from the Internet.
Could Brody die?
Quinn kills Brody, and he and Estes exchange Brody’s body for Abu Nazir’s body. Then they dump it out at sea. That’s the body we saw in the “next week on Homeland” trailer. Saul tips off Carrie, but too late to save Brody, and now they have no hard evidence. She is horrified and heartbroken and vows to prove what happened so she can bring down Quinn and Estes. But Saul is discredited and exiled and Carrie is in some sort of box, too. The problem with this theory is that it means no more Damian Lewis playing Nicholas Brody in Season 3, which would be a crying shame.— Emily Bazelon
I predict that all the emphasis on the romance between Carrie and Brody (which has been driving some of us nuts) is a masterful sleight of hand by the writers. Carrie is the only person alive who knows that Brody killed the vice president. And Brody could barely play off his feelings about the death of Abu Nazir in front of his own family. Brody is using his alleged feelings for Carrie to lull her into a false sense of security, but actually he’s unhinged and she’s in great danger. Will Quinn save her? I might be wrong, but I have to believe it. Because otherwise, the show is a second-rate soap opera based on a completely unbelievable affair. —Rachael Larimore
Brody needs to die, but Carrie Mathison needs, as Roya Hammad put it to her, "someone who takes over your life, pulls you in, gets you to do things you would normally never do." So my bet: Peter Quinn manages to take out Brody in the finale. Next season, Saul and Carrie work together to prove that Quinn, David Estes, and Dar Adul are in it together, if only so I can get my prescription dose of F. Murray Abraham. And Quinn and Carrie do some “Stage 5 delusional getting laid” of their own. —Alyssa Rosenberg
Quinn will follow orders and kill Brody, only to be burned by Estes and Dar Adul. Carrie will realize that Saul has an agenda of his own—suspects with valuable information die when he’s around. Quinn and Carrie—when they’re not screaming at each other or screwing—will spend Season 3 trying to figure out who Saul is really working for. —June Thomas
I continue to think the season is going to wind its way around to Carrie having to kill Brody, then discovering she’s having his child. —The AV Club’s Todd VanDerWerff (in his take on Episode 211)
I have a sinking feeling that Season 2's finale will wrap up with Brody dead—though not at the hands of gorgeous Peter Quinn, who I envision standing down out of compassion for Carrie. Maybe Estes himself will pull the trigger, as Saul and Carrie burst into the room. When word gets out, Estes will retire in disgrace, and Saul will reconcile with his wife and open a waffle restaurant. The last we see of Claire Danes will be a shot of her bent over Brody's body, making the Cry Face To End All Cry Faces. —Katy Waldman
Or will Brody thrive?
Honestly, I have not the foggiest idea. It has gone so far off into the realm of preposterousness that they could do anything. It will probably end with Brody—a trained sniper, remember?—killing Dar Adul, as Dar Adul prepares to murder Carrie and Saul. —David Plotz
Brody becomes the new No. 1, replacing Abu Nazir. He never had divided loyalties and has been working for the terrorists all along. He has been carefully setting up Carrie and is going to make it look like she is the mole. —Emily Yoffe
Could the big bad be a character you never thought of?
If Nazir had been really smart, he would have spent years cultivating those close to Brody and Walker, knowing they would need a minder when they got back to the States, someone to keep Brody from connecting with his family ... aka Mike. —Chad Briggs
Carrie is the mole. That’s what Estes says, anyway, creating a convincing narrative: Carrie and Brody became terrorist sympathizers. Carrie and Brody are framed for Walden’s death. Carrie’s history of mental illness—manifested in erratic behavior, insubordination, and suspension—plays in. Her obsession with Nazir evolved into admiration. Estes says she was a complicit prisoner.
Estes leaks Brody’s video and other evidence that golden boy Brody is a conspirator. Brody’s family doesn’t know any better. The only person who knows otherwise is Saul, but Estes saw to it that he was discredited.