Homeland Season 4 Finale: 4.12 – Long Time Coming

 Posted by on December 21, 2014 at 11:52 pm  Homeland
Dec 212014

Homeland 412; Carrie on a bench

What the hell was that?

The Homeland season 4 finale, Long Time Coming, was a sharp left turn into deep dissatisfaction. It had excellent character moments, but after a season full of action and espionage, an episode of virtually nothing but character moments was, in my view, a big mistake.

It wasn’t purely character work; the political machinations involving Dar Adal and Saul Berenson influenced every moment, but what are we to make of them? First, there’s the video. I presume this is the video shown in “Previously On”—Saul a prisoner of Haqqani. Why is this a career-destroying piece of evidence? Everyone takes it as a given and no one explains. Doesn’t the fact that Saul was kidnapped by the Taliban and then freed make him, I dunno, an American hero? Rah, rah, we got our guy back? Yes, the trade for him was heinous, but the information that it occurred will never be released. All the American people will ever be told is that “negotiations” happened. What am I missing?

So, Carrie’s dad (the late James Rebhorn) has a funeral, and a friend at the park, and an ex-wife who is sad. But not granddaughters, except Frannie, because whatshername, Carrie’s sister, has two daughters who weren’t important enough to show grieving, even though this episode was ALL ABOUT character.

And Quinn shows up, and does that tiny, tight, fatalistic thing he does that resembles smiling, and then he kisses Carrie, and immediately, without discussion, they both know they’re talking about a relationship and not hot monkey sex in the back of the SUV.

I can even accept that. They’ve known each other for a while, and maybe the unspoken knowledge is fine, except we all have to remember that the character of Quinn was introduced as Dar Adal’s Black Ops man who was sent to kill Brody, and Carrie if necessary. Because that seems important.

Funerals are hard to film. The pacing is sometimes glacial and sometimes herky-jerky. Witness the lasagna scene. I have an important question about that scene. Who cares? We are forgiving Lockhart for being a huge dick because…why exactly? Because his dickishness was bumbling enough to destroy his own career? Because he brought lasagna? That he didn’t even make himself?

Then Carrie goes in search of her mother. At first she rejects her, but later she seeks her out. In the end, we’re meant to understand that the key factor changing her mind is that magic kiss from Quinn in between. She thinks she cannot be loved, just as her father couldn’t be loved, because of her disorder. When the possibility of love appears, she goes on a “crazy road trip” to find out exactly why her father couldn’t be loved.

This is some weird motivation, if you ask me. Real psychology involves the horror of abandonment when your mother leaves you, and how that affects your future ability to attach. It’s not a careful dissection of your father’s love life. Which, ew.

But she wants to find out if a real relationship is possible. As hot as the chemistry was between her and Brody (way hotter than Carrie and Quinn), there was never a chance of anything substantive there, what with him being married and a traitor and all. So this is a real question for her.

She asks Quinn to give her time to decide. After 24 hours, he’s tired of waiting. This is completely reasonable, given her history, given their recent exit from Islamabad, and given these are the 24 hours after her father’s memorial service. What an asshole.

Sorry, I’ve had a lot of sympathy for Quinn all season long, but this is him treating Carrie no better than he treated his poor nameless landlady. Quinn loves to wallow in his own feelings, but pushed against having real respect for the emotions of someone else, he retreats into his next murderous/suicidal mission. There he can be flooded with his own feelings while killing off, literally, the possibility of someone else having them. Carrie, who feels deeply, is too much for him.

Of course, that’s not how it’ll play out in Season 5. There will! Be! Feelings! The ‘shippers demand it.

And the season ends with Carrie betrayed by Saul. Oh well.

This is such a huge let down, because the season has been so well-done. Some of the dangling loose ends are clearly on purpose: Saul, Quinn, Carrie’s abilities as a driver. And I guess Haqqani remains Big Bad next season, and Handsome Pakistani Colonel comes back, because all of that is unresolved. But what was the point of building all those components to a fever pitch, and then wasting the denouement on a lot of thinking and opening doors and driving around?

I expected better.


  19 Responses to “Homeland Season 4 Finale: 4.12 – Long Time Coming”

  1. I thought it was an interesting downbeat coda to the season.
    Of course, Carrie lost her real father, then her surrogate father.
    I thought Quinn assumed that Carrie rejected him. Thus the drama of her being too late.

    • Yes, Quinn thought that, or told himself that. What she said was, it’s definitely NOT a no, please don’t pressure me, give me time. And she said this the day after her father’s funeral. Quinn, who supposedly loves her, has no space for her in this incredibly difficult time.

      • No one notices how very fucked-up, low, and vulnerable Quinn is. Except for Dar Adal, of course. And that black ops bro dude who Dar Adal sent to pull Quinn back in.

        The vision of a “we can save one another” relationship that Quinn laid out after the drunken wake make-out session was a fantasy akin to the Carrie-to-Brody “your deal could be a way out for both of us” thing near the end of S2. So that’s why Quinn was watching them so hungrily.

      • Perhaps he believed that her real intention was to let him down easy. Therefore he didn’t believe she really just wanted more time to decide.

  2. I loved this season, but the finale was, in a word, atrocious.

    I am thoroughly disgusted with the writers. For all the reasons you list, Deborah, and:

    For wasting not just the better part of an entire episode, but the finale episode, introducing a new character–no, make that two new characters–that none of us could possibly care about: Carrie’s mother and half-brother. They literally had NOTHING to do with all the complex story lines and action that made this season so watchable and good. And here they were, taking up all the time.

    For leaving so many plot points totally unresolved, resulting in the unsatisfied feeling we all had. Yes, a season finale can have cliffhangers and unresolved plot lines, and indeed in a series like Homeland, you’d expect it to. But there were so many things left dangling, one wonders if they brought in a new team of writers to do the finale after firing the ones who put the previous eleven episodes together.

    What the hell happened to the pony-tailed guy Quinn was all set to torture?

    What the hell happened to Col. Khan, who seemed to have a genuine connection to Carrie?

    What the hell happened to Ambassador Boyd? I mean, we pretty much figured out what would occur with her husband, but to just cut her out of the story completely, with no resolution or mention or anything, after she’d played an integral role all season seemed…cheap and lazy.

    What the hell happened to the plot point that got Carrie the Islamabad assignment in the first place, namely, Lockhart’s treason (remember “filing room guy”, who spilled the beans to her so she could blackmail Lockhart at Sandy’s funeral in Episode 2?) How utterly sloppy that the writers just forgot all about that, and assumed we are all too stupid to remember it and just accept Lockhart bringing lasagna (good grief) and being a nice guy in the end.

    And finally, what the hell, Saul? His action at the end was so far out of character, so utterly counter to everything he stood for, everything he taught Carrie…it rang totally false.

    I am not just disgusted with the way they treated the characters and loyal viewers, I am insulted.

    • Of course, people had similar reactions when Saul “betrayed” Carrie at the hearings. It’s at least possible that he’s playing his own game and is getting into position to destroy Adal.

    • Re: Carries’s mother and half-bro—EXACTLY!!
      I get that she needed to find out what really happened between her parents in order to accept the possibility that she could be in a non-f’d-up relationship. But to devote a major chunk of an episode, no the finale!, to it? Honestly, Dad could’ve written her a letter finally telling her the truth, or even Mom could’ve called/Skyped and had 3 minutes wasted, not 20 (although it felt like we spent the equivalent of a car-ride to Missouri).

      • Of course Carrie could have just decided to give it a go with Quinn on her own — perhaps a shot lasting two seconds of Carrie pondering and then a call.

  3. Think it could be a decent mid-season episode. I think the drama was supposed to derive from Carrie’s revelation that maybe having BPD does not rule out long lasting relationships.

    “Real psychology involves the horror of abandonment when your mother leaves you, and how that affects your future ability to attach. It’s not a careful dissection of your father’s love life”

    Deborah, I disagree that there is only one “correct” psychological reaction to her mother’s abandonment. I find it plausible that a child will identify with Dad and think she is also impossible to live with. Especially when taking in to consideration that children often blame themselves for what goes wrong in their parents’ marriage, this is also a form of indirectly taking some of the blame.
    Anyway, I was hoping for a more exciting finale, but at this point I pretty much trust the writers and I like it that they don’t follow the script for how a season should end. Waiting for Homeland 5.

    • Psychological issues can indeed take many forms. The rationality of Carrie’s though: I see my bipolar father is like X, therefore I, too, must be like X, and once I rationally discover that my father was not actually like that, bam, I’m cured! — yeah, that’s not how it works.

  4. This season demanded an old fashioned, Hollywood cliffhanger. I dunno, something like Dar Adal proclaiming, “I am your mother”.

  5. It was anti-climactic for sure. We’ve had some Mad Men finales that weren’t quite as dramatic as the episodes that preceded them, yet I still found them to be good finales.

    Homeland had some very exciting, dramatic episodes this season and yet the finale left me feeling very distanced and I had a hard time paying attention. I’ll watch it again, but….like Deborah, I expected better.

  6. I seem to be in the minority but I don’t think that the Season 4 finale was as bad as most people are saying. The previous three seasons of Homeland have all had explosive finales, to the point where it would be too expected if another season ended like that. I liked the quiet, more reflective tone of this season finale. I liked the funeral scenes, the scenes of Carrie bonding with Frannie and the team all relaxing having Irish whiskey. The only thing I didn’t like was the Quinn-Carrie story-line. I had previously shipped Carrie and Quinn but the kiss scene was sadly lacking in chemistry (IMO anyway) and the whole thing about Quinn leaving on a black-op due to a misunderstanding was silly and cliche. That kind of story-line is more worthy of Dawson’s Creek (I’m showing my age now, aren’t I?!) than Homeland.

    • “The only thing I didn’t like was the Quinn-Carrie story-line. I had previously shipped Carrie and Quinn but the kiss scene was sadly lacking in chemistry (IMO anyway) and the whole thing about Quinn leaving on a black-op due to a misunderstanding was silly and cliche.”

      I’ll watch it again when I get a chance, but from what I remember, their scenes just seemed kind of rushed.

    • Quinn leaving Carrie = Riley leaving Buffy.

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