Well, it took a few episodes, but Season Three finally came together. As I had written before, Season One, which got rave reviews, was exciting and unpredictable because of Brody, played by Damien Lewis. You never knew whose side he was on; the conflict between him and his family and his loyalties drove every episode.
The problem, of course, was once you realized that Brody was a bad guy (even if he was brainwashed by his captors, even if Carrie did love him), it was hard to root for him. No, he was not the Langley bomber, but he did try to assassinate the Vice President. You just can't let him live for that.
Season Three (eventually) became about Brody's redemption, as he worked with Carrie and Saul to change the course of history. How by removing a militant leader in Iran, so that another Iranian leader (one that the CIA had co-opted) could become the most powerful man in Iran. It was Saul's idea, and in the end, it worked.
The problem, of course, was Brody. He had attempted to assassinate the Vice President of the United States, he successfully assassinated the seond most powerful Iranian politician, and he was thought (incorrectly) to have been the CIA bomber, killing 136 people. Where does a man like that go, not only in the series' storyline, but also for the writers?
It was only fit, therefore, that Brody be hung out to dry, literally. The president and the new CIA director (played by the great writer Tracy Letts ["Bug", "August:Osage County"]) both agreed that Iran must be allowed to execute the captured Brody, and, in an excruciating scene, he was unceremoniously hung from a crane in a Tehran street, as Carrie watched from the crwod.
A sad ending for Brody fans, but GREAT for the show. We can now finally leave the Brody plotline (which really needed to happen in Season Two), and Season 4 will open with a world of possibilities. Will Carrie, who we last see as eight months pregnant, really give her baby to her sister and head up the Turkey CIA office? Is Saul really retired? What about Quinn?
The charactors remain interesting. And now, with Brody (and that silly love subplot) out of the way, the show can really return to its routes — intrigue and political thriller.