‘Homeland’ finale predictions: Big shockers and bigger shake-ups
Published: December 14, 2012 01:35PM
Updated: April 8, 2013 11:32PM
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Courtesy photo Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in "Homeland."

“Homeland,” the Emmy-winning cable drama about terrorism, national security and a particularly obsessed/insane CIA agent, has become an addiction for millions — including the president of the United States.

On Sunday, Dec. 16, Showtime will present the Season 2 finale — and theories abound.

Will Carrie (Claire Danes) be outsmarted by Brody (Damian Lewis), the former American P.O.W., turned terrorist and now a congressman, who’s made a deal with the CIA? Can their twisted cat-and-mouse romance be real? Will the storyline edge ever closer to that of adrenaline-pumping “24,” from some of the same creators, and make Carrie an indestructible Jack Bauer sort of superhero fighting her own bureaucracy?

Below, television critics Joanne Ostrow, of The Denver Post, and Scott D. Pierce, of The Salt Lake Tribune, weigh in on the show’s much-anticipated season finale. Note: If you’re not caught up, now would be a good time to stop reading.

What do you predict will be the “big shocker” of the season finale?

Ostrow • Now that the elusive villain Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban) is dead and Nick Brody’s marriage is over, shouldn’t Brody and Carrie just head back to a cabin in the woods for some down time? Might they go into a witness protection program and live out their days in a safe house in Bethesda, writing espionage fiction? Hardly.

Pierce • Carrie fights to save Brody from the CIA hit. The two of them turn the tables on assigned assassin Peter Quinn. But it turns out Brody is still a terrorist, and when he turns on Carrie, she kills him.

What will become of the supporting characters -- Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), in particular?

Ostrow • If the show’s internal logic holds, and it has already required many suspensions of disbelief, then Saul will emerge as the real hero, the only character with the patience and intelligence to see the big picture. The longtime CIA operative has a handle on Carrie’s bipolar personality and has already rooted out the interdepartmental manipulators within the CIA.

He’s been set up to fail a lie-detector test and been cast out of the unit. He will have to work outside the system to find the truth of his, Carrie’s and Brody’s situation. Only Saul can save Carrie from herself, and from her dangerous, misplaced trust in Brody.

Pierce • David Estes, who no longer has the support of the vice president (what with the veep being dead and all), no longer has the upper hand over Saul. Saul goes to the CIA director, reveals Estes’ plan to kill Brody (along with other dirt), and Estes resigns in disgrace.

OK, just for fun. How about an outlandish (or wishful thinking) prediction for the finale?

Ostrow • Brody’s pouty daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor) is still curious about what her dad is up to and why he’s involved with that “crazy lady” from the CIA. She is strong-willed even if her mother isn’t. Dana’s storyline must now intersect with the planned Brody assassination plot (to disrupt it, perhaps, or to witness it?) and Saul must be vindicated.

Pierce • The CIA director — a retired four-star general — has an affair with his biographer and resigns. Saul is appointed to replace him, with Carrie as his chief lieutenant.

spierce@sltrib.com

‘Homeland,’ sweet ‘Homeland’

P Tune in to Showtime at 11 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, for the real answers.