The big reveal at the end - that Saul was on his way not to Iran but to fetch Brody, barely alive in South America - was a fair twist, but so long overdue as to be counter-climactic. That is, what was long overdue was Brody who was been MIA this season except for one standalone episode. This seems to be the season for major characters missing from the story. Over on Boardwalk Empire, Margaret has been scarce - not as scarce as Brody, but little in evidence - but the other story lines in Boardwalk Empire have been so powerful that you hardly notice Margaret's absence.
Not the case for Brody on Homeland. As I said before, his chemistry with Carrie lit up the show, and there's been nothing to replace that this season. Instead, Carrie has had to go it alone in all aspects, including someone she can sort of love, however troubled but charismatic that relationship.
Saul's story - both personally and professionally - is interesting, though not enough to carry the series without Carrie and Brody. It's fun seeing him fight for power, and try to keep a relationship going with his wife, who loves him but can't abide the huge part of himself that he gives to the job. I'm also hoping for more with her spurned lover - such as him being a bad guy spy - but that's probably too much to ask.
Dar Adal continues as a darkly intriguing character. It's still unclear how loyal he is to Saul. But he certainly has no loyalty to Carrie, ordering Quinn to shoot Carrie to save the mission, which Quinn does. I'm disappointed to say the least that Quinn did this - I'd have been much happier had he blown Dar's head off.
But the ingredients are on the table for some powerful episodes - Carrie's pregnancy (which I hope is ok after the gunshot wound) and her reunion with Brody could be first-class television. Let's hope Homeland comes through.
And see also Homeland on Showtime ... Homeland 1.8: Surprises ... Homeland Concludes First Season: Exceptional