USA TODAY - Claire Danes' crying skills were put to the test one final time this season during Sunday's Homeland finale as her character, Carrie Mathison, had to watch her beloved Nicholas Brody be publicly executed.
Hints had come up at the start of the season that Brody's storyline might be coming to an end. "Brody feels like someone who could die at any moment," Damian Lewis, who plays the character, told USA TODAY.
More: Expect 'darker' Season 3 of 'Homeland'
The finale opened with Carrie trying to get Brody out of Tehran after his assassination of high-ranking government official.
The two make it to a safe house in the desert outside of town, where she was finally able to tell him she's four months pregnant with his child.
In a tender, but stiff, moment between the two of them, she says, "I believe I was put on earth for our paths to cross."
Brody, who is wrestling with the fact that he just killed a man, says the pregnancy news, and the hope for a life together, sound like the "only sane" thing to hold onto.
In the next moment, the two realize the CIA has betrayed him, given him up for the larger political mission.
Carrie watches as he is marched to a crane in a dusty public square and hoisted up - death by hanging.
Producers left nothing ambiguous about the way he went out. We saw those final body twitches.
Cut to four months later. Carrie, who is soon to give birth to a baby girl, accepts a post as a chief of the CIA's Istanbul post. She is sure she wants that job, and becomes just as sure that she now doesn't want the baby.
"I just didn't think it through," she says, freaking out as her sister and father come to her house with a crib and other baby paraphernalia. She adds, crying, "I'm so freaking sad." Her father offers to take the baby.
In the final moments, at a CIA event commemorating fallen heroes (but not Brody), Carrie has a farewell scene with Saul (Mandy Patinkin), who is moving to New York and is no longer part of the agency, although a conversation with his deputy in a diner earlier implies he misses the action. She gives him a long goodbye look as he exits the building. Will he be back next season?
On Twitter, dozens of fans responded to the finale by saying it was "sad" and "felt like a series finale, not a season finale."
But it's not! Showtime has already announced Homeland will be back in 2014.
(Copyright © 2013 USA TODAY)