Cynthia: "Nick? Sorry, I'm behind a lot of Xanax here..."
Nick: "That's perfectly fine. I'll walk you to your seat."
Finn: "Tell Dana I said hi, okay?"
Nick and Carrie make faces at each other, as they sit. On a great ship out in the ocean, Saul and a corps watch over Abu Nazir as he's commended to his rest. We don't necessarily mourn, when we should. Death's not just the great equalizer, it's also the best excuse for honesty. When you can think of the world, first with and then without the person, and see the ways the world is worse, or better, with them out of it. In the harsh light of the graveside, everybody tries to be on their best behavior, but you're alone with the silence for so much of it you can't help being just a little too honest with yourself. Funerals are for the living; we speak for the dead. The only time a story makes absolute sense is once it's ended: x=here, p=0.
Estes: "...A man of conviction. A man of principle. It was Bill Walden who coined the phrase Fortress America, who led this Agency out of its darkest hour, and in the process, transformed the very way we defend ourselves here at home. It was Bill Walden who championed a fledgling drone program, which has since degraded Al-Qaeda to the point of irrelevance. And it was Bill Walden who laid the groundwork for the operations that took out Osama Bin Laden and Abu Nazir..."
They're out of the room before he even gets to that part. Upstairs, fumbling. Less guilty than bored. Quinn thinks of himself as a man who kills bad guys, well, Walden was a bad guy. Much is made of the show's approach to flipping over the "terrorist" rock and seeing what's underneath -- how a coating of pro-torture militarism could easily be mistaken for the truth about the show, rather than the compassion it shows to everyone -- but there's nearly an apotheosis of that idea here: Nick and Carrie, the Terrorist and the Analyst, are both guilty for the death of this man, but this man's death is also righteous because he betrayed us all. He wasn't a terrorist, but he wasn't a good guy either: His crimes were sanctioned by a recognized authority, which is the only real difference. Walden's existence depended on terrorists, says David; but Walden too created terrorists by existing.
They came to the memorial to show respect; they leave now because they feel none.
But that's not all there is to a funeral. Because the other side is always true: Life is precious, and life has been lost. As pro forma as it is, to attend the funeral of a monster, it's also a kindness that you do not just to yourself and to the death, but to the world. Saul Berenson stands over Nazir's watery grave, listening to the Prophet's words, who knows what he thinks. Maybe he'd like to sneak off for some nookie, too. But I don't think so. I think he's there because he is strong enough to reach through his anger and his politics and actually mourn a man he hates. To do this kindness before God.