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Homeland: Our Burning Questions After the Season Finale

We were thoroughly captivated by Homeland this fall, and the first hour of the season finale alternatively had us on the edge of our seats and suffering heart palpitations. But while the 90-minute episode certainly didn't approach a The Killing-level disappointment, we couldn't help but feel somewhat let down by how little was actually resolved. Here are the burning questions that will bedevil us during the agonizing wait for the second season:

Why does Brody (and Abu Nazir) think he'll be able to influence the vice president/presumptive future president enough to significantly alter the country's to terrorism? Sure, the secretary of defense said that the VP has plans for Brody, but the Marine sergeant isn't remotely politically savvy. And even if he wins the House of Representatives special election, he'll still just be a freshman Congressman with the same level of clout as, say, Burt Hummel. Why would the president even care what he thinks about foreign policy? And if Brody does think he'll get unique access to the leader of the free world, why not just offer to kill him for Nazir?

Walker intimated that he had been turned much faster by Brody (by the time he was seemingly beaten to death, in fact). Brody required years of torture, deprivation and psychological and emotional manipulation -- how was Nazir able to turn Walker so relatively quickly?

What was Nazir's original plan involving Aileen and Faisel's house, the one with the perfect sniper sightline of Marine One's airport helipad? Walker had visited the house -- was he going to shoot someone when the VP was getting on or off a helicopter, assuming Brody would be with him? Or was Brody not part of the helipad plan? (And in that scenario, where would the Secret Service have hustled the VP?)

Why was Dana weirded out that her dad locked his bedroom door? And would she really walk in while he was in the middle of getting changed?

How did Dana get through to the Secret Service in order to reach her dad in a secure bunker in the wake of an assassination attempt on the VP? Were there not more pressing issues for the Secret Service to deal with? And did the fact that the call was coming from a phone owned by a mentally unstable former CIA employee give anyone pause? By the way, did Carrie ever get her phone back?

How did the local police respond so quickly to the Dana's 911 call? She barely got any words out and the squad cars were pulling up. Would a random crazy person at some suburban house even register with the cops in the minutes following an attempt on the life of the VP?

Does the VP really have the authority to give the final sign-off on a drone attack on the most wanted terrorist leader that will result in massive child casualties? Wouldn't the president have to be involved? And who is the president, anyway? [Update: As several commenters helpfully noted, Walden wasn't the VP at the time -- which, if anything, only compounds our questions. Would the head of the CIA give the final go-ahead on an attack against such an important target? Hasn't President Obama been in the loop on recent strikes on Al-Qaeda leaders? Remember those photos of him watching the raid on Bin Laden?]

Why didn't Walker just shoot the VP when he had the chance? Was giving Brody the chance to kill several other additional officials really worth passing up a guaranteed killshot on the man ultimately responsible for Issa's death? Or was it so vital to Nazir that a hero like Brody be the one to pull the trigger (or, in this case, detonate the bomb) that he was willing to risk mission failure?

That old lady whose apartment Walker used lived in a pretty swanky building. Did no doorman notice a suspicious guy entering the building with her? Were there no cameras in the parking garage or elevator? And why was she playing Bingo in the first place?

Why was the men's room in the bunker out of paper towels? Seriously, it's not used that often, so how hard is it to keep the dispenser stocked? Did Nazir manage to infiltrate the custodial staff? Was his real master plan the inconveniencing of high-level government officials?

Look back at the best and worst from the first season of Homeland.

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