'Homeland' Ratings Are Up: 4 Crazy-But-Plausible Theories to Keep Us Watching

So, like it or not, the twist on Homeland has caused a serious resurgence in its ratings. The Showtime drama about bipolar CIA agent and a would-be/is/was/former/future terrorist Nicholas Brody went up against some serious competition and won. The season's fifth episode "The Yoga Play" averaged 2 million viewers during its 9 p.m. premiere airing, and for the night, tallied a cumulative 2.73 million viewers across both broadcasts. That's up 13 percent from the previous week's highly divisive twist episode, "Game On." And was the game ever on this week — as Homeland's competition was quite literally a big game. Namely, Game 4 of the World Series (and also that little zombie show that could, The Walking Dead).

Which means — Homeland is doin' some good, y'all. It's upped the ante once again and has us clawing our metaphorical eyes out looking for clues, quips, and any other seemingly out-of-place miscellany to try and drum up some theories. Because the game is on, and it came unexpectedly. Which means anything is possible, as long as it's semi-plausible. And short of drawing up a wall-sized map-and-pinnings fiasco to track all the loose strings, we've drummed up some potential plot points that'll keep us guessing — and tuning in week after week (not that, well, we needed an excuse to do so, really).

  • Dar Adal is the Mole... And Saul Knows It

This feels the most probable, only because why else bring on a seemingly tertiary character with an immense amount of power that not even the CIA wants to talk about because it's so secretive? The first episode he appears in is titled "Two Hats." Perhaps because he's also wearing two hats himself?

In any event — figuring out who the mole is will probably lead directly to all of this Iranian hullabaloo going on with Javadi. Dar Adal did things as a black ops specialist no one will talk about. He's being brought in with some loose sense of "control" over the Carrie situation prior to the end of "Game On," and there was, of course, that moment where Saul was awkwardly mum when Adal bust in on his discussion with transaction specialist, Fara.

So — maybe it's a double game. Saul's playing Dar and Carrie's playing Javadi. Brody's somewhere in the middle (probably putting on his scapegoat costume), getting ready to meet Abu Nazir up in that big terrorism basket in the sky.

  • Brody is Killed... Because He Wasn't the Bomber

If and (lord willing, when) Brody is killed this season, it will no doubt cause a kerfuffle. The man does have a $10 million bounty on his head. And from there, things will deluge into a waterfall of emotional clusterfuckery never before seen.

Dana will... continue to be Dana. Jessica Brody will not really care. Saul will be concerned. And Carrie will no doubt feel responsibility and a huge sense of loss and maybe also suffer an emotional breakdown. The death of their scapegoat/terror pawn/reluctant heroin addict, likely a key player in some larger scheme Carrie's (hopefully?) got going on, likely held some valuable clues and insights into everything (we STILL have no idea what went down when he was chillin' with Abu Nazir last season) that will be lost forever. A detriment to the ongoing investigation/CIA doings? Totally. And with him gone, perhaps, too, is Carrie's own cred within the agency.

  • Peter Quinn Does... Something Crazy

Quinn has been something of an enigma this season: killing bad guys and worried about Carrie's well-being. Something we definitely saw, oh maybe zero percent inkling of going into Season 3. It's a bit of a sea change for him. Some believe that makes him mole material, but I'm wagering not. Instead, I think Quinn is going to cause a huge problem thanks to his newfound irrationality and emotional investment into the Carrie Mathison Masterplan of CIA Nuttery.

So, obviously, Peter Quinn is going to get himself kidnapped. Or shot. Or maybe even inadvertently get Carrie shot (maybe even on purpose!), causing a total collapse of all the hard work Saul and Carrie have put into this investigation and causing a near-collapse of the CIA's operations. Right in time for this new would-be CIA director to come in and turn the place into a Bush-era bullshit mobile of borderline ethics. And maybe that was Quinn's plan all along! GASP! Twist. Crash, burn, etc.

  • Dana Brody Kills Herself... And Brody Comes Back

I know it's terribly morbid to consider (especially after her suicide attempt), and I hesitate to bring it up simply because of the fucked-up and misguided glee it would bring some fans of Homeland. But as a plot device, it could turn this high-speed train into a massive wreck. Think about it: Dana is Brody's favorite kid (sorry not sorry, Chris Brody), and to have the ramifications of his own actions hit so hard would obviously drive Brody crazy (and make him do irrational things. Especially if he's still on the heroin).

Brody coming back to the US would obviously be a colossal fuck up on his part: almost guaranteeing his capture, death, or worse — bungling the operation that Carrie and Saul have worked so hard to keep under wraps. Plus maybe it would finally show Brody for his own true colors: a selfish, emotional reactionary, easily manipulated, used up, and tossed aside. No doubt his death would bring a firestorm down upon Carrie and Saul. Or! If it happens under the soon-to-be-confirmed new CIA director, perhaps it will bring down his own regime, allowing Saul and Carrie to return to rule the roost.

Ultimately, one thing remains constant and true: Homeland makes us crazy (in the best way), and it's nice to see it back on top. Oh, and Brody just really, really needs to die already. Gosh!

Image: Vogue