Homeland season three came to a dramatic conclusion on Sunday evening (December 22, 2013) with a shocking death that even the most hardened of fans didn't anticipate. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Damien Lewis HomelandCarrie [L] and Brody [R] In The Season 3 Finale of 'Homeland'

So, after months on the run after being blamed for the Langley bombing, Nicholas Brody was killed off in the 90-minute series finale.

The episode began with Carrie (Claire Danes) driving her and Brody to a safe house to await the CIA helicopters that Saul (Mandy Patikin) had promised would arrive. 

"There's this man in Caracas, he's a doctor," he told Carrie. "He called me a cockroach, un-killable, bringing misery wherever I go... This is about redemption, mine. In what universe can you redeem yourself for one murder by committing another?" 

"There will be a life and I'm not sorry for this. I happen to believe one of the reasons I was put on this earth was for our lives to cross," she informed Brody, who replied, "I don't think that sounds crazy at all. I think it sounds like the only sane f**king thing left to hold onto."

As the pair went to meet their rescuers, Lockhart's decision to inform Majid Javadi of Brody and Carrie's whereabouts came to light, leading to Brody's arrest, trial and death sentence.

Carrie scrambled to reverse the decision, pleading with Javadi and calling a resigned Saul. "Carrie, it's over," Brody told her on the phone, "...and not even the almighty Saul can stop it now. I want it to be over. I'm OK, I really am."

Brody HomelandBrody Is Imprisoned Before His Hanging

Brody was hung in the town square in front of a jeering Iranian crowd.

The episode drew to a close with the CIA - including Saul - gathering for an annual ceremony in Washington. "No matter when or where they served, no matter if their name is known to the world or only to us. they all heard the same call to duty and they all answered it without hesitation. They are our heroes," said Lockhart in a speech, aptly.

In the final scene, Carrie approached a commemorative wall of stars, adding one for Brody.

Critics have been far from impressed with Homeland's recent direction and the finale was the final straw for many.

"Homeland will be back for a fourth run but it needs a major reboot or returns will continue to diminish. I can't help thinking it should be put out of its misery and stuck on TV's memorial wall," said Michael Hogan of the Telegraph.

"Brody gets a 10 (mostly for career achievement and his moving execution). Everyone else gets a 0, for some of the worst scenes, contextually, that I have ever watched on television," said John Vilanova of Paste magazine.