If I needed any more indication that Brody was as good as dead, then this was it.
Brody declares, “You’re going to get me home,” and the thing she says immediately after that is, “It’s a fantasy!”
Whether or not Carrie believes it or Brody believes it (and it’s actually pretty shocking he thinks she can get him home in the first place, considering how realistically he seems to be viewing his chances these days; unless of course he says it to stir up these savior feelings in Carrie…), the writers have just made the audience believe it. If not believe it, then at least bring to their attention the delusions inherent to this relationship.
Because if Carrie does get Brody out of Iran, Homeland has just fulfilled this fantasy. And if you’re a Homeland writer, that’s something you don’t want the show to do.
I feel fairly confident that this wasn’t a throwaway line. It came in the pivotal scene of the episode, one in which every single line either character—and especially Carrie, since she was the one who had to reason with him—said was likely heavily scrutinized.
The truth is that Brody is at the end of the line as a viable character. Think about what would happen if Brody was successful. He would return to America? The details of the operation could never be disclosed (in his lifetime, probably). That scene with Dana was a glaring neon sign reading, “CLOSURE.” He says, “I will come back from Tehran,” so of course he won’t. And now this.
It’s one thing for us to speculate about the delusional tendencies of these characters, or of this relationship. It’s another thing for Saul or Peter Quinn to do it, in so many words. It’s another thing entirely for Carrie herself to come right out and say out and not tiptoe around anything. Fantasy. It sounds ugly coming from her mouth, doesn’t it?