A quick review of tonight's "Homeland" season finale coming up just as soon as I want lasagna at 10 at night...

"I know how this goes. It ends badly." -Carrie

What she said, I'm afraid.

I started watching "Long Time Coming" about 20 minutes behind the live telecast, and kept seeing two sentiments on Twitter as I tried to catch up: 1)It was awfully quiet so far, and 2)Did this mean some horrible shoe was about to drop?

Instead, "quiet" remained the watchword throughout the very slow, emotionally muted finale, which played less as a conclusion to the events of season 4 than an extended tribute to the late James Rebhorn, and as a biographical spotlight on a character the show had long since snuffed my interest in for any non-professional capacity. If Carrie was someone I still cared about — and/or if I bought into the idea of Carrie and Quinn having romantic feelings for each other — then maybe the finale would have had some dramatic heft for me, even if it was a leisurely follow-up to the intense recent episodes in Islamabad.

Season 4 — or, at least, the three episodes prior to this one — demonstrated that "Homeland" can still pack a punch when it's focused on the spycraft, and that Carrie can still function as the center of such stories. But there were also a bunch of dire moments this year (baby in bathtub, everyone tells Quinn that he loves Carrie, Carrie hallucinates Brody) that made it clear there's no undoing the damage done to the main character over the previous few seasons. If season 5 focuses on the aftermath of Dar's deal with Haqqani — and the question of whether Saul is going along with it, or simply pretending to until he can get evidence to bring both men down — that could be interesting. If it's more of Carrie getting to know her estranged mother, and/or trying to reconnect emotionally with Quinn, then I fear it'll be just as dull as "Long Time Coming" was.

What did everybody else think?

Alan Sepinwall has been reviewing television since the mid-'90s, first for Tony Soprano's hometown paper, The Star-Ledger, and now for HitFix. His new book, "TV (The Book)" about the 100 greatest shows of all time, is available now. He can be reached at sepinwall@hitfix.com