is entering new territory in Season 4 as it moves past the death of Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis).
The new season, which premieres Oct. 5 on Showtime, will phase out the Brody family — neither Dana (Morgan Saylor), Jessica (Morena Baccarin) or Chris (Jackson Pace) are expected to return — and refocus instead on Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and her work in Pakistan.
Executive producers Alex Gansa, Alex Cary and Meredith Stiehm spoke to members of the press at the 2014 TV press tour and showed the first footage of Season 4. Based on that trailer, the focus of the show very clearly is not on the romantic drama that was center of much of its first three seasons, and instead on Carrie showing why she is one of the CIA’s ace agents.
Though Season 4 will show Carrie coping with the emotional aftermath of the death of Brody, she won’t be on the brink of a mental breakdown due to her bipolar disorder as she has been in seasons past.
“Emotionally, she has stabilized,” Stiehm says. “She’s going into this season very steady. There are some people who are so talented that you forgive past deeds and erratic behavior. I think Carrie Mathison is one of those people.”
Stiehm says Carrie is “in a completely different role now that she’s overseas,” but one part of that role won’t be as a mother. Season 4 picks up about six months after the end of Season 3, and the life Carrie has in Pakistan is no place for the child she had with Brody. “The baby exists as a marker for her emotionally,” Gansa says.
There’s also Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), whom Gansa describes as being on the sidelines of Carrie’s life, waiting for her to be emotionally available for a relationship with him. “Carrie has a process of grief to go through before she can be open to something like that,” he says. “We’re working on that.”
Gansa says the romantic drama element of “Homeland” will still be in place in Season 4 and that Carrie will still be a very sexual woman, even though he won’t elaborate. He also says that there will be a Season 4 moment that is the equivalent of Carrie and Brody’s weekend getaway.
Even if it’s not romantically, Carrie does have a new man in her life: Suraj Sharma’s Aayan Ibrahim
. His character will be a source that Carrie tries to get close to, which will be a big part of her story in Season 4. Gansa gushes that Sharma is a great talent, and a great addition to the cast.
This season’s overseas journey is one that Gansa says was intended for Carrie since Season 1. As the Brody storyline overtook the series, that journey for Carrie was delayed until Season 4. But Gansa says he believes “we will come back to America at some point.”
Now that Brody is gone, the new identity of “Homeland” is a show that will explore the lives of those left behind once America pulls out of countries in the Middle East. “The show is about the private and public costs of keeping America safe,” Gansa says.
“We put a character at the center of that — a compelling character, hopefully, in Carrie Mathison — to really identify the personal costs of the journey. But there also is a national cost to our policies, in Afghanistan and Pakistan specifically,” he continues. “That’s the story we’re going to explore this season. It’s got some juice to it.”