According to some vocal critics of Homeland’s second season, its executive producers have some ‘splaining to do. Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon did just that in a conference call with reporters today (Dec. 17) — addressing critics’ complaints about implausible storylines but also discussing the doomed romance between Carrie (Claire Danes) and Brody (Damian Lewis) and what’s in store for the players in Season 3.
After Carrie turned Brody against Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban), and nurtured the “deluded possibility that she and Brody could have a happy ending,” Gansa said the writers strove for the finale to turn Season 1 on its head. “Last season ended with Carrie being the only one who believes Brody is guilty; this season, she’s the only one who believes he is innocent.”
Gansa and Gordon aren’t ready at this point to “defend the season,” but they did address reporters’ questions about certain storylines — for instance, why Brody’s call with Abu Nazir wasn’t being monitored or how he was able to break into the vice president’s private office. “Brody had delivered to the CIA all of the information he knew about Nazir and the impending attack — and indeed all his information was correct. With the exception of Nazir, his role was done. [The CIA] had mistakenly stopped monitoring his movements and his phone.”
As for how Carrie and Brody were able to escape unnoticed after the attack on Langley, Gansa explained, “Chaos ensued after the explosion, and the first responders were not there to secure the perimeter. The intimation is that Brody and Carrie were able to slip out of the chaos.”
But after one of the most devastating attacks on American soil, why was no one following its perpetrator? “If Brody was in his vehicle, there’s a good chance there’d be nothing left of him [and] the investigators are going to believe that Brody was actually in his car when it exploded,” point out the producers. “Plus, Brody does have a head start of a couple of days, and he is privy to Carrie’s best contacts. He has the benefit of that network.”
The EPs also addressed Dana Brody’s (Morgan Saylor) hit-and-run storyline, judged by many to be an early misstep this season. “There was a deeper plan for it that morphed halfway through the season,” said Gordon. “It was about Dana’s degradation of her connection with Brody, the emotional separation between them,” while also serving to “characterize Walden as the villain in the piece [driving] a wedge between Dana and her dad.”
How much we will see of Dana and the rest of the original cast in Season 3 is still unclear, but the producers confirmed that “Damian and Claire and the entire cast signed up for a number of years.” And they will “absolutely” be bringing Quinn (Rupert Friend) back.
Instead of Carrie and Brody, the primary relationship in Season 3, at least initially, will be between Carrie and Saul (Mandy Patinkin), “Homeland’s” “moral center.”
“From the very beginning that was always the conception of Saul, which made it strange to us that people thought he was the traitor … the architecture of the finale is all about Saul: his impotence, controlled fury and despair over Carrie’s death. He and Carrie are going to push the story into Season 3.
“She chose Saul — she didn’t choose Brody.”
“If we did fall off this year now and then,” Gordon concluded, “I like to think we had a safety net under us — our audience, who said they believed in us that we could get back up and cross to the other side. But that was our hope for the finale: that people understood [Nazir and Brody’s motivations] and what Carrie was thinking. We’re very rigorous about that.
“Not to defend the show, but in our minds, we have answers to why everything happened. And hopefully we answered a lot of the questions people had in the finale. Now we can start again in Season 3 and begin the journey with everybody one more time.”