'Homeland' TV Academy panel: 6 things we learned

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Image Credit: Kent Smith/Showtime

Even though the third season finale of Homeland aired nearly five months ago, fans of the show still can’t seem to come to terms with Brody’s shocking death by hanging. The show’s star Claire Danes (Carrie Mathison) and showrunner/executive producer Alex Gansa were peppered with questions about the drama’s decision to kill off such a major character during a TV Academy panel for the show Friday night in Los Angeles. Gansa wouldn’t comment on a potential flashback/dream cameo by Damien Lewis as Brody, but hinted at a few details about the fourth season, which begins filming in South Africa next month. Below are six things we learned:

Brody’s death had many evolutions: “Well, truthfully we’ve been trying to get rid of the guy since season 1,” Gansa joked. When he and Howard Gordon created the show, the initial plan was to have Brody pull the switch and kill himself in the bunker, but the undeniable chemistry between Carrie and Brody forced them to change course. “Originally, we thought Saul (Mandy Patinkin) was going to kill Brody in [season 3],” he added, “but, it became clear Carrie needed to send her soulmate into a situation he was not gonna come back from.” Gansa also revealed that he toyed with the option of having Brody take political asylum in Iran, but decided against it because of “the closure” aspect.

The show will address actor James Rebhorn’s death: “Obviously, we have to address it,” Gansa told EW of the passing of the actor who played Carrie’s father. “We’re all just devastated by his passing, but we have to make it work in the show.”

The show’s setting will be based in Islamabad and Kabul and Javadi won’t be a central character. Gansa said the writers and creators floated the potential settings of Turkey, Israel, and London, but after input from the show’s consultants, they ultimately chose Islamabad and Kabul. “It just feels like the center of diplomacy and intelligence right now,” he said. Because of this setting and Iran not being the focus this season, Javadi will not be a central character.

Carrie has her baby, but leaves her behind. “Carrie would have taken her baby to Istanbul but Afghanistan is a hardship post and you can’t take a dependent, so the baby is back home with her family,” Gansa said. “I don’t think that she has admitted that she is [a mother], and I think that’s her big emotional arc this season — finding a way to assume that role,” Danes said. “It’s postpartum times a jillion.”

A new love interest for Carrie is not out of the question: “At some point there has to be a new love interest for Carrie,” Gansa said.  “But she’s got a lot of emotional landscape to traverse first.”

Gansa believes viewers will stick with the show even after Brody’s death. “We have a very compelling character at the center of the show, and always have, in Carrie Mathison,” Gansa told EW. “And the people that have become invested in that character are going to keep watching, and it’s up to us to make the show compelling this season. I think people are going to give us a little time to hook them in again and I think we will. The show is gonna move on, it’s gonna reboot, and we’re gonna really palate cleanse.”

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