When season three of Homeland starts on Showtime this fall, the CIA is dealing with the fallout from the Langley bombing in the second season finale– which basically means Saul (Mandy Patinkin) has to hire new, green agents because there are very few left, Carrie (Claire Danes) is raging about being on her meds and therefore missing things and now having no one believe her that Brody didn’t do it, and Brody himself (Damian Lewis) is missing in action, in hiding, while his family has to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.
“Carrie is always sitting on her own personal ticking bomb,” Danes addressed critics, LA TV Insider Examiner included, “and it’s just an impossible dilemma because she is not great on the meds, and she’s even worse off of them, but there’s a really great sweet spot in the middle of those two states that she’s always trying to land on [where] she’s exceptionally high-performing, and we get to enjoy her trying to find that balance. It’s pretty bleak int he beginning. She’s gone off her meds for all sorts of reasons that she believes strongly in.”
As a result of Carrie’s decisions to attempt to take charge of her life through a new doctor, meditation, and running six miles a day instead of more socially accepted forms of treating bi-polar disorder, she finds herself in “isolation” for a good chunk of the season. This is a result not only of her own actions and behaviors, though, but also decision Saul makes that not only kicks her while she’s down but also kind of throws her under the bus.
“One of the themes of season three is the costs that are inacted [and] Saul and Carrie are the prime examples of that this season. As a result of the attacks last year, the CIA itself is on trial [and] Saul finds himself in a very unique and difficult position than he’s ever been in before, that is in the director’s chair,” executive producer Alex Gansa said.
“A man who is loathe to make decisions is now forced to make the most important ones of this life, that not only have direct consequences for a woman who was his protege and who he loves as a daughter, but [he’s also] fearful that he might be the last director of the CIA. Where it might seem his actions are out of character, he finds himself in a situation his character isn’t used to being in.”
It takes until episode six, which the Homeland team is shooting right now, for Carrie to kind of rejoin her former brethren in the story (“She does feel a certainl level of betrayal, and both she and Saul share a prfound level of guilt and loss. Even though they’re estranged from each other, they’re deeply connected. They experienced that trauma in a way that no one else has,” Danes said). But in the earlier episodes in the season, she is on-screen and important to the story, just in a segregated part of the story. For the first two episodes at least, Brody is completely absent from the screen.
“So much was transpiring on the ground in Washington that Brody’s…flight from America made it impossible to include in that first couple of episodes,” Gansa said.
“The show very much lives in the collateral damage of this tragic situation and to play it any other way would have been [false].”
Lewis added a few more details for those fans who will be eagerly awaiting his return: “Brody is on the lam. He’s disappeared into a network of a tunnel system…he’s the most wanted criminal in the world, arguably, at this point, so he has to lay low. I think when you do see Brody, hopefully will be of interest to the audience is what state he’s in. Is he [on] a yacht on the coast surrounded by a bevy of Russian beauties? That was [my] pitch! Or is he lost? …But when you do see Brody for the first time, it will be interesting.”
Brody has always had an extra special relationship with his daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor). She managed to kind of intuit that he was going to do something terrible that day in the bunker, and she made him think twice about it. She also knew about and accepted his Islamic conversion in a way others just couldn’t come around to. Needless to say, she was hit extremely hard by the accusation that he was the Langley bomber, the guy behind what the media deemed “the second 9/11,” and the first few episodes of season three have her trying to readjust to her new family dynamic, calling her dad “crazy,” and all three of them experiencing cameras follow them every time they leave their house.
“A lot of different scenarios were considered. It’s interesting because we lost a couple of different writers from season two…So we brought in a couple [new] writers, and the writers were fans of the show, and we were able to ask them some very pertinent questions. The first one was…’Are we interested in watching the Brody family if Nick Brody [isn’t there] because he’s on the lam?’ And the answer was unanimously yes,” Gansa said.
“There was interest in those people…and we took comfort in that because we felt we had to honor those people we created. What are their lives like after this tragic attack?…All these family members are always paraded in front of the camera, and it seemed like a very good avenue to explore.”
Homeland will return to Showtime on September 29 2013 at 9 p.m.
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