Brody lived. But that doesn't necessarily mean Damian Lewis will be a major part of Homeland's season three.
"Damian's involvement and [Brody's] family's involvement is very much up in the air in light of what happened in the finale," executive producer Alex Gansa told reporters Monday morning.
It was just one of the surprising revelations to come out of a conference call with Gansa and fellow exec producer Howard Gordon the morning after the Emmy-winning Showtime drama wrapped its second season, which included an explosive terrorist attack on the CIA and a fugitive Brody on the run, thanks to Carrie's (Claire Danes) help.
"If you look at [the first] two seasons, we've told a significant part of the Carrie-Brody story," said Gansa, while stressing that they're still in the very early stages of mapping out next year's developments. "If there's a chapter three, it's gonna have to be a reinvention of some kind."
If Brody's future on the show is uncertain, why keep him alive? "It would've [alleviated] the possibility of having Brody come back at a later time, which I think is a nice idea hanging over the next season," Gansa said. "Where is Brody? What's he doing? [He could come] back later in a new incarnation or in a new way."
Producers also revealed they almost killed Brody off three-quarters of the way through the second season, though they ultimately reconsidered because of the chemistry between their Emmy-winning lead actors. "The truth is, the show really elevates when they're together onscreen," Gansa said of Lewis and Danes.
"We love the Carrie-Brody relationship," Gordon added. "It's become one of the defining pillars of the show. The temptation and fear attached to whenever the relationship [is] no longer the center of the show is certainly something that's on our minds. But as afraid as we are, you can't let all the awards and acclaim and Damian's brilliance dictate the story in terms of where it needs to go."
After a universally-praised freshman season, Homeland endured its share of criticism in season two, with some asserting that major plot twists were unfolding too quickly and that many developments were entirely implausible. Gordon admitted the criticism was, at times, hard to take. "There was a lot of pressure on us, and we all felt it this season, to live up to the promise of the first year of the show," he said. "We really wanted to make the show better in season two, and we kept telling ourselves in the story room that we're gonna go for it. We're not gonna be safe. We're going to surprise people and paint ourselves into narrative corners and try to tell our way out of it.
"Look, these highly serialized dramas are a high-wire act," he continued. "And occasionally, you're gonna fall off. If we did fall off this year now and then, I like to think that we had a safety net under us and that was our audience who believed that we could get back up and cross to the other side. That was our hope for the finale, that people understand now why this year was doing what it was doing and that it really did all make sense if you look back on it. Hopefully we answered a lot of the questions people had in the finale and now we can start again in season three."
Among the other tidbits the producers offered up about next season: