HOMELAND: Season-Ender Insights; Season 2 Overarching Story Plans


The first season of Showtime‘s Homeland sure left us on an interesting note. To pick up the pieces and tease where the overarching story will take fans next season, EPs Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon dished a few details.

Spoilers for the Homeland season finale and Season 2 follow.

Nutshell: The season ended with Carrie successfully preventing Brody from unleashing a devastating suicide bomb attack on the vice president and senior members of the White House. However, Carrie’s recollection of events has gone and — like everyone else — she is starting to think she’s crazy, having checked herself into a hospital for electroshock treatments. Where does Homeland go from here?..

On whether they knew from the start that Brody would survive the first season:

Ganza: We didn’t, actually. We didn’t know how the actual attacked would be carried out. We knew Brody was going to target the people responsible for [Abu Nazir’s son] Issa’s death. We were unclear how that was going to happen. We came down to the suicide vest for a couple reasons. One, the vest could malfunction — which would be fantastic. And because it could malfunction we got to live in the best of both worlds. He got to flip the switch, which was true to his character because that’s what he’s been leading up to all this time. But it didn’t work, so he was able to be brought back from the brink. And that device really helped us, because it not only allowed the character to go where he needed to go, but it also allowed us to bring him back for the second season.

On the decision not to end the episode on a visceral note:

Gansa: It was actually something that I learned working for Howard on 24, that there’s a lot of merit in the denouement of the story. In 24, the big event often happened in the penultimate episode or early on in the last episode, and there’s a lot of wonderful ground to cover after it’s over — and in certain ways, that’s where the character really comes to the fore. That’s where we really see Brody and Carrie and Saul and Estes and everybody dealing with the aftermath of what happened, and you learn a lot about people in those moments.

On the decision to have days counting up in the finale:

Gordon: There were three distinct movements in the finale. The first day is really still, the camera didn’t really move, it was all done with a quiet camera. The second day, from the moment he wakes up, everything is hand-held, everything is shot energetic and kinetic — and it builds to that climax in the bunker. And the third day goes back to that quiet style of filming. It helped to transition the audience from one feeling to another and also gave the episode a shape. It was very specific to this 90-minute show. We didn’t play the main title in this one, either, we wanted to jump right in.

On whether this season’s story line will over-arch in Season 2, or will it see a completely new threat:

Gordon: We’ll continue to tell this story from the point of view of these characters who have been so richly realized. So any story will continue with those stories and interactions. For example, Brody is planning to play a much quieter and longer-term game — that’s where that story is heading. And the other big plot point is that suicide confession is still out there. And Abu Nazir is still out there. But clearly the thrust of Brody’s story will change, it’s not going to be about him planning another attack.

On what informed the decision to continue exporing the Brody storyline rather than a new threat:

Ganza: One of the virtues of having Showtime as our home – and their partnership has been phenomenal – was that we got to slow it down. They’re the ones who said, “Take a deep breath – you’re not on a broadcast network anymore,” and that was a tremendously liberating way to start the process.

On how they’ll keep the storyline fresh:

Gansa: That’s clearly going to be the challenge, although certain things have changed. Clearly there is now an established relationship between Carrie and Brody that is going to have to be resolved one way or another. There is still a reservoir of emotion that exists, but they have some big differences as well. Also, Brody, I think, is done committing a big attack on the United States. He’s got another trajectory that is much more insidious, a long-game political one. That’s going to change the tenor of the show, but hopefully we can keep the charge between our two main characters as hot as possible.

On whether they’ll play with Carrie’s toggling memory next season:

Gansa: Absolutely. She’s kind of back to square one now, and the audience is going to be waiting for the moment where she begins to re-suspect Brody. Her logically going back and putting the pieces together is definitely going to be a part of Season 2.

The producers also said they’ll have to find a “unique way” to bring Carrie back into the fold next season, noting that she’s a very different character from 24′s Jack Bauer. They also revealed that season 2 will probably pick-up after a “jump forward” in time.

Source: EW | TV Line

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  1. WaySeeker says

    This was a phenomenal show, really. It just kept moving! Drama, characters, all kept the audience engaged. It was really nice watching these characters in an entire season, and not much seemed like filler.
    I enjoyed how Brody’s daughter noticed her dad. After bad things happen people always ask the survivors (as they ask themselves) how come you didn’t see this coming? The wife and the son didn’t recognize the signs (probably talked themselves out of it if they did) but the daughter did. The emo one, the troubled one. But, if was not out of the blue. We saw it early on in how blunt she was with her mother’s affair in the fast food drive thru. She observes, she sees things as they are. She is not afraid of that. She did the same thing with her dad. Carrie correctly knew that she was the only one who could talk Brody down. And she was right. It wasn’t a writer’s “out”, it worked for the characters as we have watched them, it made sense.
    As fun as it will be to see Carrie regain her memories/observarions, I cannot wait to see more of what the daughter will observe and how she will interact with her father now.
    And Saul! GO SAUL! That sub-plot would be interesting to see next season. How much trouble can he cause them? Will he find more dirt as it happens or new old dirt? Hopefully this will be a chance for Saul to reinvent himself from his dark night of the soul from losing his wife.
    Just … so much was in this show! Not perfect, but what is? Everyone connected with the show should be commended.

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  2. argh says

    The series shouldn’t have been more than one season. It could have a been a classic. But no, it has to be dragged out until the public gets bored with it. The last episode was very disappointing.

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  3. Page 48 says

    Best new show of the season, IMO. Getting Brody out alive was very tricky and seemed like the one part of the finale that bordered on unbelievable. It’s one thing to have a faulty suicide belt (I’m sure that’s happened to all of us at one time or another), but then to have the miraculous phone call from the daughter unit just in the nick of time???

    That said, I did not want Brody written out of the show going forward, so I can live with it. Carrie and Saul were great all season. I like the way they had Carrie save the day and yet no one, not even Carrie recognizes that fact….yet.

    Kudos to the daughter for having a clue. Earlier in the season, I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but the kid may be the next Carrie Mathison someday.

    Great show, great season.

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  4. Peanut says

    “Homeland” is the best new show of the year. The cast is terrific, & the writing has been exceptional. I complain about some other shows (looking at you “Terrible Nova”) so I want to compliment a quality show that deserves praise. I wasn’t sure that the show could sustain its initial momentum, but it did. It is an example of what a television show can be but so seldom is.

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  5. Kevin Ulrich says

    This was by far my most favorite new tv series all year long between The Walking Dead, and Terra Nova. You guys gave the audience an excellent performance. Brody, Carrie, and Saul would have to be my favorite out of all the characters being they were mostly the main ones and better yet the most convincing. I love brilliant suspense like this right here and i hope that the Producers give alot of thought to what they plan on doing with the next episode because right now it has left me stunned. I would love to produce one day myself or even just start writing stories but all i have to say to you guys is THANK YOU. I’m in love with this show and i hope that these characters plan on staying around for quite sometime. Don’t ruin this show guys…. Whatever team has been working at writing this story keep letting them make the decisions because i never waste my time to be a critic and well hell you got me on here now kissing your a$$. 😀 If anyone needs any creative ideas or help with this show feel free to email me nonstop until i respond lol because i wouldn’t mind at all :)

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  6. Adam Solomon says

    Once, just once, I’d like to hear Saul next season say:

    “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

    Just for old time’s sake.

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  7. chuy says

    Love the show… But i really want to find out how it became about that when they found him in the bunker that his hair was all long again and he looked like a homeless. But in fact he was living with abu nazir.?? Ok and what happend with the usb thing? He didn´t find it and i asume he didnt find it on walker eather?

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    • says

      “But i really want to find out how it became about that when they found him in the bunker that his hair was all long again and he looked like a homeless.”

      It was most likely part of Nazir’s strategy. Brody was probably sent into the hole for a period of time to make it look legit, otherwise it would have aroused suspicion. It could actually be a continuity issue, but I think the explanation works.

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