SPOILER ALERT: "Homeland" storyline and character spoilers ahead.
Just in case there remain doubters who think Nicholas Brody might have cheated death in that very public execution in the "Homeland" Season 3 finale and will resume his relationship with Carrie Mathison, it's time to let it go. Showtime executive David Nevins said on Thursday the show will undergo a “big reset,” one that will include a major relocation for Claire Danes's Carrie.
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"This show is fundamentally about a field operative, and we really haven't seen her much out in the field operating," Nevins said Thursday during Showtime's Television Critics Association session.
"The likely plan for next year is that you will see her on the ground in a foreign capital doing her job," he said, while adding that the "Homeland" creative team would be spending time in Washington with real CIA employees as part of their preparation for Season 4.
When last we saw Carrie in the Dec. 15 Season 3 finale, she was pregnant, had been offered her dream job — running the CIA office in Istanbul — and was still mourning the loss of her baby's father, the aforementioned Brody (Damian Lewis), who was hanged in Iran after he assassinated Iranian intelligence chief Akbari on behalf of the CIA.
Brody's death, as Nevins' announcement confirms, signals the end of "Homeland" as the show viewers have known for the first three seasons. Though not initially producers' intention, the chemistry between Danes and Lewis, and the subsequent popularity of the Carrie/Brody romance, shifted the focus of the series from Carrie as a field op and onto the ongoing personal and professional dramas of both characters.
Viewers were unhappy with the pace and focus of the show's second and third seasons, and were particularly impatient with focus on Brody's teenage daughter, Dana, whose Brody-caused family drama played out in bigger doses of teen angst and screen time than fans enjoyed.
As for other fan-favorite characters, Nevins also confirmed Mandy Patinkin's Saul Berenson will return for Season 4.
"I expect that he will be central, he will be important," said Nevins of the former CIA director, who, in the Season 3 ender, was replaced by Senator Lockhart at the CIA and took a more lucrative private sector job.
"Homeland" executive producer Howard Gordon told Zap2it he also expects Saul to be as much a part of the show in Season 4 as he's always been. "We always conceived of the show really early as the axis of Carrie and Saul," Gordon said. "[It] is so powerful, and those characters have so much more in them."
Gordon, who's also an executive producer on FX's upcoming drama "Tyrant" and Fox's spring Jack Bauer reboot "24: Live Another Day," also told Zap2it "Homeland" won't cheat viewers by skipping over Carrie's ambivalence about impending motherhood in the new season.
"Carrie, her maternity will obviously play into it," he said, adding "No, no, no, no," when asked if the writers would somehow take the baby out of the storyline.