Just a few days shy of "Homeland" return, executive producer and stars of the Showtime series dish on what to expect from the upcoming season 3. Claire Danes, who plays Carrie, promises, "There are a lot of surprises." Calling from the Charlotte set, she tells USA TODAY that there are "a lot of sophisticated surprises."
Morena Baccarin, who plays Brody's wife Jessica, tells fans to "expect a darker journey." She elaborates, "A more internal journey for a lot of characters. Even though there's a lot of investigating going on with the CIA and they're hunting Brody, every character is going through a deep emotional journey."
Danes echoes her co-star, adding that the new season is "very dark," "very mournful" and "sad, which makes sense, given the human devastation that was caused by the bombing." She, however, claims that "the show is never boring."
Damian Lewis chimes in, "I think Season 3 returns to something darker, more hard-boiled." He continues, "It doesn't shy away from the mental health of our characters and the institutions that are... on trial. It'll be a season of people rebuilding themselves."
Post the bombing, Saul is acting director of the CIA. The show will explore his "character and the choices he has to make." As for who will take the fall for the attack at the CIA office, executive producer Alex Gansa says, "She's [Carrie] the one that's going to get sacrificed."
Gansa further stresses the focus of the third season, "First and foremost, we're going to explore the idea of what it costs to be an intelligence officer - the sacrifices you have to make, the dramatic stakes, the lack of a personal life. That's a theme of the season."
While it's revealed that a major character will be killed off, fans could be relieved now that Brody is not "going to go soon," Gansa says. He adds, "But I think that once that story stops producing fruit, we're not going to keep it around. It's inevitable and it also keeps the show fresh. So we'll see."
Lewis, on the other hand, didn't expect his character to survive this long. "Brody feels like someone who could die at any moment. I wake up in the morning wondering if I'm still Brody. Make a quick phone call: Am I still Brody today?" he says with laugh. "I didn't expect him to survive more than two seasons. I think maybe the success of the show has altered one or two things and, um, so I feel like I'm living on grace at the moment."
"Homeland" season 3 premieres Sunday, September 29 at 9 P.M. ET/PT on Showtime. Brody, who is now on the run, won't be seen in the first two episodes, but he will definitely return.
On the heels of the show's return, a prequel book to the series titled "Homeland: Carrie's Run" has been made available for purchase. The book follows Carrie as she attempts to find evidence linking a new contact to Abu Nazir.
"The Simpsons" will spoof "Homeland" in its season 25 premiere titled "Homerland", which features Kristen Wiig as the voice of an FBI agent, whom Lisa runs to for help when Homer acts strangely polite after returning from a nuclear power plant convention.