Following the big twist in the season 3 finale, "Homeland" showrunner Alex Gansa has talked to various media outlets to explain the decision [SPOILER ALERT!] to kill off Brody and how it will affect the direction of season 4. The character played by Damian Lewis avoided the dark fate in season 1 and 2, but Gansa believes that it's the right time to kill Brody as he says, "There was a sense, at least among the writers, that the story had really come to an end."
He explains, "The big idea was that Brody had started to view himself as a cockroach, as someone who is un-killable and who brought misery wherever he went. And once that dawned on Brody - and once he realized the idea of redemption was a bankrupt idea - one thing led to another."
Gansa reveals Showtime executives "were understandably hesitant about making a major move like this" as they were the ones who insisted to keep Brody in season 1 and 2, but they "ultimately respect" the writers' decision.
Asked if Brody's really dead, Gansa stresses, "Brody is physically dead, undoubtedly. [But he's] spiritually alive in the fact that Carrie has a child." While saying that it's very unlikely that Brody will re-appear in a dream or in a flashback, he adds, "But you never know."
Gansa, who also serves as executive producer on the show, goes on revealing that their decision to exclude Brody in a few episodes of season 3 "was kind of a test case." He explains, "It gave us an opportunity to bring some new people onstage, people who had short shrift the first and second seasons. And we introduced a lot of new characters like Senator Lockhart."
"These are characters we got to explore and enrich and see whether or not the show can withstand Brody's absence. Honestly, I think it has. I think they raised their game and made the show vital without that central character onstage."
To fans who are upset with Brody's death, Gansa has this to say, "We're sad too. We mourn not only the character's passing, but also a phenomenal actor, Damian Lewis, not being on our stages. But the show is going to move on, and it will move on with some of its fans, if not all of its fans."
Claiming that he's "really not thinking about [season 4] yet," Gansa admits, "If we had a few ideas at the beginning of season three, we have fewer at the beginning of season four." He, however, believes that "the show is really going to have to undergo a serious reboot and reinvention."
"If there's one idea that we're floating around that feels like we could get some purchase on, it's the idea of seeing Carrie do what she was trained to do -- and that is being a case officer in a foreign country," he continues. "That feels like an interesting place to begin. But beyond that, we're in the enviable but terrifying position of starting again."
On how motherhood will impact Carrie, Gansa coyly addresses it, "That question going to be front and center when we reconvene the story room. Does she take the kid with her to Istanbul? Does she leave it with her father?"
Assuring fans that Mandy Patinkin's Saul will be back in season 4, Gansa says, "Everybody should rest assured that Mandy Patinkin is coming back as a series regular. I can tell you that with 100 percent certainty."
He goes on sharing how Saul can still be involved with the CIA, "Although he's not at a desk at Langley anymore, the CIA does outsource a lot of jobs to private contractors. He's going to be in that circle. He's still in the intelligence-gathering profession and the CIA could use somebody of his immense skills and knowledge for various intelligence work."
The third season finale of "Homeland" was watched by 2.4 million viewers for its 9 P.M. broadcast and 2.9 million viewers for the night, marking the biggest audience for the show. A top-rated show on Showtime, the drama posted more than seven million viewers per week in all cumulative viewing, surpassing "Dexter".