David Nevins admitted that when Showtime first launched Homeland, the network didn’t know the cultural phenomenon it would become. But now that he knows just how wide the show’s reach is (President Obama has called it his favorite show quite a few times), he sees no end in sight for it yet. He also sees no limitations to the storytelling– including the fact that any character is susceptible to being killed off.
“It’s intertwined with storytelling,” Nevins said about the realism that in such a high stakes, high octane world, no one is safe, “especially with a story like that that’s urgent and contemporary and today. Anybody could go at any time.”
But Nevins is not a writer or producer on the actual show, so let’s here from the men and women who make Homeland on what they see for the future of their groundbreaking political drama, starting with season two:
“He would like to think he’s in control of his own destiny, but he absolutely won’t be, is my prediction for the season, so he’ll live in a state of heightened paranoia,” series star Damian Lewis said of how Sergeant Brody is different in season two.
“He’s more knowingly juggling balls this season, but essentially he’s everybody’s bitch; he’s f*cked.”
Similarly, Claire Danes noted that Carrie, as well, is changed this season because she is actually pretty stable now. After her burst of mania at the end of last year– one that had been “simmering” all season long– she underwent electroshock therapy and is now back on her meds, living with her family to make sure she has a routine and is being watched by those with objectivity and perspective.
“She’s been outed; she’s been exposed as this person with this condition, and that has altered her in a pretty fundamental way,” Danes acknowledged. “She’s not hiding; she doesn’t have that panic or defensiveness. As we find her in the beginning of the season, she’s been humbled…She gets her mojo back, but it takes some time.”
If you’re paying attention, though, “The Smile,” which is the very first episode back in season two offers a great moment of Carrie’s former spark when she pulls something over on someone pursuing her. As the producers explained: “The whole episode is constructed around someone who’s very reluctant and reticent to get involved…and yet, when she gets pulled back into the work, she gets reinvigorated.”
Howard Gordon pointed out, though, that just because Carrie gets brought back into the political field doesn’t mean the season won’t continue to play with the idea of her family trying to keep her in check and worrying about her. Though outwardly she is doing better, holding a steady job and not experiencing “episodes,” she is still grappling with the fact that she was just so sure Brody was a bad guy– and she was wrong.
“I think she’s really confronting herself here and taking responsibility for herself in a more complete way. I think she probably did have some suspicion that maybe her condition was responsible for her genius, and I think that’s probably true for a lot of people with the condition, but I think she will probably find a deeper confidence that she can tame it and remain as brilliant and forward-thinking as she would like to be,” Danes said, noting that in the first three episodes of the season she’s dealing with self-doubt before she gets a “much needed, much deserved” boost of self-confidence.
Danes also pointed out that the moment in season one where Carrie and Brody spend a weekend at a cabin (in an episode entitled “The Weekend”) as the only one in the series where Carrie was able to experience “pure joy.”
“Those moments are few and far between,” she said, before noting that season two will have a moment that calls back to that episode.
“It’s more about professional than personal connection for Carrie at this point, [though]” Lewis added.
The Carrie and Brody relationship is obviously starting in very separate places, though, since Brody is now working in Congress, and Carrie has been fired from her government job. Over the course of the first few episodes, there will have to be an “inciting incident” to bring them back on each other’s radars a bit more because in their time away, Brody has successfully brushed her off as “that crazy woman who got fired.” Gordon pointed out that this season is moving beyond the “personal limitations” of their relationship to be a bit more global.
Additionally, last year the dilemma was whether or not Brody would actually blow himself up, and Lewis also pointed out that every season of the show will provide similar challenges simply because the writers have to look at what the best possible end of the season will be, while still seeing the bigger picture of serving the series as a whole. Basically, he echoed Nevins’ earlier statement that potentially every character is fair game for killing off.
Say it isn’t so!!!
Homeland returns to Showtime on September 30th 2012 at 10 p.m. Stay tuned right here for an advance review of the pilot episode!
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