When we return for Season 3 of “Homeland” on Sunday, Sept. 29, it is 56 days after the car bomb exploded and decimated CIA Headquarters, and now the CIA is under a second attack. This time not by terrorists, but by the United States Congress, which isn’t sure that an entity that can’t protect itself can protect the nation.
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Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is asked to testify as to what happened in regard to the terrorist act masterminded by Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban) at a closed-hearing session. It seems as if all will go well, until it turns out that someone has leaked confidential documents to the committee, and Carrie finds herself under attack — not just from the senators but also by people she considered to be her friends.
A lot of different scenarios were considered for the return of the third season of “Homeland.” For example: Where is Brody (Damian Lewis) now that he is the No. 1 suspect in the bombing that killed 219 people in the CIA offices in Washington, D.C.? Do viewers want to know what’s happening with his family now that he’s no longer a part of it? Who will be the new director of the CIA now that David Estes (David Harewood) is dead? And, most importantly, is Carrie headed to jail for her actions in Season 2?
xfinityTV has the answers to these burning questions and more:
Is Congress seriously considering disbanding the CIA?
The fact that repairs to the Pentagon started the day after the 9/11 attack, and it is now almost two months later and nothing has been done to repair the crater from the bomb blast at the CIA, is cause for great concern on the part of Saul (Mandy Patinkin). His worry is reinforced when a Senator asks, “How can the CIA protect the country, if it can’t protect itself?” According to the series, the CIA has a contract, which Congress has the right to cancel, so allegedly the spy agency could be dissolved.
Why does Carrie go off her meds when that has caused her so much trouble in the past?
Carrie feels responsible for the death of the 219 people who worked at the CIA and she feels that because she was on her meds at the time of the bombing, she was off her game. She feels that if she hadn't been drugged, she would have had a better chance of figuring out that Abu Nazir had a bigger plan and the carnage could have been prevented.
"Carrie is always sitting on her own personal ticking bomb," says Danes. "It's just an impossible dilemma. She is not great on the meds, but even worse off them. There is a really great sweet spot she is trying to land on, where she is high performing. She is in the process of finding that balance. She is pretty weak in the beginning."
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Brody isn't in the first two episodes of the season. When is Brody coming back?
“The decision to not have Brody in the first two episodes was strictly a function of where the story was taking us,” executive producer/showrunner Alex Gansa says. “So much was transpiring on the ground in Washington that Brody’s flight from America just made it impossible to include that storyline in the first couple of episodes.”
To which Lewis adds, "Brody is on the lam. He has to lay low. Hopefully, of interest to the audience will be what state he will be in when we see Brody for the first time. Is he aboard a yacht on the coast surrounded by a bevy of Russian beauties? That was my pitch! … When you do see Brody for the first time, it will be interesting."
How is Brody’s family surviving without him?
Not well. The family has no income and no medical insurance. In fact, Jessica Brody’s (Morena Baccarin) mother has to take a reverse mortgage on her home to help the family out, and Jessica is looking for an accounting job. But of them all, Brody’ daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor) is the hardest hit.
"She was the one person who seemed to have the breadth of imagination and curiosity to really understand what had happened to her dad," Lewis says. "He acknowledged that in her, and so they had a strong, strong, mutual connection. It's very sad, actually. It's the one thing you could come back to and rely on that would be there was this gift of love and some tenderness between these two. Such is the bleak world outlook of our two co‑creators that that's been ripped from us."
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What is going on with Saul, who says he doesn’t want to throw Carrie under the bus?
Saul is in the uncomfortable position of being named the acting director of the CIA. For years, he has been comfortable on the sidelines, providing information, criticizing, but letting others make the final decisions. Now, he is the man on the spot, and he has to make some uncharacteristic decisions, one of which has a direct bearing on Carrie's life.
"We find Saul in a very difficult spot," Gansa says. "He's a man who is loath to make decisions and is now forced to make the most important ones of his life… I think he's actually fearful that he might be the last director of the CIA, and so, whereas it might seem his actions are out of character, I think he finds himself in a position that his character is not used to being in, and that's what generates these different responses."
Is anyone loyal to Carrie when Saul hangs her out to dry?
Surprisingly, Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend), who was brought in as part of the team in Season 2 to possibly assassinate Brody, is the one person at the CIA who still values Carrie.
"I think there is a mutual respect for someone who takes personal risks for their job," Friend says, by way of explaining his loyalty to Carrie. "They are both edgy people. They both have a propensity to take risks to get the work done. That is something that will be explored more in Season 3."
“Homeland” returns with Season 3 on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 9/8c on Showtime.
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