As the writers and producers of Showtime’s award-winning drama, Homeland, recently found out, following up a critically-acclaimed first season is not exactly a slam-dunk. After several aspects of season 2 became a point of contention for critics and fans alike, the season 2 finale was an incredibly important moment for the series.

Now that the opinions regarding the divisive conclusion to season 2 have begun to pour in, executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa have already begun discussing where the series may be headed in season 3, and posited some intriguing possibilities as to where the characters who were left standing might be headed come the fall of 2013.

The pair recently took part in a conference call, and according to TVLine, tackled not only inquiries regarding the season 3 storyline, but they also managed to cover some of the lingering questions left unanswered, or made unclear by the finale.

Since it’s likely you have already watched ‘The Choice,’ you know that an enormous explosion ripped through CIA headquarters, claiming the lives of David Estes (David Harewood), Finn Walden (Timothée Chalamet) and his mother Cynthia (Talia Balsam). Additionally, the domestic terrorist attack left Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) presumed dead, but on the run, and Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) seemingly returning to Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) and the CIA, after aiding in Brody’s escape.

Naturally, with Brody on the run, and his marriage having ended (Brody even gave Mike (Diego Klattenhoff) the green light to take care of his wife and children), the question becomes: How integral will Brody be come season 3, and will the rest of the Brody clan make an appearance? According to Gansa, that’s a question the writers and producers are asking themselves at the moment.

Gansa stated:

“[Those] are all open questions for us right now. We had a much clearer picture of what the first two seasons would be than we do of what the third season would be…. Damian’s involvement and [the actors who fill out Brody’s family] is very much up in the air.”

The thought of a season’s storyline not hinging on Nicholas Brody, and his connection to the Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban) terrorist network would undoubtedly take the series into new, possibly even more divisive territory. Some would see this as a positive; a sign the series has played out the Brody/Carrie dynamic as best it could, and is now ready to explore other storylines. Meanwhile, many others seem to feel the show was already on a downward slide when it lost Vice President Walden (Jamey Sheridan), and then Nazir, so less Brody may not necessarily be seen as a good thing for those fans.

Besides, how is Brody going to maintain a low profile with his face likely running in a near-endless loop on cable news channels, while unquestionably popping up in all other forms of global media as well?

Gansa says:

“The investigators are going to believe that Brody was actually in his car when it exploded. Plus, Brody does have a head start of a couple of days, and he is privy to Carrie’s best contacts. He has the benefit of that network.”

Still, there are some who feel it was Brody’s plan to blow up his car all along, using Carrie’s feelings for him as a ticket out of the United States. While Gansa admits people are welcome to believe that as a possible avenue for a future Brody storyline, Gordon is quick to warn that scenario is not really what the writers had in mind.

“If you look back on the season, your brain would start hurting to understand why he did certain things if he was partially responsible for what happened.”

At any rate, in a separate interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gansa stated that the writers are keen on approaching season 3 with less emphasis on another catastrophic terrorist strike that Carrie and Saul will try to prevent. If the inference in what he’s saying is correct, then the series could be looking at a storyline that is smaller and more intimate.

“We know roughly what season 3 is. There’s some big muscular moves that we know will happen but there’s a lot to be filled in still. I think all of us on the writing staff would rather not do an impending attack that Carrie stops for the third year in a row. Having said that, we haven’t found that narrative engine that’s going to take us through the third season so I have to reserve judgment. We’re looking for something that’s smaller, that is sort of a little more John LeCarré.”

When you take into consideration the fact that there is still a mole in the CIA, who, according to Gansa may “have been responsible for moving [Brody’s] car to in front of the auditorium,” and the underlying history and possible lack of trust between Saul and the enigmatic Dar Adal (F. Murray Abraham), it doesn’t take much to see a little Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy-like inter-agency battle of wits taking place. As such, the assumption at the end of ‘The Choice’ was that Saul might be in line for a larger decision-making role in the CIA, which would conceivably put him in a position to better weed out said mole, and possibly do more good than his predecessor.

There are still several months between now and when production on season 3 would be scheduled to begin, so much of what Gansa and Gordon have discussed could be subject to change. Hopefully, though, some of the more intriguing aspects they’ve brought up will bear fruit, as they sound like an intriguing way to continue the Homeland story.

Homeland will return to Showtime for season 3 in the fall of 2013. Screen Rant will continue to update you with news, as it is made available.

Source: TVLine, EW