Despite wrapping up the over-arcing Nicholas Brody storyline some time ago, Showtime's CIA drama/thriller series Homeland nevertheless plowed ahead with a fourth season, which saw the show attempt a well-received soft reboot of its entire structure. Season 4 ended on a somewhat uncertain note, leaving the shape of season 5 up in the air.
But now, finally, we have an idea where the fifth season will be when it premieres in the fall of 2015.
Variety reports that during a Q&A session at Hollywood's Paley Center for Media's PaleyFest, Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa and star Claire Danes were joined by some of the show's executive producers to share some major details on the changes in store.
In a move similar to the time frame of the final season of Parks & Recreation (and this is also where the two shows' similarities end), Homeland's fifth season will jump forward in time and be set two-and-a-half years from the point of season 4's conclusion. The next season is said to film primarily in Europe, "probably Germany," and according to Gansa, Danes' character Carrie Mathison "will no longer be an intelligence officer."
The producers did not go into detail about how and why Carrie winds up in Europe and apparently no longer a CIA agent but alluded to Germany and Europe's ongoing importance "in relation to concerns about terrorism and Western security issues." As for what Dane thinks Carrie is doing in Germany, the actress replied, "she's making beer."
The panel touched on some of the behind-the-scenes details of the show's production, such as the divide between the writers on season 4's romantic relationship between Carrie and CIA assassin Quinn (Rupert Friendly). Some of Homeland's trademark unflattering depictions of its characters were touched on as well, with Claire Danes addressing an early scene in the season when her character appears to nearly drown her baby girl.
"That seemed like a pretty real challenge to an audience. I don’t know if there is a greater taboo than an unloving mother."
Homeland drew some criticism for its depiction of Pakistan during this past season, and while one of the show's major points has been to give a sympathetic human face to what are seen as the antagonists in the ongoing "War on Terror," there may be some limits.
When asked if an organization like the Iraqi terrorist group ISIS could factor into a future narrative, showrunner Alex Gansa responded:
"Do we give them a platform? I don’t know. It’s an interesting question…We’re one of the few shows that gets to really comment on current events. We take that responsibility very seriously."
Homeland has indeed proven itself a fascinating mirror image for some aspects of the ongoing issue of terrorism, but would sailing past the edge of controversy by including a sympathetic ISIS faction or character alienate its audience? Stay tuned for details on season 5 as they emerge.
Homeland season 5 will premiere on Showtime in September of 2015.