Alan Sepinwall of Hitfix.com listened in on a conference call this morning with "Homeland" exec producers Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon and wrote the following:
... Gansa wasn't willing to commit to the exact role — or lack thereof —
Damian Lewis, Morena Baccarin and the other actors playing Brody's
friends and family might have in the third season. He suggested several
times that Brody could not appear in the third season at all, and then
return at a later date.
"I do think," he said, "that there is value in the fact that he's still alive and still in the world somewhere, even if he doesn't make an appearance in season three. And I'm not saying that's necessarily going to happen. But the fact that he's still alive would mean something to Carrie."
But Gordon also acknowledged that any motivation they would have for keeping Lewis in the fold wouldn't come from the fact that he's the reigning Emmy winner for lead actor in a drama series.
"Obviously, you can't let the tail wag the dog," he said. "All the awards in the world won't give rise to a character or a story that's either run its course or had whatever shelf life it has. As Alex has said, we love this relationship, it's become one of the defining pillars of the show... Whenever the relationship is no longer the center of the show. I think as tempting as it is, and as afraid as we are, you can't let all the awards and acclaim — and Damian's brilliance — dictate the story in terms of where it needs to go." ...
Although Sunday's episode provided some justification for some seemingly nonsensical events that took place on the show earlier this month, "Homeland" has seen some drain of its appeal. The parallel — though this is an extreme example — is NBC's "Heroes," which had a much-praised first season a few years back but ate up so much story so quickly that it found itself struggling to stay on track in season two.
In addition, I honestly can't tell whether it's correlation or causation, but ever since Anne Hathaway spoofed Emmy-winner Claire Danes on "Saturday Night Live," Danes' work on "Homeland" has seemed more over the top than I have ever felt before. It's a matter of whether the shaky plots have made it harder for her to be convincing. She's still as sure as they come for a 2013 nomination.
The one whose Emmy chances grew on season two of "Homeland" is Mandy Patinkin, who has emerged as the show's rock and seems incredibly likely to be recognized in the supporting actor competition next year. Fiery yet grounded at the same time, Patinkin was terrific this season.
More imminently, Danes, Lewis and the series are all nominated for Golden Globes, which will be handed out Jan. 13.