‘Homeland’s’ Alex Gansa Talks Dramatic Season 3 Finale, Season 4 Plans

Alex Gansa Homeland

Gansa reveals the emotional moments that occurred after a pivotal shoot in Morocco

After Sunday night’s shocking season-three finale, “Homeland” showrunner Alex Gansa took a moment from his vacation in Hawaii to talk about the buzzed-about episode and the future of Showtime’s signature drama.


Q: Tell me about shooting the pivotal scene for Brody in the finale.

Gansa: “It was the very last day of shooting the very last episode of the season. We shot all night, we had 400 extras in Rabat, Morocco. It was scary. It was intense and I really hope that it translated to the episode. It was emotional and powerful and hard to film. When the sun came up and we all said goodbye to each other — it was intense. Actors tend to be more stoic about saying goodbye, but here we all had the feeling we were really saying goodbye to Damian who had been such a central person in our lives. I snuck off into a corner and started crying. I’m not only going to miss Damian, I’m going to mourn his absence and the character’s.

Q: It must have been physically hard on Lewis just to be in that noose, no?

Gansa: It was definitely painful — the harness and the rigging of that thing. It was no picnic for him to do that. The reality of it all was painful – the crowd with the extras yelling. There was this mob feeling like you were lynching this guy and it was a spectator sport. The details of the red noose, the widow spitting in his face, the crane operators starting the engine (to raise the noose) — it was all really amazing. I thought the music Sean Callery composed for that sequence was incredible.

Q: Despite all of the surroundings, the ending for Brody and Carrie was almost restrained — no huge showy moments from Damian Lewis or Claire Danes. Was that by design?

Gansa: We talked a lot about this at the scripts stage and through these last coupe of episodes. We wanted it to feel restrained. This is not the passion of two people meeting. Brody and Carrie have now been in a relationship for a while. It’s not all sex and passion and love-making. It’s complicated and adult and tragic. So it felt restrained for a reason.

Q: You and Meredith Stiehm wrote the finale episode which had some of the best dialogue of the season, particularly the safe-house scene where Brody and Carrie debate the morality of political assassination.

Gansa: We worked so hard on those scenes. Every one of them went through many incarnations. We saw it as kind of their first domestic argument. It was as if they’re sitting around a kitchen table having a marital moment — but it’s so strangely incongruous to be about that topic in the middle of nowhere in Iran.

Q: Did you know how season three would end for Brody when you started production?

Gansa: We knew Brody was going to die from the get-go but we didn’t have the whole Tehran plan in place. When we were thinking about where Brody might actually take refuge, Iran is one of the few places in the world where he could conceivably do that. And then we got to the idea that Saul could use that to his advantage.

Q: What was were some of the other challenges in pulling off season three?

Gansa: In television you’re always dealing with too little time and too little money. But I think certain moments this season came off incredibly well — the twist at the end of episode four when we understand that Carrie and Saul have been in on this rouse together. That scene between Claire and Mandy (Patinkin) at the end of that episode. Brody and Carrie coming back together was a big moment. Introducing a new character, Javadi, was a big moment.

Q: I know you won’t say much, but give us the big-picture themes that you’re considering for season four. You’ve got a lot of re-inventing to do.

Gansa: Obviously Carrie is going to have to deal with the child. We never thought she was going to have a miscarriage or have an abortion. This child is how Brody spiritually remains in the show… The other idea running around our brains is that it will be really interesting to see Carrie do what she was trained to do — be a case officer in a foreign country. That seems to us like a really interesting place to start to reinvent the show.

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  1. robert mitchell says:

    I would like to see the producers[Dane being one of them]re think about a season 4 and just end the series and the 3rd season finale would be a good way for a rap.It was,is a good show but never great,like Boardwalk&Dexter.Situations were becoming more preposterously laughable.Daughter Saylor was becoming almost as bratty as Sutherland’s daughter in 24.Can be done, remember Deadwood was supposed to return for a 4th season after a longer than 12 month hiatus and proposed movie were never done.Leaving viewers disappointed.

  2. I sure hope it was a trick & we will be treated next year…

  3. david says:

    You could see the hanging of Brody as a trick by Javadi, Underneath Brody’s clothes is a vest that keeps him from suffocating. He might pop up somewhere?

  4. Steve says:

    Sorry mr gansa. Killing Brody killed homeland . Unfortunately season 4 will be the last

  5. Iain Harold says:

    Homelands final 2 episodes of season 3 were so intense and amazing and sad at the same time,,will season 4 ever be as good without Brodie?? I doubt it :((

  6. shreekant joshi says:

    we have been watching both homeland and breaking bad , in india. In both series the central characters die, walter white starts as a meek professor,and ends up being an egoistic monster, you do not mourn his passing, he almost deserved it. but when Brodie is hanged, rather than shot, we did miss him. this was a way he redeemed himself, starting as a hero marine, then being brainwashed and turned into a villain and back to being a hero who is sacrificed for his country again. great series both, we keep on discussing them endlessly. what next now ?

    • harry says:

      No one mourns a Muslim’s death. Period

      • Pim says:

        You must be a Christian right? Off course your God is the only true God and he only likes Christians….Talk about stupidity. If you was born in Iran you would probably me a Muslim yourself….

  7. Janice tedford says:

    I am so disappointed. I never once saw a commercial for the beginningof sseason three. I Disn’t know it wad on until all the finale hype. So upsetting.

  8. Rick says:

    I think it will be interesting to see Carrie and Alex Quinn start a romance…looks like a better match with Alex being more low keyed and sensible, to balance of Carrie’s impulsive and manic nature.

  9. Max says:

    You guys are right – Brody IS the series, him and his romance with Carrie. Now it’s going to be about an agent with a kid? How many times have we seen that show…yawn, and a big pass. I just hope Gansa is pulling a head-fake on everyone like the “Saul’s turned on Carrie” thing in the middle of this season, and is planning on making Brody’s hanging a fake. Otherwise it’s going to be the show that’s swinging in the breeze.

  10. Ashley James says:

    Homeland should have been nominated for a golden globe, this is a let down. What were they thinking


    • robert mitchell says:

      Over rated show when everyone was going ga ga and falling over themselves giving Homeland mucho Globes.They finally woke up and realized Homeland is a good show not great.Same goes for The Good Wife.

    • robert mitchell says:

      Max,show could switch to a sit com.Single bi polar mom raising her daughter.Just kidding.End the show already!

  11. Hopefully that wasn’t Brody who hung……on the fence he will be seen agin.

  12. saad says:

    Yes Brody was the legend, no more Gansa it is indeed a perfect ending. Not much attention without brody.

  13. Phaz says:

    Fred’s right. Brody was the show. You should end it right there, with dignity. Any more and you are just flogging it. What do you want, another piece of rubbish like LOST?

  14. fred says:

    Gansa, wake up. Brody was the show. Canceled my showtime subscription this morning. A lot of people did. Good luck with next season because it will be your last.

  15. When Carrie climbed the fence and watched Brody being hung, I would have had her yell out “I love you Brody!”

    It was a great season finale. it actually seemed like a series finale, thankfully it’s not.

    • theuofc says:

      Spot on! I wanted her to yell that too. She felt it. He felt it.

      • Dawn Alu says:

        I was devastated for her character…gave me a real empty feeling when it was over. I still kept thinking the calvary would come in at the last minute and save him. I also thought she should have yelled I love you but that’s not what her character would do…it was just sad. I can not imagine where they are going to go with the script now.

      • carmen says:

        :( you can’t kill Brody!!!

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