Jon Gus – Senior Staff Columnist
Members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (also known as the folks that bring you the Emmys) were treated Tuesday night (August 13) to a panel discussion between the showrunners, writers, and the music composer for the Showtime original series Homeland.
Given the acclaim that the series has garnered since its October 2011 launch (the 2012 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, the 2011 and 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama, as well as the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Damian Lewis and Claire Danes respectively) it was easy to see why the Zanuck Theater on the FOX Studios lot was packed with fans of the show. That, and we were being treated to an early screening of the upcoming Sept 29th Season 3 premiere episode. But rest assured, there will be no spoilers here. As long as you’re caught up to date with last season’s finale.
The panel discussion was light and entertaining to watch – these folks seemed to genuinely enjoy working on the series and with each other. While the stars of the series were currently shooting in North Carolina, in attendance were showrunners Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, executive producers/writers Meredith Stiehm (soon to depart for FX’s The Bridge) and Alexander Cary, with music composer Sean Callery (previously the composer for FOX’s 24). They passed around questions such as, which character they identified most with, which scene that they worked on was their favorite (Alex Cary’s response of “when Carrie cries” elicited a rousing laugh from the audience), what they felt they could have done better (Alex Gansa jokingly mentioned Brody’s BlackBerry text message from inside a situation room), and what we could look forward to in Season 3.
The first episode was very satisfying. It opens two months after the Langley bombing and we’re right back in the mix with Carrie. She’s off her medication and things aren’t going well for her. As we saw in last season’s finale, she has stayed behind after helping Brody escape across the border into Montreal and the aftershock of the attack is straining her relationship with Saul – now the acting director of the CIA and very much feeling the burden of the load he bears. Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) is still in the mix with all of his assassin creepiness, and the seeds of a new side story involving Brody’s daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor) are being sown.
As expected, the aftermath of the bombing has a huge effect on the series – and on an again unhinged Carrie. Per the showrunners and much to this writer’s chagrin, Dana’s side story will be a larger part of the new season, but it could prove interesting as it develops. And one very well executed sequence had us all on the edge of our seats. Oh, and Carrie cries in a few scenes. From this first episode, the third season shows all the signs of keeping the pace that its fans love.