‘Homeland’ E.P. Questions Show’s Message, As Filming Relocates To U.S.

Homeland may be taking its end of season hiatus, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be learned about the upcoming Season 6 of the Claire Danes-led series. The show, which tells the story of a bipolar C.I.A. agent (Danes) and her concern that a prisoner of war has been brainwashed by the al-Qaeda to commit acts of terrorism on American soil, heads into its sixth season with show producers and cast members paying closer attention to the messages it sends to the public. As a feeling of greater responsibility overcomes the Homeland cast and crew, they bring filming back to the United States.

Producers Bring Homeland Back Home

Alex Gansa points out to Newsday that, while Homeland was filming in Germany, there was an increase of terrorist activity throughout the world, adding that the Homeland cast and crew were deeply affected by the Paris attacks. Gansa says real life events were mirrored in the scenes they were shooting, pointing to the big Berlin action sequence, which was shot just one day after the attacks in Paris, France.

“We were all doing a little soul-searching in those subway tunnels,” said the Homeland showrunner. “And that included questions like ‘What message is it that we are putting out into the world?’ and more importantly, ‘What message should we be putting out into the world?’ I felt everybody’s fear beginning in earnest while we were there, and here we are now, coming back to beloved Manhattan.”

Now, the Homeland showrunner and his staff are concerned with telling a story of a terrorist attack in New York City, between recent happenings and the 9/11 attacks. Gansa says to explore that kind of story arc in Season 6 of Homeland just seems like “bad karma,” and he admits he’s unwilling to tempt fate so openly. Gansa also says that they have learned there isn’t a real life organized terrorist network here in the United States, which was an idea for Homeland. He says he doesn’t want to draw attention to that by exploring the idea within the confines of the show.

Homeland Plot Details For Season 6

As Homeland heads into its next installment, Variety reveals that the leading characters are all present and accounted for, and that does include Quinn (Rupert Friend). While Quinn is alive, Gansa cautions that the Homeland character will be a very changed person in Season 6. Quinn has suffered a major stroke, complicating matters further. The Homeland showrunner adds that Friend’s character will face greater challenges, as his existence is threatened in the coming installment.

Meanwhile, Saul (Mandy Patinkin) has rededicated himself to the C.I.A. and Carrie (Danes) gets more deeply involved with intelligence. Claire Danes and Mr. Gansa have both agreed that Mathison will be in a much better place, as Homeland‘s new season begins with Carrie finding fulfillment in working with Muslims who have been wrongfully persecuted by American law enforcement.

“She’s advocating on behalf of Muslims who have been unjustly accused and unfairly treated, but I think she has a bigger agenda that she’s not admitting to fully,” Danes said.

In the past, Danes says her Homeland character has struggled with her identity, but Carrie will come to terms with her calling as a spy this year and she will come to accept that working for the C.I.A. in that capacity is really what she was meant to do.

“She’s a rogue spirit, she’s a really good spy, I don’t think she’ll ever not want to be a spy in some capacity (but) it’ll manifest itself differently this time around,” said the Homeland actress. “She’s in the game again in a way she wasn’t last season. She’s rewriting the rules in her head.”

Additionally, both Danes and Patinkin are very excited about filming in Manhattan and not just because that’s where both of the Homeland stars live. Claire says the New York City area provides a fertile ground for telling Homeland‘s story in a way that no other place can really compare. Speaking of Mandy Patinkin, Danes reveals that Saul and Carrie will still be at odds, but adds that their tenuous relationship will continue to develop. Even while Mathison is apart from the C.I.A., the two Homeland characters will continue to interact with Saul working to pull Carrie back into the agency.

Finally, Mr. Gansa did reveal the end game for Homeland. The series won’t go on forever and, in fact, the Homeland showrunner has nailed it down to a total of eight seasons.

“We asked ourselves how many years can we keep this going and keep the quality up? We said seven or eight seasons sounded about right,” said the Homeland executive producer.

[Image via Showtime]