"Homeland" showrunner Alex Gansa reveals season 4 details

Claire Danes stars in the Showtime original series, "Homeland."


More intrigue and espionage await in the upcoming fourth season of "Homeland."

Claire Danes -- who has won two Golden Globes and two Emmy Awards for her performance on the series -- returns as CIA case officer Carrie Mathison, still reeling from the death of Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) in the season 3 finale.

A prominent force both in Carrie's life and on the series, Brody's departure will undoubtedly shake up the tone of "Homeland," which recently garnered additional Emmy nominations for Danes and co-star Mandy Patinkin.

But despite the latest Emmy nods, many media pundits have been quick to note that the series scored fewer nominations than in previous years. "Homeland" won the best drama series Emmy Award in 2012, but this year it wasn't even nominated in that field.

The tepid response to season 3 from critics and audiences is perhaps what led producers to head in a new direction.

"[Season 4 is] about seeing Carrie Mathison for the first time doing the job she was trained to do --- being a case officer in a foreign capital," Emmy-winning show runner Alex Gansa said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.

"We're going to see what an intelligence officer does on the ground. How she recruits assets, how she deals with the foreign government and her country team -- the people she works with in the embassy -- and the host country's intelligence services."

Gansa also revealed many more details about season 4, which will be set six months after we last saw a pregnant Carrie drawing a makeshift star for Brody at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va.

Carrie has already given birth, but she won't be bringing the child overseas on her mission.

And there's some good news for fans of Patinkin's character, Carrie's mentor and former CIA brass Saul Berenson.

"Saul plays a central role this season, albeit a different role, a reversed role," Gansa revealed. "Saul in the past was Carrie's boss. Now that he's in the private sector he finds himself working underneath her and at her behest, so there's a role reversal that takes place there."

Two characters who aren't expected back this year are Brody's wife, Jessica (Morena Baccarin), and daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor). The Brody family in general was often lamented by fans as tired and overused during season 3. But Gansa said that they could possibly return at some point towards the end of the season.

In their place are a batch of new characters, including "Life of Pi" star Suraj Sharma as a medical student in Islamabad, Pakistan who crosses paths with Carrie.

"House of Cards" actor Corey Stoll is also on board as a station chief in Islamabad. Laila Robins (HBO's "In Treatment") will play the ambassador to Pakistan. Veteran actor Michael O'Keefe has signed on to portray the station chief in the region.

"We wanted to establish a little America in Islamabad, all the Americans who come to work in this place and the little community they establish there," said Gansa.

And even with Brody's demise, there's a possibility we could one day see him return through flashbacks.

"I would always hold out the possibility that something like that could happen," Gansa divulged. "He was such a significant part of Carrie's life that just to drop him completely would feel wrong, because Carrie is grieving for his loss."

The season 4 premiere of "Homeland" will debut in October on Showtime.

Tell us: Will you be watching?

  • Ken Lombardi On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.