Over the past two season of Homeland critics have been vocal in their desire to see Damien Lewis' POW-turned-terrorist Brody dead, but Showtime is adamant on keeping the character alive.
At a TV Academy panel of the show's writers yesterday moderated by The Hollywood Reporter's Lacey Rose, showrunner Howard Gordon revealed that while the writers had a plan for disposing of Brody in both the first and second seasons, Showtime made them change their minds. "We had sketched out this plan in the early parts of season two which called for Brody’s demise, which may have been premature, and they asked us to reconsider," Gordon said, calling it the "the happy accident of having very good partners."
But is it really that happy an accident? Back at the beginning of the second season, the New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum explained her theory that Brody's bomb should have gone off at the end of season one, making it an "uncompromising one-series season." Before the most recent season was over Nussbaum was espousing her theory that Carrie should end up killing Brody, which would have the "benefit of presenting the show with a clean slate for Season Three." We supported this theory, feeling that the Carrie-Brody cat and mouse game, which was what buoyed the first season, became a burden in the second.
Alas, though the bomb that went off at the end of season two did give the show somewhat of a clean slate, we're left with more Brody plot. He won't be in the first two episodes, but both trailers indicate that there's a lot more to be seen of the (now-bald) character even though he is on the run.
Then why, when it seems so natural to the show's writers to get rid of the character, does Showtime have such an eagerness to keep him on? Well, Damien Lewis has won the show an Emmy and the show's marketing has mainly focused on his character and Carrie. Without Brody Showtime would have to rework some of their strategy. On a more optimistic note, they could also really believe in the character.
Perhaps next season will prove that Brody is worth keeping, but perhaps Showtime should also keep an open mind.