Damian Lewis and Claire Danes Damian Lewis and Claire Danes

[WARNING: The following story contains major spoilers from Sunday's Season 3 finale of Homeland. Read at your own risk.

Sunday's Homeland finale was the end of an era.

Homeland finale: Was Carrie able to save Brody?

After successfully pulling off the near-impossible mission of killing Iranian military leader Danesh Akbari, Brody (Damian Lewis) seemed poised to cheat death once again and perhaps start a new life with Carrie (Claire Danes) and the baby she's been carrying. But the happy ending wasn't meant to be, and after new CIA Director Lockhart (Tracy Letts) turned Brody over to the Iranian Republican Guard in order to protect Javadi (Shaun Toub) as an American asset for the future, Brody was hanged in public while Carrie watched on in agony.

Although Brody's death certainly ties up many of the narrative threads that drove the Showtime drama's third season, the producers of the show now have virtually a blank canvas to work with in Season 4. Will Carrie actually take the job she was offered in Istanbul during the season-ending, four-month time jump? If she does, will she bring Brody's baby with her or will she give the child up for adoption? And what role will Saul (Mandy Patinkin) play now that he's moving into the private sector?

TVGuide.com chatted with executive producer Alex Gansa about plotting Brody's demise and what the lasting impact of Brody's death will be on Carrie. Plus: Get Gansa's (not quite fully formed) vision of the show's future.

You've said previously that Season 3 was carefully plotted from the beginning. So, you knew at the outset of this season that Brody would die?
Alex Gansa:
It was one of the first decisions we made in the story room this year. Then, it just became a matter of figuring out the most dramatic way for this to happen.

Homeland postmortem: Show boss breaks down the "magic trick" of Season 3

Homeland: How does Brody figure into Saul's master plan?

Given your desire to show how Brody's actions affected his family this season, why didn't you choose to show their reaction to his death?
It felt like their response to Brody's death would have been very predictable.  I don't believe Dana would have come very far from the emotions she had in the scene with her dad at the motel, and Jessica is so disgusted with her husband that I don't know that it would have had a huge impact. We did not feel it necessary to dramatize what felt like obvious reactions. The Brody family would never know and probably could not know that Brody was on a CIA mission at the time. So, they would just have witnessed the demise of this man who was part of their lives, but kept many, many secrets from them.

With all the "magic tricks" you pulled earlier this season, are you willing to state unequivocally that Brody is 100 percent dead?
Brody is physically dead, undoubtedly. [But he's] spiritually alive in the fact that Carrie has a child.

Yet Carrie seems unsure about keeping that baby after it's born. Where do you see the show going next season? Given this finale, it seems you can go almost anywhere you want.
I think that's true. However, what that is, I'm not sure and won't be sure for the next couple of months until we convene the story room again and start talking about this. There are ideas swirling around that you saw in the finale. Do we follow Carrie overseas and watch her do what she was trained to do as a case officer in a foreign capital somewhere? What to do with the baby? These are all open questions, and to say we know exactly where the story is going next year would not be truthful.

Will you look for a new male lead to fill the Brody void?
I don't think anyone can replace Brody or replace Damian's primary importance on the show. I think that is all going to squarely land on Claire Danes' shoulders now. It's really her show, and where Peter Quinn fits into that, where Fara fits into that, and where Saul fits into that is going to be a process of discovery.

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