Show's new season to tackle Iran nuke deal, Muslim treatment
Episode 601

Homeland season 6 is jumping right back into the current political conversation. Showrunner Alex Gansa gave reporters some teasing details on the next season of the Emmy-winning espionage thriller, which moves the show’s action from Berlin last season to New York.

Why NYC? “The [life-altering] event in the world happened on Sept. 11, and again, we are still dealing with the repercussions of that event in this country,” Gansa said. “Some would argue that we had a huge overreaction to that event, as devastating as it was, and those are the issues that we are dealing with this season. What we’ve done as a result of that event, and what we continue to do, and what we can change as we move forward.”

In the new season, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) has begun working at a foundation that aims to provide aid to Muslims living in the U.S. The show’s action will tackle the events after a U.S. presidential election, with the season taking place between election day and a new president’s inauguration.

“We talked a lot about the Iran nuclear deal, because a lot of that business gets conducted in New York City in terms of the sanctions and banking,” Gansa said. “That’s a fairly big part of the show. And also, frankly, about how law enforcement in this country is treating the Muslim community right now, and how they’ve been treating the Muslim community since 9/11. There are some very strong feelings on both sides of that issue, and it’s an issue that Carrie’s character will be very, very involved with. And also, lastly, we talked about new presidents, and what is the responsibility of the intelligence community to educate those people coming into office. We heard some fascinating anecdotes about the transition during the Obama administration, when Obama came into office and what that period looked like between election and inauguration day. This season will be about educating a new president and what the intelligence agency’s responsibility is in terms of making this new person aware of the dangers of the world.”

The president in the show, however, will not be based on any one existing politician. “Every season, when we’re developing stories, we are terrified of being counter-factual by the time we air, or irrelevant, so this year we’re sort of hedging our bets in terms of our president,” Gansa said. “Although she’s a woman, she’s a little bit Hillary Clinton, a little bit Donald Trump, and a little bit Bernie Sanders.”

That combination is a bit tough to imagine, so Gansa was asked to explain further: “If you listen to Donald Trump, he says that there are these people that run the government from administration to administration and they have completely screwed the world up over the last 25 years, so I think there’s part of that in our president-elect — who is skeptical of the people that have gotten us into the mess that we’re in. I think there’s a little bit of Bernie in terms of the more progressive agenda, and then there’s a little bit of Hillary in terms of just being a pragmatist and looking at the world as she sees it from the inside. Also, our new president happens to be from New York, she’s a junior senator, so there’s a little bit of Hillary obviously in that.”

Continued Gansa: “But what’s really fascinating to us is this period of time between election day and inauguration day. There are crazily like two competing White Houses — there’s the real White House, and then there’s the house, or the two floors above a hotel [in New York], wherever the transition is being run, and the central tension between those two things. How do those two administrations interface?”

Gansa also confirmed that fan-favorite Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) is indeed alive after last year’s cryptic ending that left him in a vegetative state. “Well, Quinn is alive, I can say that much, but we really want to be careful about revealing what his condition is,” he said. “I would just say that he suffered a major stroke last season. So you’re going to see a very changed and altered Quinn this year.”

Critics questioned Gansa about how they’re going to realistically pull off Quinn’s return given his brain injury was described as permanent and completely debilitating. “I think Quinn this season will really represent a very profound and familiar casualty of the war on terror for our audience,” he replied. “That’s the role he’s going to play this season, and what he endured last year is different than what he’s going to go through this year. It’ll be a completely different animal, and this year will also be infused with the tension of his daily relationship with Claire’s character.”

Homeland returns Sunday, Jan. 15.

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