'Homeland' Season 2: Just when Carrie thought she was out...the Showtime thriller pulls Claire Danes back in

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claire-danes-mandy-patinkin-homeland.jpgWhen last we saw Carrie Mathison ( Claire Danes) on "Homeland," she was receiving electroconvulsive therapy after being booted from the CIA.

In the Season 2 premiere, Carrie may not be in a better place, but she's more peaceful -- living with her father, harvesting their garden for her special vegetable lasagna and grading her English students' papers.

Despite Carrie's breakdown and ignominious exit, "Homeland" found a plausible, completely uncontrived way to bring the mentally ill operative back into the CIA fold.

"It was all inspired by John le Carré," showrunner Alex Gansa admits to Zap2it. "How Smiley gets back into the intelligence community -- it's very much the same way that Carrie does."

"She's pretty stable," Claire Danes says about her character at the beginning of the Showtime hit's sophomore season. "She's not hiding to the same extent, and she doesn't have that same kind of panic and defensiveness...She's been very humbled, and she's suffering from a real crisis of confidence."

"We knew we had to wind Carrie up and get her back in the saddle, but it's not that simple," notes Gansa. "She understands that this is by no means a permanent situation. So there's more to come on that story."

"She gets her mojo back," adds Danes, "but it takes some time."

"Homeland" returns Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.
Photo/Video credit: Showtime