'Homeland' Season 4: What's next for the Brody family?

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"Homeland" showed in its Season 3 finale that it's decisively going in a very different direction in Season 4. After killing off main character Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) and ending the episode with a "four months later" 20-minute epilogue, it's clear that showrunners Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon have a plan for the upcoming season. Whether it will be able to engage audiences as well as the Brody storylines did remains to be seen.

But with Brody gone, will his family return? News that Morgan Saylor and Morena Baccarin have been downgraded from series regulars means that there could still be a place in the "Homeland" family for Brody's now-widow and daughter as guest stars if they want to take it. From where we're standing, though, there's not much left for their characters to do.

When Season 3 ended, it was implied that Carrie is going to give up Brody's daughter once she gives birth and that she'll take the position as a station chief in Istanbul. But with her determination to have Brody seen as a hero, she could hypothetically go see Dana and Jess again to let them know he did not die in vain. That would seem like a fitting way to end that storyline once and for all.

Carrie and Jess's relationship ended on a surprisingly good note in Season 3, though Jess likely wouldn't be too taken with the idea of Carrie having Brody's baby. But Dana had written both her mother and brother and her father and Carrie out of her life when Brody went to see her before heading to Iran. Though Jess might accept a meeting with Carrie, it seems unlikely Dana would be as open to the idea.

The only way it would really make sense to see Dana and Jess again is through the conduit of Carrie. It's pretty obvious that "Homeland" is moving away from the Brodys -- especially the often-criticized character of Dana -- and it wouldn't make sense to separately bring back their storylines. Many said that the "Homeland" Season 3 finale felt like a series finale, and that extended to the Brody family's stories. They're forever scarred by the affect Brody had on their lives and that might not be ever changed, but at least they're moving forward.

As much as we love Baccarin and Saylor (she has not had an easy job as a child actor and she's handled it with grace), we wouldn't be heartbroken if Season 3 was their last time on the show. It's time for "Homeland" to come up with a new identity than being the Carrie-Brody show, and part of that is cutting ties with the rest of the Brodys.

Are you also ready for Jess and Dana's storylines to come to a close?

Photo/Video credit: Showtime