After a rollercoaster first series and an explosive end to its second run, the praise for Homeland’s third season hasn’t been quite so forthcoming. With one lead holed up in a mental hospital and the other in a Venezuelan hovel, many fans and critics have lambasted the crawling pace of the first four episodes – and while the subsequent three have seen a return to the cloak-and-dagger plot twists of old, Carrie and Brody’s separation continues to slacken any much-needed romantic tension.
The show’s underwhelming return may have something to do with the departure of Meredith Stiehm – one of Homeland’s original writers who left last year to oversee the American remake of scandi-drama The Bridge, starring Diane Kruger. But it appears Homeland showrunners Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon have succeeded in luring her back, despite The Bridge winning a 13-episode second season.
Stiehm was the only female writer for the first two series and played a large part in developing the show’s lead, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), drawing on her personal experience of her sister’s bipolar disorder. She was the brains behind some of the drama’s most critically-acclaimed episodes, including The Weekend (when Carrie and former hostage Brody first retired to her cabin) and the nail-biting series one finale.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Meredith back as she’s been an integral part of Homeland from the beginning,” said Fox 21 president, Bert Salke. “She’s a fantastic writer and this deal returns her to this hugely valuable asset as well as allows us to develop with her down the road.”
And he’s not the only one delighted to have Stiehm back on board… Gansa has already enlisted her to co-write the series three finale, before she gets to work on a fourth season and a yet-to-be-commissioned fifth run.