17 December 2012 8:58 AM, PST | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

The terrorists didn’t win but they certainly seemed to gain the upper hand as the second, polarizing season of Homeland drew to a close Sunday night.

The twisty Showtime drama’s finale climaxed with a huge bomb blast that claimed multiple lives (R.I.P. Estes, Finn, etc.), turned Brody into a fugitive and left Carrie’s future with the CIA very much in doubt.

During a conference call with reporters Monday morning, exec producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa tackled a series of burning questions about the episode and the upcoming third season.

How involved will Damian Lewis (and Morena Baccarin, for that matter) be in Season 3? | Being only two meetings into prepping Season 3, Gansa told TVLine that the status of players such as Lewis and his TV wife “are all open questions for us right now. We had a much clearer picture of what the first two seasons would be than we do of what the third season would be…. Damian’s involvement and [the actors who fill out Brody's family] is very much up in the air.”

Why wasn’t the President of the United States in attendance at VP Walden’s funeral? | “This wasn’t actually Walden’s memorial service in a church; it’s the memorial service that was put on for him by his intelligence colleagues at the CIA,” Gansa explained. “The president was not there for that reason.”

Is the mole still in play heading into Season 3? | Sure sounds like it. Gansa, for example, suggested  it was “our ever-present mole who could have been responsible for moving [Brody's] car to in front of the auditorium.”

What was the larger purpose of the Dana/Finn hit-and-run arc, since it never dovetailed with the main story? | Gordon admitted to TVLine, “There was a deeper plan for [that storyline] that sort of morphed halfway through the season.” But as actually told, “It was about Dana’s degradation of her connection with Brody, the emotional separation between them.”

Did the Saturday Night Live spoof sting the producers or stars? | “It’s obviously mostly terrific — it’s one of the highest cultural honors to be lampooned by SNL,” Gordon told us. “I think some of the actors were charmed and disturbed by it.” Perhaps Claire Danes, whose crying jags were well-mocked, fell into the latter camp…? Actually, no. “Anne Hathaway reached out to Claire and told her well in advance what she would be doing,” Gordon reported.

How on earth will Brody, now America’s Most Wanted, be able to lay low? | Gansa put forth the possibility that “the investigators are going to believe that Brody was actually in his car when it exploded,” and thus will be presumed dead. “Plus, Brody does have a head start of a couple of days, and he is privy to Carrie’s best contacts. He has the benefit of that network.”

Why wasnt Brody’s phone still tapped at the time of his (Blackberry!) video chats with Nazir? | “Brody had delivered to the CIA all of the information that he knew about Nazir… and all of his information was correct. And most of his [terrorist] network, with the exception of Nazir was rolled up. So the assumption by the CIA at that point was that his role … was over. There was nothing more he knew.” Add in the fact that Nazir was on the run, and “they had mistakenly stopped monitoring his movements and his phone.”

Are we still to kinda sorta suspect that Brody was in on the bombing? | Gansa doesn’t believe he and the writers are trying to have their cake and eat it, too. “But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there that still think there’s that possibility, and I just don’t want to dissuade anybody from that.” But as Gordon noted, “If you look back on the season, your brain would start hurting to understand why he did certain things if he was partially responsible for what happened.”

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