Homeland has been a huge hit for Showtime over the years, and the network has rewarded all involved accordingly, but there was a point when it seemed like the acclaim had run dry, largely due to the prolonged survival of Damien Lewis' Nicholas Brody, who was originally supposed to die in Season 1. He eventually did die in the Season 3 finale, and the show has been better and more refreshing ever since. Don't go thinking the former P.O.W.'s influence is completely gone from the drama, however, as he'll temporarily loom over Season 6 in a specific way. Here's how executive producer Chip Johannessen described it.

One thing that surfaces this season is the question of who [Frannie's] father was. I actually just got done writing a scene for Episode 9 that serves as kind of a follow-up to a monologue [Carrie delivered to Frannie] in Season 4, in which she got her up to speed on who her father was.

Nothing as potentially horrifying as "scientists figured out a way to bring Nicholas Brody back to life, Jurassic Park-style," thankfully, and there is obviously a great deal of logic behind bringing his name back into things for the same of Frannie's upbringing. With so many professional years spent working for the CIA, Carrie is the kind of person who wouldn't shock anybody if she'd lied to her daughter about her father in some form. I guess she could very well still do that, but I'd expect something more honest and heartfelt if the scene serves as a proper follow-up to Carrie's surprisingly vulnerable Season 4 mother-daughter talk, which happened after Carrie learned of her father's death.

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We'll obviously be waiting a while to hear Brody's name come up, if Chip Johannessen was penning that speech for the ninth episode, as he told TVLine. Which is great, since that means it presumably isn't being used exploitatively, and will likely peel back another layer of Carrie's complex headspace. She hasn't had the most stable relationships in her post-Brody world, so he perhaps factors into her brain in a position other than just as the father of her child, but Season 6 is supposed to present similar romanticized avenues for Carrie to go down with Quinn. Of course, Quinn will be a completely different person after surviving the terror of his Season 5 arc, which ended with him in the hospital, seemingly dying of sarin gas poisoning. Brody and Quinn don't inspire the most inviting "lovers comparison."

It would be extremely interesting if Brody's mention got coupled with a return from Morena Baccarin as widow Jessica Brody, or Morgan Saylor as daughter Dana Brody. (There is really no need for Chris to ever come back, unless somebody bought a new big screen TV for him to gawk at.) Baccarin is busy with Gotham and her new TV project, so she's probably out, but it would be far more interesting to see Dana be the one to show up to meet (and presumably resent) her half-sister.

Homeland will return to Showtime for its patriarchal conversations when Season 6 debuts on Sunday, January 15, at 9:00 p.m. ET. And we can probably expect at least one more of those Brody speeches in the future, since we have at least two more seasons of Homeland coming. To see what else the small screen will have to offer in the new year, head to our midseason premiere schedule.

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