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Ellen Gray: 'Homeland' finale ends with twists and turns

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't yet watched the Season 2 finale of Showtime's "Homeland," please don't read this until you have.

 SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't yet watched the Season 2 finale of Showtime's "Homeland," please don't read this until you have.

 If you have seen Sunday's episode, chances are that at least some questions you've had about some of the show's recent plot twists were answered in an episode that killed off more than 200 people but left Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) very much alive. And on the run.

Some of us still had questions Monday morning (I woke up at 5:30 to rewatch the episode).

Showtime, happily, put executive producers Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon on the phone with reporters (along with actor David Harewood, whose character, David Estes, did not survive the terrorist attack).

Here are the highlights:

* The strategy for Season 2 was to get to the point where Carrie (Claire Danes) busted Brody and turned him against Abu Nazir, Gansa said. He noted that while Season 1 ended with Carrie being the only one who believed in Brody's guilt, Season 2 ended with her being the only one who believes in his innocence (at least in the latest attack).

* Just because Brody's alive doesn't mean we'll see much, if any, of him, in Season 3. (Nor does it mean we won't.) Producers are just starting to talk about next season, but "we've told a significant part" of the Carrie-Brody story, and "if there's a Chapter 3" in that relationship, it's going to have to be different, Gordon said.

* Gansa said Saul (Mandy Patinkin) will be key to Season 3. "Carrie made a choice. She chose Saul, not Brody."

* "There was a deeper plan" for that not-so-popular-with-viewers car accident involving Brody's daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor) and the vice president's son, according to Gordon, though neither he nor Gansa seemed able to remember what it was. Mostly, they saw it as a wedge to be driven between Dana and her father and as yet another sign that the veep (Jamey Sheridan) was not a good guy.

* Wondering how Brody and Carrie got away so easily? The producers' reasoning: "Chaos" at the scene, combined with the expectation that Brody might have been a suicide bomber, and thus incinerated when the bomb went off.

* No matter how much carping there's been about some plot developments this season, the producers weren't in defensive mode.

"One thing the show does promise is twists and turns as a nod to the thriller part," said Gansa, who, like Gordon, wrote for "24." "I think the show is always going to have the ability to surprise, and whether that's plausible or implausible is for you to decide."

* Most of the scenes between Carrie and Brody were written by Meredith Stiehm, who co-wrote the episode with Gansa. (Stiehm, a Penn grad, also created the Philadelphia-set drama "Cold Case.")

* One reason I'd rewatched the episode was to reassure myself it was Carrie, not Brody, who'd first moved to leave the memorial service (which conveniently saved both their lives). If it had been Brody, it would have made it seem much more likely that he'd been behind the bombing. I asked if that had been deliberate.

"A lot of people have told me that they still have a glimmer of doubt about Brody," said Gansa, not seeming to mind the ambiguity.

"We're all astounded sometimes by what people read into 'Homeland,' " said Gordon.