'Homeland' Exec Producer: "Quinn Has a Good Chance of Coming Back"

Howard Gordon talked to THR about what's in store for Rupert Friend's character on the buzzy Showtime drama.
Stephan Rabold/SHOWTIME
Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn in 'Homeland,' with Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison

Don’t get ready to say goodbye to Peter Quinn just yet.

Though the fate of Homeland’s grounding character, played by Rupert Friend, was left hanging in the balance at the conclusion of the fifth season, the Showtime drama’s co-creator is optimistic about Quinn’s return.

“I will say that Quinn, who is extraordinary … has a good chance of coming back,” Howard Gordon told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour following a panel for his new Fox series Second Chance. “The way we’re thinking about bringing him back — if he does come back — is really exciting to me personally,” he added.

Gordon acknowledged that the writers gave Friend, whose character suffered from sarin gas poisoning, challenging material this past season. “Especially when you’re talking about a young man who is so physically vibrant,” he said, “we really put him through the ringer." The 24 alum’s remarks echoed those made by Showtime’s programming president Gary Levine during the cabler’s TCA panel earlier in the week. “Quinn is severely damaged — there is no question about it. The life or death question remains,” he told the room full of reporters. “If he should live, it will not be in any way, shape or form the way he has lived to date.”

Despite the fact that Gordon hasn’t been present for the day-to-day of the Claire Danes starrer over the past three seasons due to his work on other projects (FX’s Tyrant and TNT’s since-cancelled Legends, among them), he told THR he’s still very much involved in the process. “Even though I left Homeland full-time after the second season, I still talk to [showrunner and co-creator] Alex [Gansa] every day,” he said, noting that he even wrote and produced an episode of the CIA thriller last year. “I’m not out of it, but it’s Alex’s show — it’s his baby. I’m his consigliere that he comes to when he wants to run something by me.”

While Showtime’s CEO David Nevins refused to offer any additional details about what's in store for Quinn ("I know and have seen exactly as much as you guys have seen,” he said on Tuesday, “and clearly, there is no definitive answer given”), he did reveal other tidbits about the drama, including that the sixth season will take place in New York and that it isn't ending anytime soon.

"I have in vague ways [talked about a finale] with Alex," said Nevins. "He tends to attack his seasons one by one. I think that's one of the strengths of show. Needless to say, it's going to be in their control." Added Levine: "The good news is, it's not imminent."

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