Nicholas Brody, the Marine and prisoner of war turned sleeper agent turned congressman played by Damian Lewis on “Homeland,” was all but a ghost in the most recent season of this Showtime thriller. Having gone on the run at the end of Season 2, Brody was largely absent from Season 3 — except for one episode, in which he resurfaced in Caracas, Venezuela — and then in the year’s final arc, he proceeded to make up for lost time.
Retrieved from Caracas by spymaster Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), Brody was sent by the C.I.A. into Iran with the mission of assassinating the leader of its revolutionary guard. Brody accomplished this mission and was sped away to a safe house by Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), the C.I.A. agent and his sometime lover, where the two of them began to contemplate their future together.
(This is your last chance to avoid significant spoilers.)
Instead, Brody was snatched away by Iranian authorities, having been given up by the C.I.A.’s new overlords. He received a speedy trial and was hanged in public while Carrie watched in horror.
Alex Gansa, one of the creators of “Homeland,” said in a telephone interview on Monday that Brody’s death had been planned from the start of this season.
“Wherever he stepped onto the stage, we wanted it to be something alive and electric,” Mr. Gansa said. “As you realize that those moments are fewer and farther between, the time just comes for that character to leave the stage.”
In a way, Mr. Gansa said, the season finale could almost be a series finale. “We are saying goodbye to the central relationship of the first three seasons — which is not to say that there isn’t a compelling story to be told with the characters we have left.”
Mr. Lewis, an Emmy Award-winner for his portrayal of Brody, spoke from London on Monday about his final year on “Homeland,” his character’s fate and the next phase of his career. These are edited excerpts from that conversation.
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