Homeland spoilers below, but former 24 writer Alex Gansa discusses how he and Howard Gordon were very conscious not to repeat 24’s mole trope in their new show. It’s an interesting read.
HitFix: Also on the subject of lingering post-finale questions… There was a lot of “mole” talk this season, but no resolution. Were Saul’s suspicions wrong?
Alex Gansa: Two things I’d say about that: One is that we were very conscious of… And this was before the response to the whole “mole” issue. People started suspecting Saul and Estes and “Oh my God, could it be Carrie, herself? Is she a schizophrenic?” All of this stuff. There’s a lot of speculation about the mole. And as you know, revealing moles was a huge trope on “24” and Howard and I both worked on “24” — I only worked on “24” for the last two seasons, but Howard worked on “24” from the beginning — and we were very conscious from the beginning of the series, even when it was just an idea in our heads, that we were not going to follow in “24’s” footsteps. Carrie Mathison never pulls a gun all season long. And the idea of “revealing the mole” as being one of this series, one of the “Homeland” series tropes was something we avoided. The other thing is that oftentimes, you never know who the mole is. Believe me, there are plenty of moles in the intelligence community, not just in the United States, but in all intelligence agencies, who have never been revealed and who are still in place. That struck us as a much more interesting and realistic portrayal of that idea.