At the end of Homeland’s third season, the series gave viewers a very good reason not to expect any further appearances from Damian Lewis. It was the culmination of a three-year-long campaign of psychological torture, involving a (compelling, Emmy-winning) character who had no business hanging around Carrie Mathison beyond season one. Surely, Nicholas Brody would never appear on the Showtime original series Homeland again.
It would seem that a similar promise is being made by the news that Showtime has ordered the Lewis-starring Billions to series for 2016 . The show—in which Lewis plays the smugly punchable face of American financial rot, opposite Paul Giamatti as the clenched fist awaiting a promised-by-press-release “collision” with that face—presumably precludes Lewis from donning the mantle of Nick Brody for the foreseeable future. Does this mean Brody is finally, truly off of Homeland’s mind? Isn’t that exactly what Homeland would want you to think? Look forward to asking yourself these and other paranoid questions as Billions heads toward production later in the year. Unless that production is just a front for a Homeland spin-off in which Brody is posing as “the brilliant, ambitious hedge fund king, Bobby ‘Axe’ Axelrod,” the perfect cover for jumping back out of the shadows and chopping to bits whatever sanity and/or affinity for Homeland you had remaining. (Also, “Axe” is a good nickname for the type of person who executed the U.S. economy in the middle of the last decade.)