Will Carrie's Mom Be on 'Homeland' Season 5?

I don't know about you, but I'm still not over the Homeland Season 4 finale. Sure, it was quieter fare than usual, but those funeral scenes? The Dar/Saul/Carrie drama? That kiss? It certainly packed a punch in its own way, and did a wonderful job... of leaving us hanging off a cliff. There were certainly a lot, but here's one of the biggest open-ended questions the Homeland finale left us with: How the heck is Carrie's mother, Ellen (played by Broadway veteran, Victoria Clark) going to factor in with all of the espionage drama? And will Carrie's mom be back for Homeland Season 5?

Casting has yet to be confirmed — after all, Homeland doesn't return until next fall — and in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunner Alex Gansa demured from answering questions about Season 5, explaining away his reluctance to give us the cold hard facts by saying, "We probably won't make any decisions until March." Mmaybe we should send Carrie and Quinn in to interrogate him, eh?)

That said, I think it's fairly safe to assume that Ms. Clark will be returning next season — after all, why introduce an absentee mother after a 15-year estrangement (not to mention a mysterious half-brother who happens to also be 15 years old) if you're not going to do anything with them? Gansa may be playing things close to the vest for now, but the possibility of a story arc for Carrie's mother feels much stronger than conjecture. I mean, I'm sure Carrie has at least two episodes' worth of issues to unpack, don't you?

There's just so much to deal with — first, off there's the half-brother. Then, there's the shared — uh, how do I put this? — sexual appetite. Claire Danes has often referred to her character as a sex addict, and now it looks like it might be something she has in common with her mother, of all people. Add it all together with Carrie confronting her own motherhood head-on for the first time and the abandonment issues abound, and you've got yourself quite the smorgasbord of tears.

You know what? Forget what I said about a two-episode arc — we might need a whole season of Ellen to get through all these potential storylines.

Image: David Bloomer/Showtime