First off, a spoiler alert if you haven't yet watched the Dec. 9 episode of Showtime's Homeland: Come back after you've cleared off your DVR. Season 2 of the Emmy-winning hit has included so many crazy twists culminating in the deaths of both Vice President Walden (Jamey Sheridan) and Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban) that some fans have questioned Homeland's plausibility in the same breath they're singing its praises. (Can you really assassinate a man by hacking into his pacemaker?) But exec producer Alex Gansa is ready for both reactions. ''Am I a little disappointed that some felt [we] strained credulity? Yeah, a little,'' he says. "However, I am prepared to have a conversation with anybody about every single one of those plot points and why I believe they are emotionally true." Speaking of emotions, the second-season finale, airing Dec. 16, will focus on the twisted romance between Brody (Damian Lewis) and Carrie (Claire Danes). ''Nazir is dead. So we've left the thriller aspects of the show behind and now we come to a very personal story,'' he says. ''It's a real character study of these two people, and whether or not there's a future for them.'' While Gansa refuses to comment on speculation that Brody won't live beyond season 2, he does drop one hint about the already-greenlit season 3: ''All of us on the writing staff would rather not do an impending attack that Carrie stops for the third year in a row. We're looking for something that's smaller, a little more John le Carré.''