Meanwhile, in the Homeland Writers Room.
WRITER 2: So the general is having sex with the neighbor?
WRITER 1: Maybe. In the early episodes he’s just emailing about it, so the audience has no idea.
WRITER 3: I thought the general was having sex with his memoirist.
WRITER 1: That was Episode 2. And that was a different general.
WRITER 4: Who’s having sex with Elmo?
WRITER 1: I just told you. The general is.
WRITER 4: The neighbor is a puppet?
WRITER 1: No, the neighbor is a volunteer party planner for the military. But the general wants her to wear the puppet on her arm.
WRITER 2: During sex?
WRITER 1: During emailing about sex. Remember, the audience doesn’t know for sure the sex is happening. He’s a family man. A war hero. That’s what keeps the storyline dramatic.
WRITER 3: But are they?
WRITER 4: Sex she means.
WRITER 1: Of course. But not until Episode 9.
WRITER 3: I’m confused. The general is having sex with the neighbor or the puppet?
WRITER 1: The puppet! The general is banging the hell out of the puppet! Pay attention!
WRITER 2: Our show isn’t about puppets. It’s about terrorists.
WRITER 1: We’ll get to the terrorists. We can’t just show the terrorist to the audience in the first episode with the tagline TERRORIST. Sometimes the terrorist is the person most familiar to the American people.
WRITER 3: So in your suggested storyline …
WRITER 1: Who would the audience least expect?
WRITER 2: Oh no.
WRITER 4: Don’t say it.
WRITER 3: Elmo is the terrorist?
WRITER 1: Not just Elmo. Things are not as sunny as they appear on Sesame Street. Several of the puppets are involved.
WRITER 2: Wait, how many puppets are having sex with generals?
WRITER 1: Most. What begins as innocent kink slowly becomes full-porn espionage. We’ll write a bunch of puppet-general sex scenes and cut the least believable.
WRITER 4: A puppet sleeper cell?
WRITER 1: Who do people trust more than puppets? The audience will never see it coming.
WRITER 2: That’s not bad.
WRITER 3: It’s never been done before. We’ll win another Emmy if we do this right.
WRITER 4: Where do you come up with this stuff?
WRITER 1: Twitter. I just watch my feed and write down whatever happens next.
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