To anyone but the most obsessed "Homeland" fans, the CIA revealed major spoilers for the next season of the Showtime show when it tweeted on Sunday "Good Riddance, Carrie Mathison." The tweet from the U.S. government agency's verified Twitter account was a reference to the fictional female CIA agent portrayed by Claire Danes in the critically acclaimed series. The tweet included a link to a New York Times column by Maureen Dowd that featured interviews of women in the CIA who said "Homeland" stereotypes the lives of women in the agency. 


The fifth season of “Homeland,” scheduled to premiere in September, will be the first in which Mathison is not in the CIA, Deadline reported in March. The Mathison character is depicted as an analyst with bipolar disorder, and the portrayal includes scenes of her sleeping with colleagues and agency contacts, heavy drinking and emotional meltdowns.

Gina Bennett, a real-life CIA analyst, said depictions of female agents like the one in “Homeland” don’t paint the whole picture of what it’s like to work for the agency. “The problem is that they portray most women in such a one-dimensional way; whatever the character flaw is, that’s all they are,” she told the Times. “It can leave a very distinct understanding of women at the agency -- how we function, how we relate to men, how we engage in national security -- that is pretty off.”

A retired unnamed female CIA officer added that while women agents used their gender and ethnicity as assets in places like the Middle East, they don’t sleep around with everyone to gain information. “For me, working in the Middle East, there’s a lot of attraction for Middle Eastern men for Western women. I don’t necessarily mean sexually, although they may be thinking that. But curiosity, if nothing else. And we certainly have played that,” said the officer, who was identified only as Meredith. She said sex has to be removed “off the table very quickly and clearly. Sometimes it’s, ‘Get your hands off my knee or I’m going to break it,’ or you put as many people into the room as you can.”