October 6th, 2014

*** There may be major spoilers ahead in this post, so only read on if you are up to date with the series ***

A new season of Homeland has finally started over the weekend. Thanks to a back-to-back double episode we had our first look into the new and possibly darker world that our “heroes” will have to deal with.

After Brody’s death at the end of Season 3, we have been all left wondering what could possibly happen in season 4. Much to my personal relief the “romance” element was now gone, opening the opportunity for a deeper storyline. During the summer we learned from the show’s creators that the new series was going to be a “reboot”, with a new main storyline and possibly new characters joining the mix.

The first two episodes lived to that expectations.

The first take away is that the main cast is still there, but everybody has a different role. Carrie is back in the field, deep in the Middle East (from Kabul to Islamabad). Lockhart completed is move from been a Senator to the head of C.I.A.. Saul after been ousted from the Agency is now working in the private sector as a Defense Contractor with the Pentagon. Peter is in the Middle East as well, but he’s a completely different person.

If we take a deeper look at Carrie and Peter, it almost seems like the two have swapped personality. Until season 3 Carrie (even with her bipolar disorder) has always been the caring one, while Peter was the cold blooded killer (with a bit of conscience). The first episode presents us with Peter having a complete melt-down after surviving an attack from the mob in the streets of Islamabad, while Carrie seems to be unaffected by the event.

After been recalled to the U.S. by Lockhart to explain the facts, Peter completely refuses to participate in any activity related to the Agency. I don’t know how this is going to play in the long run, but I’m pretty sure it might have a great influence on Carrie’s balance, since she might not be able to rely on a more “stable” help.

Speaking of stability, Carrie has definitely not improved her condition. This appears clear when she’s back home and she struggles with parenthood. The child she had with Brody now lives full time with her sister since Carrie is now living in a war zone. Also it appears that Carrie made the choice to live in a war zone especially because she doesn’t want to deal with the child.

The terrible and struggling scene in the bathroom during this first episode is another hint that this season might deal even more with what’s inside this character and all their skeletons in the closet.

To conclude the quick run-down of the protagonists, we also learn that Saul may eventually be headed back to the C.I.A.. During a quick conversation with Dar Adal, Saul learns that Lockhart is heavily under fire for the recent events in the Middle East and might be headed out of the door after the new political election.

My personal guess is that starting the new season with all the characters in a different place, but then already hinting at them going back to their original roles was a way for the show creators to increase the feeling of “reboot” and separation from what happened up to Season 3.

I definitely like the direction where this is headed, especially thanks to the choice of concentrating around very actual topics.

All the events described so far were triggered by a controversial Drone strike, a topic that is very much every day in the newspapers. Not just the technology itself but mostly all the complication and the ethic of these attacks. In addition to that, bringing the events to Afghanistan and Pakistan, helps to create a stronger relationship between fact and fictions, immersing the viewer even more into the fiction.

I guess is still early to make a final judgement on the new Season, but the first two episodes were absolutely promising and I can’t wait to see where they will bring us next.