Showtime announced a start date and some details its highly touted CIA-based drama, Homeland. There will be several new cast members and a change of venue when Homeland returns to TV for its season four debut on October 5.
Showtime introduced its first trailer for Homeland’s fourth season on Friday. The cable network also unveiled some details about the changes to the show forced by the climatic and definitive ending to the storyline pursued for the past three years.
When season three ended, the denouement tied up many of the three-year-long loose ends: Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) had witnessed the death of her love Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis). Brody was Carrie’s motivation for the past three years, both as a CIA target and as a lover. She was due to give birth to Brody’s child, whom her family agreed to raise for her. Brody’s family was moving on too and out of the story. Her mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) is out of the CIA and establishing life in the private sector. Carrie has been assigned to Istanbul, Turkey, where she is set to be the youngest-ever CIA Station Chief, and could be dealing with an entire new cast of coworkers. The slate was wiped clean, with the show implying that only Carrie would be guaranteed to return this fall.
As unveiled today, the storyline picks up approximately six months after last season ended. Much like Downton Abbey last year, the half-year gap allows Carrie to deal with her grief and newborn. She left the baby behind, presumably with her dad. However, the actor who played her father, James Rebhorn, died of cancer this spring, so it is not clear if he was recast, is just referred to or what.
Here are some plot points unveiled by the Homeland trailer and show co-creator Alex Gansa today:
- Carrie is not in Istanbul, she’s in Islamabad, Pakistan, which is clearly more dangerous and wide-open as a storyline. They are currently filming in Cape Town, South Africa, rather than Pakistan.
- Saul is now working for a private contractor that is involved in the Middle East, which gives the character the opportunity to still be part of Carrie’s life and the show.
- One storyline involves a character Carrie is trying to recruit. He is played by Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi).
- Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) is still with the CIA – and on Homeland when Season four debuts in October. (He was the elite black ops agent who was supposed to assassinate Brody at one point, but did not when he realized the CIA Director was using him.) Quinn’s role in the upcoming storyline is not clear, but he could potentially be a love interest in the future.
- Finally, placing the show in Pakistan allows the plot to remain current and vibrant. The Iran plot last year has the U.S. and Iran starting to communicate for the first time in 30 years. That plot actually coincided with meetings between the two countries, along with some others, to limit Iran’s nuclear program. Pakistan, along with Afghanistan, will continue being in the news for some time and a story that focuses on intelligence officers there in season four of Homeland will undoubtedly stay relevant long past the debut set for October.
By Dyanne Weiss