Homeland: Season 4 Premiere (Recap/Review)

HomelandHighly anticipated premiere of Homeland‘s season four has finally happened and the viewers certainly had a lot to see. Despite the fact that many people wondered how will the show continue without Nicolas Brody, it became clear that Homeland got completely rebooted.

Season four begins with Carrie Mathison, who is talking walk on the streets of Kabul, far away from home. She is back in the field and she is a Chief of Station at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul. Her job is to protect the U.S. interests in the region from the Taliban forces and sometimes that involves removing targets off a kill list.

After she asks for numerous confirmations, Carrie orders a drone strike and as soon as the strike takes place, her staff brings out a birthday cake for her. As she returns to her room, Carrie first pours herself a glass of wine and after that, she Skype her sister, who is taking care of her daughter, Franny. Mathison had to leave her home, because it is not safe for her in the hot war zone. It looks like Carrie has a practiced ritual, as she doses herself with Ambien, puts in her retainer and earplugs, dons a facemask and goes to sleep.

The next day, Carrie finds out that there were 40 innocent civilians killed in the strike. Aayan is a boy who survived the strike, but he lost his mother and sister. He is a medical student with little interest in politics and he just wants to study, in order to get his medical degree. After the attack, Aayan’s roommate at the university urges him to upload the video he recorded at the wedding. This video captured the moment of the devastating attack, however, Aayan has no interest in getting himself into trouble. Despite the fact that Aayan refuses to upload the video, it gets online anyway. As he confronts his roommate about it, Aayan wants him to take it down and the roommate says he will do it.

Saul is now working for a private contractor, who is bidding for defense jobs. After he brings up a policy question about Afghanistan in a pitch meeting, his boss takes him aside and tells Saul that this is not his job anymore. As Saul gets home, he tells his wife, Mira, that he is not seeing eye to eye with his boss. Later that night, Saul watches the uploaded video of the Afghanistan attack and Mira watches her husband from the next room. Despite the fact that he left his government job, his old job did not leave him. Saul picks up a phone, but the camera does not show who he is calling.

As a result from Aayan’s uploaded video, Sandy Bachman (Carrie’s intel) is now exposed in the press as an agent. Mathison and Quinn go to pick him up, however, their car is immediately attacked by hostile locals, who kill Sandy.

At the end of first episode, The Drone Queen, Carrie goes to see the U.S. Ambassador in Pakistan, Martha Boyd. One of the guards stop her and he tells Mathison that she has blood on her face. In the bathroom, Carrie wipes the blood spatter from her face, which seems to be a not so subtle reference to the blood that Carrie has on her hands. However, this is the price that Carrie Mathison pays for doing her job.

The second episode of Homeland season four premiere, Trylon and Perisphere, begins with Peter Quinn and Andrew Lockhart, who is the new director of the CIA. Lockhart is very angry because of the fallout from the attack and Sandy’s death.

Carrie Mathison is back home and she hears a baby’s voice, just as she is walking towards her sister’s house. She turns around and Maggie comes outside, with baby Franny in her hands. Franny is a cute baby girl, with her father’s ginger hair. Carrie tells Lockhart that she wants to be assigned to Islamabad, because she wants to find out what went wrong and what led to Sandy’s death. However, Lockhart tells her that because she bombed a wedding and caused numerous casualties, she is permanently recalled stateside. Well, this is obviously the last thing that Carrie wants to hear, since she has no interest in being a full time mom.

After he packs some vials of medicine, Aayan goes to see his girlfriend. As her father opens the door, he starts asking Aayan some hard questions about his uncle being the target of the wedding attack. The boy confirms that fact and asks for a moment to speak to his daughter alone. Aayan then asks her to hold onto his bag, saying it contains personal stuff.

Carrie has a tough conversation with her sister in which Maggie tells Carrie that she needs to take responsibility for baby Franny. Her sister already has a husband and kids of her own and even with the help of a nanny, Maggie cannot also take care of Franny. The next day, Carrie is at home with her daughter and because she is bored, Mathison puts Franny in the car seat and drives to Brody’s house. Carrie tells her daughter that her daddy lived there and that she was the last thing that he was happy about. After that, Mathison starts to cry as she tells Franny that she is really trying to feel happy about being a mom, but she cannot be, because Brody is gone and she loved him very much. As they come back home, Carrie gives Franny a bath and while she is washing her ginger hair, the baby slips underwater for a second. Strange look comes over Carrie and for a second it seems like she is contemplating to do something to Franny. However, she quickly picks her daughter up out and holds her close.

Carrie finds Harris, the case agent who was also in Afghanistan. However, Lockhart has now reassigned him to a file room in D.C. Harris refuses to talk to Carrie, but she promises to get him back to Islamabad if he helps her. At Sandy’s funeral, Mathison talks to Lockhart and she confronts him about the nature of his relationship with Sandy. She tells Lockhart that he should send her back to Islamabad or she will expose him. During the funeral service, Carrie sits with Saul and she tells him that she may need his company’s men in Islamabad, in order to help her find out what really happened to Sandy. Saul replies with: “Anything you need.” Quinn and Mathison have a private conversation after the service and they are trying to figure out who Sandy revealed government secrets to. However, Quinn does not want to go back to Islamabad.

Carrie has another argument with her sister, since she is leaving again. Despite the fact that Mathison tells Maggie that she does not have a choice, her sister does not believe her, since she knows that Carrie just wants to escape full-time motherhood. Carrie says goodbye to Franny before she leaves and as the episode closes, Mathison is on a plane. When the pilot asks if she needs anything, Carrie replies that she is fine.

Homeland still feels very familiar, despite the fact that Brody is gone. The creators of the show definitely managed to keep the show tense and intriguing and it is very good to see that they succeeded to start off with an explosive season four.

By: Janette Verdnik

Guardian Liberty Voice

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