Homeland (Season Four)
IMDb Rating: 8.4 (Overall)
Starring: Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, Mandy Patinkin, Nazanin Boniadi, Laila Robins, Tracy Letts.
Humpo Show Rating | 4.5 / 5
Season 4 of the spy drama begins with Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) working as the CIA Chief of Station in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she receives an urgent intelligence report from her counterpart in Islamabad on the whereabouts of terrorist Haissam Haqqani (Numan Acar) in Pakistan. Carrie orders an assault against him, but her actions result in the deaths of 40 civilians attending a wedding at the same location. Consequently, CIA director Andrew Lockhart (Tracy Letts) recalls her back to the US. However, a major scandal casts shadows over Lockhart’s actions. Meanwhile, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) struggles to adjust to life in the private sector; and Carrie learns that Haqqani may have survived the initial attack, which could lead to deadly consequences for everyone involved. (Rotten Tomatoes)
* Major Spoilers From Previous Seasons Ahead*
Season Four of Homeland has hit a reset of sorts following the extraordinary departure of Nick Brody from the story-line. That decision was made probably at the right time as the show needed to move on from the Carrie-Nick tango which has lost some of the intensity that we saw in the opening two seasons. This season shows that the writers are prepared to move forward with the focus solely on Carrie and it is refreshing and boy does it pay off!
Homeland is fearlessly brave in its conducting of Carrie’s bipolar, and now it goes even further as Carrie struggles with motherhood, being off her meds and trying to control the effects of a drone strike that is the centrepoint for storylines that come into play in this season. Carrie is now in charge of missions while in the Middle East, and she finds herself at the heart of an incident that threatens to undo US-Pakistani relations and she also has to prevent the resurgence of Islamist terror groups gaining more power.
Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn, takes over the mantle as the new male lead, and he and Carrie are refreshingly just colleagues. Quinn is a tortured lead that is more likeable than Brody ever could be, he has an interesting backstory, motives and is unquestionably loyal to Carrie and CIA, although the loyalties between the two are sometimes different.
The fact that the story begins with an innocent victim of a drone strike and seeing the horror from his perspective humanizes the violence and destruction from the ground level of these missile strikes the U.S. carries out in the Middle East. These are the people living their lives in the shadow of American might and Taliban/Al-Qaeda/ISIS terror, and while it might be easy to paint them all the same way with a wide brush of anti-Western sentiment, they are as varied in their thoughts and geopolitical stances as we are.
Homeland is about international intrigue and espionage, and Season Four firmly puts that as its central objective. The season is well paced and quickens up as the impending confrontation becomes more and more inevitable, with some brilliant acting performances all round, Homeland produces yet another fantastic season that is fats making it my favourite TV show.
The Humpo Show | Richard