[WARNING: SPOILERS for the Homeland Season 3 finale ahead!]

A good deal of table-clearing had been completed, by the time that “The Star” – the season 3 finale for Showtime’s CIA dram at series, Homeland – reached its ends. The stage is set for some fresh blood to be incorporated into the proceedings, now that some major players have been permanently removed from the over-arching narrative, be it by death or by association to deceased individuals. As such, it comes as little surprise to hear word of new additions to the show’s cast, be they recurring players or “guest stars” (who will likely be making more than a single episode appearance).

To refresh your memory: by the time “The Star” was done, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) was no more, having found some peace at last in a martyr’s death; Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) was happily done working for the CIA and back with his wife, now making his living as an independent contractor; and a very pregnant Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) had been promoted to a position that would require her to run counter-terrorism operations outside the States.

The remaining members of the Brody clan – which include Nicholas’ wife Jessica (Morena Baccarin) and daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor) – will be not returning for the fourth season of Homeland; in part because they live in the U.S., Carrie’s family are likewise expected to be featured little – if at all – into the developments of the show’s next season, especially in the wake of the real-world death of James Rebhorn (who portrayed Carrie’s father in seasons past).

Corey Stoll and Laila Robins will appear in ‘Homeland’ season 4

TV Line is reporting that Laila Robins (Bored to Death) is joining Homeland as a series regular for season 4, while Corey Stoll – of House of Cards and the upcoming vampire series The Strain – will be featured in a guest star capacity. Robins is going to be appearing on Homeland as Martha Boyd, the U.S. Ambassador the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, while Stoll will be portraying Sandy Bachman – the CIA Chief of Station in Pakistan, respectively.

In addition to the main cast (we’re also counting Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn), Nazanin Boniadi will reprise her season 3 role as CIA analyst Fara Sherazi; for season 4, Boniadi has been bumped up to series regular, for a storyline that has been kept largely under-wraps, but sees Carrie working in “one of the most volatile and dangerous CIA stations in the Middle East.” Filming begins this month in Cape Town, South Africa, which shall apparently be standing in for Pakistan (among other locations, potentially).

Now that the Brody saga has been finished and the action is literally being shifted to a new playing board, it’ll be interesting to see what the effect is on Homeland‘s overall direction, hereon out. After the (again, literally) explosive developments that transpired during the season 2 finale, it often felt as though the show was spinning its wheels, throughout chunks of the third season. Season 4, by comparison, could well feel like a proper new beginning for the series, when it comes to its ongoing portrayal of life in the CIA (and the toll said line of work takes on its employees’ lives).

Homeland Season 4 gets underway on Showtime in October 2014.

Source: TV Line