[SPOILERS for Homeland season 3 ahead.]
The Homeland season three finale, "The Star", arguably could have served as a satisfying conclusion to Showtime's CIA drama/thriller series, in the sense that it set the stage for the show to essentially re-invent itself in season four. The extension of the Nicholas Brody storyline (which resulted in Brody's death being continually put on hold) certainly impacted the show's attempts to take radical steps forward in seasons two and three - albeit, not always in the best ways, after Brody failed to carry out his planned suicide bombing at the end of season one.
But that's in the past, and now Homeland is sending Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes in her Golden Globe-winning role) overseas to Pakistan, where new dangers await the brilliant, but not always stable, CIA agent. As you can see from the trailer above, though, Carrie still has plenty of personal woes to deal with on top of her demanding (and occasionally life-threatening) work - specifically, her young child - even as she's now living full-time outside of the States.
Meanwhile her coworkers - especially Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) - continue to remain on the edge of buckling under the pressure of their job. Now that the Brody clan is no longer in the picture, though, we ought to get more screen time devoted to exploring story material that focuses the spotlight on Peter, as well as CIA analyst Fara Sherazi (Nazanin Boniadi) - the promising season three addition who's been bumped up to series regular status for season four - and, of course, Mandy Patinkin returning as Saul Berenson - who's clearly still Carrie's rock on some level, even though he's now operating as a freelancer.
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The Homeland season 4 is, in no uncertain terms, vague about what transpires while Carrie and her allies work at "one of the most volatile and dangerous CIA stations in the Middle East," and the trailer doesn't reveal anything beyond what that descriptive line implies. Not that this is a problem, of course, as Homeland has always been best when served with its various twists and turns left unspoiled ahead of time - even when those surprises got increasingly ridiculous in season two - and now, there shouldn't be a side dish of domestic soapy drama to get through, either.
New cast additions and/or guest stars for Homeland season four include Laila Robins (Bored to Death), as well as House of Cards and The Strain TV shows alum Corey Stoll, and Life of Pi star Suraj Sharma. Meanwhile, back for more on the series - as evidenced by his appearance in the trailer - is Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham as the crafty CIA veteran, Dar Adal.
Homeland season 4 premieres on Showtime on Sunday, October 5th, 2014.