[SPOILERS for Homeland S1-3 ahead.]
It is a bit odd, to realize that we're about to get season four of Homeland. Showtime's CIA drama/thriller series concluded the Nicholas Brody storyline last season, yet the show (from a narrative perspective) ended up having to do a whole lot of wheel-spinning and hitting the breaks to keep Brody in the picture for that long. Enough so that, again, it sometimes doesn't feel as though we've come quite as far as you would expect, after three seasons of a show that's often a roller coaster ride to watch unfold.
Regardless, season 4 is upon us, and with it comes a chance for the characters of Homeland - as well as the show as a whole - to, in many ways, start afresh. There's more than a touch of irony there, seeing how the newest preview unveiled for season 4 (see above) focuses on the cyclical nature of war and violence in the world - and the corrosive effect it has on everyone, in particular the members of the intelligence community caught up in the thick of it.
Both of the Homeland season 4 trailers released so far have skipped on revealing any explicit plot details for this new season, in favor of instead hinting at just what life is like for Carrie and her co-workers in "one of the most volatile and dangerous CIA stations in the Middle East." Similarly, we've gotten somewhat vague, yet telling insight on the personal issues that certain of the show's main characters are facing - be it Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) having to leave her young child behind in the U.S. or black ops agent Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) appearing to have reached a breaking point - for reasons that shall be revealed in time, no doubt.
The latest Homeland trailer does, however, offer us a sneak peek at new cast addition Corey Stoll (The Strain), playing the CIA Chief of Station in Pakistan, Sandy Bachman - who, by the look of it here, gets himself into legitimate hot water, at some point. Another key cast addition for Homeland season four is Laila Robins (Bored to Death), portraying Martha Boyd, the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan. As showrunner Alex Gansa told EW, people like Carrie and Martha are "the ones left on the ground when the military leaves, and it's up to them to try and keep that country intact."
So far, this all looks and sounds pretty interesting - especially now that, again, we're done with the soapy drama of the Brody family, including the late Nicholas (Damian Lewis), his widow Jessica (Morena Baccarin) and their daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor). If you're still onboard the Homeland train, you may well end up being rewarded for your patience. Those who jumped off in the past - now might not be a bad time to hop back on and see where this ride goes next.
Homeland season 4 premieres with two episode on Showtime on Sunday, October 5th, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET.
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