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TV Review: Homeland

Episode 403Shrewsbury, Massachusetts-Homeland has been in a bit of a slump lately. The first two seasons were thrilling, twisting pieces of espionage drama beautifully acted by the show’s two leads. However, when season 3 started, the show began to feel a little…lost. Now with a major change in the story, Homeland seems to be trying to go through a serious shift in a different direction with its fourth season.

Following the events of season 3, CIA operative Carrie Mathison still mourns the loss of Nick Brody. Trying to distract herself, Carrie heads a CIA drone station in Kabul. However, things start to go sour in Kabul as she coldly Okays a strike on a wedding. Dealing with the aftermath of that, Carrie struggles to find her place in the CIA while also running away from her responsibilities as a new mother.

Following a lackluster third season, Homeland comes back to explore some new territory. One of the main problems with the third season was keeping popular character Nick Brody. But now in a Brody-less world, the show has started to find some focus again in the first few episodes. The new thread of the drone strikes makes for a chance to explore the ramifications of attacks during war as well as adjusting to life back in the “real world” instead of the “spy world.”

The cast lost a big player last season, but they make up for it by adding some new faces. Suraj Sharma does well as Aayan Ibrahim, a Muslim medical student who becomes involved with a protest organization. Tracy Letts gets bumped up to a series regular as head of the CIA Andrew Lockhart. Mandy Patinkin continues to do well as Saul Berenson, but as of right now, his character seems less and less important now that he’s out of the game. Rupert Friend’s Quinn has a much more interesting storyline to work with now that he’s in the spotlight more. Of course, Claire Danes leads the ensemble with some interesting new directions to play Carrie that should prove to be interesting.

Going into its fourth season, Homeland still look like it’s reeling from the loss of Damien Lewis. It’s trying to prove that the show can be sustainable past its first two seasons and it’s making its way there. It’s nowhere near as good as it once was, but it’s trying to earn its keep again. The new direction looks promising, but it could easily fall into its own trappings. Only time will tell if Homeland can ever get back to the glory it once had.

Homeland airs Sundays @9pm on Showtime.

 

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