Rupert Friend

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Photo:  Joe Alblas/SHOWTIME

Photo: Joe Alblas/SHOWTIME

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Showtime Original Series “Homeland” started its fourth season, with two back-to-back episodes in which the action barely stopped, however in the third episode  “Shalwar Kameez,” the action while intriguing, slowed to a crawl. While the first two episodes setup the story-arc for the season, episode three set things into motion on many fronts, that should make for a more entertaining season than the final year of the “Brody Trilogy.”

The episode kicks off in Islamabad, as Carrie Mathison arrives to begin her assignment as the CIA Chief Of Station, expecting to address her staff at a meeting she scheduled with longtime Agency employee John Redmond, who expected the promotion to Chief Of Station. She meets with Redmond and United State Ambassador Martha Boyd and Redmond told her he decided not to schedule the meeting, that he could debrief her himself. Carrie’s unhappy with his actions and tells him to get everybody together in 15-minutes.

Mathison and Boyd, begin their relationship in antagonistic fashion, due to the Ambassador’s imposed a lockdown on the Embassy, including all CIA personnel. Carrie tries explaining that her people can’t do their jobs behind walls, they need the information they can only gather on the street. Martha counters with, relations with the Pakistani government and the people are in the worst shape since the American’s caught and killed Bin Laden. She refuses to risk lives, for intelligence information. Carrie leaves the office to attend her meeting.

Mathison starts talking to her staff and thanking them arriving at such short notice. She starts talking about her predecessor Sandy Bachman, beaten to death by an angry mob and asks if any of them believe Bachman had shared information with Pakistani operatives to receive the great tips he kept getting. Redmond thinking he can intimidate her, patronizingly calls her young lady and then tells her it’s time for to go have a private chat. Mathison glares at him and tells him to sit down.

She then asks the staff about their former co-worker Jordan Harris, who claims that Bachman shared information to acquire the targets he took down. One member of the staff insults Harris, but Carrie says that’s not the point, the question is, did Harris tell the truth? They go on to other subjects and one staff member says they’re basically useless with the lockdown in effect. She agrees with the man and tells him she hopes to have it lifted in 24-hours. She then tells Redmond they can conduct their conversation, as the meeting’s dismissed.

They head into her office and he asks her how she pulled off the appointment as Chief Of Station, as CIA Director Lockhart originally promoted him, only to call back a few days later to tell him Carrie was getting the gig. She told him that she asked very nicely for the position. Redmond starts becoming insulting and insubordinate and Mathison cuts him off at the knees, saying she’s got no qualms to have the Marines escort him from the Embassy and put him on the plane back to the states. Her phone rings and she gets a text saying We’ve landed, she ends her meeting with Redmond, telling him to sober up, she can smell the booze on him from the other side of her office.

Back at the Agency’s Headquarters, the third person in the car with Carrie and Sandy, when Bachman got pulled out of the vehicle, then got pummeled to death, Peter Quinn’s traumatized by the incident. In fact its effected him so badly he wants to resign from the CIA and sits down with the executive shrink. She reminds him he’s gone through this process before when he accidentally shot and killed a child, he tells her does but the two incidents are nothing alike. She asks what’s the difference and he said last time he got eaten up by the situation, now he just wants out.

They discuss the riot that led to Sandy’s death and the way he’s behaved since, alluding to his beat down of a jerk in a diner in the previous episode. Peter fractured the guys jaw and needed 63-stitches, Quinn nearly killed the dude, but says it’s one snap in a 12-year career. She says he blames himself for Bachman’s death, as he didn’t risk trying to help Sandy enough, because he’s got romantic feelings for Carrie and only worried about her safety.  Quinn glares at the psychiatrist, then at the camera that Dar Nadal’s watching the interview from and tells them to collectively shove it.

F. Murray Abraham captured the public’s interest, when he played the role of Antonio Salieri to Tom Hulce’s Mozart in the film “Amadeus.” Salieri’s a loathsome creature, starting out as a mentor to Mozart and when the prodigy surpassed his own talent, he became his adversary. Dar Nadal lacks the jealousy of Salieri, however they’re both opportunists and Nadal’s got a sixth sense that only a seasoned veteran can acquire, as to which direction the wind’s blowing, so he can be where opportunity knocks. He knows whom to align himself with and when to terminate a relationship, as we saw last season as he first supported former Director Saul Berenson, then read the writing on the wall and jumped to Andrew Lockhart’s side when he found out he was the President’s choice to direct the Agency.

After calling Quinn for days without a response, Nadal goes to his motel room, Peter tries to get rid of him but lets him in the room. He tells Peter that he’s only concerned with his well-being, but Quinn calls him on it, saying that Nadal just doesn’t want to lose an asset. Dar admits he’s correct, that they spent lots of time and money turning him into the strong operative he’s become. He then chastises Quinn for beating up the jerk at the diner, saying he didn’t deserve the beating he received. He then echoes what the psychiatrist stated, that his feelings for Carrie effected his judgment and he abandoned Bachman. Peter goes ballistic and chokes Nadal until he nearly passes out then releases him. Dar catches his breath and then tells Quinn he’s glad to see he hadn’t lost it.

Carrie’s got to break the lockdown rules, to meet the party that texted just landed and tries using a technicality to bend the rules. She gets her driver to drop her off at a hotel, which she goes into and then exits from the other side, climbing into a waiting taxi. The CIA operative who monitors all employee actions outside of the embassy, follows her on his motorcycle, then they get separated by traffic. She uses a distraction to exit the cab and waits in an alley to make sure the operative follows the taxi. She then moves on foot until reaching her destination, an office where two old allies from Langley, Fara and Max greet her. She’s brought them over to try to recruit college student Aayan Ibrahim, whose family got destroyed in the attack setup by Bachman’s info.

Fara’s going to take on the role of a London journalist and attempt to convince Ibrahim to share his story with her and her “paper.” Max took on the role of coaching the former analyst and will drive her to the meeting with the student. Carrie stresses that Fara should attempt to seduce him enough to build trust, to grab his hand or put her hand on his arm. She’s practiced her London accent and has it down pat. When she leaves the room to take a call from her father, Max tells Carrie he thinks she’ll nail it.

Things didn’t quite work out that way however, as Fara got introduced to Aayan from one of his professors. She thanks him for the meeting, but he explains he did it only because his professor insisted on it. She then tells him she’s a journalist from London and her paper wants to tell his story (Surprisingly, she never mentions the name of her paper and Ibrahim just lets it pass without questioning her. She could write for the London Times, or some unknown monthly, but apparently that doesn’t concern Aayan.) He tells her he can’t talk with her and breaks off the discussion as quickly as he can.

Carrie meets with Fara and Max and Fara’s distraught she didn’t accomplish their goals. Mathison asks if they’d have better luck in a second meeting, but the former analyst expresses doubt, saying Ibrahim seemed terrified and thinks he may have received threats. Carrie thanks them both and then heads back to the Embassy.

Entering the Embassy we hear a very familiar voice loudly telling old stories and as Carrie turns the corner we see our old friend Saul Berenson’s talking and laughing with Martha Boyd. Mathison shows her surprise when greeting her former boss and mentor and asks why he’s there, he explains he came along with the security team his company sent over. Carrie asks to talk with Saul, then apologizes to Boyd for interrupting their conversation, but the Ambassador says no worries and heads back to her office.

Visibly unnerved by his presence, Mathison tells Saul that this will look to others that she sent for him to receive aid, he responds as long as he’s there does she need any? She reflexively says no, then hems and haws and says yes, she asks if he could get Boyd to lift the lockdown and he say’s consider it done. She thanks him yet we can clearly see the relationship’s not as close as it was, there’s no hugs or the unspoken bond that existed for them for a long time.

Peter decides to check out all the video on YouTube emanating from the riot that claimed Sandy Bachman’s life, while he’s guzzling booze. We see the horror in his eyes as he watches the images and flashes back to being in the car and starts to wonder if he truly did sacrifice Sandy’s life for Carrie’s safety. The horror on his face increases as his belief that Nadal expressed the truth saying Quinn’s only concern was Carrie.

Carrie goes up on the Embassy roof to catch a smoke and seconds later, she’s joined by Martha Boyd also indulging her addiction. The Ambassador tells her Chief Of Station that they’re looking from the best vantage point in Islamabad. She then tells Mathison she’s aware that Carrie disobeyed the lockdown and Carrie asks who told but receives only silence. She then says that maybe they could start over and Martha says that’s exactly what Saul suggested.

Carrie tells her that he called Boyd one of the good ones, and Saul doesn’t speak highly of many people. Martha responds he should, they almost got married and Mathison’s jaw drops in shock. The Ambassador explains they were kids in Beirut and thankfully came to their senses, she then says that Berenson’s not the reason she’s rescinded the lockdown. When Carrie asks why, Martha tells her that Mathison made sense when she said her staff couldn’t do their jobs stuck in the Embassy. The relationship appears friendly at this point and that’s mutually beneficial.

After having a farewell breakfast with Saul before he heads back to New York, Mathison heads to a café on the other side of the city. We see Aayan Ibrahim, finishing his breakfast outside the café and his buddy, one of the waiters stops to talk with him. Suddenly a woman calls for a doctor and the waiter says Aayan’s a doctor, but Ibrahim corrects him saying almost. He asks what’s the problem and the woman says that a woman seems in agony in the restroom. The two men run to the ladies room and hear a woman moaning, after trying to get her to respond Aayan walks into the restroom.

In the least surprising moment of the episode, Carrie’s the woman on the floor moaning and quickly reveals her moans weren’t from pain. She then tells Aayan she’s Fara’s bureau chief and she wants the story. Ibrahim attempts to leave but Mathison keeps him trapped. She tells him she’ll keep him protected, get out of Pakistan if he wants. Get him into medical school in Britain or the United States, asks him if he’s interested in attending the Royal Medical Academy? He asks what he’d have to do in return and she replies share your story with us. She then says she’s going to put her business card in his pants pocket and it’s up to him if he wants to contact her.

Back at his motel, Peter’s been watching videos of the incident for days, when he notices something, a Pakistani Intelligence Operative orchestrated the riot and attack. He’s seen contacting agents via radio before and after the incident. Quinn sends the link and calls Carrie and she quickly realizes he’s correct. She tells him she truly needs him in Islamabad now and the first two times he refuses. On her third attempt he tells her she’s the toughest person on the planet to say no to, and Carrie realizes Peter’s on his way.

The Story Continues Next Sunday at 9:00 pm on Showtime. 

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Season Four of the Showtime Original Series “Homeland,” premiered with back to back episodes, featuring familiar faces, but many in some very strange places. Let’s start with old friend Carrie Mathison who begins the episode as the CIA Chief Of Station in Kabul and now’s known by her staff as the “Drone Queen,” after a series of successful strikes taking out high-profile targets.

The episode opens with Mathison in an embassy car with a driver and two Marine guards, riding through the streets of the city, when she asks to walk the last few blocks to the embassy. Both Marines leave the car with her, automatic weapons at the ready, one walking in front of her, the other behind. Her cellphone rings, it’s the embassy and she’s needed back pronto, so all climb back into the car.

When Carrie arrives, she’s informed that sources have located a wanted terrorist, number four on the Agency’s most wanted list. The event just got reported and the only way to take out the terrorist’s by rockets launched by an F-16 bomber. They have visual contact with the target, it’s a farmhouse near Islamabad and a vehicle owned by the terrorist’s out front of the barn. Mathison’s bothered by the last-minute nature of the information and wants to talk with Islamabad Chief Of Station Sandy Bachman.

Carrie and Bachman videoconference and she asks her counterpart the source and Sandy tells her it’s the same unidentified source that has given them a string of good information. When she tries pressing harder for a name, he replies that the source requested anonymity for good information and so far everyone’s happy. Mathison expresses her concern on quickly they’re launching the mission and Bachman responds that’s the way it goes with high-profile targets, you take them when you see that window of opportunity.

Mathison returns to the command center and gets told that all’s on hold pending her permission and she tells her assistant to get things started. He calls the pilot and tells him its play time, and the pilot acknowledges the order. Seconds later on the video monitor, two bright flashes light up the area and then the barn’s nothing but rubble. After the mission’s completed, Carrie’s crew dim the lights and present her with a birthday cake. She thanks them and blows out the candles.

Back at her apartment she pours herself a glass and a half of white wine to wash down some Ambien, then Skype’s her sister. The call was for Carrie to see her daughter Frannie, who’s being cared for by Carrie’s sister Amy, but because Mathison ran late her father had taken her daughter to the park. We can sense tension between the sisters, as Amy definitely disapproves of the mother/daughter separation, but Carrie can’t care for the baby in a war-zone, which Amy believes is the way her sister purposely arranged things.

Carrie’s not only taking Ambien to help her sleep, she puts in ear-plugs and an eye-shade before she lies down. Her sleep gets interrupted however, when her phone rings and CIA Director Andrew Lockhart’s on the other end in a rather edgy mood. Forty civilians got killed in the bombing and he wants Mathison to get to Islamabad and talk with Bachman, to manufacture a cover story for the bombing.

Sandy’s assistant in Islamabad’s another familiar face, with operative Peter Quinn sits down with Bachman and the American Ambassador to discuss the civilian casualties. Bachman to Quinn’s horror blames it on the civilians, saying they realized they put themselves in danger when they invited the terrorist. The Ambassador says that explanation won’t cut it with the American people or the world community and the meeting concludes in a standoff.

The barn held a wedding and only one person escaped alive, a young medical student Aayan Ibrahim, who lost his entire family in the bombing. Ibrahim was recording the celebration on his cell phone, first taking video of the room with the men in it, then entering the doorway of the room the women gathered in. There were women and little girls dancing joyously, Aayan started filming his mother who took the camera from him and started shooting her son on the camera as he took a courtly bow, then took the camera back and kept filming. Seconds later smoke appeared in the house and the camera stopped recording.

Carrie arrives in Islamabad and Quinn comes to pick her up and she asks to sit down and discuss the bombing before heading to the embassy. Peter tells her he’s no idea who Bachman’s source is, but it left them in a smoking hole this time. Mathison surprises Quinn by touting the company line, that they’re bullet-proof in this situation.

Ibrahim returns to medical school after he recuperates and his roommate implores him to upload his video to the Internet, to get justice for his family, but Aayan outright refuses. He doesn’t want the trouble the attention would get him, but his roommate goes behind his back and has his cousin upload the footage. Hours later the tape’s gone viral across the globe.

Back in Washington representatives from an arms manufacturer come to meet with some military brass, one of the reps is former CIA Chief Saul Berenson. However instead of pitching the weapons system his boss brought him over to discuss, he tries to engage a General in a conversation on the United States had fought 14 one-year-wars since putting boots on the ground in Afghanistan in 2001. His boss Aaron asks to speak to Saul privately, but Berenson tries pressing the General for a response.

Aaron gets him in the hallway and tells him he’s now in the private sector and his discussion won’t help get sales. Saul realizes what Aaron’s saying makes sense, but the sentiment doesn’t pacify him, or ease his longings to go back and work for the agency.

Protesters rapidly gather in Islamabad after the video goes viral and Bachman decides to leave the Embassy without informing anyone. Just as he gets out on the street Peter and Carrie see Aaron’s face on a local newscast, his covers been blown as he’s revealed as the CIA Chief Of Station involved in the bombing. Quinn calls Bachman who lies at first and says he’s in the embassy and Peter informs him he’s been made. He finds out where Aaron is and he and Carrie plus a  team of soldiers attempt to rescue him.

Bachman attempts to flee then hides inside a building seeing a group of men gathering outside the doorway. Two men come down the stairs and exit the building, then tell the others the agent’s in the lobby. As they enter the building he runs through a series of hallways and doors escaping to a seemingly  safe street, but soon three men approach him from each direction, just as Quinn and Carrie arrive in Peter’s car. Bachman gets into the vehicle and Quinn attempts to drive away, but the force of the crowd keeps the car standing still.

The crowd starts rocking the car then banging on it with sticks and polls, finally breaking the passenger window next to Bachman, but Quinn shoots the man trying to grab Aaron in the head. They then break the back side window and try to attack Carrie and Quinn once again kills the attacker. The crowd’s far too large to combat and they eventually pull Bachman out of the window and pummel him to death on the street. Peter realizing Aaron’s dead, shoots out the car’s back window and escapes by driving backwards.

They get to the Embassy and Carrie wants to run inside and inform the Ambassador, but Peter’s visibly shaken by the incident and asks Mathison for a minute to compose himself. Carrie says they also have to come up with a story for the Ambassador, as she says they could have done more to save Bachman. Quinn looks at her as if she’s insane and asks her what’s wrong with her and she turns the question back on him, then tells him she’ll meet him inside in five minutes. When Carrie asks to speak to the Ambassador at the reception desk, the young woman tells her Carrie’s got blood on the side of her face, the blood that spurted from the head of the man who tried to attack her in the car.

Lockhart orders both agents back to Washington immediately, then Carrie’s informed her worst nightmare’s come true. She’s been recalled back to Washington permanently, meaning she’s going to have to deal with being a mom and trying to raise her infant daughter. Mathison seems terrified and resentful at the prospect and her sister Amy trying to force that responsibility on her only makes things worse.

Lockhart’s feeling quite vulnerable and he believes having Mathison by his side during the upcoming Senate committee hearings will be a huge asset for him Mathison however tells the director, that she should get the assignment for Islamabad so she can straighten out whatever situation Bachman got the Agency into.

Amy finally shames Carrie to spend a day with Frannie and after feeding and changing her daughter she takes her for a drive. She take the infant to the house Brody lived in when they first met. She tells her daughter, that although she’s a terrible mother Brody would have made a terrible father. But he was glad when Carrie told him she was on her way. She tells Frannie she wants to feel happy also, but she just can’t do it.

She takes the baby home to bathe her, then gasps when her head almost goes under the water. However she then contemplates drowning the baby until Frannie starts to cry and she picks her daughter up and cries alongside of her, realizing in that moment she can’t raise her daughter. She gets Frannie dressed and then drives over to the CIA archives building, where an agent that served in Islamabad got buried by Lockhart.

The agent Jordan Harris doesn’t want to talk with her at first, but then realizes she’s indeed searching for the truth. Harris came back from Islamabad to inform Lockhart about Bachman’s shady dealings, the Director not only ignored the information but put the agent in a thankless meaningless new position. Carrie tells him she’ll get the information out there and will try her best to get him back in the field.

Dar Adal who worked with Saul at the Agency, comes to discuss the current environment with his old friend. He says there were rumors before Islamabad that Lockhart’s stock’s falling in certain corners and since the attack there’s blood in the water, which could lead to Saul coming back as Director of the CIA. Berenson says, on the record I’m happy in the private sector, but both men realize Saul’s fibbing.

Carrie confronts Lockhart over Harris’ allegations and tells him he’s guilty of treason. He asks her what she wants and she tells him Islamabad, he replies that’s impossible. She tells him he has two choices, she gets her transfer or she goes public. He begrudgingly agrees to her terms. She meets Quinn later that day and tells him they’re heading back to Pakistan, but Peter declines the offer. She asks him how he could do this to her, Quinn gets up looks her in the eye and tells her it’s not all about her and leaves.

The Story Continues Next Sunday Night at 9:00pm on Showtime.

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Life’s changed radically since we last saw CIA Agent Carrie Mathison a year ago, she’s now a mother of the baby girl fathered by her dead lover Nick Brody, although she refuses to bond with her child. Instead Carrie’s daughter’s cared for by her father and sister.

The fourth season of the Showtime Original series “Homeland,” opens as Mathison goes back out in the field, becoming Director of the Agency in Kabul, enhancing her reputation daily with her quick and decisive actions. Carrie earns the title “The Drone Queen,” mastering the art of how and when to use it.

Events run smoothly until video footage confirms a tragic mistake, the last drone strike she ordered, didn’t take out a terrorist cell, instead hitting a home hosting a bridal shower, an unforgivable offense. Now it’s time for Carrie and company to clean up the mess and contain the public relations disaster as effectively as possible.

The series returns with back–to-back episodes, its first week back. Join us after the show for the recap as we break down the action and explore this new universe our old friends now reside in .

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Joining any series as it’s embarking on it fourth season would be a tough task, choosing a series with the complexities of the Showtime Original Series “Homeland,” at this point might seem near impossible, save for one fact. Season four shuffles the deck and sets up a new storyline after completing what I refer to as the “Trilogy,” in its first three seasons. I perceive the first three seasons of the show set in the world of the CIA and the people, organizations and countries it battles, as season one being the original, season two as the satisfying sequel and season three, while confusing and tedious at times, wrapped up the story nicely.

Before heading to see what lies ahead though you’ll need some knowledge of what took place during those three seasons. So lets break it down season by season:

Season One: After surviving an eight-year stint as a POW in Iraq, United States forces recover Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Damien Lewis) in Iraq and a shocked nation hails his return to American soil. Except reality’s far more complicated than that and Brody’s family’s moved on in his absence. His wife Jessica’s (Morena Baccarin) believed that she’s a widow and would never see her husband again, so a few years ago she began an affair with his best friend Mike Faber (Diego Klattenhoff) and were talking marriage. Brody’s got two teenage children and they barely remember him, so there’s definitely an adjustment period for all.

Although most of the country sees Brody as a hero and a candidate for Congress, a brilliant but bipolar CIA operative Carrie Mathison, (Claire Danes) believes the Marine got turned during captivity and works for a terrorist, a theory that gets ridiculed by her superiors. However the agent trusts her gut and pursues the case on her own and things start adding up, making her accusation more credible.

Brody’s in fact working for a well-known power broker in the Middle East Abu Nazir, (Navid Negahban) who befriended him during captivity and left him in charge of protecting his young son, whom Brody strongly bonded with. However, tragedy struck when a CIA bombing attack, destroyed Abu Nazir’s village and killing his son. Nazir used that event, to turn Brody against the CIA and especially its Director William Walden (Jamey Sheridan) now the Vice President of the United States and planning to run as the current President’s term’s in its last year. Abu Nazir engineered Brody getting found and the Marine came back to his country intent on killing William Walden.

Carrie and her boss Saul Berenson, (Mandy Patinkin) debrief Brody and Carrie’s more certain that Brody’s working for the enemy. Berenson thinks she’s heading in the right direction, but won’t back Mathison’s plan to place the Marine under surveillance to CIA director David Estes, (David Harewood) however Carrie does it without permission with the help of a tech friend.  The CIA operative starts stalking Brody, following him everywhere and finally finds the perfect place to “accidentally” run into him, in a meeting for people with mental health issues. The former Sergeant notices her and the two start chatting, which eventually results in them having sex in a car in the parking lot.

Although Mathison’s attracted and developing feelings for Brody, she keeps going full-bore on the surveillance. Meanwhile Nick’s developing a bond with Vice President Walden, who actively recruits him to run for Congress. Things aren’t going as smoothly in the Brody home, as Nick and Jess adjustment to life as a couple once again is proving difficult. Then there are the conflicted feelings of his teenage daughter Dana, (Morgan Saylor) who has stronger memories than her younger brother of “life with Daddy,” however Brody’s still a stranger to her. She walks into the garage while Brody’s engaged in an Islamic prayer-session and Nick explains that he became a Muslim during his capture and Dana accepts it without question promising not to tell anyone including her mother.

The affair between Mathison and Brody heats up, but so do her suspicions and doubts that the former Marine’s exactly who he says he is. Berenson believes her case now’s got credibility, but Estes maintains blowing it off, thinking too much of her case’s based on circumstantial evidence. Carrie decides she’s going to prove her case and take down the apparent hero, so she goes off her meds. Not sure what life’s like for people who really deal with bipolar depression, but on Television the standard practice’s to stop taking your meds without confiding in anybody. The reason’s always explained that although the medication controls the mood-swings, these people decide that they’re far sharper non-medicated. But that move always comes with a toll down the road.

Mathison decides to confront her lover about her suspicions, telling that there are members of the CIA who believe he’s spying for someone in the Middle East and she’s one of those people. Needless to say the talk ends badly and possibly at the worst possible time as Brody and Walden will be at the same event in a couple of days and the former Marine’s scheduled to wear a suicide vest and blow himself, Walden and all around them to dust. Carrie gets wind of the situation and contacts Nick’s daughter Dana, telling her she must get her father to promise to come home that night.

A party official’s shot and killed by a sniper, which causes security to gather all the VIPs and put them in one small secure room, the scenario that Brody and his handlers assumed would occur. The former Marine’s already to take his life for the cause, already leaving a video saying goodbye and explaining the steps he took. He’s just about to ignite the vest, when his cellphone rings with Dana on the other end. She tells him she’s got a bad feeling and he needs to promise her, he’ll see her at their house that night. Nick tries to ignore her pleas, but she finally gets to him and he promises he’ll see her soon, thus ending the threat.

Nick finds out Mathison told Dana to make the call, he then talks to Estes and confesses they had an affair, but she’s now stalking him. Carrie gets in hot water with Estes and going so long without her meds, has her scraping near the bottom. She finally agrees to hospitalization and electro-shock therapy, which she’s undergoing when season one ends.

Season Two: Brody’s now a Congressman and one of the fair-haired boys on Capitol Hill. He’s on a very short-list from which Walden and his advisors pick Walden’s running mate in his campaign for President. After the bombing attempt failed, Brody convinced Abu Nazir that controlling the Vice President could end up far more effective than killing him and Brody’s worked hard to enter the inner circle that gives Walden advice.

Carrie, recovered and back on the job, finds out that her instincts were spot-on when the Agency somehow gets a copy of Brody’s suicide video. Estes never apologizes to Mathison or admits he messed up, instead he wants to use Brody as a double-agent to take down Abu Nazir. If he does that and resigns his Congressional seat, the United States will decline to press charges and he’ll be a free man.

Brody and Carrie start heating up again as Nick realizes his marriage to Jessica’s over, she fell in love with Mike while imprisoned and he’d assumed the role of the dad in the family. Brody tries to get Abu Nazir into a situation that will result in his downfall, but the Middle Eastern War Lord figures things out and comes to the United States.

Abu Nazir captures Carrie, but then lets her go, after Brody agrees to kill the Vice President. Walden has a severe heart condition and Brody exacerbates it, takes his meds away and refuses to let the front-runner to become the next President of the United States call 911 and he dies on the carpet of his office. Carrie returns to the warehouse that held her with a SWAT Team, Abu Nazir steps out of the shadows and looks like he’s reaching into his robe and gets gunned down immediately.

With nobody aware of his role in Walden’s death, Brody’s off the hook and a free man. He and Carrie decide to leave the country adopt new identities and start life over again. However, first there’s the memorial service at CIA Headquarters they both need to attend, but they leave early as Estes’ eulogizes his former boss at the Agency.

They head back to Carrie’s office to celebrate and discuss the future when Nick notices, someone moved his SUV from the parking lot to right in front of CIA Headquarters, while they are realizing what’s happened, the vehicle explodes destroying the chapel with all inside. The bombing was Abu Nazir getting revenge from beyond the grave on Brody. Saul, out of the country on Agency business, rushes back to Washington to become acting Director of the CIA.

All the evidence points to Brody, although he wasn’t involved and to make matters worse, the tape of his goodbye speech before sacrificing himself to kill Walden surfaces on TV. Claire and Brody’s plans for a new life together gone, she gets him to the Canadian border and he turns into a fugitive eluding authorities as season two concludes.

Season Three: Congress and the Senate want answers on the bombing of the CIA building and one Senator Andrew Lockhart’s getting lots of face time on the tube. Acting Director Saul Berenson throws the blame on Brody and seemingly throws Mathison under the bus, telling Congressional Committees, broadcast live on national TV that Carrie had an affair with Brody and she’s bipolar and a history of staying off her meds. Mathison gets into a debate one on one with Lockhart, as she addressed his committee and comes out looking bad. Operative Peter Quinn, (Rupert Friend) who joined the team during the second season, can’t understand while this avalanche of manure’s falling on Carrie’s head. She’s even involuntarily hospitalized spending a stint in the psychiatric ward.

Just when this viewer thought that the scenario they presented made no sense, they revealed they planned it that way. In an unusual move the show runners kept the audience in the dark about the plan concocted by Saul and Carrie, to throw the blame elsewhere so the real architect of the attack would act less cautious, making themselves visible enough to get caught. Berenson’s found his man, an old friend in Iran who worked with Saul when the Shah still ruled the country Majid Javadi (Shaun Toub.) Berenson’s investigation uncovers Javadi’s stolen large sums of money from Iran, a deed that would cost his life if the Iranian government found out. So once again Berenson turns an agent, as Javadi’s next in line to become President of his country. Saul plans to get Brody asylum from Iran for blowing up the CIA building, then getting tight with the current President until Brody gets the chance to kill him. Javadi then becomes ruler of Iran and the United States has the friendliest government in that nation since the they overthrew the Shah in 1979.

Brody’s not survived well in his travels as the CIA find him imprisoned in a South American prison turned into a junkie by his captors who filled his veins with Heroin. By the time he got rescued, other Marines believed he was too far gone to recover enough to carry out orders. Brody shocked them all however, getting back into top physical shape, hoping this mission would clear his name.

While this went on the gears were turning in the nation’s capitol, as Andrew Lockhart has surprisingly been named as next Director of the CIA, which could make for a tough transition as Berenson and Lockhart don’t get along. Although maintaining his game face, Saul’s crushed by the decision as he assumed the position was his. But ever the professional the mission comes first and he gives it all his attention.

After some very tense moments and some needless deaths, Brody gets asylum from Iran. The President and the former marine meet which is when Brody’s supposed to kill him, however he doesn’t. For the next few weeks Brody becomes a celebrity in the Middle East as he denounces the United States and Western culture. The powers at the CIA determine that they have to assassinate Brody, however Carrie gets to him first and warns him of his fate. She also tells him she’s carrying his child.

After an attempt on his life goes awry, he meets with the Iranian President and tells him all about the CIA plan and Javadi’s role in the plot and then kills the President. However he’s soon caught and he’s hung in public as a giant crane grabs the noose attached to his next and Brody quickly dies. The upside of the mission’s that relations between the United States and Iran are far improved from what they were before Brody’s mission, as the third season and the trilogy come to an end.

The game resets in Season four, as Saul’s no longer with the Agency moving onto the private sector. Carrie’s now stationed outside of the country as Bureau Chief in Kabul, while her infant daughter remains in the States being cared for by her father and sister. Lockhart’s reign as CIA Director seems rather bumpy from all the preseason rumors, could Saul be coming back this time as a confirmed Director of the Agency?

If you enjoy, intrigue, espionage as well as sharp writing and stellar acting, than Homeland’s a show for you, but be prepared this show’s not escapist TV. The writers seem to have a good handle on events in the Middle East and within the Agency. A critic a few years ago labeled it “the thinking person’s version of 24.” Never having seen the Fox series, I can’t comment on the comparison, but Homeland will keep you thinking.

Homeland Debuts Sunday October 5, at 9:00pm on Showtime.