**WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS OF SEASON THREE AND SOME VERY MINOR SPOILERS FOR SEASON FOUR**
At the end of the third season of Homeland we were left with what was essentially the end of the series as we’d known it. The saga of troubled but brilliant CIA Agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and perhaps even more troubled Marine Sgt. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) had come to a bitter and rather brutal end, with the death of Brody – hung in the streets for all to see.
Some were justifiably surprised when it was revealed that Homeland would return for a fourth season, given the focus of the series was thrown out the door. But what the decision did allow was for the team behind the series to enjoy what could only be described as a “reboot”, in a show that had started to run out of room to move. And move they did.
The Fourth season of the Showtime series takes us initially to Kabul, where Carrie is operating as a CIA station chief six months after the events of season three. After a mission goes awry, she ends up in the same position in Islamabad, reuniting with Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) and the effortlessly lovable Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin), setting off into a new world of lies, deceit and a compelling storyline that brings Carrie to her limits in more ways than one. Not everyone survives the season and though it has a rocky start as we come to terms with the change of direction (as well as Carrie as winner of worst Mum and Sister of the Year), as it progresses it becomes just as addictive as ever.
The production on the series remains top notch. Action sequences – and there are some particularly intense ones throughout – are done with the skill and precision of a cinematic thriller. It’s some of the best work of the whole series to now. The acting, as ever, is outstanding – Claire Daines as the strong willed but troubled front of the series is never short of breathtaking. Rupert Friend brings Quinn to a new level in this series and shines throughout. While Mandy Patinkin is, as previously mentioned, effortlessly loveable. The trust in the professional relationship of Saul and Carrie continues to sit at the heart of the series, just as it always has.
Ultimately, the creators have proven that a fourth season was justified, and they’re already coming back for a fifth. It makes sense, too, with unanswered questions – as well as a new relationship – set to shape an interesting series when it returns in September/October. If you haven’t gotten the chance to see Season Four yet, but were a fan of the series in the past, the series definitely is deserving of your return viewing. And given the “reboot”, you’ll enjoy it even if you haven’t seen what came before (though all the seasons come recommended…)
Season Review Score: FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
As for special features on the DVD, it was disappointing the see that only one brief feature was included – that of a look at “Peter Quinn: The Assassin”. No commentaries, no extended behind-the-scenes makings of. Quite disappointing.
Special Features Review Score: HALF A STAR (OUT OF FIVE)
The Complete Fourth Season of Homeland was released last Thursday, April 29th on Blu-Ray and DVD.