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Showtime's 'Homeland' Is Back - with Some Welcome Changes
October 5, 2014  | By David Bianculli  | 1 comment
 

Showtime’s Homeland burst onto the scene so forcefully that it won the Emmy Award for Best Drama Series its first year – then began to slide, markedly. But now it’s back, in more ways than one…

Homeland begins Season 4 tonight (Sunday) at 9 p.m. ET, with a two-hour, two-episode kickoff that establishes, with emphasis and confidence, that it’s rediscovered its initial intensity while embarking on a new, even more topical story line. Claire Danes, returning as bipolar CIA agent Carrie, is excellent, and Mandy Patinkin, as her former boss, Saul, is even better. Homeland really could be his series, not hers – and perhaps, in time, it will be.

In Season 1, for which Homeland won the Best Drama Series Emmy (putting an end to the run by AMC’s Mad Men, and preceding the run of another AMC series, Breaking Bad), Danes and Patinkin spent many scenes together. For the opening hours of Season 4, they’re mostly separated – but individually, each of them not only deserves attention, but demands it.

The new season begins, almost instantly, within a U.S. bombing mission targeting a high-profile terrorist in Pakistan. It’s a bombing mission that, thanks to some bad intel, claims a significant number of innocent victims as “collateral damage” – and propels Carrie on a mission to find out exactly why things went wrong. She soon finds herself in the thick of things, along with the section chief who passed on the bad information (played by Corey Stoll, from The Strain and House of Cards) and a young survivor of the bomb attack (played by Suraj Sharma, at right).

That’s the most basic, and vague, way I can, and will, describe the beginning of the new season. Right now, I’m so weary about fending off complaints from those who scream “Spoiler Alert!” – not only regarding upcoming plot points, which I’m very sensitive about protecting, but also about things that happened in previous seasons – that I’ll refer readers, instead, to my review of NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross that aired Friday.

But only go to the Fresh Air website to read and hear what I have to say if you’re okay with discussing last season’s plot developments. Otherwise, crawl back in your media-blackout bunker, and stop complaining. To me, anyway.
 
 
 
 
 
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1 Comments
 
 
Bob Lamm
Reading this a month late. Just want to say: I encourage you and everyone not to be silenced by people insistent that we can't discuss what happened IN PREVIOUS SEASONS of Homeland or any other show. The complaints of these people should be ignored. Should we not be allowed to discuss what happened on ALL IN THE FAMILY, HILL STREET BLUES, or MY SO-CALLED LIFE just in case there's someone out there who is still catching up? Yes, there are good reasons not to share upcoming plot points. Beyond that, if you want to wait entire seasons to watch a show, that's fine, but don't expect the world to remain silent just for you.
Nov 9, 2014   |  Reply
 
 
 
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