First things first: We cannot tell you anything about the first episode of season three of Homeland. Showrunner Alex Gansa asked everyone assembled at last night’s official premiere at the Corcoran to refrain from publishing or tweeting any spoilers before the show airs September 30 (although he didn’t say anything about emojis). Nevertheless, here are five takeaways from the event, which featured stars in ball gowns, cake, and yes, Mandy Patinkin’s beard.
1) #ThisTown really, really likes Homeland. Between Martha Raddatz snapping selfies with her daughters, Bret Baier showing off his date and her leather pants, Bob Schieffer schmoozing with stars on the red carpet, Maureen Dowd looking for column ideas (probably), Gwen Ifill recovering from her Syria interview with the President (and this), and Van Jones recovering from the first week of Crossfire at the bar, the party was basically a Mark Leibovich chapter playing out in real time.
2) Claire Danes wore a wedding dress, has a solid poker face. Okay, it wasn’t a wedding dress, but it was white and strapless and had embroidered flowers on it, so it looked a lot like one. During the screening, it was hard not to peek at her during Carrie’s more exciting moments on screen, but Danes sat positively stock-still, like a prettier version of Mount Rushmore. At no point during the evening did she appear to talk to her costar Damian Lewis, so maybe the rumors are true—or maybe they were both too busy posing for pictures with elected members of Congress.
3) Tracy Letts is in the season premiere, and he does a very good Dick Cheney impression. Amy Morton is in it too, as is F. Murray Abraham. We asked Gansa why he hired so many luminaries from the theater world, and he sort of shrugged and said it was because they’re good actors and were available, so there’s that.
4) The whole cast apparently got to visit the CIA yesterday. I hope they took a cab. And some notes. And I really hope they “took” home some souvenirs, like CIA toilet paper or something.
5) Chris Brody’s voice has broken. Jackson Pace also seems to have shot up a foot or two, and he gets a little more to do than watch basketball with Mike (no Mike; miss you, Mike) and get asked to leave the room. Morena Baccarin is gorgeous and very, very pregnant. Also gorgeous: Morgan Saylor in a long, beaded, Oscar-worthy black dress. Dana could take some style tips from this girl. Also also gorgeous (as ever): Saul’s beard in particular, and Mandy Patinkin in general.
6) Yes, we know we said five things. Homeland is back September 29. We will be recapping it as usual. Read this in the interim if you feel like catching up.