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TV Recap: Homeland Season 4, Episodes 1 and 2, “The Drone Queen” and “Trylon and Perisphere”

A look at what’s in store for Carrie, Saul, and Quinn this season.
Photograph by Joe Alblas/Showtime.

Twisty spy-fest Homeland returned—minus Nicholas Brody—to the small screen Sunday night with a double episode, and everyone seems to be in the same gloomy state we left them in. Without the Brody family to dote on, it looks like this season will focus a little less on teenage angst and a little more on matters of national security (we hope). Here’s a look at where the lead characters started off.

Saul Berenson

Overall mood: Anxious and bored. Saul is still in the States and working in the private sector—which he doesn’t seem pleased about.

Best moment: When Saul says, “It turned out to be one change too many, didn’t last,” in reference to shaving off his beard.

Worst moment: Even though Saul is best when he’s telling everyone in the CIA what to do, it’s sad to see he’s still putting his interest in CIA matters above everything else in his life.

What’s on the horizon: There’s chat that important people are on board with Saul returning as director of the CIA. That sounds great for his work life, but bad for his personal life. There’s no way he’s actually moving to New York (right?).

Peter Quinn

Overall mood: Disheartened. His job has finally taken a major toll, and sneaky go-getter Quinn is a thing of the past.

Best moment: When Quinn finally puts Carrie in her place and then leaves her alone in a church to think about her selfish ways.

Worst moment: Drinking an entire bottle of vodka out by his apartment complex’s pool (is that even possible?), followed by drunken sex with his building manager, seemed like a new low for Quinn—at least until he gets arrested the next day for beating two men up at breakfast.

What’s on the horizon: After witnessing Sandy’s murder in Pakistan, Quinn seems to be on a downward spiral. Even so, he still seems to be in a better place than Carrie. We’re holding out hope that he’ll return to keeping her out of trouble again soon.

Carrie Mathison

Overall mood: Determined. Carrie is basically focused on one thing: staying away from baby Frannie. If going back to Islamabad to track down the informant who Sandy traded national secrets with means not changing any diapers, then she’s all for it.

Best moment: When Carrie blackmailed CIA director Andrew Lockhart into letting her return to Islamabad. Even though it was extremely manipulative (her specialty), it’s always a treat when Carrie outsmarts everyone around her—especially smug Director Lockhart.

Worst moment: I’m not even sure I can articulate the horror I felt when I thought Carrie was going to drown baby Frannie. Stay as far away from that baby as you can, lady.

What’s on the horizon: Carrie’s headed back to Islamabad—this time with some “security” from Saul’s firm along for the ride. It’s only a matter of time before Carrie and Saul fall back into their old mentor/mentee roles.

Other important plot lines to note:

I had high hopes for Corey Stoll’s character, Sandy, after Stoll’s run on House of Cards. While he won’t be sticking around, it looks like the mystery surrounding his informant will be a major part of the plot this season. Who was his informant? What national secrets were leaked? Why did he/she decide to out him?

Med-school student Aayan Ibrahim is poised to be another major player this season, as well. After his terrorist uncle and the rest of his family were killed when Carrie ordered a bombing on what turned out to be a family wedding, he tried—and failed—to stay out of the limelight. His video of the bombing made it to YouTube, which led to a late-night visit from men we can only assume were his uncle’s associates. What we really want to know is, what was in those vials he dropped off with his lady friend?

What did you think of the Homeland premiere? Let us know in the comments.

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