It's been almost one year since the shocking Season 3 finale of Showtime's award-winning drama series "Homeland." Ahead of the program's highly anticipated return on Sunday, check out nine things you need to know about Season 4:
1. Two-hour premiere
Get ready, “Homeland” fans. For the Season 4 premiere, Showtime will be airing two new back-to-back episodes of the Emmy-winning drama. The premiere kicks off at 9 p.m. EDT.
2. Episode 1 Synopsis
The season starts six months into the future with Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) working in Afghanistan as a Kabul station chief helping direct drone attacks in episode 1, “The Drone Queen.” In typical Showtime fashion, the network isn’t giving away anything about what crisis Carrie will find herself in this time, only teasing that she will find herself making a “critical decision.”
3. Episode 2 Synopsis
Despite Carrie’s blossoming CIA career overseas, she will find herself returning to the U.S. in episode 2, “Trylon and Perisphere,” due to an official inquiry. With Carrie back on American soil, Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend) who is working with the CIA but according to Friend “not quite wearing a tie,” will reportedly “spin out of control.”
4. Brody Really Is Dead
While some “Homeland” fans are still holding out hope that Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) will return to the series, executive producer Alex Gansa confirmed in December that Lewis’s character will not not be coming back. “We knew it was going to happen; we just didn't know exactly how it was going to happen. Brody's dead. It's done," Gansa told Vulture. In recent months TV Guide revealed that Brody’s name, in fact, won’t even be mentioned in the Season 4 premiere. A potential "ghost of Brody" character, however, remains to be seen.
5. Dana Brody Lives On
Brody might be gone, but his on-screen family, unfortunately for some Dana haters out there, isn’t. Brody’s daughter, Dana (Morgan Saylor), and his wife, Jessica (Morena Baccarin), will reportedly remain on the series as guest stars, Zap2It reports. Brody’s son, Mike (Diego Klattenhoff), was previously downgraded from a series regular to a guest star in Season 3.
6. Carrie Is Well, Still Carrie
Despite mourning the loss of Brody, Carrie will still be her take-no-prisoners self. “She’s all work all the time,” Danes said, calling her character “alarmingly high functioning” despite her recent traumas when discussing her character’s Season 4 arc. “Carrie is going to get into very messy and dangerous territory. It gets ugly.”
7. Saul Is Struggling
With Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) no longer working as the director of the CIA after losing his position to former senator Andrew Lockhart (Tracy Letts), he is struggling to adjust to life in the private sector. “I don’t know if retirement is a word that fits with Saul Berenson. I don’t think he knows how to say it, spell it or accept it,” Patinkin said in a Showtime behind-the-scenes interview. Despite Carrie being primarily overseas, the actor said his character will remain close to his longtime confidant. “Saul remains a central figure in Carrie’s life. I mean, he really is her moral compass,” said Patinkin. “He is there first and foremost to serve her and she will always be the boss.” As for his future with the CIA, Patinkin teased that his character may climb his way back to the top. “He is a manipulator,” he said. “He’ll probably find his way back.”
8. Tension Over Brody Baby
Carrie surprised Brody last season by confirming she was with child. While viewers never saw her deliver, the trailer for the new season shows that the baby, red hair and all, was born. Unfortunately for the child, it appears her sister Maggie Mathison (Amy Hargreaves) is her main caretaker, a role which creates tension between the siblings.
“I know you manipulated this somehow, making sure there is no place for your daughter there,” Maggie tells Carrie. Carrie tries to tell her that it's not true. “We both know it is … You bring a life into this world, you take responsibility!” Maggie fires back.
The child, whose name has yet to be announced, is a source of sadness for Carrie, who is later seen in the preview crying while holding her. “I’m so sorry,” Carrie tells her daughter before walking out of her nursery and closing the door. “She has to come to terms with Brody’s loss. It's very difficult being in the same space with her child,” Danes said of Carrie’s newfound parenthood. “It evokes Brody. It’s way too confronting.”
9. New Faces
With the loss of a “Homeland” lead, come several new characters to the new season. Entertainment Weekly reports that Corey Stoll of “House of Cards” and “The Strain” fame will guest star as a CIA chief in Pakistan. Laila Robins joins as a series regular portraying the role of the U.S. ambassador in Pakistan, Martha Boyd. Raza Jaffrey, best known for his now defunct role in “Smash,” will play Aasar Khan. Suraj Sharma of the award-winning feature “Life of Pi” will play Carrie’s new source, Ayaan Ibrahim.
"Homeland" Season 4 premieres Sunday, Oct. 5, at 9 p.m. EDT on Showtime.