Homeland 4×01 – The Drone Queen

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Review by Aboudi
Home[land] is where my heart will be this fall. Season four of Homeland has begun, and I for one, am very excited for what’s to come. The season three finale was dramatic to say the least, and it gave the writers unlimited options heading into the new season. Although he’s a great actor, I never really liked Damian Lewis and I am glad the writers killed off his character (or did they?). And since they had the courage to kill off a principal character, this only means they have something big in store for this season.

First of all, I have to start by acknowledging the amazing casting for season four. The addition of award-winning actor Suraj Sharma, better know in his role as Pi Patel in Life of Pi, as Aayan, is one I applaud. He was fantastic in the movie and his acting is very powerful and very touching, as he has already proven while surveying the bodies at the site of the attack. And this is, in my opinion, just what the show needs: A character we can sympathise with. No relation to Kalinda Sharma from The Good Wife, in case you were wondering.

Cory Stoll, as CIA agent Sandy, was also an great choice. I was pleasantly surprised to see Peter Russo back on my TV screen, as I am a big fan of House of Cards. Unfortunately, he did not last as long as I would have hoped.

On another note, we get our first glimpse of Carrie’s baby girl from a photograph on her night table, but we will have to wait to see any mother-daughter interaction. It will be interesting to see how Carrie acts around her daughter, and Claire Danes has the depth to make this meeting, whenever the writers decide to show it, a memorable one. After losing out at the Emmy’s to the equally talented Julianna Margulies from The Good Wife, she will have to pull out all the stops to regain the award she held for two years in a row.

In addition, Aayan will be a great addition to the storyline. They have endless possibilities with such a character. The nephew of one of the biggest terrorists, he can already be part of his uncle’s terrorist group, or he can even be forced to shine in the spotlight after his video was leaked online. But an interesting alternative that I would like to see explored, is the radicalization of such a character. How cool would it be to see the birth of a terrorist leader and the reasons that pushed him to become such a person?

Putting aside all the negative portrayal of the Arab culture, this is a promising season premiere from Homeland as it feels like a fresh start. I will be looking forward to see how Carrie and Quinn’s relationship develop throughout the season and how Saul will fit into all this drama. This episode will not disappoint any previous Homeland fan. If you’ve given up on the show, this might just be the time for you to give it one last chance.

Codename B.I.T.S

– How Cute is Carrie and Brody’s baby? Edible. Her orange hair is a nice touch too.

– Frannie?? Really? Out of all the names in the world, why would you call you baby Frannie in the 21st century?

– Mini appearance from Saul, although I am sure he will have more TV time soon.

– “Happy birthday Carrie, the drone queen” on the cake gave us an insight on the new Carrie.

– I bet Peter Russo will be pleased with the way he died. Not a quiet death for Corey Stoll this time around.

– It was funny seeing Carrie needing earplugs; sleep masks, and sleeping pills to go to sleep. I’m surprised she can fall asleep at all after what she’s done.

– The scene where Aayan looks up at the camera while Carrie is watching gave me goosebumps.

– I like the new jazzy theme song.

– Why is Mira Barenson still part of the show?

 Codename Q.U.O.T.E.S

Carrie: How is she anyway?
Maggie: A week older then the last time we talked.

Saul: It hasn’t been a 14-year war we’ve been waging. But a one-year war waged fourteen times.

Lt JG Edgars: Monsters… Fucking monsters all of you.

Carrie: I will, because I’m the one dropping fire on all these people.
Quinn: Yeah well I know what that’s like.
Carrie: Why?
Quinn: Checking names off a kill list for a living.
Carrie: It’s a job.

Conclusion
Homeland season four is off to a terrific start. This feels like a new season one. With a fresh start for Carrie and a new protagonist, the writers are bound to keep us on the edge of our seats week-in week-out. If you loved season one, you will love this episode.

Aboudi Rating
A-

2 comments

  1. Homeland used to be one of my favorite shows, then halfway through season 3 I gave up because of all the useless Dana crap. But I still read reviews here and there just to know whatever happened to the characters.

    I'm looking forward to catching up on the show now thanks to your review! Love the “Home[Land] is where my heart will be” phrase. Nice touch!

  2. I agree that killing off Brody before Season 4 was a good move in the storyline.
    It opened a lot of possible twists and turns that writers can go to without limits.
    The S4 premiere was aired back to back with the second episode.
    I think it was wise on the producers part to do this so as to give the audience a contrast on how's Carrie's life has been after Brody.
    Carrie in action and Carrie in the home front.

    The Carrie-Peter angle is very promising.
    Lots of conflict for a relationship and at the same time, the bond that this two share has been tested time and again even during “Brody Times”.

    Season 4 opens by showcasing how much Carrie Mathison is at her element in analyzing puzzles and discovering answers in the field.
    She stops short of nothing to get answers.
    Very promising season indeed. 🙂

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