Season Four, Episode One and Two
After the death of Brody at the finale of last season, Homeland was finally ready to start over. So “The Drone Queen” acts like a complete reboot of the series, where if you haven’t watched a single minute of Homeland you’d be able to pick it up right from the season premiere. The title refers to what everyone calls Carrie as she’s the station chief in Kabul. There has been a transformation of Carrie throughout the years, and while there’s no doubt that she’s really good at her job, it’s frightening how little remorse she feels when she messes up.
And that sets up the plot of this fourth season. Carrie gets questionable information from Sandy (Corey Stoll) and orders a bomb strike that kills 40 people in Pakistan attending a wedding. Their target is among the people killed, but the nation goes into a rage seeking revenge for such a vicious attack. Carrie and Sandy have to face the music and defend their actions to Lockhart, but before that is able to happen we get a vintage Homeland sequence of pure thrill. Watching Sandy sneak out of the office to meet with “X” you could feel the eyes all over him as he walks through the streets. One thing after another goes wrong: the locks have changed, his contact isn’t answering, a group gathers in front, then Quinn reveals that his identity has been leaked and he’s all over the news. Uh oh.
The result of this scene is jaw-dropping, with a mob surrounding the getaway car with Quinn and Carrie inside. Sandy gets dragged from the vehicle and then is beaten to death as Quinn and Carrie barely escape. While I was disappointed because I thought Stoll’s Sandy would’ve made a great addition to the season’s cast, this just proved how high the stakes are and how the consequences for Carrie’s actions are incredibly dangerous. This also gives us some of the best moments from Quinn, who is clearly a vulnerable guy who has one foot out the door. Why is he sticking with Carrie and carrying out these dangerous missions any longer? He’s not the same hit-man he used to be, but that’s what makes him such a great character.
Speaking of great characters, Homeland has produced many in its first three years, but unfortunately Carrie is no longer one of them. She used to be, but now it’s becoming too challenging to like her. I get that she’s the show’s anti-hero and while she can thrive in her professional life, her personal one is a train wreck. But really, she’s becoming more and more difficult to watch because of her toxic personality. Sure, she’s gone through hell and back with the whole Brody story-line, and she’s already mentally unstable as it is. And I can get that she’s become immune to feeling sympathy for killing innocent civilians during a bombing when she’s watched many colleagues and loved ones die fighting terrorism. But almost drowning your baby?!
Yes, that was the most shocking scene of the premiere and even though it’s very much likely something her character would do, I just wouldn’t show it if I were part of the creative team. I do like how Carrie is set up as the bad guy in season four for bombing the wedding, but the scene where she almost drowns her baby is too much. It’s to the point where I feel like she should pay for her actions and karma will have her accidentally overdose on her meds + wine. But this is Homeland and if Carrie’s careless actions have only turned into promotions, then drowning her baby might win her mother of the year.
One more thing I want to touch upon from the season premiere is Aayan, played by Life of Pi’s Suraj Sharma. He plays a Pakistani medical student whose uncle was the target Carrie and company bombed. As expected, his life is turned upside-down when he’s the lone survivor of his family from the bombing, but when his roommate uploads his video from the wedding to Youtube, his life becomes even more chaotic. It’s not very clear how Aayan is going to play into the whole season, but he’s someone on the other side of Carrie who we can truly feel for, though I don’t know why he’s holding so many drug vials. Either way, I’m invested in his story-line.
Last but not least:
- So will Lockhart get the boot and will Saul return? Because we definitely need more Saul!
- Quinn is easily everyone’s favorite character. I mean, how can you not like someone who sticks up for his plus-size, one night stand?
- I really liked the lounge scene with the Navy bomber and Carrie. Homeland has to continue showing the trauma behind such military acts, since we know we won’t get any emotion from Carrie.
- Carrie is right though, she’s better off out of the States, away from her daughter and family. As much of a burden she’s putting on Maggie, it’s for the best.