Playing out almost in real time with actual events in the Middle East and Europe, Homeland returns for its fifth season on October 4. The Showtime series is showing signs of age, but as my video review above says, only in the best way as it matures with vigor and grace. In fact, with the exception of the remarkable first season, this might be my favorite season of Homeland yet.
Having left the CIA after the disasters and drones of last season, Claire Danes’ Carrie Mathison has set up a new life for herself and her daughter in Berlin as the head of security for a philanthropic German billionaire – who has several agendas of his own. Of course, this being the shadowy world of Homeland, no one ever leaves the spy game or their own demons, and a massive CIA data breach soon draws Mathison back into her old life.
The revelations of American surveillance of German citizens has echoes of WikiLeaks and Angela Merkel’s cell phone being listened in on by the U.S. But that is only the lift-off in a Season 5 full of ISIS, civil war and more unrest, refugees and geopolitical moves (military and otherwise) that feel right off breaking stories from this morning’s cable news and the latest near-proxy clash between President Obama and Russia’s President Putin.
With Season 5 of the multiple-Emmy-winning series’ lens entirely set in Germany, historic and intrigue-drenched Berlin is itself a character in the show. Yes, Saul Berenson, played by Mandy Patinkin, is back and back at the agency as the bureaucratic survivor he is. So is increasingly adrift Peter Quinn, portrayed by Rupert Friend, still asking a lot of questions about what this life and job is really all about.
In many ways, this is a quite thoughtful season of the Alex Gansa- and Howard Gordon-created Homeland that both dissects American’s strategy — or seemingly lack thereof — against the self-declared Islamic State and, in much greater detail, what it is to be a spy and what spying really is at this stage in the era of terror.
So, take a look at my review and tell us what you think. Will you be tuning in to see Team Carrie on Sunday?
This review was originally posted September 30.