Showtime Unleashes Action-Packed Trailer For 'Homeland' Season 4

A lot of people tuned out of Homeland after its divisive second season. Many thought that stretching out the Brody mystery any longer than one season was too much, and suspension in disbelief was hard to maintain after, for example he became a US congressman on the fast track to becoming the next vice president... that is until he killed the sitting VEEP himself and then put a baby in Carrie's belly while blowing up the CIA.

Okay, even I have to admit that the plot stretched a little far that year, especially when juxtaposed against the real-life Al Qaeda prisoner who came back from captivity earlier this year and instantly raised questions about his allegiance and actions. But I still enjoyed what Homeland gave me that year from a sheer entertainment standpoint, and especially when factoring in the still great performances, directing and action.

That was almost two years ago now though, and Homeland is going into its fourth season with a lot of changes at the forefront. Season 3 was a transitional year in that the writers had taken a lot of what was said about season 2 to heart and committed themselves to changing it, but it was a process that took a while. Brody had to be written off properly, and that meant that some of those detractors would still have something to complain about during much of the third season, but I thought it was handled well, with Brody only showing up for a few episodes before he was killed off on the tremendous season finale, which I thought did a lot to move the series forward.

In a way, it was as if the show was moving away from Brody, but still admitting that it would never forget its roots. But, damn, the new trailer for season 4 just hit the net after Showtime's Television Critics Association presentation, and the show definitely looks different. At least to the degree that I can make that assessment from a minute-long trailer. See for yourselves below:

Something I noticed about Homeland in the latter half of season 3 as it was making those transitional changes was that it seemed committed to tackling a style that resonated more closely to that of something like Zero Dark Thirty. A piece of work committed to a singular character and their journey but also a visceral take on the military and action, and I really liked what came out of it.

Season 4 seems to continue that idea, with a new threat and an entirely new location. After brief visits to Iran and Beirut last year, the bulk of seaosn 4 will take place in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and will focus on Carrie trying to maintain her form of order in the area.

It's hard to really get a handle on what will happen in the season, because you know there will also be a lot of personal drama surrounding Carrie. For example how will Carrie continue to deal with Brody's death, and what happened to the child she was carrying? What's her relationship like with Saul and whoever's left at the CIA? It also looks like Quinn and Dar Adal will be back, while we already know that the rest of the Brody family won't, and among those joining the cast are the great Corey Stoll.

There's actually a lot to be excited for about the return of Homeland this fall. Whether it can do enough to bring the show back to the level it was at in its first season -- when it took home the bulk of awards, including at the Emmys where it took home statues for Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and best drama -- remains to be seen, but I'm definitely looking forward to it. Expectations are definitely lower, especially since it only managed to take in a couple of Emmy nominations this year, with Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin on the acting front.

Homeland season 4 premieres on Showtime Sunday, October 5th, and we'll have recaps for you as we have since season 1.

Here's a poster for the upcoming season that was released along with the trailer: