3 Possible Directions for 'Homeland' Season 4
I just caught up with the season three finale of Homeland last night, and while I’ll leave a more detailed review to those who have been writing about it all season, the ending struck me with such a sense of opportunity that I felt it deserved a quick write-up here. More specifically, Sunday night’s “The Star” leaves the show in a state of transition, giving it the potential to move in exciting new directions in season four.
And in the absence of any real clues about what direction that will be, I decided to dream up three possible story ideas for the show to explore in the next season. Bear in mind, this is just pure speculation. But I’ve tried to base it on what we’ve seen in the show so far, and what I’d like to see the show attempt as it continues.
Naturally, SPOILERS follow for season three, including the finale.
1. Carrie becomes a single mother/spy in Istanbul
For the better part of season three, we knew that Carrie was pregnant with her first child. We all suspected that the child was Brody’s – a fact Carrie confirms in the finale, just before Brody is captured by Iranian forces at the safe house. The latter 10-15 minutes of the finale then jumped ahead by four months, with Carrie only weeks from giving birth, and being offered the position of CIA station chief in Istanbul.
The promotion (one Carrie has had her eye on) is exciting for her. But in an emotional scene with her sister and father, Carrie explains how terrified she is about trying to raise a child, given Carrie’s often deadly job. She muses about giving up the child for adoption, but we haven’t seen her eventual decision yet.
This leads me to wonder whether Homeland’s direction for season four will be to focus on Carrie as a single mother, raising her daughter in Istanbul and trying to balance motherhood with spy work. A plot like this allows Carrie to develop as a character: she’ll have to learn to be more careful with her work, to consider how her decisions in the field might threaten her daughter.
This concept also allows the show to introduce some new Istanbul-based characters, people Carrie might rely on for super-secret babysitting, or villains planning an attack on the United States, whom Carrie is uniquely placed to fight. Unlikely? Maybe, but it certainly would reinvigorate my interest in the show.
2. Carrie must investigate Saul’s assassination
Before you jump to say that Saul is still very much alive, remember that I’m trying to plan out future episodes. What we do see in the finale is Saul shifting very comfortably into civilian life in the “private sector”, which I can only assume means working as an independent security advisor.
I’m imagining a cold open to season four, with Saul going about his business in New York, when he’s suddenly struck down by an assassin’s bullet. This might be hard to take for fans (Saul is, after all, one of our favourite characters), but it might be necessary to spur a new storyline into action. We’d see Carrie, just settling in as a new mother, left to spearhead the clandestine investigation into her mentor’s murder.
The other opportunity with this idea is that we wouldn’t necessarily need to see the end of Mandy Patinkin’s role on Homeland. This storyline could delve into Saul’s fascinating history as an intelligence officer, and unveil (through flashbacks) some sort of massive CIA operation involving Saul that Carrie has to unravel. By going this route, the audience can gain an even greater appreciation for Saul, and Carrie can evaluate just how well she knew him, as well as her own role at the CIA.
3. Carrie becomes a spy mentor to Dana Brody.
This is probably my most outlandish concept for Homeland’s fourth season, so hear me out. Regular viewers have probably noticed that the writers have backed away from stories involving the rest of the Brody clan in recent episodes. All things considered, it’s probably a good thing, as the earlier half of season three was getting insufferably melodramatic in its scenes with the Brodys.
Season four presents a chance to bring the family back to the show, but one of the only ways they can do this is to implicate them in some sort of intelligence operation. One of the better strategies might be to reimagine Dana as a CIA agent (or even just an asset) in training.
Let’s imagine Dana (still working at that motel) is approached by someone who knew her father - a new character with ties to a terrorist plot. Not sure where to turn, Dana contacts Carrie. Carrie then decides to interest Dana in becoming an asset, and inform on the plot. In this way, Dana can try to claim some sort of redemption for the sins of her father. At the same time, Carrie will get a taste of what it’s like to be a senior officer like Saul, trying to work with an unstable young operative.
All these ideas are, at best, total long shots. I see them at a sort of wish list for season four, since the show is in a unique position to make some radical changes following the finale. It’s entirely possible that Homeland will take a more conventional approach next season, and find a new baddie for Carrie to take down, and set that against Carrie’s ongoing struggle with mental illness (not to mention her new baby). But when it comes to TV, it never hurts to dream!
What do you think about the future of Homeland? Are any of the scenarios listed above possible? Or will the show do something else? Join the discussion in the comments section, and if you liked this post, share it with your friends and followers!