Showtime's hit drama series Homeland has just begun its long awaited fifth season. Through the past four seasons, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and her mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) have helped protect America from threats abroad. After an action-packed first two seasons, Homeland hit a slump. Seasons three and four had their upsides, but as a whole, they were mostly stark and tedious.
Last time we saw Carrie, her life was twisted all around. Her mother's infidelity issues had come to light while Carrie decided to not have a life with Quinn. Saul, on the other hand, had betrayed her and she was simply lost. In the season five opener, we are brought an entirely new Carrie more level-headed and balanced than we’ve ever seen her before.
It's been two years since the hectic events at the conclusion of season four. Carrie is now living in Berlin with Frannie and attempting to be the mother she always deserved. Separated from the CIA and seemingly happy to have cut all ties, Carrie spends her time attending church, biking Frannie to school, and hanging out with her new beau Jonas (Alexander Fehling). Her and Saul are still on the outs, and Carrie now works at the Düring Foundation as head of security - things couldn't be calmer.
On the other side of the city, however, a couple of hackers stationed at a brothel are about to upload some lewd videos onto an ISIS recruitment site, but before they can, the CIA tries to break into the same ISIS site. Winning the technological tug-of-war, the hackers find a whole mess of leaked CIA secrets involving spying on the German people for the government since it is illegal under German law.
This breach is large enough that is draws Saul out to Berlin where he and Carrie bump into each other at the CIA Berlin office. Saul has become the new European Division Chief after he failed to gain control of the CIA and his decisions last season keep the talk between him and Carrie icy at best. After some stern words from Saul, the two part ways but it’s evident Carrie is still haunted by his words after.
Saul continues on his way to see Berlin chief Allison Carr (Miranda Otto) and work on fixing relations with Germany. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this is going to happen as the Germans have cut-off all ties. Enraged, Saul contacts Quinn (Rupert Friend), and has him enact a backup plan. We now truly see the new Quinn for what he is. After he breaks into an apartment and knocks a man out, he prepares a pipe bomb while cooly talking about the many things the potassium chlorate smells like. Quinn has proven that the last two years have made him little more than a stone-cold killing machine.
While we’re never told directly what Carrie’s new boss and the Düring Foundation do, it’s obvious they are somehow well-funded and capable. On an far-fetched request from her boss, Carrie has been tasked with finding a safe and secure way to travel to Lebanon to help the refugees at the border. While reaching out to the Hezbollah group in an attempt to deliver the message request safe passage for her boss, she is kidnapped with wrists bound and taken to an abandoned lot. Standing in front of a major player in Hezbollah, Carrie is told the CIA murdered his son in one of their raids and he would hunt her for her crimes - but after a somewhat convincing plea, she is dumped outside her house.
The premiere of season five laid solid groundwork for the new world Carrie is living in, and with her new world also came with some new faces. It’s going to be exciting to see what roles these new characters play as Carrie and Saul's worlds continue to collide in the Edward Snowden-esque storyline. To see how Carrie got here, catch up on past episodes on Hulu, DTV, and Showtime and watch next Sunday at 9pm to see where she goes next.