"Homeland" is back! And this Showtime drama hasn't been this good since its triumphant, Emmy-winning first season. Set two years after its resurgent fourth season, it showed yet again on Sunday night why it should never be underestimated as an Emmy power player with the beautifully paced season premiere ("Separation Anxiety").
The episode effortlessly reintroduced us to the deliciously tense and paranoid world of Carrie Matheson (Emmy darling Claire Danes), living a relatively stress-free life in Berlin with a new private security job, a new man (Alexander Fehling) and finally making room for her young daughter that she struggled to bond with last season. However, she is soon drawn back into the clutches of of the CIA when a potentially disastrous data breach has the agency reeling.
It's the opener of what looks to be a completely new (and perhaps overdue) direction for the show; a change of pace that is exactly what was needed.Even so, "Homeland" remains as current and ripped-from-the-headlines as ever, referencing the brutal conflict in Syria, ISIS and the refugee crisis as well as America's unpopular domestic and international surveillance and its war of words with old foe Russia.
For us Emmy watchers, we have only scratched the surface of what will hopefully be a really satisfying season. Danes is excellent as always, and new cast member Miranda Otto shows signs of being a really positive addition to an already strong cast that includes Mandy Patinkin (an Emmy winner for "Chiacago Hope" and twice-nominated for this role), Rupert Friend (particuarly strong in this season opener, nominated a couple of years ago as a guest) and recent Emmy nominee F. Murray Abraham (now promoted from a guest to a main cast member).
At the last Emmys, "Homeland" surprised with a return to the Best Drama Series category after missing out for its disappointing third season) and picked up a directing bid as well as a fourth in a row for leading lady Danes.
Do you think "Homeland" will continue its impressive Emmy streak next year? What did you think of "Homeland" season premiere? Sound off in the comments section below and join the discussion in our TV forum.
Photo: Claire Danes in "Homeland." Credit: Showtime