Showtime’s first-ever Emmy winning drama series “Homeland” returns Sunday, Sept. 30 for a much-anticipated second season.
It’s a treat to get back in touch with this stellar cast led by tonight’s Emmy winners Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, as well as Mandy Patinkin and all the rest in this gripping international thriller that was also one of the best-looking and most visually dynamic high-def series on TV last season, along with “Boss” and “Hawaii 5-O.”
<Review continues below the following video trailer…>
Like “24,” from the same producers, and “Boss,” it’s obvious that it’s a challenge to create the same level of freshness and shock value in the sophomore season. As in the second season of “Boss” on Starz, there is far less sex and nudity in “Homeland” in the first couple of episodes, far fewer compelling flashbacks, back story and character development, and far less tension and suspense now that we know for sure that Lewis’s Nick Brody is, in fact, working undercover for a Middle Eastern terrorist group.
Instead, we get a slow-developing but interesting scene-setter in the first two episodes of Season Two, “The Smile” and “Beirut is Back,” showing freshman Congressman Nick getting propositioned from the Vice President to be his running mate and his partner in undermining the President in taking a more aggressive approach to military action in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, Carrie doesn’t last long on her forced leave of absence from the CIA, and the electro shock therapy doesn’t seem to have helped much as she is as frantic and jittery as always, especially as she is reluctantly summoned back to work and is immediately suspected once again of allowing her passion and over-enthusiasm get in the way of objectivity.
It’s the final minutes of the second episode that offer a return to the first season’s level of action and leave us with a gripping cliff-hanger that make us anxious for the next installment.
— By Scott Hettrick