Why Homeland series four is better off without Brody

Killing off our marine-turned-terrorist has given Homeland a new lease of life, says Ellie Walker-Arnott

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Last night saw Homeland return to UK telly screens. The opening episode, titled Drone Queen, found Carrie as station chief in Kabul, crossing names off a kill list for a living, while her sister cared for her newborn back at home.

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In those first 60 minutes, we had new faces in the shape of Life of Pi’s Suraj Sharma and House of Cards alumnus Corey Stoll. We had drone strikes, demonstrations, dramas and deaths so shocking we were left open mouthed. 

And, I’m going to say it, I didn’t miss Brody one bit. 

It could be that the setting was so unfamiliar and different from where we left Carrie at the end of series three that I’m half thinking Carrie’s nemesis/lover will still be walking the halls at Langley, but after last night’s episode I really think the show might be better off without him. 

Sure, I loved second guessing Brody. The chemistry between him and Carrie was arresting – and responsible for much of what was originally brilliant about the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning show. 

But removing Brody from the frame gives Homeland an opportunity to move away from that strange and twisted will-they-won’t-they, a chance for Carrie to carry the show on her own – as we know she can – to forge new friendships (however troubled or fleeting) and relationships (series four is Quinn’s moment).

Somewhere between Carrie’s hospitalisation and Brody’s imprisonment in the Tower of David, series three lost its way. All that was left of what once existed between our two protagonists was a secret pregnancy, the result of which I’m sure is poised to bring its own drama to series four, all in good time. 

Last season meandered along – its shifting time frames diluting the drama – until Brody was killed at the end.

Sure, it was shocking and sad. We all wondered how Homeland could continue. But killing off our marine-turned-terrorist has given Homeland a new lease of life. Or at least the chance for one. All that remains to be seen is whether the showrunners have really taken it or not. 

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Homeland continues on Sunday at 9:00pm on Channel 4