Homeland series four receives mixed reactions from US critics in early reviews

While one reviewer thinks the show is now sleeker and sharper, another says season four proves that there is nothing holding the show together anymore...

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Homeland is poised to return for its fourth season and there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s a pivotal one.

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After three series concerned with the toxic relationship between troubled CIA operative Carrie Mathison and marine-turned-terrorist Nicholas Brody, the show has now found itself without one of its main protagonists, after – *spoiler alert* – Brody was killed at the end of season three.

While fans have pondered how the show will continue without Carrie’s red-headed love interest, the showrunners are confident the thriller will have a new lease of life.

Whether that is indeed the case remains to be seen, but with just days until the season premieres on Showtime in the US, a lucky few have seen the first episode with a couple of early reviews making their way onto the World Wide Web. And the reaction is a bit of a mixed one… 

“The necessity of paring things down to essentials has given the show a new, sleeker and sharper sense of purpose,” says The Hollywood Reporter.

“If you’d told me the producers of Homeland could improve the series in its fourth season by embracing their 24 roots, I’d have laughed you off with the kind of sharp, bitter bark Jack Bauer uses when someone suggests he slow things down a little. But for the current version of Homeland, action scenes rapidly intercut with political ruthlessness looks to be exactly what the show needs to sustain its worthiness,” they conclude.

Forbes isn’t quite so complimentary, though, saying that Homeland fails to embrace a world without Brody. 

“Part of the excitement for season four came from the fact that Brody would no longer be a factor in the drama, and the writers would have a chance to take the show to new, interesting places. Unfortunately for the entire audience, this opportunity is squandered the moment one realizes the thriller’s new season is simply nothing more than same stuff, different day.

“There’s nothing holding the show together anymore,” the review continues, adding: “Homeland had a chance to completely redefine what it stood for this season, but instead, all it did was remind us how much it hinged on the successful execution of Brody’s tale.”

So, a sleeker, more action packed thriller or a flat and repetitive spy drama? I guess we’ll have to wait and see… 

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Homeland season four starts on 4th October on Showtime in the US