The "Homeland" season 3 premiere "Tin Man Is Down" airs live Sunday, September 29 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime. The premiere opens two months after the season 2 finale following the aftermath of the CIA headquarters bombing. The episode luridly details the aftershocks of the attacks. Saul (Mandy Patinkin) leads a global manhunt for Brody (Damian Lewis), who is still on the lam, and Carrie (Claire Danes) is isolated as a scapegoat in her search for the truth. What do you need to know to be psychologically prepared for the "Homeland" season three premiere Sunday night? Let's recap.
The "Homeland" season two finale focused on the funeral at Langley for Vice President William Walden, who was assassinated after Brody and Abu Nazir executed their plan to remotely turn off Walden's pacemaker. Meanwhile, Brody and Carrie sneak into an adjacent office for some necking, only to discover Brody's SUV has been shadily relocated. While CIA Director David Estes (David Harewood) delivers the eulogy, a bomb explodes through the CIA headquarters, leading to a death toll of over 200. Among the deceased were Estes, Cynthia Walden, Finn and the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security. By default, Saul is now Langley's top-ranking official dealing with the catastrophic reverberation of the explosion. Immediately following the bombing, Carrie pulls her gun on Brody, suspecting he has in fact, turned. But in usual Carrie fashion, she quickly succumbs to Brody's desperate pleas of innocence, and off they ride. Though instead of quitting the CIA and running off with Brody, she decides to return to her job and clear his name. One tearful goodbye and promise of redemption later, Sergeant Brody escapes into the woods and that is the last we see of him. For now. Carrie returns to Langley, where Saul is seemingly solaced to see her. Also, for now. So what can we expect from "Homeland" season 3?
The "Homeland" cast and crew seem to unanimously agree that season three will take on a darker tone. The focus will also shift into the personal lives of the characters, rather than the impact on the nation as a whole. In fact, Brody is completely absent from the first two episodes of the season. "I think Season 3 returns to something darker, more hard-boiled." Lewis tells USA Today. "It doesn't shy away from the mental health of our characters and the institutions that are... on trial. It'll be a season of people rebuilding themselves."
"Homeland" season three spoilers reveal that Dana (Morgan Saylor) is having a difficult time coping with her father's alleged terrorist accusations. It seems there will be more Dana in season 3, to many viewers' dismay. (See: "Dana Passes the Salt" parody). Though on a more serious note, the plot will instead showcase the deep toll the attacks have on Dana, who tries to kill herself and ends up in a mental institution. Another character struggling in the wake of the attacks is Carrie. While Saul tirelessly tracks down Brody, Carrie is alone in determinedly trying to clear his name. Her frantic frequency is peaking, too, considering she is off her meds in the "Homeland" season three premiere. Turn up the jazz music, Carrie is on another personal mission in frenzied seclusion.
"The first season wowed everyone with its taut, psychological cat-and-mouse games," says Lewis, whose ginger hair has been buzzed for the role. "Then for some people it lost its realism and became a bit more cartoony. The writers recalibrated, and we're back to a darker, more hard-boiled show."
The season 3 premiere is likely to take down the drama a notch, at least enough to temporarily get a grasp on where each of the characters are at on an interpersonal level. Though with the calm comes the storm, and in true "Homeland" style, viewers are guaranteed the intensity, twists and emotional turns that the show is renowned for. Watch the "Homeland" season three official trailer below, and catch the "Tin Man Is Down" premiere live Sunday night on Showtime.