So when we spotted that Showtime has uploaded the first 20 minutes online, we couldn't contain ourselves any longer and had to have a sneaky watch. But what did we discover? Read on to find out, but beware - some spoilers inevitably lie ahead!
Carrie is a teacher. At least, for now.
From all the fighting and screaming she did last season, you might think that Carrie would be forcing her way back into the CIA. Um, no. Actually, she's teaching English to a bunch of people, which mainly seems to consist of correcting them on their pronouns. But despite the fact that she's taking her medication and her little poster telling her to "breathe", her sister's best efforts to keep the world from her are unsuccessful and she keeps opening her laptop up to look at news sites. So that bodes well.
Tensions are running high in the Middle East.
Oh dear. It doesn't look like things are going too swimmingly abroad. For one thing, Israel's gone and bombed some Iranian nuclear facilities. I'm no expert in geopolitics, but I'm guessing that's not a particularly friendly move. And America's supporting Israel - cue plenty of protests in front of US embassies. We even discover that an unconfirmed asset blew himself up - along with five CIA officers. So that'll set the tone for the season, then...
Saul is in Beirut, being a proper spy and stuff.
Check Saul out! No more being cooped up in boring old Langley for him. Instead, he's out in Beirut meeting contacts and being followed ("I think we've got company") and jumping into cars and hiding up against walls and talking about "open lines". And he's doing it all in a rather fetching hat, which sets off his beard very nicely indeed.
Brody is a congressman. At least, for now.
Now it's still very early in the season but given that he almost blew up a bunch of Very Important People just one episode ago, I don't think it's necessarily a good thing that Brody holds political office. Still, he's wormed his way into congress and even has a very nice-looking assistant called Betsy. Even worse is that the Vice-President is now planning to run for POTUS... and since he needs someone else on the ticket, Brody's in the picture. This seems like a very bad idea, especially since the VP is talking about how they need to "build some mutual trust" and Brody's excitedly saying: "Hell yeah." Hmm.
The titles are the same.
So you can still yell: "I'm just making sure we don't get hit again!" to your heart's content.
Dana is still as grumpy as ever.
Ah, that's a relief. Jessica and Chris are both super excited about Brody possibly running for vice-president (Chris has got 300 Facebook friend requests) so it's nice to see Dana being a massive buzzkill, wishing her dad "congratulations" in the most passive-aggressive way possible and mumbling about how she has no friends at her new school. Jessica thinks her attitude "sucks". I think it's probably befitting of someone who thought there was the slight possibility her dad was about to become a suicide bomber a while back. Hopefully, she'll turn detective.
There's the threat of another attack against America.
If we thought it was just Brody we had to worry about, then we might have been wrong. Because there's a mysterious woman in Beirut talking about a threat against America. Last time that kind of info was being dropped around, it almost ended very badly indeed. But this is Homeland, so who can we trust? This is probably one to keep an eye on (just a guess.) And helpfully, she refuses to talk to anyone except Carrie, who recruited her...
Carrie and Saul are still going strong.
Hurrah! Carrie and Saul might be miles apart but it's good to see their friendship is still as strong as ever, despite everything. Carrie might not be too thrilled at Saul calling her up on a mission of national security but she can't really say no to him, even if he is stopping her from making lasagne with the vegetables she picked from the garden (really). And when her sister sensibly suggests it might not be the best thing for recently hospitalised Carrie to go to the Middle East to meet a former asset, she says it'll be alright because: "Saul will be there to hold my hand." Everybody: awwww.
Estes and Carrie are unsurprisingly still not each other's best friends.
Now apart from what happened years ago (ahem), Estes and Carrie have never been too friendly. And it doesn't seem like that's going to change anytime soon, because when she hears that he wants to talk to her, her reply is: "Tell him to f**k off." With a little Saul magic, she does go and meet him, but make no mistake, she's not happy about it (apparently she particularly didn't like the "unceremonious and humiliating way" he kicked her out of the agency. Who would have guessed?) It's great fun to have wide-eyed hostile Carrie back. (The best bit? "Just so we're clear, this isn't you getting your job back..." "Just so we're clear, I haven't said yes yet.")
The ugly cry is back!
Okay. It's only kind of back. But when Carrie yells at Saul on the phone: "God, why are you doing this to me?" there's definitely the hint that an ugly cry could be just seconds away. And considering we're getting scrunched-up face less than 20 minutes into the season premiere, it's a fair guess that a proper full-blown tearfest is round the corner.
Homeland returns to Showtime on September 30. The show will air in the UK on Channel 4 and is expected to premiere in October.