Grantland’s Andy Greenwald on the Start of Homeland Season 3

> Sunday’s premiere, titled “Tin Man Is Down,” is a strident and occasionally clumsy hour of exposition intended to help viewers adjust to the new normal. Much of that exposition is offloaded, in great gulping bits of speechifying, to new cast member Tracy Letts — an actor better known as a brilliant playwright — as a scheming senator aiming to railroad Carrie and, perhaps, shut down the CIA entirely. Saul is now the acting head of the Agency, with Abraham’s slippery Dar Adal by his side. This change has the benefit of putting Patinkin in a more important role, but it also places Saul’s love of country ahead of his more fatherly devotion to Carrie. There’s a wonderful echo of John le Carré in the shared history of Saul and the season’s new adversary, an Iranian nicknamed “The Magician”; Rupert Friend’s Peter Quinn remains a compelling, complicated spook. And though the racial politics of her entrance is botched, I quite liked the introduction of a Persian American CIA officer named Fara, played by Nazanin Boniadi.

Greenwald’s article completely nails what is great and what is wrong with Homeland. His description of the first few episodes of Season 3 make me think we will never get back the show we had at the start of Season 1, but that the ride Season 3 takes us on will still be worth watching.