Fall TV Preview: Homeland Brings Claire Danes Back to TV...and That's Not Even the Best Part

Damien Lewis and Claire Danes deliver masterful performances to mess with your mind in Showtime's scary terrorist thriller

By Kristin Dos Santos, Drusilla Moorhouse Sep 12, 2011 5:10 PMTags
Claire Danes, HomelandKent Smith/SHOWTIME

Homeland is so chilling, you should probably buy a special Snuggie just to watch it. (They sell them in camouflage if you want to be theme appropriate.) Oh, and maybe some psych meds. That'd be appropriate too.

In one of fall's most promising—and spine-tingling—new dramas, Showtime's Homeland unites Band of Brothers and Life star Damien Lewis with Claire Danes.

Yeah, you heard us: Damien freaking Lewis and Claires freaking Danes. 

Is this show as crazy good as it already sounds?

The answer:

And how. Here's the skinny...

Homeland (Showtime)
Premieres: Sunday, Oct. 2, 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: CSI: Miami (CBS), Pan Am (ABC), Sunday Night Football (NBC)
Cast: Damian Lewis, Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Morena Baccarin

Status: We've seen the pilot episode.

Even a decade after 9/11, it is shocking to see an American soldier (especially Lewis!) portrayed as a possible Al-Qaeda terrorist. It's unthinkable—to everyone but neurotic CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Danes), who suspects just-released Marine POW hero Nicholas Brody (Lewis) of being "turned" by his captors after years of torture.

It's almost a relief when we find out, during her unauthorized surveillance of the sergeant's home, that Carrie is taking an antipsychotic medication prescribed for something she's been "dealing with" since her early 20s. Her mental illness is driving her frenzied obsession; her suspicions surrounding the soldier's unexplained freedom are completely unfounded. In fact, her boss and ally, CIA Division Chief Saul Berenson (the perfectly cast Patinkin), is so appalled by her unauthorized—and thus, criminal—surveillance of Brody that he intends to turn her into the authorities.

That is, until a peculiar discovery by Carrie changes his mind. And our own minds are blown when flashbacks fully reveal to us the sergeant's involvement in a horrifying incident during his captivity. But is his deception due to Stockholm syndrome or a much darker intent?

"Time will tell whether I am [bad] or I'm not," Lewis told us. "It's a cat and mouse [game]—this is a show where everybody lies to everybody."

That includes Brody's wife, Jessica (Baccarin), who became romantically involved with his friend and fellow Marine Mike Faber (Klattenhoff) after presuming her husband dead. (He was MIA for eight years.) In fact, the two were about to reveal their relationship to her and Nick's two teenage children when she discovers her husband is alive. Jessica is clearly torn between her loyalty to Nick and her love for Mike, but Nick's true feelings about his wife—and her betrayal—remain a mystery. A very scary mystery.

Verdict: Watch. By the end of the pilot, you'll be dying to see what happens next, and where Lewis' loyalties really lie.


Fall TV Preview 2011: Homeland