If it’s been a while since you checked in on former CIA operative Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a lot has happened since she thought it would be a good idea to become intimately involved with a returned POW she suspected of being a terrorist. As the Showtime series comes to its new home at SBS for season seven, here’s a primer of the relevant story points you need to be across.
Carrie has always gone all in
From that time she had sex with Marine-turned-sometime terrorist Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) while her colleagues listened in to when she went off her bipolar meds to make her mind sharper, Carrie will do just about anything for a mission.
She hasn’t worked for the CIA for ages - but people are still trying to kill her
Following spells as CIA station chief in Istanbul and Afghanistan, Carrie opted for a career with less threat of being blown up. In theory. But while working as the head of security for the Düring Foundation, a philanthropic organisation based in Berlin, she survived two attempts on her life.
Then, back in the States, where she worked for a foundation that provided legal aid to Muslims accused of terrorism, she narrowly escaped two near-death experiences.
Her relationship with Saul is as complex as ever
Given her act first, ask questions later approach, Carrie’s professional relationships are often strained. And none more so than her relationship with mentor Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). As terrorist plots have come and gone, Saul and Carrie haven’t always seen eye to eye, with their approach to the job contrasting sharply – Carrie is impulsive and runs on instinct, Saul is much more considered.
Her home life hasn’t become any less complicated, either
Brody might be long dead, but his legacy remains in the form of his and Carrie’s daughter, Franny (Claire and McKenna Keane). Initially absent from Franny’s life, Carrie assumed maternal duties when she quit the CIA. But, in season six, Franny was removed from Carrie’s custody and placed in foster care following an incident at her New York apartment, where she’d left a PTSD-suffering Quinn (Rupert Friend) in charge.
Speaking of Quinn…
Despite their feelings for each other running deep, the just-as-committed operative and Carrie were never able to get it together, what with those constant near-death experiences (on both sides). Quinn’s indestructability failed him in the final moments of season six when he died saving Carrie, who was caught up in an assassination attempt on the president.
She was in with the newly inaugurated president, but now she’s on the outs
You’d think foiling a plot on the life of President Keane (Elizabeth Marvel) would’ve set Carrie up for some time. But even she was shut out when Keane decided to round up dozens of members of the intelligence community, including Saul, that she suspected were linked to the assassination attempt. In season seven, Carrie is intent on taking down POTUS.
Carrie isn’t the only one with Keane in their sights
He was one of the president's greatest critics last season, and in season seven, right-wing shock jock Brett O'Keefe (Jake Weber) is on the run, with a warrant out for his arrest after he published a story claiming the assassination attempt on Keane was a hoax. His crazy accent is still in place, however.
If there's one person Carrie can rely on, it's Max
Friends, colleagues and family members might have come and gone, but tech expert Max (Maury Sterling) is a constant presence in Carrie's life. Onboard with even her most out there schemes, he mostly flies under the radar, except for that time in season six when he came face-to-face with dodgy black ops supremo Dar Adal (F Murray Abraham).
The only person who can keep Carrie (relatively) honest is her sister, Maggie
Over the years, Carrie's psychiatrist sister has gone above and beyond to support her younger sister, while also keeping her somewhat accountable for her actions. When season seven begins, Carrie and Franny are living with Maggie (Amy Hargreaves) and her family in Washington DC.
Carrie will surely prevent her professional life from disrupting her sister's suburban tranquillity...
Homeland premieres Friday 16 February at 8:30pm on SBS.