Are you watching? Homeland

Ex-CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) has finally been cast out into the intelligence agency wilderness in the new series of Homeland

INCREASINGLY ludicrous yet highly entertaining US spy drama serial Homeland is back on the telly for its seventh series.

A modicum of realism has been added to the latest series by the fact that brilliant yet mentally unstable ex-CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Clare Danes) has finally been cast out into the intelligence agency wilderness following her disastrous spell as advisor to the deceptively tricksy President Keane (Elizabeth Marvel).

The now unemployed/unemployable Carrie is sliding into a spiral of manic behaviour while living with her sister and family, as she desperately attempts to 'get the dirt' on Keane's shady White House Chief of Staff, David Wellington (Linus Roache) and halt Keane's draconian purge of US intelligence personnel.

Carrie's long-suffering confidente and veteran spook Saul Berensen (Mandy Pantinkin) was among those incarcerated in the wave of arrests which followed the unsuccessful assassination attempt/coup at the climax of the last series, while bafflingly accented TV agitator Brett O'Keefe (Jake Weber) is on the run and being harboured by the good God-fearing gun-toting folks he represents/exploits with each rabble-rousing broadcast: both men end up in unexpectedly strong positions of influence in this new season.

Homeland may not be the best US spy drama on TV – that would be The Americans, the final season of which starts later this month – but the long running terrorism-themed show has definitely turned a corner since making a timely shift towards examining 'the threat from within'.

Suspend your disbelief and enjoy.

:: Homeland, Thursdays on RTE2 at 10.10pm / Sundays on Channel 4 at 9pm, catch up now via RTE player and All4.

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