After a very eventful ending with the death of Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis; The Sweeney, Band of Brothers) in Homeland Season three, we see Season four of the Emmy Award winning show picking up in with Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes; Stardust, Romeo + Juliet) in the city of Kabul still working for the CIA, but leading a series of drone strikes against various terror organization.
Season four of Homeland takes it cues from today's headlines, delving into some of the political aspects and corruption that has now taken a hold in the Middle East. The season starts out with a bang, displaying the horrible collateral damage that can occur while trying to terminate terrorist cells operating in a country and the aftermath and consequences that can occur afterwards. Of course, the most memorable parts of the show are watching Claire Danes, as Carrie, weaving in and out of difficult situations; from trying to be the mother of a newborn, to her relationship with Saul and Quinn, to her handling of the crises she is presented with.
While most shows would struggle to find their center ground after losing a major character, Homeland does not seem to fall within this category. The central characters of Carrie Mathison, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin; The Princess Bride, Criminal Minds), and Peter Quinn (Rupert Friend; Hitman: Agent 47,The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) easily pick-up the slack and, I dare say, make the show more enjoyable without having a leading man for Carrie (alothough their is an argument that Quinn will now take on that role in her life.)
Although Homeland has basically reinvented itself with this season, one aspect that, unfortunately, is still part of the show, is the annoying jazz soundtrack so predominantly used in the background.
The transfer encoded in 1080p AVC is a mixed bag. During the daytime shots, the digital noise is not that apparent; however, at night, the digital noise is very apparent and is a bit distracting by taking the viewer out of the story. The colors are a bit muted at times, too; however, this could be a deliberate decision to complement the bleak story matter.
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is a bit muted at times. It provides a center channel dialog that sometimes gets lost in the background soundtrack. The special effects dominate the sound channels very well, and do provide a nice ambiance to the overall transfer. Overall, the audio gets the job done, but it's not one you would like to use to demonstrate the power of your home theater to your friends.
Unlike most of the latest Blu-ray releases, Fox 21 has decided to not include a digital copy of the series, leaving fans to double dip if they would like to also watch a digital version of this season. However, they did include a few extras on the Blu-ray release, including From Script to Screen, Character Profiles, and Deleted Scenes.
While Homeland Season four is a nice reinvention of the series, and in my opinion the strongest of the seasons, unfortunately, it's Blu-ray release just doesn't do it justice. Hopefully Season 5's home entertainment release will make-up for it in 2016.