Ah, Homeland, our dearest of occasionally disappointing TV dramas. The dark days seem so far removed, back when we were debating Carrie's Big Important Decision and the functionality of BlackBerrys. And we've still got a while to wait before we dive back in to the nutty world of the CIA, but now at least we have a start date: September 29. And thanks to a Showtime press release that came out late Tuesday afternoon, we also have a glimpse of the plot, and the faintest of faint hope that somehow this bonkers show will redeem itself. 

There isn't much detail obviously: 

Season 3 opens during the aftermath of the horrific terror attack that decimated the U.S. intelligence apparatus, and prompted a global manhunt for the world’s most wanted terrorist – Nick Brody (Damian Lewis).  As Carrie (Claire Danes) and Saul (Mandy Patinkin) begin to pick up the pieces of their shattered professional and personal lives, they are swept up in the political and media firestorm surrounding the terror attack and the subsequent search for Brody’s whereabouts. 

So our initial reaction was to groan. What is this, Homeland: The Hunt for Nicholas Brody? Did the show-runners take a few too many cues from the Christopher Dorner thing? Basically we're back to the show's original question from season one—who is Brody?—except now Carrie has to prove that Brody is innocent. Or does she? It's all a little over-the-top, potentially. However, there may remain, beyond any assumptions that said "global manhunt" would consume all of season three, reasons to get all excited again:

  • The manhunt thing is only how the new season opens, and one thing we know about Homeland is that it moves very quickly.
  • If Brody's off traipsing around the world as a wanted criminal, that could mean a lot more Saul, who is dealing with Carrie back at home. And we could all use a lot more Saul.
  • We could also get a little less Brody. Even though the show's second season has been done for a while, we could all kind of use a break from his ferocious crazy-facing. It's stressful on a Sunday night, and we have been preparing for Nicholas Brody Takes a Vacation
  • Showtime's release notes that "the series also stars Morena Baccarin, Rupert Friend, Jackson Pace and Morgan Saylor." Okay, so yes, Dana Brody (Saylor) will be back in all her moody glory. But also more Rupert Friend, meaning more Quinn! That means there's hope for those Carrie/Quinn 'shippers and possibly a new broody, ethically ambiguous male to take Brody's place. 
  • The show was wide-open at the end of last season. Here's hoping they take it in a (completely?) new direction and recapture the tightness of season one. 

So, yeah, Homeland has been kind of bad to us all, but we're ready to welcome it back. We think.