At the end of Homeland's second season critics and fans were still on the fence as to whether the show could reclaim its season one glory or would simple fall into the category of shows we once loved. But the show's panel at the Television Critics Association press tour—and the reaction from said panel's audience—made us believe there's hope yet for the show.
First off, critics that had gotten the chance to see the first two episodes of the new season were effusive. HitFix's Alan Sepinwall remarked in his summary that he "liked" the episodes "a lot, particularly in how they deal with the aftermath of season 2." Meanwhile The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman said they were "refreshingly grounded, beautifully acted and sharply written."
But—light spoiler alert—what was missing from those two episodes that made us most excited for the new season. Despite the a whole lot of Brody in the teaser released yesterday, Damian Lewis' war hero-turned-terrorist does not show up in that first pair of outings. For Lewis fans and Carrie-Brody 'shippers that might be bad news, but it's heartening that the showrunners sacrificed the presence of their lead actor for storytelling purposes. "It’s about where the story was taking us," Alex Gansa said according to Ray Richmond at Deadline. Fellow showrunner Howard Gordon credited the lack of Brody to "timing and touch," per Sepinwall's report.