This week in the print edition of TIME, I review what was pretty easily my favorite new series of the fall, Showtime’s Homeland, starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis and debuting Sunday night. It’s subscription-required, as usual, so I can only steal so much from my employer to give to you here, but in brief: the drama is a psychological terrorism thriller, in which Lewis plays a recently liberated U.S. POW and Danes, the CIA investigator who has reason to believe that he has been “turned,” Manchurian Candidate–style, into an al Qaeda sleeper. The hitch is, we don’t know if she’s right, and her zeal may be influenced by (1) her drive to make up for having missed evidence before the 9/11 attack and (2) a psychiatric disorder that she’s hiding from the rest of her colleagues.
The result is an intense, subtly written cat-and-mouse game, but also one that has something implicitly to say (on a weekend with another hit on an al Qaeda leader) about where America is post–Bin Laden’s death:
the questions the series raises reflect a decade of post-[Jack]-Bauer change: Will this war ever end? Has 9/11 made us more vigilant and pragmatic? Or has it left us–like the principals in this absorbing, nuanced drama–damaged and maybe a little crazy?