It's clear from reviews here and in the UK press that many have been disappointed by season 3 of Homeland, no doubt because of the conspicuous absence of Brody for several episodes. But I want to make the case for this season. To me, this was where Homeland grew up and showed real grit.
Season 1 with its simple proposition of "had-he-or-hadn't-he-been-turned?" and "is-he-or-isn't-he?" working for the other side was compelling but clearly had nowhere to go in terms of development. Season 2 lost its way completely. But season 3 rewarded the patient viewer with a brilliant twist and a multi-layered depth. It exposed a more nuanced web of relationships, the moral element of decision-making in the eternal ends-and-means dilemma and a mature understanding of the politics at play in a cruel world.
This was the season that made us realise that Homeland wasn't really about Brody at all; it was about Carrie. It was always about Carrie.