10 things to know about 'Homeland' this season

 Claire Danes won a second consecutive Emmy for best actress in a drama series for her role as Carrie Mathison on "Homeland."

Story highlights

  • Showtime's "Homeland" returns for third season on Sunday
  • Brody has disappeared and the CIA is in trouble after last season's bombing
  • Previous seasons show that no character is safe from getting killed off
The second season of the Showtime hit "Homeland" ended with an explosive finale that left the CIA headquarters in shambles and a former war hero on the run, suspected of setting a bomb that killed 219 innocent people.
The third season, which premieres Sunday, begins 58 days where season two left off. At the Washington premiere of the new season, the cast told CNN what to expect when "Homeland" returns.
With that in mind, here are 10 things you need to know about what's coming up on the Emmy-winning drama:
1. Brody is missing.
In the two episodes provided to critics, former military hero Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) is nowhere to be found. Now that he's a wanted terrorist -- whose videotaped confession from season one is public -- nobody knows where he is. The show's trailers reveal he's in hiding overseas, but how soon he shows up is anyone's guess.
2. The bomber of the CIA is revealed.
The last season left viewers wondering if Brody was responsible for the bombing, but the true culprit (or culprits) will be revealed sooner rather than later. Jackson Pace, who portrays Brody's son, Chris, said we find out who set up the bombing and if Brody is culpable "relatively early in the season."
3. The CIA is in a mess of trouble.
After missing all the signs of Brody's continued ties to terrorism and the plot to bomb the memorial service of the vice president, the CIA faces the consequences of another massive intelligence failure. Claire Danes, who plays intelligence expert Carrie Mathison, put it this way: "The CIA is in a very precarious position, is being held on trial and may not survive."
4. Brody's family is left to deal with the consequences.
With her husband a wanted terrorist, Jessica (Morena Baccarin) is struggling to raise her two children under intense media scrutiny with the assistance of her mother after the military has turned its back on the family.
5. Dana is in a very dark place.
Brody's daughter, Dana (Morgan Saylor), starts out the season in a really bad psychological place. "Her father was one of her closest allies and his bombing, as it's known ... has really put her in a bad place," Saylor said. In fact, we learn early on that Dana recently attempted to kill herself.
6. Saul's loyalties are put to the test.
In the aftermath of the bombing, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) is in charge of the CIA. His loyalty to long-term protégé Carrie will again be put to the test as he tries to clean up the department's mistakes while seeking to protect the woman he's often clashed with in the past.
7. Carrie and Mrs. Brody will interact more.
"We have a lot of really great scenes together this season," Baccarin said about her work with Danes. In the earlier seasons, the two -- who have fought over the heart and loyalty of Nicholas Brody -- have only appeared together onscreen a few times, but expect more fireworks when they reunite.
8. The investigation into the bombing will play a major role.
A Senate investigation is under way into the terrorist bombing. Both Saul and Carrie are asked to testify at heated hearings, where questions about Brody and his alliances with the CIA take center stage.
9. Everyone is at risk.
In the season two finale, several main characters were killed off, showing that anyone could die at any moment. In fact, there were plans to kill off Brody, both in the first and second seasons. When asked how he makes the writers keep him alive, Lewis laughingly responded, "I have something on each of them." But no one knows how long those secrets can keep him -- or any of the other characters on the show -- alive.
10. Despite it all, the cast is hopeful about the future.
Members of the cast sounded optimistic when asked what they would like to see happen to their characters. "It would be amazing if the Brody family found a way to reconcile," Baccarin said. Danes said that if she could decide, her character "would live happily ever after."
But as the show's fans know, that seldom happens on "Homeland."