Sunday night is always an odd one. You sit there dreading the return of Monday filled with work, school or some other unpleasantness, trying to blot out the upcoming week with pleasant, gentle Sunday evening TV that – ideally – should prepare you for the Monday blues with tea, period costumes and crumpets. However, if you prefer your Sunday nights to be jam-packed full of paranoia, sex and clandestine activity instead then we have some great news: Homeland is back!

After the explosive ending of last series, you had to wonder where Homeland was going. The answer is a surprising one: presently, it seems the producers have decided to fill scene after scene after scene with people talking in rooms. It’s been two months since said explosive ending and none of the characters’ lives have improved. In fact the opposite has happened: the life of every character has got worse. It makes the Monday blues look almost enjoyable in comparison – even if your boss is a nightmare and you get paid in chips.

Poor Carrie suffers the most. As usual, she’s decided to medicate her bipolar disorder with a heady combination of tequila and risky (in more ways than one) sex with strangers on the stairs, which can’t be terribly comfortable. At the same time, someone in the CIA is trying to blame the whole Brody situation on her. Talking of the CIA, that bunch of idiots is basically up the creek without a paddle and their hands tied behind their back. Saul is now in charge but is hardly enjoying it. His great droopy bearded face seems even more droopy than ever. Clearly carrying the whole of the CIA by himself isn’t good for your wrinkles. He couldn’t even raise a smile as his colleagues celebrated killing characters from the Wizard of Oz. Seriously how do the actors keep a straight face when they have to shout out dialogue like “Cowardly Lion is down”?

A close runner-up for the ‘suffering hardest’ award is Brody’s family. They are now considered terrorists while Dana – the show’s breakout character – has been in therapy due to a suicide attempt. While there, she claimed a goth-style boyfriend who just looks like a big, black-clad sack of trouble. Seriously aren’t kids taught about dating these kind of people? Another sign of just how bad the American education system is.

Interestingly Brody is not seen beyond the “previously on Homeland” sequence at the start of the episode. Hopefully he’s off enjoying a spa break as you’ve got to assume that the next twelve weeks are hardly going to be a relaxing walk in the park followed by some nice French cheese and a glass or two of posh wine.

That is how we like it though: Homeland is at its best when the characters suffer like a Lego man being chewed by a five-year old.

Mole of the Week Award – The mole is back people, the mole is back. The loosest plot thread of the first two series returns with two whole mentions. Let’s start the guessing game as to who the mole actually is in the comments.