To help you keep track of the show's twists and turns, here's a neat guide to the central characters in Homeland and the talented guys and gals who play them!
> Homeland tops Tube Talk's Top 25 Shows of 2011
Carrie Mathison - played by Claire Danes
The star - Shooting to fame with classic US teen drama My So-Called Life, Danes became a Hollywood staple with roles in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Stardust (2007). Her return to television in HBO's 2010 mini-series Temple Grandin won the actress further critical acclaim, as well as an Emmy and a Golden Globe.
The character - Suffering from bipolar disorder, CIA operative Mathison turns obsessive when she receives word that an American prisoner of war has been turned by terrorists. In her mind, the only possible suspect is Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) - but is Brody guilty or is Carrie chasing ghosts?
Nicholas Brody - played by Damian Lewis
The star - Best known to many for playing another US soldier - the heroic Major Richard Winters in HBO's Band of Brothers - Brit star Damian Lewis has won awards and a legion of fans for his performances in NBC drama Life and such films as 2003's Dreamcatcher and 2004's Keane (the role that won him the part of Brody).
The character - Rescued following eight years in captivity, marine and national hero Brody is tortured, emotionally fraught and estranged from his family - but is he also a terrorist? In a recent interview, Lewis told Digital Spy that his character is a "volatile man" - "He goes to both extremes emotionally," explained the actor. "Quiet and depressed, or anger and histrionic. You get a chance to play lots of different things. It's a great role."
Jessica Brody - played by Morena Baccarin
The star - Best known for her roles in sci-fi series Firefly and V, the glamorous Baccarin replaced Scottish actress Laura Fraser in the role of Brody's wife Jessica - producers decided to revamp the character after filming the initial pilot.
The character - With her husband presumed dead, Jessica entered into a relationship with Brody's best friend and fellow marine Mike (Diego Klattenhoff) and is stunned when her former beau re-enters her life. At the 2011 Comic-Con, Baccarin admitted that she had written letters in character - from Jessica to the missing Brody - in order to help her better understand the housewife's inner thought process.
David Estes - played by David Harewood
The star - A respected British thesp and recently appointed MBE, David Harewood won a role in Homeland after wowing UK audiences in the likes of The Vice and Criminal Justice. He also appeared opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou in 2006 film Blood Diamond.
The character - The ambitious deputy director of the CIA, David Estes once had a brief fling with Carrie and has regretted it ever since. Harewood told Digital Spy that he is keen to explore his character's dark side - "Homeland shows the collateral damage that the CIA has on your personal life... so I think it would be interesting to show the darker side of his personality."
Saul Berenson - played by Mandy Patinkin
The star - Still fondly remembered as The Princess Bride's Inigo Montoya ("You killed my father - prepare to die!"), in recent years Mandy Patinkin has cornered the market in wise but grouchy authority figures. Before Homeland, he played genius profiler Jason Gideon on Criminal Minds.
The character - Saul Berenson recruited Carrie into the CIA and serves as her confidante and mentor. But he has problems of his own, as his work leaves him estranged from his wife Mira (Sarita Choudhury). "He lives for his work and he lives for [Carrie]," said Patinkin. "That is his identity."
Virgil - played by David Marciano
The star - Marciano played brash Chicago cop Ray Vecchio on Due South from 1994-1996 and later joined the cast of FX's gritty cop drama The Shield between 2005 and 2008 as the slimy Steve Billings.
The character - Carrie's loyal friend Virgil, who covertly assists her with the Brody investigation, appears in seven of Homeland's initial 12 episodes, but Marciano has since been promoted to a series regular - expect to see a lot more of Virgil (and possibly learn his elusive last name) in season two!
Homeland begins on Sunday, February 19 at 9.30pm on Channel 4.