The Drone Queen
The Drone Queen
Season 4, Episode 1
Written by: Alex Gansa
Directed by: Lesli Linka Glatter
Production number: 4WAH01
Running time: 49 minutes
Original airdate: October 5, 2014
Viewers: 1.61

The Drone Queen is the season premiere of Season 4 of Homeland.  It aired on October 5, 2014.


As CIA Chief of Station in Kabul, Carrie makes a critical decision when her counterpart in Islamabad delivers urgent intelligence on a high value target. Back in the States, Saul struggles to adjust to his new role in the private sector.

Episode guide

Carrie, now the CIA station chief in Afghanistan, receives intelligence from Pakistan station chief Sandy Bachman, giving her a farmhouse in Pakistan as the current location of Haissam Haqqani, a highly sought terrorist. Sandy refuses to name his source but stresses that it is the same one as the last four high-priority kills. Carrie authorizes the air strike, and it successfully destroys the farmhouse. Afterwards, her staff presents her with a birthday cake upon which she is proclaimed "The Drone Queen."

Reports emerge from Pakistan that Haqqani was attending a wedding when the air strike hit, resulting in the deaths of Haqqani along with 40 civilians. The US publicly denies the reports. Aayan Ibrahim, a student who was injured in the explosion, wakes up to find that his mother and sister were among those who perished.

Aayan realizes that he had been recording a video of the wedding party on his phone at the moment the missiles struck. Aayan declines to upload the video to YouTube despite the urging of his roommate Rahim. While Aayan sleeps, Rahim takes the phone and gets his cousin to upload the video, and it quickly goes viral. Carrie receives the news of the video from CIA Director Lockhart, who informs her that the President is furious and that the Pakistan Armed Forces are demanding an explanation. Carrie is dispatched to Islamabad to meet with Sandy and US Ambassador to Pakistan Martha Boyd. Aayan worries about the repercussions once the video is traced back to him.

Shortly before Carrie's arrival, Sandy leaves the embassy with no protection so he can meet with his secret source. When he gets to the door of the meeting place, he finds that his key no longer works.

Meanwhile, Peter Quinn, now working at the Pakistan station, picks up Carrie at the airport. While there, they discover that Sandy's name and picture have been leaked to the Pakistan press and are being shown on the television channels, revealing him as the man behind the airstrike. They inform Sandy and race to pick him up, but when Sandy gets into their van, an angry mob surrounds them and smashes the windows. They pull Sandy out and beat him to death. Quinn and Carrie are able to maneuver the van out of the mob and escape with their lives.


Main Cast

Supporting Cast

Background information

Season 4
#401 "The Drone Queen" #407 "Redux"
#402 "Trylon and Perisphere" #408 "Halfway to a Donut"
#403 "Shalwar Kameez" #409 "There's Something Else Going On"
#404 "Iron in the Fire" #410 "13 Hours in Islamabad"
#405 "About a Boy" #411 "Krieg Nicht Lieb"
#406 "From A to B and Back Again" #412 "Long Time Coming"