Crack CIA agent Carrie Mathison plays by her own rules when it comes to protecting the US from terrorist attacks. Her uncanny intuition, dogged determination, and gift for persuasion have helped her convert allies, thwart plots, and take out terrorists, often using controversial methods that are uniquely her own. But Carrie's particular mix of traits also includes bipolar disorder, for which she must take daily medication in order to function. Her unusual sensitivities make it difficult for her to maintain the line between her personal and professional lives. She readily tries to get emotionally close to her targets and is not even above using sex to get what she wants, but the results often wreak havoc on her personally.
Saul is Carrie's long-time, no-nonsense mentor and he loves her like a daughter, even though it isn't always easy. His unorthodox style and high-risk, old school maneuvers have both succeeded and failed spectacularly, often with Carrie's help. Saul is a career man who is married to his job, which doesn't leave him much time for a personal life.
Carrie's go-to guy when it comes to surveillance, Max is a private consultant with a long history of helping her out of scrapes. Max may be socially awkward and shy, but he is one of Carrie's most trusted associates.
Carrie's long-suffering sister Maggie is Carrie's rock – the shoulder she cries on, the perennial helping hand, the place she turns when she has nowhere else to go. Maggie is also a psychiatrist who helps keep Carrie in the drugs she needs to control her bipolar disorder.
CIA operative Peter Quinn is a self-proclaimed "guy who kills bad guys" within the agency. But despite his job description, he has a conscience. He has been working both for and against Carrie at various times in his career, but neither position has dampened the feelings he has for her.
An old school CIA agent and contemporary of Saul's, Dar Adal always takes the long view and likes to play both sides of the fence. He is a typical Agency career man -- no one can trust him for anything.
The mastermind of an attack on the American Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan that killed 36 Americans, Haqqani is now the head of the Taliban. If Saul wants an Afghan peace deal, the only way forward is through this dangerous rival.
Tasneem is the head of the Pakistani intelligence agency and a member of the country's political elite. Her interest in the Afghan peace deal proves pivotal for Saul.
A bright American journalist who works for the same organization as Carrie in Berlin, Laura ends up on the receiving end of some highly classified leaked information that has the potential to devastate U.S.-German relations, and deeply affect Carrie personally as well.
Charming German Billionaire Otto Düring is a philanthropist who uses the money his family made through affiliation with the Nazis to help struggling people around the world, including in volatile regions of the Middle East. He hires Carrie Mathison to be his head of security in Berlin.
Elizabeth Keane was recently elected President of the United States. A former senator from New York and a native Manhattanite, Keane is direct, to the point, and not without charm. She had a son who died in combat in Iraq, and this, combined with a lack of foreign policy experience, gives the CIA plenty to worry about.
Elizabeth Keane's chief of staff, close advisor and old friend has his hands full with the newly elected president. He tries to keep her on the straight and narrow but it's a difficult job, and his loyalty to her runs deep.
O'Keefe is a popular conservative pundit and talk show host who is Keane's nemesis. He hates her with a passion and is convinced she is a danger to the country. He will stop at nothing to bring her down.
Yevgeny is a powerful Russian intelligence officer who engineered the downfall of U.S. President Keane and oversaw Carrie's capture, captivity and interrogation in Russia. Seems like he's not finished with her just yet.
Dante Allen is an FBI agent who has known and worked with Carrie for years. They team up in an effort to uncover some ugly truths about the Keane administration.