In what is hardly a surprise, it’s been confirmed that Homeland Season 8 will be the final year of espionage with Carrie, Saul, and the whole CIA gang. Showtime president David Nevins confirmed it again at TCA, saying this was executive producer Alex Gansa and Claire Danes’ call, who said they definitely wanted season 8 to be the end after Nevins asked “are you sure?”
This was expected, as Claire Danes confirmed in spring 2018 the long rumored end with Homeland Season 8. While the series has been on a creative upswing in the last few years, it was the show’s star herself, Claire Danes, who confirmed that the series will see its final twist in season 8 during an interview with Howard Stern. “Yeah that’s it,” Danes said when Stern asked if 2019 is really to be the final stand for the trials and tribulations of Carrie Mathison, the woman who has given up everything for country despite her bipolar disorder.
During the last season of Homeland, Claire Danes’s Carrie Mathison went from chasing terrorists to pursuing Russian spies who were hoping to destabilize the U.S. government. She might have prevented their worst agenda, but if you’ve seen the most recent season 7 finale, it came at a high cost–like the seeming sanity of Carrie, who was left to rot in an unmedicated bipolar hell by her Russian jailors. So what could be next?
“It will be a breathless, surprising, and moving ride to its conclusion.” said Gary Levine, Showtime’s Programming President at Winter TCA 2019.
Homeland Season 8 Release Date
Homeland used to pretty consistently arrive in the fall, but its last two seasons have arrived in January and February. At Winter TCA 2019, Showtime confirmed that Homeland season 8 will be pushed into the fall.
“We previously announced a June premiere but because of production demands of our international locations, we’re moving the final season premiere back to the fall,” said Gary Levine, co-president of entertainment at Showtime.
Homeland Season 8 Cast
Sam Trammell (The Order, True Blood) is set to recur in the eighth season of Homeland, reports THR. He will play Vice President Benjamin Hayes, described as “a political survivor with an aptitude for optics who crosses the aisle to serve alongside the series’ new president [the former vice president] played by Beau Bridges. Bridges’ character believes tapping Hayes is an innocuous choice, one that could help heal the partisan divide, but the politico proves to be more dangerous than anticipated.” The actor is, of course, best known for his series-spanning role on HBO’s 2008-2014 series, True Blood, as shapeshifter/bar-owner Sam Merlotte.
Our first casting news for Homeland Season 8 revealed some familiar faces returning for season 8. As revealed via Deadline, Nimrat Kaur and Numan Acar are reprising their pivotal roles that had taken center stage during season 4, the year Carrie went to Pakistan. The two previously played Tasneem Qureshi and Haissam Haqqani, resptively. The former is a member of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence who had infiltrated the American embassy by turning the ambassador’s feckless husband into an asset. The latter was a Taliban leader who, with information from Qureshi, staged a violent attack on the embassy.
Hugh Dancy (Hannibal, The Big C) has meanwhile been cast as John Zabel, a D.C. beltway insider who is part of a new White House administration. There he is a foreign policy advisor for the president and a foe for political power against Mandy Patinkin’s Saul Berenson. It is unclear if Saul is still an advisor or might be directly back at the CIA, or even if this is still part of Beau Bridges’ President Ralph Warner administration.
Homeland Season 8 Plot Details
While it is obviously very early regarding the direction of Homeland Seaosn 8, as it is the intended ending, showrunner Alex Gansa has nonetheless been teasing some major details. For starters, it will not be set in the actual homeland. While the series returned to U.S. shores for the past two seasons, Gansa told EW in April that the last hurrah will be set in Europe.
“[Season 7 arranges] all the pieces on the chessboard to make that a proper finale for the story we’ve been telling,” Gansa said. “We get to play this last season in D.C with the intention of taking us overseas for one last chapter. Season 8 will be overseas somewhere. We get to play a story with larger national stakes in season 7 and we’ll go back to a smaller intelligence-based season in 8.”
This is even more eyebrow-raising given where season 7 ended. With Carrie Mathison being given a slow tortuous descent into mental illness by a belligerent government ended the season unable to even recognize Saul Berenson’s face, the mentor she has known most of her life. In this context, it is hard to imagine her being in a condition to be back in the field… yet she will.
Indeed, TVLine revealed an exclusive in January 2019 that Homeland Season 8 will take place in Afghanistan. If you don’t recall, Afghanistan is where Carrie came to great success in Season 4 as the “drone queen,” a title she came to revile. It was previously hinted the series would film in Israel, but according to TVLine, it is now slated to film in Morroco. For a contained story, it’s interesting to see Carrie return to the Middle East, which is where it all began for her, albeit in Iraq then.