Homeland Premiere: EP Talks Carrie's Shocking Storyline That Sets Up Final Season
Major spoilers below for everyone who hasn't yet seen the Season 8 premiere of Showtime's Homeland. You have been warned.
Homeland fans endured a massive hiatus between Season 7 (which wrapped up in April 2018) and Season 8, which marks the Showtime drama's final installments. The last time we saw Claire Danes' Carrie Mathison, she was a fragile husk of her former self, having spent 7 months in medication-free captivity. As Season 8 kicks off, Carrie is unsurprisingly attempting to get reinstated back at the CIA, but an unforeseen hiccup stands in her way: Carrie was possibly compromised while in Yevgeny Gromov's custody.
The ramifications of such a reveal are widespread if proven to be true, not only for all government agencies showcased within Homeland, but also for Carrie herself. She is not a character who takes self-doubt lightly, especially in the face of her occupational pride. Speaking with CinemaBlend at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, Homeland executive producer and premiere director Lesli Linka Glatter talked about taking Claire Danes' beloved character to such a dark place.
Homeland totally turned Carrie's world upside-down and back around in the season premiere. She was finally regaining ground both physically and mentally when David Hunt's Jim Turro clued her in on her questionable polygraph test, doing little to hide his suspicions that Carrie conspired with Yevgeny in some way, wittingly or otherwise. (The fact that he spread those suspicions to others was a low-blow by any stretch.) To be expected, Carrie was thrown, and with derisive anger taking center stage.
To make matters more complicated, Saul immediately found himself in a situation where only someone with Carrie's skills can make magic happen, so she got sent back into the field perhaps before she should have been, where she learned she may have given up the name of a confidant, Roshan, while a prisoner. And in speaking with EP Lesli Linka Glatter, I brought up how the field is everything for the character, because without the government and her career, Carrie is something of a ghost of herself. Here's how Glatter responded:
Perhaps unexpectedly, Homeland's creative team is calling back to the show's first seasons by drawing distinct parallels between Carrie's situation and the initial arc for Damien Lewis' Nicholas Brody, whose loyalty was questioned (for far too long before the show moved on). You just know that's bouncing around in Carrie's head as all this is going down, too.
During the Homeland panel at the TCA press tour, co-creator Alex Gansa talked about the Carrie and Brody connection being a major force of the final season, saying:
Claire Danes herself also talked during the TCA panel about the final season kicking Carrie's story off in such a Brody-centric place.
The main political story at the center of Season 8 brings familiar faces back into the Homeland fold – as well as some new ones – and there's a lot to pull apart on that level. But the show's longtime fans can take comfort in knowing the drama's focus will keep things as character-based as ever in closing things out for good.
Speaking to prioritizing Carrie and Saul's story during the final stretch, Lesli Linka Glatter told me this:
Carrie and Saul may go down as one of TV's most complicated and rewarding relationships, especially for a pair of characters that never exploited any romantic tensions. Let's just hope both of them survive the rest of the season and are able to find a semblance of happiness in doing so, which won't be easy if Carrie get pegged as some kind of traitor.
One of several awesome shows kicking 2020 TV off in style, Homeland's final season airs Sunday nights on Showtime at 10:00 p.m. ET.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.