Homeland
Season 8
Poster art
Starring
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes12
Release
Original networkShowtime
Original releaseFebruary 9 (2020-02-09) –
April 26, 2020 (2020-04-26)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 7
List of episodes

The eighth and final season of the American spy thriller television drama series Homeland premiered on February 9, 2020, and concluded on April 26, 2020, on Showtime, consisting of 12 episodes.[1][2][3]

Plot

Saul Berenson, the National Security Advisor for newly inaugurated President Ralph Warner, is assigned to negotiate peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Carrie Mathison is still struggling to recover from her brutal treatment as a prisoner in Russia, but Saul wants to take her to Afghanistan, feeling her knowledge and experience there are essential.[4]

Cast and characters

Main article: List of Homeland characters

Main

Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin (left to right) portray lead roles Carrie Mathison and Saul Berenson, respectively.
Maury Sterling, Nimrat Kaur and Numan Acar (left to right) portray Max Piotrowski, Tasneem Qureishi and Haissam Haqqani, respectively.

Recurring

Guest

Kamasi Washington makes a special appearance in the series finale.

Episodes

See also: List of Homeland episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
851"Deception Indicated"Lesli Linka GlatterDebora Cahn & Alex GansaFebruary 9, 2020 (2020-02-09)8WAH010.60[7]
Following her release from captivity in Russia, Carrie recovers at a hospital in Germany. Her poor performance on a polygraph test stirs concern among CIA officials that she may have betrayed her country during her months in captivity, most of which she cannot remember. Saul leads the U.S. effort to end the war in Afghanistan, but negotiations collapse when Vice President Abdul Qadir G'ulom refuses the proposed terms. Saul recruits Carrie to join him in Kabul to help salvage peace talks. Carrie learns that one of her former assets was executed by the Taliban on treason charges, and begins to worry about what she may have revealed during her captivity. Her concerns are exacerbated when Kabul station chief Mike Dunne confirms that Russia shares information with the Taliban. The next day, on her way to meet G'ulom, Carrie sees Yevgeny Gromov leave G'ulom's office.
862"Catch and Release"Lesli Linka GlatterPatrick Harbinson & Chip JohannessenFebruary 16, 2020 (2020-02-16)8WAH020.68[8]
Carrie receives an anonymous tip regarding Samira Noori, an activist against G'ulom's regime whose husband died in a car bombing likely intended for her. Carrie searches Samira's apartment and finds evidence Samira collected on G'ulom's embezzlement of military funds. She uses this to leverage G'ulom to reverse his stance and release 1,000 Taliban prisoners per the peace deal. Carrie is later met by Yevgeny, who reveals himself as the source of the anonymous tip. Max intercepts Taliban communications, which capture now-leader Haissam Haqqani expressing his interest in ending the war; Saul sees an opportunity to negotiate with Haqqani. Tasneem Qureishi, now the head of the ISI, resolves to disrupt Saul's negotiations. During Saul's planned meeting with Haqqani in Peshawar, the ISI ambush Haqqani's convoy. Saul is captured and brought to Haqqani.
873"False Friends"Keith GordonAlex Gansa & Howard GordonFebruary 23, 2020 (2020-02-23)8WAH030.71[9]
Saul convinces Haqqani that the ISI was responsible for the ambush on his convoy, determining that a traitor in Haqqani's camp must have leaked information about the meeting. Haqqani learns that his last living son, Jalal, betrayed him to Tasneem over his opposition to the peace talks. Haqqani exiles Jalal from the family, and agrees to the terms of the peace deal during a meeting with Saul. Jalal is later picked up by Tasneem. Carrie agrees to a meeting with Yevgeny, which her CIA superiors at the Kabul station use to test her allegiance. However, Yevgeny meets Carrie outside the CIA's listening range and reveals his knowledge that Carrie once considered drowning her child. Carrie later lies to Mike that she believes Yevgeny can be recruited as a CIA asset.
884"Chalk One Up"Seith MannPatrick Harbinson & Chip JohannessenMarch 1, 2020 (2020-03-01)8WAH040.73[10]
President Warner arrives in Kabul, heeding Carrie's advice on announcing the end of the war in person. He departs to make the announcement alongside Afghan President Daoud at Combat Outpost Steedley, where Max is stationed. Meanwhile, Carrie and her team save Samira Noori from being kidnapped by her Taliban brother-in-law, who seeks to forcibly marry her after her husband's death. On its way back from the military outpost, the helicopter carrying Warner and Daoud disappears off the CIA's radar; its wreckage is discovered in a forest by those in an escort helicopter, who spot Taliban soldiers in the area and open fire. In response, the Taliban shoots down the escort helicopter with an RPG blast.
895"Chalk Two Down"Alex GravesPatrick Harbinson & Chip JohannessenMarch 8, 2020 (2020-03-08)8WAH050.82[11]
Troops from Combat Outpost Steedley arrive at the site of the helicopter crash and confirm that Presidents Warner and Daoud have both been killed. General G'ulom inherits the Afghan presidency and unilaterally declares martial law until Haqqani – who he blames for the presidents' death – is apprehended. Saul warns Haqqani, who is unable to flee Kabul. Carrie learns that Warner's helicopter was switched at the last minute, but soon determines that it was a routine swap, leading her to speculate that the crash may have been an accident. A Taliban squadron storms the crash site and outnumbers the U.S. troops; acting U.S. President Benjamin Hayes orders the site bombed on Wellington's recommendation. Carrie urges Max to retrieve the helicopter's flight recorder for evidence as to the cause of the crash; Max succeeds, but the rest of his squad is killed by the Taliban soldiers, leaving him cornered.
906"Two Minutes"Tucker GatesDebora CahnMarch 15, 2020 (2020-03-15)8WAH060.71[12]
Max is captured and held prisoner by a Taliban soldier, who sells off the contents of Max's backpack including the flight recorder from Warner's helicopter. Carrie asks Yevgeny to use his Taliban connections to help locate Max, and discreetly suspends the CIA's surveillance of the region to allow Yevgeny to call his contacts. President G'ulom threatens to execute 300 Taliban prisoners if Haqqani does not surrender, and manipulates the inexperienced President Hayes into sympathizing with his strongman tactics. Haqqani decides to surrender to the U.S. in hopes of a fair trial. Mike informs Saul that he salvaged a recording of Carrie's earlier conversation with Yevgeny, which proves that she lied about the nature of her relationship with him. Saul confronts Carrie and has her sent back to Germany, but Carrie promptly leaves the plane and gets picked up by Yevgeny.
917"Fucker Shot Me"Lesli Linka GlatterPatrick Harbinson & Chip JohannessenMarch 22, 2020 (2020-03-22)8WAH071.09[13]
Carrie and Yevgeny find Max, who discloses the flight recorder's whereabouts to Carrie before being taken to a different compound. Carrie and Yevgeny follow the Taliban to the second compound; Carrie calls Mike to request a special ops team to extract Max, but decides to go in herself when they fail to arrive. She spots Jalal Haqqani forcing Max into a prisoner uniform before Yevgeny stops her from intervening. With the senior Haqqani's trial approaching, Saul convinces Tasneem to help him prove Haqqani's innocence. The two request the presiding judge on the case to grant a continuation, but the judges are swapped on the day of the trial, during which Haqqani is immediately found guilty and sentenced to death.
928"Threnody(s)"Michael KlickPatrick Harbinson & Chip JohannessenMarch 29, 2020 (2020-03-29)8WAH080.75[14]
Jalal threatens to execute Max unless Haqqani's death sentence is revoked. Hayes requests a stay of execution from G'ulom until Max is rescued, but John Zabel, Hayes' brash new foreign policy advisor, convinces Hayes to reverse course. Haqqani is ultimately executed by a firing squad. Upon receiving word of his father's death, Jalal executes Max. He returns to Kabul and assumes command of the Taliban, making a speech where he falsely claims responsibility for shooting down both American helicopters. Zabel obtains a video of Jalal's speech and uses it to persuade Hayes into threatening war on Pakistan unless they turn Jalal over to the U.S. Saul arrives with a team to retrieve Max's body; Carrie informs Saul that she has the flight recorder's location, which may help ascertain the true cause of the helicopter crash. Carrie is placed under arrest by the CIA team, but she retreats with Yevgeny.
939"In Full Flight"Dan AttiasAlex Gansa & Howard GordonApril 5, 2020 (2020-04-05)8WAH090.81[15]
Pakistan begins moving its mobile nuclear arsenal towards the Afghan border in response to the United States' threats. Tasneem attempts to convince Jalal to go into hiding, but Jalal, empowered by the bolstered ranks of the Taliban, refuses. Tasneem decides that the ISI's best course of action is to protect Jalal. Carrie and Yevgeny search bazaars in Kohat looking for the flight recorder, while evading a CIA search team. Carrie dupes her young coworker Jenna Bragg into giving her the location of the team's safehouse and has Yevgeny direct the local police to apprehend them, giving her time to find the flight recorder. Carrie tracks down the broker in possession of the recorder and buys it from him; Yevgeny arrives, and the two listen to the contents, which confirm that the presidents' helicopter crashed due to mechanical failure. Yevgeny sedates Carrie and has his men confiscate the flight recorder.
9410"Designated Driver"Michael OfferPatrick Harbinson & Chip JohannessenApril 12, 2020 (2020-04-12)8WAH100.89[16]
Carrie calls Saul to report that the helicopter crash resulted from a mechanical failure, and that the Russians are now in possession of the flight recorder. Saul reaches out to his contacts in Russia, but realizes that they have no interest in trading the item. Carrie is brought to meet Yevgeny, who offers her the flight recorder in exchange for the identity of Saul's deeply-embedded agent in the Kremlin. Carrie then turns herself in at the CIA's Kabul station, where she is arrested and put on a plane back to the U.S. Hoping to de-escalate the rising political tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan, Wellington negotiates the release of the special ops team in Kohat. However, Jalal forces one of his men to carry out a suicide bombing at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border where the soldiers' release is taking place.
9511"The English Teacher"Michael CuestaPatrick Harbinson & Chip JohannessenApril 19, 2020 (2020-04-19)8WAH110.96[17]
Back in Washington, Carrie faces nearly a dozen federal charges, but Saul has her released into his custody. Searching for Saul's Russian asset, Carrie tracks down Andrei Kuznetsov, a man Saul had exfiltrated from East Berlin in 1987. Kuznetsov informs her that Saul used red leather books to communicate with him. Flashbacks reveal that Saul's asset is Anna Pomerantseva, a former English teacher who volunteered to turn against the Kremlin after her entire class was executed because their classmate, Kuznetsov, defected. In the present, Anna is the GRU's head interpreter, joining them at a United Nations summit. Carrie discovers notes tucked in the bindings of the red leather books in Saul's collection, which correspond to various American intelligence coups. She arranges a meeting with Yevgeny to report her findings, still unable to identify the asset. Yevgeny proposes an alternative way to neutralize the asset: eliminate Saul.
9612"Prisoners of War"Lesli Linka GlatterAlex Gansa & Howard GordonApril 26, 2020 (2020-04-26)8WAH121.26[18]
Carrie admits her deal with Yevgeny to Saul, who refuses to name his asset. Carrie then flies to the West Bank and tells Saul's sister Dorit that Saul is dead, as a ruse to enact Saul's "legacy plan" to pass his asset onto Carrie in the event of his death. Dorit gives Carrie a USB drive containing a video message from Saul identifying Anna as his asset. Carrie shows it to Yevgeny, who reports it to his superiors at the UN summit. Anna kills herself to avoid capture by the Russians. With the asset's identity in their possession, Russia publicly plays the contents of the flight recorder, successfully averting nuclear war between the U.S. and Pakistan. Two years later, Carrie and Yevgeny live together in Moscow. Saul receives a package containing an advance copy of a book Carrie has written denouncing the U.S. He finds a note in the binding – mirroring Anna's tradecraft – with a note from Moscow indicating how to defeat the Russians' missile defense system. He realizes it is from Carrie, who has become his new Russian asset.

Production

The eighth season was ordered back-to-back with season 7 in August 2016.[19] In April 2018, Claire Danes confirmed that season 8 would be the last,[20] and Showtime officially confirmed the final season in August.[2] In April 2018, showrunner Alex Gansa stated his plans for the final season, "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." He also stated, "We're going to start fresh in season 8 and probably do a fairly big time jump between 7 and 8 and put any Trump parallels behind us" and "We'll tell a very contained story, hopefully in Israel."[21] In January 2019, it was confirmed that the final season will take place in Afghanistan, with filming beginning in February in Morocco.[22]

The season was originally planned to debut in June 2019, however, it was delayed until late 2019 "because of production demands of our international locations", per Showtime co-president Gary Levine.[23] In August 2019, Showtime delayed the premiere again to February 2020; Levine stated, "Homeland is an ambitious series — especially in its final season. [Showrunner] Alex [Gansa] wants to go out proudly, and that has involved production in multiple countries at times and in places that have some issues. It just takes time." He added, "There have been no missteps. It's been a relatively smooth process. But it's a very ambitious production schedule and it has taken more time than we [anticipated]."[24]

During an April 2020 interview[25] on Homeland Season 8, Jalal Haqqani actor Elham Ehsas commented, "I think Haissam (Haqqani) was both Jalal’s biggest idol and biggest heartbreak."

Reception

The eighth season received highly positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has an approval rating of 85% based on 25 reviews, with an average rating of 7.27/10. The site's critical consensus is, "Homeland returns to form with a tautly thrilling final season that fittingly finishes the job Carrie Mathison started all those years ago."[26] On Metacritic, the season has a score of 71 out of 100 based on 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[27]

Robert Rorke of the New York Post wrote, "The first three episodes are a bit clunky, with Carrie's familiar pattern of alienating nearly everyone she meets kicking in again – and then Episode 4 comes along and Homeland finds its groove."[28] Ben Travers of IndieWire gave it a "B+" grade and praised the performances of Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, as well as the direction by Lesli Linka Glatter "for her beautifully staged and tensely cut action sequences".[29]

Ratings

Viewership and ratings per episode of Homeland
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
1 "Deception Indicated" February 9, 2020 0.13 0.60[7]
2 "Catch and Release" February 16, 2020 0.10 0.68[8]
3 "False Friends" February 23, 2020 0.13 0.71[9]
4 "Chalk One Up" March 1, 2020 0.13 0.73[10]
5 "Chalk Two Down" March 8, 2020 0.13 0.82[10]
6 "Two Minutes" March 15, 2020 0.11 0.71[10]
7 "Fucker Shot Me" March 22, 2020 0.19 1.09[10]
8 "Threnody(s)" March 29, 2020 0.11 0.75[14]
9 "In Full Flight" April 5, 2020 0.13 0.81[15]
10 "Designated Driver" April 12, 2020 0.12 0.89[16]
11 "The English Teacher" April 19, 2020 0.18 0.96[17]
12 "Prisoners of War" April 26, 2020 0.24 1.26[18]

Accolades

At the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, Lesli Linka Glatter received a nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for the series finale "Prisoners of War".[30] At the 11th Critics' Choice Television Awards, Claire Danes received a nomination for Best Actress in a Drama Series.[31]

References

  1. ^ Hibberd, James (August 6, 2018). "Homeland will end with season 8, Showtime confirms". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on February 16, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Showtime(R) Announces Eighth and Final Season of "Homeland" to Premiere in June 2019" (Press release). Showtime. August 6, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2019 – via The Futon Critic.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Ausiello, Michael (August 2, 2019). "Homeland Final Season Pushed to 2020 — First Plot Details Revealed". TVLine. Archived from the original on August 2, 2019. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Petski, Denise (March 26, 2019). "'Homeland': Hugh Dancy To Recur On Season 8 of Showtime Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 26, 2019. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (January 14, 2019). "'Homeland' Final Season: Nimrat Kaur & Numan Acar To Reprise Season 4 Roles". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 15, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  6. ^ a b O'Connell, Michael (March 8, 2019). "True Blood Alum Boards Final Season of Homeland". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 9, 2019. Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 11, 2020). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.9.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 19, 2020). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.16.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on February 19, 2020. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 25, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 2.23.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on February 25, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c d e Metcalf, Mitch (March 3, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.1.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on March 3, 2020. Retrieved March 3, 2020.
  11. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (March 10, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.8.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on March 11, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  12. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (March 17, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.15.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on March 17, 2020. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  13. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (March 24, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.22.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on March 24, 2020. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  14. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (March 31, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.29.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on April 2, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  15. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (April 7, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.5.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on April 7, 2020. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  16. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (April 14, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 412.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on April 15, 2020. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  17. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (April 21, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.19.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on April 21, 2020. Retrieved April 21, 2020.
  18. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (April 28, 2020). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 4.26.2020". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on April 28, 2020. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  19. ^ Ausiello, Michael (August 11, 2016). "Homeland Officially Renewed for Season 7 and Season 8 at Showtime". TVLine. Archived from the original on July 15, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  20. ^ Nemetz, Dave (April 18, 2018). "Homeland to End With Season 8, Star Claire Danes Confirms". TVLine. Archived from the original on September 28, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  21. ^ Hibberd, James (April 19, 2018). "Homeland showrunner reveals 'final season' shakeup plan". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 21, 2019. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  22. ^ Ausiello, Michael (January 7, 2019). "Homeland's End Game: Carrie Returning to [Spoiler] for Final Season". TVLine. Archived from the original on January 7, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  23. ^ White, Peter (January 31, 2019). "Showtime Moves 'Homeland's Final Season Premiere Back To Fall Due To Global Filming Demands – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 1, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  24. ^ Ausiello, Michael (August 2, 2019). "Homeland Season 8 Delay Caused By 'Ambitious' Production Demands Not 'Missteps,' Says Showtime Boss". TVLine. Archived from the original on August 2, 2019. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  25. ^ Regev, Nir (April 4, 2020). "Elham Ehsas talks Jalal Haqqani in Homeland Season 8 (Interview)". The Natural Aristocrat.
  26. ^ "Homeland: Season 8". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  27. ^ "Homeland: Season 8". Metacritic. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  28. ^ Rorke, Robert (February 5, 2020). "Final season of 'Homeland' gets off to a rocky start". New York Post. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  29. ^ Travers, Ben (February 4, 2020). "'Homeland' Review: Season 8 Brings the Showtime Drama Full Circle". IndieWire. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  30. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 28, 2020). "Emmy Awards Nominations: The Complete List". Deadline. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  31. ^ Schneider, Michael (January 18, 2021). "'Ozark,' 'The Crown' and Netflix Lead 26th Annual Critics' Choice Awards TV Nominations". Variety. Retrieved January 18, 2021.