Showtime’s Homeland burst on the scene back in 2011 as perhaps the biggest prestige hit in the premium channel’s history. The show featured a finely drawn heroine (Claire Danes’ CIA agent Carrie Mathison), an outstanding mystery (whether or not Damien Lewis’ Nicholas Brody had become a terrorist) and a wildly twisty plot. The series in subsequent seasons was a bit more uneven, both dragging the Brody storyline out to an implausible degree and ending it on a somewhat unsatisfying note.
Season 6, which recently wrapped, was something of a rebound, even if the show now barely resembles what it was in season 1. The most story offered some compelling, true-to-life touches, including a fake news troll farm, the rise of the deep state, and a political shock jock (Jake Weber) clearly modeled on Alex Jones. Now, fans have some clues as to what’s next.
Prior to the finale, Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa spoke with Deadline and sketched out what to expect in the final two seasons of the series. As it turns out, the show plans to tell seasons 7 and 8 as one story. It does not, however, appear that the creators know, yet, exactly what that story will be:
“I hope they feel one thing more than all, and that is, I want to see next season. That’s the purpose of the finale. We really hope that this year’s finale sets up the final progression of this series. That is, Seasons 7 and 8, which we hope to tell as one story, and the finale of this season really hopefully tease that up. Shocked is always a good emotion to evoke as well, so I guess I would hope they would be shocked as well.”
“We have some big ideas but we are just at the very beginning of that process. We don’t really even know where we’re going to be shooting the last two seasons. We don’t know what story we’re going to be telling, whether we’re going to be telling a Russian story or an Israeli story or an American story. We’re in that real fun, gestating period. Our research trip to DC happens at the end of this month, so that’s going to be a big part of whatever we decide to do. Also, we’re going to have to keep one ear cocked to see what’s actually happening in the real world, and how much that will influence the story we’ll tell also remains to be seen.”
Even if the Homeland showrunners don’t have an exact plan in place yet for the series’ endgame, the real world, as well as Homeland’s history, should give them plenty of inspiration for the final two seasons.
There’s another encouraging sign from the interview: Gansa appears to shoot down any rumor that Brody himself will return to the series under any circumstances. Considering that the character died pretty unambiguously back in season 3 — and Lewis is doing pretty well right now on another Showtime show, Billions — that’s promising news for the end of Homeland.