It’s nearly the end of the road for Carrie Mathison. Claire Danes’ intrepid CIA officer and foreign intelligence maestro will bow out for good in the spring as the acclaimed spy thriller Homeland signs off after nine years on the air.
It’s promising to go out with a bang, though: the eighth and final season of Homeland has already been billed as the show’s most “ambitious” set of episodes yet. With fans already eager to see how Carrie recovers (or not) from her torturous seven month-stint in a Russian gulag following the dramatic events of season 7 finale ‘Paean to the People’, the show’s imminent return is an especially exciting prospect for those Homeland fans who’ve eagerly followed the series since its 2011 premiere.
Here’s everything you need to know to get up to speed and ready for Homeland season 8.
Homeland season 8: when is the show returning?
Homeland season 8 will premiere on Showtime in the US on February 9. A UK premiere date has yet to be set, but Channel 4 has confirmed that it will screen season 8 in the near future.
— 4Viewers (@4Viewers) February 3, 2020
Season 8 had its initial June 2019 release date delayed last summer, ensuring that the show’s eventual return to the air on February 9 will be just two days short of being two full years since the season 7 premiere.
“Homeland is an ambitious series, especially in its final season,” Showtime’s President of Entertainment Gary Levine said in August about the transmission delay. “[Showrunner] Alex [Gansa] wants to go out proudly, and he’s going to. And that has involved production in multiple countries, and, at times, in places that have some issues just takes time.
“There have been no missteps here,” Levine added. “It’s been a relatively smooth process but a very ambitious production schedule that has just taken more time than we hoped it would. And one of the things we do at Showtime is we’d rather have it good than fast. And that’s what’s going to happen when Homeland premieres in February.”
Homeland season 8 trailer: have there been any previews of the new episodes?
Yes! Two official trailers have dropped so far ahead of the arrival of season 8 of Homeland.
The first, which arrived in December 2019, teases the reunion of Carrie and newly appointed National Security Adviser Saul Berenson out in the field in Kabul. Is Carrie up for the challenge? “Hell yes!” comes the emphatic reply. Ah, classic Carrie.
The second clip, which you can see below, sees Saul telling Carrie that “the world’s gone to hell” while she’s been imprisoned. “I’m a Russian agent, apparently,” Carrie replies — surely she’s not going to pull a Brody in season eight by eventually being unveiled as a double agent?!
Two non-trailer teasers have also been released ahead of the season premiere, with the first showing Carrie being interrogated by a US agent over suspicions that she’s now a “compromised officer” following her Russian incarceration.
The ‘One Last Mission’ teaser, meanwhile, is part-soundtracked by a haunting rendition of ‘My Country, ‘Tis of Thee’ before tense streets chases, plenty of gun-pointing and exploding cars become the order of the day.
How many episodes will there be in Homeland season 8?
As with every other season of Homeland, season 8 will consist of 12 episodes. The titles of the first eight episodes of season 8 have also been confirmed — you can see those, along with their scheduled US premiere dates, below.
- “Deception Indicated” (February 9, 2020)
- “Catch and Release” (February 16, 2020)
- “False Friends” (February 23, 2020)
- “Chalk One Up” (March 1, 2020)
- “Chalk Two Down” (March 8, 2020)
- “Two Minutes” (March 15, 2020)
- “Fucker Shot Me” (March 22, 2020)
- “Threnody(s)” (March 29, 2020)
Homeland season 8: who is returning to the cast for the final season?
First off, it’s the biggest draw of them all: Claire Danes will of course return for one final season as Carrie Mathison.
Danes spoke about how she’s grown into her often complex and challenging role as Carrie during an interview on CBS This Morning on February 3 which looked ahead to the arrival of season 8 of Homeland.
Mandy Patinkin will also return for season 8 as Saul Berenson — making the actor and Danes the only ever-presents on the castlist for all eights seasons of Homeland — while Maury Sterling (who plays Max Piotrowski), Linus Roache (David Wellington), Nimrat Kaur (Tasneem Qureshi), Costa Ronin (Yevgeny Gromov,) Numan Acar (Haissam Haqqani), Amy Hargreaves (Maggie Mathison) and Beau Bridges (President Ralph Warner) are all returning for the final season as well.
Among the new additions to the cast for Homeland season 8 are Sam Trammell (who will play US Vice President Benjamin Hayes) and Danes’ real-life husband Hugh Dancy. He’ll play John Zabel, a new foreign policy adviser to the President and an adversary of Saul.
Homeland season 8 plot: what’s going to happen in the new episodes?
Here’s Showtime’s official synopsis for Homeland season 8:
The final season of Homeland finds Carrie Mathison recovering from months of brutal confinement in a Russian gulag. Her body is healing, but her memory remains fractured – which is a problem for Saul, now National Security Adviser to the newly ascendant President Warner.
The top priority of Warner’s young administration is an end to the “forever war” in Afghanistan, and Saul has been dispatched to engage the Taliban in peace negotiations. But Kabul teems with warlords and mercenaries, zealots and spies – and Saul needs the relationships and expertise that only his protégé can provide. Against medical advice, Saul asks Carrie to walk with him into the lion’s den – one last time.
Can’t wait for the season premiere? Well, here’s a little sneak peek at ‘Deception Indicated’ to whet your appetite for the forthcoming final instalment of Homeland.