“Homeland” wraps its frenetic seventh season Sunday night with many chess pieces in play — and grandmasters Carrie (Claire Danes) and Saul (Mandy Patinkin) hoping to make the right moves.
“It brings a lot of the issues and themes to a head — both on a character level and on a bigger macro-political level,” series executive producer Lesli Linka Glatter says of the season finale. “So much of this season has been about a world off-balance, a nation divided, people entrenched in their own beliefs. Some things [in the season finale] are tied up and other things aren’t … which makes for very high-stakes storytelling.”
In last week’s penultimate Season 7 episode, Carrie and Saul were in Moscow, orchestrating a raid on Yevgeny Gromov’s (Costa Ronin) lakeside dacha to extricate Russian operative Simone Martin (Sandrine Holt) and return her to the US — to exonerate President Keane (Elizabeth Marvel), ousted from the Oval Office under the 25th Amendment (deemed unfit for leadership).
The episode ended with Simone, cornered, being persuaded by Carrie to return to America as they pulled a bait-and-switch under the Russians’ noses, leaving in separate cars. We’ll find out Sunday night if the operation was successful — and what lies in store back home for Keane and newly installed President Ralph Warner (Beau Bridges).
Glatter, who’s directed over 20 episodes of “Homeland” — including Sunday’s season finale — says that, whatever lies in store for Carrie, Saul, Keane et al. for Season 8 won’t be decided for several months. “We go to DC and we (the writers, Claire, Mandy) spend a week meeting with the intelligence community, asking them what keeps them up at night, what their biggest fears are, and that’s where a lot of next season will come from,” she says. “I’m not being coy; I think [executive producers] Alex (Gansa) and Howard (Gordon) have some ideas.”
Whatever the case, Season 8 will likely continue to track Carrie’s relationship with her young daughter, Frannie, who’s now in the legal custody of Carrie’s sister, Maggie (Amy Hargreaves). “For me, the struggle for a woman being a mother and having a calling outside of the home is very interesting,” Glatter says. “That hasn’t been the thrust of any of our seasons, but Carrie’s had to deal with it. I think, from the very first time she found out she was pregnant, it’s been a very mixed bag for her … and I think there are women out there who feel like that — that they’re supposed to be a good mother and it’s the highest priority.
“Men are not looked at through the same lens,” she says. “I think Carrie does love her daughter … and has tried to be a good mother but hasn’t really succeeded at that. She’s made a lot of bad choices … and she has a mission, and that pull has been interesting for her character.
“It’s all very layered and complicated.”
Glatter said “it’s still unclear when we’re going to end” the series, though Danes told Howard Stern in a Sirius/XM interview that next season would be the show’s last.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” Glatter said, “but we’re definitely coming back next season.”
“Homeland” Season finale 9 p.m. Sunday on Showtime
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