Homeland shows how finales are done

After 8 seasons Homeland ends on with a gripping finale.

While Modern Family and Will & Grace have left our screens recently, neither bowed out with much distinction but Homeland last night ended 8 seasons with a ripper.

Executive producers Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon and Lesli Linka Glatter spoke with Variety in detail about the making of the finale, the larger themes of season 8 and regrets and triumphs over 10 years and 96 hours of television.

Here’s a spoiler free excerpt:

Have you thought about the larger significance of Carrie Mathison in the history of TV characters and female protagonists?

Gansa: I think that’s for other people to determine the legacy of that character and the show itself.

Linka Glatter: She is a game-changing female character. She’s as complicated as any man and as flawed but you still care about her. You find her compelling. She’s layered and complicated and passionate. Being able to look at things like her not being a good mother. That is like TV’s first and biggest taboo. She’s not a good mother but she loves her child. The biggest act of generosity was giving her child up to her sister for primary care. Most people wouldn’t be able to do that. The fact that she realised that about herself was kind of an amazing thing. We’ve had such incredible iconic male characters both film and TV. Women have to be in some way above reproach. Now the world has changed. Women can be more complicated.

Gordon: I have heard from so many people, anecdotally, from friends and family about the importance of Carrie. Hearing it often enough and passionately enough about how vexing how interesting and compelling, it did dawn on us. We understood the weight of that. We all saw this deep commitment on everybody’s part, led by Alex and Claire, to make sure this character fulfilled her promise and the important place that she held in a lot of people’s lives.

If you’ve seen the finale you can read more here.

14 Responses

  1. Ive watched every episode and loved it all. I’ve loved Carrie, been shocked by her, hated her, she’s challenged my thinking and the acting by Claire is truly a talent. Ive also loved all the great secondary characters which can sometimes be forgotten with such talented leads. Mandy Patinkin and Claire Danes, wherever they pop up next in tv land, I’ll be watching.

  2. Wasn’t all that impressed with it-so many huge plot holes and improbabilities-would Saul really see Carrie as his successor given the accrued damage she had suffered especially over the last few years? How long does it take to get to Israel from Washington DC and how does a senior White House official have utterly no security of any kind? And so on…

  3. I recorded it …. watched it now and of course the recording ends at the advertised time which appears to be five or ten minutes early … thought no problem … will go to SBS on demand but the ep is not there …. patiently waiting

    1. Yes, me too. I allowed a few minutes extra but not enough, since SBS is normally on time. I got a notification from SBS when the ep went up this afternoon.
      Very good ending for the series, glad they didn’t kill off Saul which it looked like they were going to do.

    2. The episode is 1 hour and 7 minutes without ads. I noticed SBS had it scheduled from 9:30 to 10:30 with ads (on Foxtel anyway).

      Good ending to a mostly great series. It lost its way the year Brodie went missing but other than that, it has been pretty good.

    3. Yeah same here. Always allow another 5 minutes or so & because I had programmed it weekly didn’t realise it went longer. Lucky there was an encore on wednesday night so I taped the ending again. When it cut out a million questions were running through my head. Had Carrie turned & was a Russian spy now? Had she given up the spy game altogether & living happily ever after with Oleg/Yevgeny? Did she & Saul plan the whole thing with her ‘betraying’ him? They’d done that before. When Saul got the phone call asking for the Professor & received the parcel I had a feeling it would be Carrie. I was worried for a while there she would end up dead or in jail. Would have liked to know who was President in the end & what happened to the idiot.

  4. I was a good final episode. I was expecting the original planned ending once they started heading that way, but like this one more on reflection. Homeland just kept getting better once they put the melodrama of Brody behind them an focused on current global events (they did include a bit of Brody in the credits to acknowledge they didn’t give that story a complete ending). It did seem a bit rushed in parts, they gave it an extra 10 minutes but it could have had more.

  5. Yes, indeed – an excellent finale that delivered big surprises that still made perfect sense. I know it became trendy to suggest the series lost it’s way somewhere there in the middle, but I really think it’s been excellent throughout. And, yes, a stark contrast to the seriously lame final episodes of both Modern Family and W&G.

  6. Well written, well played and overall an amazing series. Was surprising that it lost its pull on Australian viewers . Had it’s started production now with streaming services dominating viewing habits , would be pulling in better numbers.

  7. I’ve loved this show from the start and found the finale was excellent.
    Mandy Patinkin and Claire Danes have been outstanding throughout the 10 years.
    A testament to the finale is the score of 9.6 from almost 1000 votes from imdb so far.

  8. This whole season has been superb, and the final episode really did the entire season and the entire show justice. It’s difficult to pull off an ending that isn’t anticlimactic or doesn’t leave people disappointed, but I think Homeland succeeded by not tying up loose ends too predictably or unbelievably.

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