The end is nigh. Eight seasons and nine years since we first met Carrie Mathison visiting a contact in an Iraqi prison, Homeland is coming to an end in next Sunday’s series finale. The world has changed and changed again in the time since the show’s first episode, but one thing that has (mostly) stayed consistent is Carrie and Saul’s steady trust in one another. Even when they were feuding, it was the equivalent of a family squabble between a father and daughter who loved each other too much not to complain.
That connection though—and Carrie Mathison’s last lifeline to an otherwise hostile world—is now being tested. In the most recent episode, “The English Teacher,” Carrie learned the price of regaining the flight recorder which proved President Warner’s death was an accident: she is being asked by the Russian government to assassinate Saul Berenson.
“Saul loved me, he trusted me, and that’s gone now,” Carrie laments in the below teaser promo for season 8’s 12th episode. “We’re one hair trigger away from annihilation.” It would seem that Saul and Carrie’s relationship is about to be laid bare when she admits Yevgeny’s first price tag—the name of Saul’s asset in the Kremlin—but given the ask apparently will burn a bridge with Berenson, her next move should be deceptively simple… and heartbreaking. It requires pulling a trigger.
It’s a tantalizing teaser considering that Carrie and Saul’s relationship remains the bedrock of the series. While many were taken in the earliest years with Carrie’s bad romance with Nicholas Brody, it was with Saul she had a healthy paternal friendship in this shady world of espionage. One imagines that he even dreamed of her becoming a CIA Director or National Security Advisor before Brody and all the mistakes they’ve both endured along the way. But that trust, and how beautifully it’s played between Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, is the light at the end of the tunnel that allows us to live with many of the bad things both of them have done to win the day… like making deals with Yevgeny Gromav.
However, now the bad thing being asked by Gromav is now the seeming dissolution of their friendship at best, and possibly the murder of one by the other at worst. Carrie is basically on a mission of patricide. Somehow, I do not believe that this will be how the series actually ends, but it seems any hope of that emerging light at the end of the line was a false one—and the only ending for either is a remaining lifetime of bitter darkness and regret.
The Homeland series finale airs on Sunday, April 26 on Showtime, at 9pm ET/PT.