‘Homeland’ Season 8 Episode 9 Preview: Where Does Carrie Go From Here?

In the eighth episode of Homeland’s final season, viewers finally got to see a remarkable image Showtime originally teased months earlier (in January 2020). If you caught installment’s second official trailer, you couldn’t miss it.

[Spoiler alert: Plot details through ‘Homeland’ season 8 episode 8 follow.]

In the clip, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) walks toward a helicopter with Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) and members of U.S. Special Forces. The mood seems tense, but it completely escalates when Carrie pulls a gun on the troops. (A horrified Saul stands pleading between the two parties.)

Any longtime fans of the show likely stored that image away for the future. In the season’s remarkable, painful eighth episode, we watched it play out in context. Indeed, after slipping away with Yevgeny Gromov (Costa Ronin) in a the previous episode, Carrie took it to another level.

With only four Homeland episodes remaining, the biggest question is how far Carrie will go to track down the dead presidents’ flight recorder — and what consequences she’ll face when it all ends.

Carrie Mathison again refused to come in from the cold

(L-R): Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson in HOMELAND, | Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIME

Spy film fans likely get a chill when a handler tells his agent it’s time to “come in from the cold.” That request — and the spy’s typical reluctance to accept it — always puts intriguing subplots in motion. In Homeland the classic dilemma for Carrie is how many laws (both god’s and man’s) she will break to complete her mission.

In the eighth season, CIA Kabul station-chief Mike Dunne (Cliff Chamberlain) has been sounding alarms about Carrie since her arrival in town. And in the seventh episode Dunne said no one could be sure Carrie hadn’t “pulled a Kim Philby.” (The reference is to a British agent who defected to the Soviet Union during the Cold War.)

Dunne’s concern levels spiked when he learned Carrie lied about a meeting with Yevgeny; and since she went rogue in episode 6 he’s been trying to paint her as a possible defector.

Following Carrie’s standoff with U.S. troops, Dunne’s point has to be taken by the agency. But there’s something else happening in both Washington, D.C. and Kabul: No one can be certain of the motivations of Dunne or John Zabel (Hugh Dancy), a warmongering adviser to the president.

Carrie’s retrieving the flight recorder could prevent another war

(L-R): Costa Ronin as Yevgeny Gromov and Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in HOMELAND, “F*cker Shot Me | Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIME.

After Zabel pushed President Hayes (Sam Trammell) to threaten Pakistan, it became clear just how much is on the line with the flight recorder. If Carrie finds it, she may get evidence that the Taliban was not responsible for downing the helicopters with the two presidents.

That discovery would likely halt the drumbeat to war and thus save thousands of lives. So if Carrie has to defect — whether permanently or just for a little while — to make it happen, we wouldn’t be surprised if she goes through with it. (Nonetheless, you have to call this idea a long-shot.)

That would make for quite an ending to the long-running spy series. And maybe the crushing death of Max won’t have been in vain. There are a few different directions Homeland can take this. So far, the series hasn’t disappointed. There’s no reason to think it would start now.

Also see: ‘Homeland’ Fans Have to Decide Who to Hate More: John Zabel or ‘Beta’ Mike Dunne