Homeland is planning some major changes for its final season, including a return to an overseas setting, a big time jump and ditching its President Trump allegories, showrunner Alex Gansa says.
While Showtime has pointedly not yet confirmed the series will end next year, Gansa says the espionage thriller will not only conclude, but will also perform a narrative reset that gets the Emmy-winning drama back to its foreign intelligence roots with a self-contained storyline.
“[Season 7 arranges] all the pieces on the chessboard to make that a proper finale for the story we’ve been telling,” Gansa told EW. “We get to play this last season in D.C with the intention of taking us overseas for one last chapter. Season 8 will be overseas somewhere. We get to play a story with larger national stakes in season 7 and we’ll go back to a smaller intelligence-based season in 8. We get to pull out all the stops this year and then get to the emotional heart of things in season 8.”
Not only that, but Gansa says the Trump administration allegories will be put to rest as well.
“We’re going to start fresh in season 8 and probably do a fairly big time jump between 7 and 8 and put any Trump parallels behind us,” Gansa says. “We’ll tell a very contained story, hopefully in Israel.”
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Most of season 6 was written during the 2016 election and had Homeland setting up a vaguely Hillary Clinton-esque president with the character of Elizabeth Keane (Elizabeth Marvel). Then writers were surprised when Trump was elected instead. Season 7 continued the previous year’s storyline and has been a largely D.C.-set thriller with Keane becoming an authoritarian figure and the show also including an Alex Jones-like conspiracy thriller character (Jake Weber).
Gansa has been hinting for a couple years that season 8 would be the last for Homeland. Star Claire Danes recently said the same. Yet Showtime has refused to confirm the series will end (a representative said the network has not made a decision beyond season 8), suggesting there could be some reluctance to say goodbye to the network’s longest-running successful drama, or that the network is still trying to convince the show’s talent to do a ninth round. Given Homeland‘s flexible subject matter allowing for many different types of government and terrorism thrillers, it’s not impossible to imagine the network could try for some kind of reboot at some point with a new team.
Season 7 of Homeland currently airs Sundays on Showtime.