Episode 601

An impassioned Mandy Patinkin on Monday used his final press conference for Homeland to call out President Trump’s embattled relationship with the intelligence community, saying he “can’t have it both ways” when it comes to relying on them to justify an Iranian attack but ignoring their warnings about Russian election interference.

Patinkin, who plays Saul Berenson on the Showtime drama that’ll return next month for its eighth and final season, said at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that he and castmate Claire Danes spent a great deal of time over the years with members of the CIA, who are routinely criticized for their actions and rarely lauded for their good deeds.

“I really have profound respect for their admissions of their mistakes,” said Patinkin, who began his remarks by reciting the history of the CIA and how it was formed after World War II to provide the president with intelligence. “I have to call out the irony of the last three years… the contagion and cancer that affects the world globally. To go to war on the intelligence community… you can’t have it both ways. You can’t wake up in the morning and in your tweet say we had imminent knowledge that an event was going to take place, so that’s why we did this, and in the same breath say that’s from the intelligence community but then choose to ignore the intelligence community when they talk about Russian interference in the election. It doesn’t work that way.”

In the final season of Homeland, Saul vows to not turn his back on Carrie Mathison (Danes), who’s recovering from months of confinement in a Russian gulag. Her memory remains cloudy, which seems to pose a problem for Saul — now national security advisor to new President Warner (Beau Bridges). Here’s the official logline: “The top priority of Warner’s young administration is an end to the ‘forever war’ in Afghanistan, and Saul has been dispatched to engage the Taliban in peace negotiations. But Kabul teems with warlords and mercenaries, zealots and spies — and Saul needs the relationships and expertise that only his protégé can provide. Against medical advice, Saul asks Carrie to walk with him into the lion’s den — one last time.”

While talking to reporters Monday, executive producer Alex Gansa said that “what counterterrorism has done to us as nation can be mirrored in Claire’s journey” over the show’s eight seasons. “She was 100 percent gung-ho about keeping the country safe, but she became disillusioned about its projected power overseas. We were always rigorously invested in telling both sides of that story.”

Patinkin also had a special message for the country’s real-life spies. “Members of the intelligence community who became an integral part of our journey and our audience will not be disappointed about the way we bring this to fruition,” he said. “Not in a simplistic way, not in a sentimental way.”

Homeland returns Sunday, Feb. 9, at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime. It remains the premium network’s most-watched show.

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