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Carrie’s True Allegiance is Revealed – Variety

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SPOILER ALERT: Don’t learn if in case you have not but watched “Prisoners of Struggle,” the sequence finale of “Homeland.”

“Homeland” went out on a excessive notice Sunday with a 66-minute closing episode that was filled with the weather that outlined the sequence.

The episode, entitled “Prisoners of Struggle,” (a nod to the Israeli sequence from Keshet on which this 20th Century TV one was primarily based) was written by government producers Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon and directed by government producer Lesli Linka Glatter. It gave stars Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin a closing outing that was worthy of their eight years within the spy trenches as Carrie Mathison and Saul Berenson, the CIA prodigy gone rogue and her trustworthy mentor, respectively.

“Prisoners of Struggle” started with a glimpse of Carrie using at the back of a automobile whereas the had a imaginative and prescient of her long-lost love, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), within the confessional video that he left behind to clarify his motivation for finishing up a suicide-vest terrorist assault on the shut of season one. (That assault by no means occurred, however the video was later used to border Brody for the bomb plot that ended Season 2). Now Carrie was the one about to face a CIA tribunal questioning her personal patriotism amid suspicions that she was concerned within the downing of the helicopter.

However first, Carrie was off to a clandestine assembly with Charlotte Benson (Robin McLeavy), a Russian agent posing as a high-end D.C. space realtor (with a razor-sharp bun), for a fast tutorial on combine a liquid gel cocktail that can paralyze Saul as quickly as Carrie can get two fingers on the facet of his neck.

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in HOMELAND, "Prisoners of War". Photo Credit: Erica Parise/SHOWTIME.

“Yevgeny wished you to have the most effective to your operation,” Benson creepily assured Carrie.

Yevgeny Gromov (Costa Ronin), the Russian GRU super-agent who tormented Carrie in captivity for seven months throughout Season 7, delivered his order for Carrie to kill Saul as a part of the worth he set for Carrie to recuperate the flight recorder from President Warner’s (Beau Bridges) helicopter — the onerous proof that may show the crash was a tragic accident, not shot down by a Taliban rocket. Gromov additionally wished Carrie to serve up the identify of Saul’s longtime mole within the Russian authorities. Season Eight revolved round an advanced effort to convey a couple of stop fireplace between the Taliban and different factions in Afghanistan and examined the realpolitik across the prospect of dangerous actors just like the Taliban evolving into extra pragmatic political organizations.

Within the closing season, Saul, the seasoned deep-stater CIA veteran turned White Home Nationwide Safety Advisor, pushed onerous for Warner to pursuing the politically dangerous technique of attempting to set a cease-fire settlement with Taliban chief Haissam Haqqani (Numan Acar). However that bought derailed partially by friction inside Haqqani’s clan and the opposition to the cease-fire by a youthful era represented by his son, Jalal Haqqani (Elham Ehsas). The youthful Haqqani was fast to say falsely credit score for the crash that killed Warner and his Afghan counterpart. However Carrie went to huge lengths — and Max Piotrowski (Maury Sterling) gave his life  — to show through the flight recorder that the true offender was a nasty turbine blade — the type of upkeep error that’s humiliating for the world’s biggest energy. However to try this, she additionally needed to tangle in additional methods than one with Yevgeny.

Saul’s mole was launched within the penultimate episode, “The English Trainer.” Anna Pomerantseva (Tatyana Mukha) was the lead interpreter for Russia’s GRU intelligence company and first met Saul within the mid-1980s when she was educating English in East Berlin. She determined to be a pipeline of helpful info for Saul — a key supply of the intelligence coups that constructed his profession — after a bunch of her student-comrades have been executed in East Germany as a result of one among them defected after changing into a spy asset for Saul.

It was additionally in that penultimate episode when Carrie made the choice to be the type of one who tried to kill her mentor — her closest human relationship — as a result of she was hellbent on stopping a nuclear battle from breaking out between the U.S. and Pakistan below false pretenses. (L-R): Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson and Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in HOMELAND, "Prisoners of War". Photo Credit: Erica Parise/SHOWTIME.

Whereas Carrie was getting her directions from Charlotte, Saul was banging heads within the White Home with White Home political advisor John Zabel (Hugh Dancy), who was advising Warner’s successor, President Benjamin Hayes (Sam Trammell), on deal with the response to Warner’s demise. Hayes despatched troops to the Pakistani border to escalate the U.S. army menace in a pointy flip from the techniques pursued by Warner. And Saul was warned that he’s on the outs with the brand new administration.

Saul defined the reality of the flight-recorder scenario to Zabel for the primary time and hinted on the clandestine efforts to get Russia to launch the proof. “Don’t be the shmuck who takes us to struggle for the second time in 20 years below false pretenses,” Saul implored him.

As he headed out of the White Home for his house, Saul bumped into White Home chief of employees David Wellington (Linus Roache) and requested him to arrange a discreet assembly the following day with two nationwide safety reporters from the New York Occasions and Washington Submit, as a backup plan in the event that they need assistance slowing the escalation of tensions.

When Saul lastly bought house, he discovered Carrie’s older sister, Maggie Mathison (Amy Hargreaves), in his driveway asking him if Carrie was again in D.C. Saul is disturbed to study that Carrie hadn’t checked in together with her sister or her daughter, Franny, who was adopted by Maggie in Season 6.

(L-R): Amy Hargreaves as Maggie and Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson in HOMELAND, "Prisoners of War". Photo Credit: Erica Parise/SHOWTIME.

As Maggie and Saul conversed, Carrie simply slipped into her sister’s empty home to reclaim a tote bag that she stashed in a secret spot in her daughter’s closet way back. The bag was filled with stacks of money in varied currencies and passports. Carrie lingered as she appeared round her daughter’s room, seeing a framed image of herself on her daughter’s desk, in addition to a candy image of Franny. Carrie began to depart however turned again to seize the Franny image.

Carrie then headed again to Saul’s home. She knew from Benson {that a} GRU “kill group” was parked close by, ready for her flickering porch gentle sign that they need to are available in and end off Saul after Carrie extracted from him the identify of his Russian asset.

Saul, fuming since his assembly with Maggie, was sitting in his library with its wall of red-covered books, listening to opera at loud quantity and ready to confront Carrie. He had, in any case, taken her in and bought her a lawyer after she returned to the U.S. from Kabul in “The English Trainer,” following her uneasy cooperation with Gromov to find the flight recorder after Max’s demise. To not point out his years of mentorship that preceded such a sort gesture.

“Jesus, Saul,” Carrie stated as she walked in and turned down the music. Saul let her have it, assuring her that he knew she was planning to skip out. He pressed her about whether or not she lower some type of cope with Gromov for the flight recorder.

“Reply me, god rattling it,” Saul yelled. “I need to hear you say it.”

Carrie divulged that she was on a mission to seek out out the identify of his longtime Russian asset. Saul obfuscated: “There’s no such individual, he doesn’t exist.” However Carrie gave him pause when she shot again, “It’s a girl.” She defined how she pieced collectively their covert communication technique of Anna sending Saul tiny notes positioned within the backbone of red-bound first version books — the volumes which might be on the wall behind them.

Saul broke and angrily instructed Carrie that she “completely crippled our intelligence functionality in Russia,” calling Anna the one remaining “reside supply” in a nation that’s America’s “mortal enemy slowly however absolutely strangling our democracy.”

Saul was dead-set on defending his asset in any respect prices, however Carrie was on a private mission to cease a nuclear battle from doubtlessly killing tens of millions.

Saul ordered Carrie to depart his home: “You’re turning your self in tonight,” he bellowed. Carrie ran upstairs and combined her cocktail. Saul walked in on the actual incorrect second and shortly he was on the ground in a fetal place. These scenes have been the face-acting Olympics for Danes and Berenson.

“Nobody individual is well worth the lives of tens of hundreds, lots of of hundreds,” Carrie begged.

“She is,” Saul responded.

Two burly “kill group” helpers arrived on Carrie’s sign and lifted the paralyzed Saul into his mattress. They ready to inject a deadly poison into one among his toes as Carrie leaned in to extract the identify of his asset. With teary eyes bulging and chin wiggling, Carrie performed each card she had.

“The whole lot you could have ever requested of me I’ve accomplished, and now I’m asking you simply let me off the hook right here. Don’t make me do that,” she cried. “I’m begging you.”

Saul didn’t flinch. “Go f— your self” he mumbled by means of unmoving lips.

Carrie wiped away tears and instructed the burly guys to sit back and to inform Benson that she’s heading for the airport. “I’ve to attempt,” she stated, taking a look at Saul.

The scene shifted to the following morning, with Saul tied up in a chair in his front room whereas the burly guys watched him. His cellphone started to buzz and Saul warned the blokes that folks will quickly come in search of him: He was late for his assembly with the reporters and Wellington in a espresso store in Alexandria, Va.

In the meantime, Carrie arrived on the West Financial institution house of Saul’s sister Dorit (Jacqueline Antaramian), who we first met in Season 6. Carrie shamelessly instructed Dorit that Saul has died, realizing that by Jewish custom the physique must be buried as quickly as doable. Carrie helpfully booked a flight to D.C. for Dorit, simply as quickly as she recovers an envelope that Saul left with Dorit to provide to Carrie after his demise.

Like brother, like sister — Dorit knew lower Carrie to the fast when she talked about that she actually wants that envelope. “You’re similar to him. At all times an ulterior motive,” Dorit stated.

However Carrie’s hunch was proper and positive sufficient Dorit had such an envelope. Inside was a USB drive with a video that includes Saul divulging Anna’s existence to Carrie within the hopes that the data pipeline would proceed.

Dorit made it clear that she knew what Carrie meant to the brother she believes is lifeless. “You misplaced him too,” she stated.

After Dorit left in a taxi (however not earlier than Carrie filched her cellphone to maintain her from realizing the reality earlier than she bought on the airplane) Carrie stayed behind at her home to fulfill with Gromov for the data alternate.

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in HOMELAND, "Prisoners of War". Photo Credit: Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIME.

Carrie lastly watched the video of Saul, which dates again years judging by the upper focus of pepper than salt in his beard. In his message he famous that he left the legacy plan video together with his sister as a result of, dispite their political variations through the years, he trusted her. As if to twist the knife, he added: “In the long run who you belief on this life is all that issues.”

Again at Saul’s townhouse, he realized from the burly guys’ dialog that Anna was about to be compromised. However by this time, Wellington despatched police to Saul’s home to verify on him, which bought him out of the grip of the burly guys.

Saul instantly known as an agent on the UN within the hopes of whisking Anna to security. Within the video he left for Carrie, he praised Anna for her selfless work. “She’s been spying for the previous 20 years on the very coronary heart of Moscow. Risking the whole lot each day,” he stated.

At Dorit’s home, Gromov entered to seek out Carrie holding a gun. She handed over the identify and confirmed him the Saul video.

Again on the UN, Agent Scott Ryan (Tim Guinee) tried to get Anna out of the constructing, however her boss discovered that she was the mole and despatched a group of flunkies all the way down to seize her. There was a requisite chase scene by means of the again stairwell of the UN, but it surely shortly turned clear that Anna wouldn’t have the ability to escape from the tiny storeroom the place they have been cornered.

Calmly and cooly, she requested Agent Ryan for his gun. When he resisted, she requested to speak to Saul.

“I solely want I might have seen the mission by means of to the tip,” Anna instructed Saul.

“I’ve by no means recognized anybody so courageous,” he replied.

Saul broke down with a muffled scream when he heard the one shot.

At Dorit’s home, Carrie and Gromov watched the reside information convention with Russian officers disclosing the invention of the flight recorder. Gromov instructed Carrie that he was knowledgeable that Anna was lifeless.

“It’s the sport,” he instructed Carrie.

However she blamed him for Anna’s demise and for the tip of her relationship with Saul.

“Saul cherished me. He trusted me. … That’s gone now. That’s misplaced. Do you even know what meaning?” she cried. “I don’t know what it’s like in your facet but it surely should be very, very lonely.”

Regardless of this friction, Carrie and Gromov hit the street collectively after they realized that Israeli forces have been most likely trying to find them. The plan was to go to Ramallah after which Syria. There was little question that Carrie was now hip-deep with Gromov and the underbelly of Russia.

(L-R): Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison and Costa Ronin as Yevgeny in HOMELAND, "Prisoners of War". Photo Credit: Erica Parise/SHOWTIME.

The story then jumped ahead two years in time, discovering Carrie and Gromov dwelling collectively below the intense lights of Moscow. Carrie was sitting within the bed room of a lavish house, in silky, horny slip, with a cascade of styled blonde locks as she was getting glammed up for a celebratory night time in town. It was a bit of jarring to see Carrie this fashion after so many seasons of her as a lone wolf in ill-fitting, off the rack enterprise fits.

“You’ve accomplished a really, essential factor, Carrie. Let’s go have fun,” Gromov stated.

In a slinky bare-shouldered night gown and heels, Carrie made a grand entrance down an expansive staircase. She darted into her workplace earlier than leaving to have a look round at a well-known setting — bulletin boards filled with articles, analysis, maps, timelines and such about American intelligence actions and the real-life figures who’ve made worldwide headlines corresponding to Edward Snowden, the D.C. tech who leaked Nationwide Safety Company knowledge proving that the federal authorities was spying on the phone information of odd People. Snowden has lived in exile in Russia because the information of his actions first broke in June 2013.

Again in D.C., Saul and Dorit have been within the strategy of packing up Saul’s house. It appeared he was lastly retiring from authorities service, but it surely wasn’t clear the place he was transferring. “Cease badgering me, I’m not transferring to Israel,” Saul stated, gently to Dorit. 

His landline rang and Dorit knowledgeable Saul it was a incorrect quantity, somebody in search of a “Professor Rabineau.” Saul’s face fell. (We discovered in “English Trainer” that this was the identify Anna used to ship her books, routed by means of uncommon booksellers.)

Again to Carrie and Gromov in a live performance corridor seeing a jazz band — a nod to the “Homeland” pilot through which Carrie was launched as a fan of contemporary and avant-garde jazz. They have been grooving to saxophonist Kamasi Washington and his band. Then she bought up for a visit to the powder room and one other girl on the ground under did the identical factor. The 2 rendezvous wordlessly within the lavatory after they touched up their make-up and easily exchanged almost identical-looking clutch purses.

In D.C., Saul went to a bookstore to choose up the bundle for Professor Rabineau. The shop proprietor was in on the play though Saul flatly instructed him: “You may cease with the cloak and dagger. It’s throughout now.” 

He waited till he returns house to open the bundle, pulling out a hardcover guide with an intense black-and-white closeup of Carrie. The title: “Tyranny of Secrets and techniques: Why I Needed to Betray My Nation.”

Saul stared at Carrie’s piercing eyes for a number of moments earlier than opening the guide. The dedication learn: “For my daughter within the hope that at some point she’s going to perceive.”

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in HOMELAND, "Prisoners of War". Photo Credit: Erica Parise/SHOWTIME.

Saul turned the guide on its facet and inspected the opening of the backbone. Utilizing his helpful spymaster tweezers, he pulled out a small slip of paper with microscopic writing, the identical format as Anna’s outdated missives.

“Greetings from Moscow, Professor Rabineau. Russian missile protection bought to Iran and Turkey has a backdoor. It may be defeated. Specs to observe. Keep tuned.”

Saul gave the guide a tough stare as he’s bathed in brilliant gentle from the window behind him. Saul instructed Carrie that the outing of Anna would destroy U.S. intelligence operations in Russia, so Carrie, like an excellent soldier, was getting in below the quilt of changing into a Snowden-like determine to construct the next-generation community of spies.

Lower to Carrie again within the auditorium sitting lovingly subsequent to her prime Russian asset whereas having fun with the music. A saxophone notice soared. Carrie’s head bobbed gently with the beat and a broad smile unfold throughout her face. The display pale to a flash of white, however the music continued because the credit roll.

The episode, at its greatest, highlighted how the deepest of Washington D.C.’s deep-state establishments perform in actual life, and the way diplomacy will be simply railroaded by political issues. Taking loads of dramatic license, “Homeland” has at all times put a highlight on how the choices, the feints and the intestine calls made by anonymous operatives within the area can avert catastrophe and alter the course of historical past.

From the pilot in 2011 ahead, “Homeland” sought to spur viewers to assume onerous about a number of central questions: What did America study from 9/11? Did we overreact in our home agenda to wage the struggle on terror? And what’s going to it take to convey an finish to our nation’s longest struggle, the battle in Afghanistan. (The latter query is the topic of the brand new Showtime documentary “The Longest Struggle,” which Gansa and Gordon government produced.)

The connection between Carrie and Saul was the beating coronary heart of “Homeland.” By all accounts, Danes and Patinkin developed almost as a detailed a partnership over the 10-year time-frame that they labored shoulder to shoulder as mentor and prodigy. That chemistry confirmed each time the 2 have been on display, and it was by no means extra intense for the 2 than it was in season 8.

In Carrie Mathison, Gansa and his groups over eight seasons crafted some of the three-dimensional feminine protagonists in TV historical past. A part of the “Homeland” experience was watching Carrie be very, excellent at her job and get to tug off the type of “Flash Gordon” endings that haven’t been afforded to many feminine leads of drama thrillers. Solely an actor of Danes’ caliber might have made Carrie’s flaws, psychological well being struggles and loopy romantic selections actual sufficient to makes us care about for 96 episodes.

“Homeland” has additionally at all times been wonderful at demonstrating the extent of kabuki theater that’s typically concerned in worldwide diplomacy, and the finale additionally put a highlight on how the rising tide of nationalism within the U.S. and Russia and different main world gamers is influencing the artwork and science of worldwide relations.

In the end, Carrie ended her eight-season run on “Homeland” as she started within the pilot: at work within the spy commerce, extra covert than ever and guided solely by her inner radar for what was proper and incorrect. As a result of in the long run, all that issues is who you belief.

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