Things are going to get tricky for Mandy Patinkin’s Saul Berenson in the final season of Showtime’s Homeland, thanks to a guest-starring role for Hugh Dancy. The long-running series has decided to call it quits after season 8, with Claire Danes’s Carrie Mathison back on the job after being imprisoned for months in Russia during the season 7 finale. The season ended with a big question mark as to the state of Carrie’s mental health, and while it seems as though the series is set to provide an answer, it may not be one that will make things easy for the former (and future?) CIA operative.
Over the course of seven seasons (so far), Homeland has seen its cast of characters change dramatically, starting with the absence of Damian Lewis’s Sgt. Brody and the rest of his family, played by Morena Baccarin, Jackson Pace, and Morgan Saylor. Similarly, the series has seen Diego Klattenhoff (The Blacklist) come and go, as well as F. Murray Abraham, Rupert Friend, David Harewood, Tracy Letts, Elizabeth Marvel, Linus Roach, and even Denis Villeneuve’s protector of the Spice, Timothée Chalamet. Now, it seems the show’s latest (and, really, last) addition to the cast will be none other than Danes’s real-life husband.
Showtime made the announcement today in an official release, offering details on Dancy’s guest role, saying he’ll play “John Zabel, a savvy Washington consultant who joins the White House as a new foreign-policy advisor to the President and a formidable opponent to Saul Berenson.”
“The final season of HOMELAND finds Carrie Mathison (Danes) recovering from months of brutal confinement in a Russian gulag. Her body is healing, but her memory remains fractured – which is a problem for Saul, now National Security Advisor to the newly ascendant President Warner (Emmy and Golden Globe winner Beau Bridges). 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.”
Given that the series is set to see Carrie working in the field again in the Middle East, after another time jump, it’s worth wondering whether or not she’ll have any actual contact with Zabel, or if he’ll just be a thorn in Saul’s side. That also raises the possibility that Saul and Carrie might have limited screen time together in the final season as if her one-time mentor is busy dealing with consultants and other Washington power players, then he might not be working side-by-side with the troubled operative as he has in he past. Those questions will likely have to wait until the series begins its final season sometime this year.
Homeland season 8 is currently in production and is expected to air in the summer of 2019.