All eight seasons have had gut-wrenching, hard-hitting drama with plot twists and subplots, shocking scenes, and eventually a bond like none other between Carrie Mathison and Saul Berenson saving America at all costs.
On a side note, are you confused about The Professor Rabinow from the season finale? — Worry not, I have explained that for you here!
Let’s come back to the finale review and explaination.
The series finale is one of the few bright spots during this otherwise morbid lockdown. The showtime series concluded with an episode that would make its ardent followers proud of its legacy and leave them asking for so much more — maybe a spin-off?
Easily, one of the most riveting episodes for a series finale would be that of the Homeland’s.
Packed with powerhouse performances, a gripping script and racy storytelling rank Homeland at the top of the list for its cinematic brilliance for a TV show like none other.
Take a bow Carrie Mathison(Claire Danes); you gave Homeland a fitting closure, rather leaving fans asking for more. No surprises there to see #CarrieAndSaul as a worldwide trending twitter hashtag.
An Epic Series Conclusion
Now coming to the show itself — the second last episode left things at a cliff hanger with the Russians initially denying the very existence of the black box containing the cockpit recording [of the helicopter in which US President Warner died].
Saul took things into his own hands and played a stunt in the United Nations, accusing the Russians of actually having the black box. This made all the members present extremely vary of what was actually happening.
Eventually, Saul spoke to the Ambassador of Russia, who confirmed that the ask had been made and “they have what they want i.e., the BLACK BOX,” and it was Yevgeny Gromov’s “play.”
This took Saul by surprise as he had not been asked of anything, which made him suspicious about Carrie being involved too, and it led to different showdown regarding the same between them.
“The Ask” by Yevgeny was for Carrie to figure out who is the asset — Saul has in the highest ranks of the GRU (Russian Intelligence) who has been giving away secrets for many decades.
The identity of the Russian traitor becomes the key to getting back the Black Box and averting a nuclear disaster between America and Pakistan.
It’s worth mentioning here that in an earlier episode, Carrie got her hands on the black box with Yevgeny and heard its contents, which clearly stated that the US President’s helicopter was not shot down; instead, it crashed due to mechanical failure.
Subsequently, Terror mastermind Jalal Haqqani — the son of the Afghani rebel(Hassim Haqqani) who initiated peace talks with the Americans to take revenge on being ousted from the Taliban by his father, claims to be the one who shot down the US President Warner’s helicopter.
By doing so — he claimed himself to be the rightful successor of the Taliban and consolidated power amongst all the Taliban factions.
A video was leaked of Jalal Haqqani claiming the same, which led to the new US President Benjamin Hayes, declaring war on Pakistan if they don’t hand him over.
Unraveling The Truth
Carrie meets with the GRU unit and gets a potent solution and catalyst, which, when mixed, is enough to paralyze a person. When she walks into Saul’s house in the evening — Saul is seen listening to loud classical music and having a stiff single malt [Talisker – one of my favorites].
Carrie’s sister had visited Saul in the morning of the same day and informed him that Carrie was in town but had not met her or her baby — Fanny.
Saul asks Carrie point blank – “Why is this the case?” Unless she was not planning to stay in the US for a long time and if that’s so, what exactly is she up to?
Carrie figures Saul already knows what ‘the ask’ is and that she has made a deal with Yevgeny to come through.
She also tells him about her investigation and the fact that she’s figured out that ‘the asset’ was not a man but a woman, who contacted him by sending messages inside the spine of the books. This is a super old school and very Saul.
Did Carrie Kill Saul?
Saul is outraged and tells Carrie -– He can’t reveal his asset’s name, it will set them back decades, Carrie was compelled to beg him to reveal the name of the asset in a bid to avert nuclear disaster as a priority.
Saul responded by saying: ‘it’s a regional issue at best ” — “The cost of doing business” and asked Carrie to leave his house and turn herself in that very night.
As Carrie goes upstairs to pack, she decides to mix the reactant and catalyst, just when Saul walks in on Carrie. She with her glove on attacks Saul — paralyzing him.
She subsequently calls the GRU agents – who again threatened to kill him with a lethal injection, Carrie begs Saul to give her the name of ‘the Asset.’
Saul’s famous words, even when paralyzed – “Go F*** yourself!” Determined to even die but not reveal the identity of his’ asset.
The Asset Revealed?
Carrie admits her bluff and tells the GRU agent not to kill Saul and moves to plan B -– catches a flight to Israel to visit Saul’s sister.
She lies to Saul’s sister, saying that he died of a heart attack and if there is anything Saul has left for her. His sister gives her an envelope with a pen drive.
This has a video meant to handover his asset to Carrie in case of his demise -– he clearly mentions this and reveals the identity of his asset – “Anna.”
Shortly after Saul’s sister leaves, Yevgeny arrives at her home and verifies the video and informs the GRU that the head interpreter of the GRU itself — Anna is Saul’s “Asset” who has been leaking sensitive information all these years.
Carrie is very distraught and blames Yevgeny for her breaking Saul’s trust and how this is the last thing on earth she would have ever wanted to do.
Yevgeny being pragmatic, replies that -– “You will survive, and he [Saul] will survive and well, this is the cost of doing business.”
Saul & The Asset – The End?
Back in the 1980s, when Saul was in East Berlin — Anna had approached him and wanted to work for the United States as the Communist Party had had all of her classmates brutally killed.
Saul blew her off, but when two members of the secret police cornered him, she shot them and saved Saul’s life.
Since then, she had been one of his most trusted assets (spy) in Russia working her way up to the highest levels of the GRU.
Once the GRU team at Saul’s home gets the OK that they have the identity of the asset – they leave.
Since he missed his morning meeting, the Whitehouse thought there was something fishy, and they sent a police team to Saul’s house -– he calls an agent at the United Nations and asks him to tell Anna her cover is blown and to get her to safety.
While they are making their getaway –- some members of the Russian delegation and GRU spot them, following them to the basement where Anna finally shoots herself after thanking Saul for all that he could do.
Yevgeny gets the alert that Anna committed suicide and Saul actually did manage to inform her to escape –- this would mean that Saul knew exactly where Carrie was at his sister’s place and would be sending a team to arrest Carrie for sharing state secrets and revealing the identity of an asset -– which would also be treason against the state.
She and Yevgeny jump into the Audi and head out to escape, realizing that Carrie’s only option now is to live as a fugitive in exile.
The Asset Returns
Two years later, in Moscow -– Carrie seems happy, dating and living with Yevgeny. While in Washington, Saul’s sister attends a surprise phone call for a “Professor Rabinow” at Saul’s house while they are packing to leave.
A call for ‘Professor Rabinow’ is a coded call that used to take place between Anna and Saul. But Anna is dead.
Saul goes to the bookstore, where he used to receive books from Anna carrying a hidden secret message. To his surprise, he is handed a new parcel of another book.
He brings it home and is shocked to see the title — ‘Tyranny of Secrets: Why I had to betray my country’ by Carrie Mathison.
Then the spy in Saul realized what if this was a message from Carrie, and he checks the spine of the book like old times. It had a secret message: “The Russian missile system just sold to Iran and Turkey has an exploitable backdoor. “Specs to follow. Stay Tuned.”
– about the location of Turkish missiles from Carrie
Saul smiles as he realizes his protégé had exceeded his expectations and was trying to replace Anna, who lost her life because of her and using the same techniques to ensure that her legacy remains.
This ending brings us full circle, and we see Carrie at a Jazz concert in Moscow with Yevgeny(Kamasi Washington American saxophonist and his Jazz band). During the concert, she steps out to go to the bathroom to exchange purses with another spy in order to swap secret messages while doing her makeup.
The Asset returns! Long Live Homeland! Long live, Carrie and Saul!Originally Written By Epic Dope