Will There Ever Be A Homeland Season 9?

In April 2020, Showtime's popular psychological spy thriller series Homeland came to an end ... or did it? That's the question some fans have been asking since watching the season 8 finale.

Homeland, which is based on the Israeli TV series Prisoners of War, stars Claire Danes as bipolar CIA officer-turned-private citizen Carrie Mathison and Mandy Patinkin as her mentor, Saul Berenson. Together the pair try to thwart terrorists and maintain national security — but at what cost?

The Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning series included a lot of twists, turns, double-crosses, and thwarted global catastrophes during its time on the air, beginning with the season 1 storyline that saw Carrie trying to prove that U.S. Marine sergeant and POW Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) is actually a spy for al-Qaeda. By the final season, she is a private citizen who is recovering from spending months in a Russian gulag, where she may have turned into the very thing she spent her life trying to expose: A spy.

So, will there ever be a season 9 of Homeland? Here's what we know.

The Homeland series finale left things open-ended

Most series finales don't end with a literal call-to-action to "Stay tuned," but that's exactly what Homeland did. Spoilers ahead!

The 66-minute conclusion, titled "Prisoners of War" in a nod to the Israeli inspiration behind the show, doesn't wrap up the series neatly with a bow – Homeland was never going to resolve the strife in the Middle East or Russian meddling in American politics — but it does still provide a satisfying, albeit ambiguous, ending.

The biggest underlying question of season 8 of Homeland is whether Carrie was turned into a Russian spy during her time in the gulag, especially because of her close connection to Russian intelligence agent Yevgeny Gromov (Costa Ronin). The answer begins to unfold when the U.S. president (Beau Bridges) is killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan and Carrie goes on a mission to retrieve the flight recorder to find out if it was an act of terrorism. When the recorder lands in Yevgeny's hands, Carrie strikes a deal with him for the recorder in exchange for the identity of a high-ranking double agent inside the Kremlin that was placed there by Saul. She's instructed to get the information by any means necessary, even if it means killing Saul.

When Saul denies the double-agent claim, Carrie shoots him up with a paralytic agent that renders him helpless as she threatens him with a lethal injection. When he calls her bluff, however, Carrie lets him live, but not before she flees the country and winds up getting the information she wanted anyway via Saul's secret USB drive.

Fast-forward two years, when Carrie is living in Russia with Yevgeny and has released a tell-all book about the CIA a la Edward Snowden. Saul receives a package that contains a copy of the book, which he assumes contains a hidden message. Indeed, there's a tiny piece of paper buried inside the binding, with a message from Carrie: "Greetings from Moscow, Professor. The Russian S-400 missile defense system sold to Iran and Turkey has a backdoor. It can be defeated. Specs to follow. Stay tuned."

And with that, Homeland came to an end.

The creator of Homeland says 'never say never' to another season

So, just what does the ending of Homeland mean?

Well, the main takeaway is that Saul has a new double agent infiltrating Russia. Carrie's secret note inside the book shows that she hasn't completely forgotten her allegiance.

That open-ended feeling is exactly what showrunner Alex Gansa was going for. "The idea is that the story goes on," Gansa told TVLine. "That's how we chose to end the series. Carrie is [in Russia] doing her work and communicating with Saul. Maybe the story [of what comes next] lives best in the imagination of our fans."

It wasn't an easy outcome to agree on when it came to cast and crew weighing in, adds Gansa: "The conversations got intense about how far Carrie would go and how far she wouldn't go. Everyone — cast members, directors, writers — was in a froth. ... To say there was some free-floating anxiety would've been an understatement."

At one point, the script called for Carrie to actually kill Saul, which in the end didn't go over well with Gansa. "That [climatic Carrie/Saul] scene went through a lot of iterations before it wound up being the ruse that it eventually wound up being," he said. "There were many incarnations of that scene, one of which had her actually [killing him]. I wrote those scenes. And every time I [took another pass at them] I was like, 'I just don't believe Carrie would actually do this.' So we backed out. We backtracked and figured out another way to do it."

So, what about the big, burning question fans have? Is this really the end of the line for Homeland?

"Sadly, I really think so," says Gansa. "It was such a unique and extraordinary experience. And I think the story ended where it should've ended. [Homeland co-creator] Howard [Gordon] says, 'Never say never,' but I think all of us are beyond grateful for the experience and are now ready to go on and do something else. Who knows what will happen in five or six years, but at the moment, I feel like you have seen the last of [Carrie]."