Showtime’s spy drama “Homeland” may be coming to a close, but star Mandy Patinkin hopes its lessons will live on for years to come.
“The mission that I found so meaningful and ironic at the end of the day was … representing the patriots that we met in the intelligence community,” Patinkin told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday in an impassioned speech that spanned criticism of the Trump administration’s hostility toward the intelligence community and a call to action for an informed electorate.
Patinkin said he has “profound respect” for the individuals who dedicate themselves to the U.S. intelligence service, praising them for their willingness to admit past mistakes and how they’ve “sacrificed their lives” for the cause. Patinkin said he hopes that “Homeland,” kicks off its final run of episodes next month, will endure as a tribute to those individuals.
“The irony of these past three years, to watch this current administration — and the contagion, and the cancer that affects the world globally — of going to war with the intelligence community … it’s just a stunner,” Patinkin said, growing increasingly heated.
“You can’t have it both ways, where you wake up in the morning and say with a tweet that we had imminent knowledge of an event and that’s why we did this … and in the same breath five minutes earlier or later say, we choose to ignore the intelligence about interfering in the elections in 2016. That doesn’t work.”
He went on to say that he hopes “Homeland” will serve as a clarion call for voters around the world, encouraging them to recognize ambiguity and to think more critically about the leaders they elect to office.
“My passion about this … is a plea to people who watch ‘Homeland’ all over the world to use not just their imaginations, or their escape mechanism in watching it, but to use their minds in seeking out what they believe is the truth as opposed to false information,” he said.
“So that when they go to the polls to elect their officials, they are voting for people that they believe will stop the killing the hatred and the violence, stop the conflicts, and change the course of humanity, which is profoundly broken right now.”
During Monday’s panel, Patinkin encouraged viewers to think of the show, in its totality, as “a novel that is 12 chapters long times eight years.” Relating a story of watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” with his wife and still finding meaning in it more than 80 years after its initial release, Patinkin said he believes “Homeland” will have a similarly enduring legacy.
“A show like ‘Homeland’ unfortunately will go on forever,” he said. “Maybe not with us, but with others that you will interview because it’s a necessity … For the sake of humanity.”
“Homeland’s” eighth and final season premieres Feb. 9 on Showtime, nearly two years after the previous season aired on the network.