Based on the Israeli series Prisoners of War, Homeland is a Showtime spy series starring Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, a CIA officer suffering from bipolar disorder while trying to thwart terrorist plots against the U.S. The first three seasons follow the story of Nicholas Brody, a prisoner of war who may or may not have been turned by a terrorist organization. While the nation heralds the return of Brody labeling him a hero, Mathison suspects his Al Qaeda connection, but when she stops taking her medication and lets the mania take over, she has a hard time pleading her theory.
Once the Brody storyline wraps up, showrunner Alex Gansa brilliantly reboots the series season after season, playing on our nation’s greatest fears with believable plots that sometimes even predict our reality. Danes is mesmerizing, giving a passionate, enthralling performance backed by industry veteran Mandy Patinkin as her mentor Saul Berenson. Carrie and Saul fight terrorism in Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan and more, putting a global spin on this taut thriller about protecting our flag.
Want to see Danes in action? Here’s how to watch Homeland streaming online.
How to Watch Homeland Online & Stream the Complete Series
In the United States, episodes of Homeland are available on both Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Here’s how to watch via either service:
If you have Amazon Prime or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch all on-demand Showtime content through the Showtime Amazon Channel, which also comes with a free 7-day trial.
Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the Showtime channel, you can then watch all seven seasons of Homeland on your computer via the Amazon website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app.
The first five seasons of Homeland are included in Hulu’s regular on-demand library, but you’ll need the Showtime add-on for the last two. Here are your options when signing up:
It costs $7.99 per month for the limited commercials plan or $11.99 per month for the no commercials plan, both of which include the first five seasons of Homeland. The Showtime add-on, which has all seven seasons of Homeland, is another $8.99 per month.
Hulu With Live TV: If you want to go from watching Hulu’s on-demand library to watching live TV without changing the app, you can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV”. This option gives you access to Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, as well as a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels.
It costs $39.99 per month for the plan that includes limited commercials with the on-demand content or $43.99 per month for the plan that includes no commercials with the on-demand content, both of which include the first five seasons of Homeland. The Showtime add-on, which has all seven seasons of Homeland, is another $8.99 per month.
Once signed up for either option, you can watch Homeland episodes on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead
How Many Homeland Seasons Are There?
There are seven seasons of Showtime’s Homeland; a recent announcement has confirmed its upcoming eighth season will be its last.
Homeland Season 1
12 Episodes | October 2011 – December 2011
Carrie Mathison, a CIA operations officer, is reassigned to Langley, Va. after conducting an unauthorized operation in Iraq. A U.S. Marine Sergeant, Nicholas Brody, is found and rescued after being reported missing for eight years. He’s found inside a compound belonging to terrorist Abu Nazir. While Brody is getting the war hero treatment, Carrie starts to believe that he’s planning an attack on U.S. soil. Along with her friend and mentor, Saul Berenson, Carrie works to investigate Brody and prevent an attack before the country becomes victim to another senseless act of terrorism.
Homeland Season 2
12 Episodes | September 2012 – December 2012
On leave from the CIA, Carrie is recruited for an intelligence mission in Beirut. Brody works hard to strengthen his position as a running mate for Vice President Walden, but unknowing to everyone around him, he’s still under the control of Nazir. Brody is taken to Nazir who reveals a terror plot that Brody then informs the CIA of. Carrie and Brody sneak out of a ceremony at Langley only to avoid being killed in an explosion that kills hundreds. The bomb, unfortunately, was planted in Brody’s car. Carrie then sneaks Brody to the Canadian border to help him escape.
Homeland Season 3
12 Episodes | September 2013 – December 2013
Carrie works overtime to help clear Brody’s name, but is sidelined after she’s admitted for a psych evaluation. Saul sets his sights on Iranian intelligence officer Majid Javadi who he suspects financed the Langley bombing. Carrie blackmails Javadi into switching sides. Meanwhile, Carrie is revealed to be 13 weeks pregnant (with Brody’s baby, nonetheless). Saul reveals a plan to sneak Brody into Iran to seek asylum and kill the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Brody ends up killing Akbari, but before he can rendezvous with Carrie at the safe house, he’s arrested, put on trial and publicly hanged.
Homeland Season 4
12 Episodes | October 2014 – December 2014
When Season 4 starts, we find Carrie working as a CIA station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan. After a failed drone strike kills 40 civilians at a wedding in the suspected location of mastermind terrorist Haissan Haqqani, Carrie recruits his nephew Aayan to try to gain new intel. Saul is captured in all of the back and forth and an extraction plan to save him also fails. Haqqani and his men infiltrate the embassy and kill several people in an attempt to get a list of informants, which CIA Director Lockhart eventually gives up. Carrie later learns that Dar Adal and Saul were in on a deal with Haqqani: If he no longer harbors terrorists in Afghanistan, the CIA will remove him from their kill list.
Homeland Season 5
12 Episodes | October 2015 – December 2015
Two years later, Carrie is no longer working for the CIA, and instead works a quiet life as head of security for a private charitable foundation in Berlin. The season takes off when Quinn alerts Carrie that she’s on a kill list and that someone is targeting her, presumably seeking justice for everything Carrie has done in her long storied career in the CIA. New threats show their faces including ISIS, cyberterrorists and whistleblowers trying to blow everything up (figuratively). It is revealed that CIA agent Allison Carr is working with the Russians and she’s the one pulling the strings behind Carrie’s targeting. Without having Saul and Quinn in her corner, Carrie faces a danger unlike anything else she’s ever faced.
Homeland Season 6
12 Episodes | January 2017 – April 2017
Carrie is back and living in Brooklyn, working at a foundation that provides aid to Muslims living in the states. Having survived the events of the prior season, Quinn has suffered a major stroke and is now seemingly a drug addict. Saul and Dar are back at it again, dealing with counter-terrorism issues within the U.S. The season takes place between election day and inauguration day, and sees the election of the first female president in the show’s history. An assassination plot against the new president is thwarted, as Carrie learns of a plan to frame Quinn for the murder. As he’s helping get President-elect Keane out of the building, armed soldiers open fire killing Quinn in the process.
Homeland Season 7
12 Episodes | February 2018 – April 2018
Carrie leaves her job in the White House to move back to D.C. with her sister. She takes on the new administration to lobby for the release of 200 members of the intelligence community who were arrested without charge under the new president’s orders. Carrie slowly unravels an international conspiracy set to undermine President Keane, despite her mixed feelings about Keane’s lies.
What Are the Best Homeland Episodes?
Homeland is known for its fast-paced episodes that are chock-full of sharp twists and gnarly turns. Here’s a list of the best Homeland episodes.
Season 2, Episode 2: “Beirut Is Back”
Fatima tells Carrie about a meeting her Hezbollah husband is having in Beirut, so Carrie and Saul request a special forces team to capture him.
Season 1, Episode 12: “Marine One”
Carrie is nearly cataonic as Saul investigates her proposed outline of Brody’s actions. Brody makes final preparations for his meeting with the vice president, suicide vest and all.
Season 4, Episode 10: “13 Hours in Islamabad”
A security breach at the embassy sees multiple deaths and dire consequences.
Season 2, Episode 11: “In Memoriam”
Carrie is close to exhaustion but continues her search for Nazir anyway. There’s a suspected mole in the CIA and Carrie seeks to sniff him or her out. Saul fights to save his career while the Brodys struggle to get their lives back on track.
Season 7, Episode 6: “Species Jump”
Saul helps Carrie see that Dante may have been setting her up. After a night of drinks, Carrie drugs Dante and brings in a team to search his apartment.
Who Are the Actors in the Homeland Cast?
Most of Homeland‘s exquisite cast is here today and gone tomorrow, appearing in just a season or two before wrapping up their arcs. There are some major players, however, who have received plenty of accolades and a lot of award nominations, especially those named “Claire Danes.”
When we first meet Mathison, she’s a former operations officer working for the CIA. She obsessively searched for terrorist Abu Nazir who she believes turned Nick Brody, a POW, against his country. She suffers from bipolar disorder and has a history of alcohol abuse which make her job difficult. Danes is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actress who’s received praise for her work in Temple Grandin, My So-Called Life and Romeo + Juliet.
Saul is Carrie’s mentor at the CIA and also the Acting Director of the organization in Season 3. He recruited Carrie and trained her in the field, and despite not being her boss anymore, the two maintain a close working relationship. He’s a three-time Golden Globe nominee and an Emmy winner known for his roles in Chicago Hope, Yentl and the classic 1987 film The Princess Bride.
Quinn is a CIA paramilitary officer assigned to lead a surveillance team comprised of Carrie, Saul, Virgil and Max. The team was observing Congressman Nick Brody after they discovered Brody attempted to assassinate the Vice President. Friend can also be seen in The Young Victoria, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Death of Stalin.
Adal is a CIA Black Operations Director and the handler of operative Peter Quinn. He’s an old friend of Saul Berenson’s, the two having served at a CIA station in Kenya together. His shifting allegiances makes him an interesting guy to watch. Abraham is an Oscar winner for his role in 1984’s Amadeus.
Brody was a former POW held captive for eight years. Upon his return, he was suspected of being a new terrorist turned against his country. After his role on Homeland ended, Lewis went on to star in Billions. He’s also known for Band of Brothers in 2001.
Who Are the Top Guest Stars on Homeland?
The series has a revolving door of guest stars and supporting cast members. Here’s a list of the most important Homeland guest stars.
Jessica is Nick Brody’s wife and mother to their kids, Dana and Chris. When Nick went missing, she started a relationship with his friend Mike Faber. Baccarin played Inara in the sci-fi series Firefly and its follow up film Serenity. More recently, she starred in Deadpool and Deadpool 2 alongside Ryan Reynolds.
Carr is the CIA station chief in Berlin who also led a double life as an informant for Russian intelligence. Otto played Eowyn in the Lord of the Rings franchise and can be seen on the upcoming Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Elizabeth Keane is a former President of the United States. In Season 7, she steps down from the position. Marvel played Heather Dunbar in House of Cards and is also known for her stint on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Who Are the Writers & Creators Behind Homeland?
The series was developed by two main principles: Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa.
Howard Gordon: Homeland Creator, Executive Producer and Writer
Gordon is a TV writer and producer best known for his work on the series 24. He co-developed Homeland with Alex Gansa and has writing credits on shows like Angel, The X-Files and Spenser: For Hire.
Alex Gansa: Homeland Creator, Executive Producer and Writer
Gansa developed the show with Gordon and also partnered with Gordon for 24. He’s also worked on the Beauty and the Beast TV show, Dawson’s Creek and The X-Files.
Lesli Linka Glatter: Homeland Producer and Director
Linka Glatter is a film and TV director who has directed 21 episodes of Homeland. She has also directed episodes of shows like Masters of Sex, The Newsroom, True Blood, Ray Donovan and Pretty Little Liars.
Where Homeland Ranks in the Television Pantheon
Homeland was the recipient of many awards and nominations. In 2012, the show received nine nominations and won six awards including Outstanding Drama Series, Claire Danes for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Damian Lewis for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for the pilot episode. Overall, the show boasts 97 total nominations and 35 wins in both creative and acting categories thanks to its tight storytelling and intense lead performances.
The series was also recognized with a Peabody Award, which described the series as “a game of cat and mouse, a psychological thriller and a Rorschach test of post-9/11 doubts, fears and suspicions rolled into one.”
While sometimes compared to 24 for its similar themes, creative team and edgy storytelling, Homeland shares none of the soapiness. A guilty pleasure it is not; rather, it’s a provocative series that exemplifies the power of serial storytelling. Time Out called it the best new show in its debut year writing, “With impressive talent on both sides of the camera, Homeland succeeds as both a compelling thriller and an engaging character drama.”