"Homeland" could be considered one of the most successful television series to debut during the 2010s. Especially to come from a premium cable channel. Many fans of the medium are still recovering from the largely disastrous concluding chapter of "Game of Thrones". And now, it was time to find out how "Homeland" would bow out.

The finale and the season leading up to have almost immediately drawn divided opinions. Something that's probably not particularly surprising, all things considered. And it mostly has seemed to avoid the rage that was drawn by "Game of Thrones".

But a common feeling seems to be that the series was a very different one from when it began. Beware of spoilers.

Was inspired by the series 'Prisoners of War'

The basis for the series originally came from Israel and the series "Prisoners of War". "Homeland" is one of at least three international adaptations to be produced. It would air originally on Showtime.

At the start of the series, we're introduced to Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes. Carrie is a highly-skilled CIA agent who feels deep personal guilt and responsibility for 9/11. But she's deeply flawed, including a problem with promiscuity. She's also actively trying to hide that she has bipolar disorder.

In the beginning, Carrie seems to be the only one suspicious of Nicholas Brody, played by Damien Lewis.

A U.S. Marine, Brody recently returned from the Middle East, where he'd been a prisoner of war. While others welcome him home as a hero, Carrie suspects he has flipped sides.

Much of the plotline would be compelling for a wide audience. Among other things, viewers would get to see espionage, political intrigue, and a uniquely complicated love story.

The series would also gain a reputation for an uncanny ability to predict major world events. Reportedly, real CIA officials would be consulted by the show about happenings in the world. Which gave the show insights into issues before others in public became aware.

The first season of "Homeland" would put on a dominant performance at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Including wins for Oustanding Drama Series and for Danes and Lewis. The series and Danes would also notch wins at the Golden Globe Awards. Danes would receive another Emmy for the second season. And "Homeland" put up a familiarly dominant performance at the Golden Globe for that season as well. Once again, with the series itself and Danes and Lewis receiving trophies.

But the storyline of the series eventually went in a wildly different direction. Realistically, it would be difficult for Nicholas Brody's character to have a happy ending, given the circumstances. But as one of the two main characters, the death of his character made the show irrevocably different.

As indicated by CNN, "Homeland" never quite got the buzz back in later seasons that it once had.

Not necessarily all because of the drastic shift in plot. But a lot of it probably was. Variety documented that even many of the show's staff were disappointed by the end of the Brody arc. But even still, the show would continue on for some time, with the final episode having just aired.

How things went down

The series finale began with a callback to Brody. In a video message, he talks of how his monstrous acts were, in his mind, really out of love for his country. And an attempt to save it. It sets up a parallel with Carrie's position at the start of the episode.

She's already apparently accepted that she'd be indirectly killing a woman. Something she later alludes to how much bothered her. The woman is a Russian translator who's been leaking information to the U.S.

for many years. Carrie has reached a deal with Russian agents. If she can give them the woman's name, the war between American and Russia could be averted.

Standing in the way of this is Carrie's mentor, Saul, portrayed by Mandy Patinkin. He knows the woman's name but won't give it up, leading Carrie to consider a horrific option. Because if Saul were to die, it would trigger a series of events where Carrie would find out the name.

Carrie ultimately does poison, Saul. But rather than go through with killing him, she temporarily paralyzes him. Instead, she manipulates his sister, who unbeknownst to her, has the info Carrie needs.

She gives the name to the Russians, leading to the woman's tragic death.

The war between the United States and Russia is avoided. And Carrie has to go on the run as a fugitive. Her relationship with Saul is changed forever. And she is indefinitely, very possibly permanently, separated from her and Brody's daughter.

In a flash-forward to the future, Saul is apparently going into retirement. Carrie is living in Moscow and has taken up with Russian agent Yevgeny Romov. She has also written a memoir. Explaining why she felt she had to betray her country. But not all is quite as it seems.

We have to go back earlier in the episode. Saul told Carrie that if his Russian source were eliminated, there was nobody in a position to take her place. Not for several years. In addition to the danger the source would be put in, it would be a significant setback for American intelligence.

Carrie sends a copy of her memoir to Saul. In the spine of the book, Carrie has enclosed a message. It includes intelligence that could help the U.S. fend off a Russian threat in the Middle East. The audience can be left to assume Carrie is taking on the role of being American's new source from Russia. Something made easier by her relationship with a Russian agent. For decades, Saul received intel from his source via messages hidden in spines of red leather books. A similar tradition seems to be starting.

On a side note, Carrie dedicates her memoir to her daughter. Who in some ways might be the biggest victim of "Homeland". Carrie was already a rather lackluster mother on many occasions. And now her child is left to grow up without either of her parents. Both of whom have been accused of being and to their own extents were traitors to their country.