[Ed. note: This article contains significant spoilers for Homecoming season 1, and minor setup spoilers for season 2.]
The first season of Amazon’s Homecoming was a masterfully tense thriller, with each around half- hour episode gradually unfolding the main secret of what was going on at the Geist Group’s dubious Homecoming Transitional Assistance Center for veterans. Season 1 ended with a bespectacled Department of Defense auditor efficiently functioning as the world’s nerdiest noir hero, resolving the puzzle, however leaving no one much betteroff In between the basically fully dealt with plot and the fact that Julia Roberts wasn’t returning in the starring role she had in season 1, it appeared like creators and showrunners Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg, who also created the podcast the show is based on, would turn the series into an anthology show.
However that didn’t take place. Instead, Homecoming season 2, which was released on May 22, choices up right where season 1 leavesoff While Horowitz and Bloomberg have actually hired an outstanding cast that’s doing their best to regain the magic, the season feels unfulfilling and essentially unneeded.
Picture: Amazon Studios.
The seven-episode season opens with Jackie (Janelle Monáe of Moonlight and Hidden Figures) waking up in a rowboat with no memory of who she is. Her only hints to her identity are a tattoo and an id suggesting that she’s a Flying Forceveteran That introduction would have a lot more punch if season 1 of Homecoming wasn’t about veterans being explored on with a drug that makes them lose all memory of their service so they will offer for redeployment. There’s one twist in season 2, revealed extremely early in its run, and the season never ever tops that minute. Instead, it moves back in time, then drags on by needlessly filling in spaces from completion of season 1, and describing exactly how Jackie got in that rowboat.
Much of the story focuses on Audrey Temple (Hong Chau of Watchmen and Downsizing), who appeared in season 1 as a receptionist who in some way efficiently ousted Colin Belfast (Bobby Cannavale of Will & & Grace and Master of None), the oily head of the Homecomingproject The scenes in between Audrey and Colin are replayed to show how she controlled herself into the self-confidence of CEO Leonard Geist (Chris Cooper), who’s hokey and remarkably earnest for the head of a company scoring Department of Defense agreements.
Chau brings some of the very same mix of perkiness and malice she showed as Watchmen villain Woman Trieu to Audrey, who is frantically understanding for power at a company run by slick, inefficient men and women who would happily stab her with a smile if it suggested forwarding their own professions. She discovers a kindred spirit in Bunda (Joan Cusack), a high-ranking DOD official who sees unlimited potential in Geist’s memory- taking formula. Cusack utilizes low-key appeal and a sense of sisterhood to tether Audrey’s rise to her own aspirations, quickly taking control of the scenario as she amuses progressively terrible usages for the drug.
Picture: Ali Goldstein/ Amazon Studios.
There’s a lot of potential in the evaluation of how women can compensate for sexism with outright ruthlessness, however the corporate-intrigue plot is sharing space with excessive other material that’s reworking season 1. Walter Cruz (Stephan James of If Beale Street Might Talk), the veteran who invested most of season 1 in a battle of wits with Roberts’ Homecoming social employee Heidi Bergman, has actually begun gaining back some of his memories. Now he’s asking concerns about his treatment, which might possibly interfere with Audrey’s plans.
Walter’s story appeared well dealt with at the end of season 1, and while it’s great to see James bringing back the very same mix of appeal and sharp wit that made him such a standout on the show, his story does not have any novelty. It’s awesome viewing him gradually put the pieces together as he heads towards the season’s significant conclusion, and he does especially outstanding work opposite Monae as the 2 attempt to get information out of each other. The scenes still come across as a pale replica of the very same game Walter and Heidi played throughout season 1.
Much of the season feels familiar however reduced. The discordant music continues to resonate, however new director Kyle Patrick Alvarez stops working to do anything as smart as season 1’s director Sam Esmail (Mr. Robotic), who framed the scenes where Heidi was struggling with her memory in a way reminiscent of mobile phone video. Alvarez attempts to reproduce the effect with a series of split-screens revealing how various plots are clashing, however that strategy actually just accentuates how detached the entire season feels.
Picture: Ali Goldstein/ Amazon Studios.
The authors periodically provide glances of the best parts of season 1 as they mix stress, absurdist funny, and a practically Kafka-esque evaluation of administration’s failings. Standout minutes consist of Walter frantically attempting to get a Veterans Affairs employee to let him see information on his own treatment, and Jackie offering for “testing” at Geist to attempt to get some responses, then attempting to get away a space as a diffuser begins spraying gas into her space. Turns out she’s joined a customer screening group for air freshener. Both the laughs and delights feel watered down in season 2, which never ever provides anything as good as the pelican that tortured Heidi throughout season 1, or the quest Walter and a good friend go on to find out if they’re in fact in rural Florida, and not on some secret government island.
When Leonard learns more about the way his company’s drug was used on veterans, he firmly insists that all the plants used to make it should be destroyed, and additional production stopped. When Bunda hears about what occurred, she’s just thrilled that the drug worked, and that there were no problems from the people exposed to it. That dispute parallels the heart of season 2’s plot. Homecoming season 1 worked very well, which need to have produced an awful temptation to keep production rolling. for both Bunda and Amazon, pressing for more does not go anywhere good.
All 7 episodes of Homecoming season 2 are available to stream on Amazon.