Homecoming was one of the biggest Amazon Originals to hit the streaming service last year. Starring Julia Roberts, she plays a therapist called Heidi Bergman, based at a live-in facility called Homecoming.
This is a new concept in rehabilitation and focuses only on soldiers who have returned from active duty. By simulating the real world, Homecoming provides these men with the tools needed to live a happy and productive life back in the real world. Or does it?
The story starts in 2018 with Bergman sitting in her office, starting her first therapy session with military veteran Walter Cruz. Then everything changes. We are now four years ahead Heidi is back home and working as a waitress in a diner. An investigator from the DOD, Thomas Carrasco, is looking into a complaint about Homecoming. And his attempts to question Bergman result in her claiming to have almost no memory of her time at the facility or Walter Cruz (Stephan James).
So the show jumps back and forth as the true story about Homecoming unfolds. Bergman is the main administrator of the facility. But it's Colin Belfast (Bobby Cannavale) her boss, who ultimately controls things on behalf of a company called the Geist Group.
Between Carrascos' investigation and Bergman's search for the truth, the whole house of cards is ready to come crumbling down around Homecoming, Belfast and the Geist Group.
Homecoming is a psychological thriller directed by Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot). With 10 episodes, there is a feeling, somewhere around episode 6 or 7, that the story is really being eeked out. Yes, there are plenty of twists and turns and everything is not what it seems. The script is compelling and engaging and the relationships, especially between Bergman and Cruz, are genuinely top-notch.
However, it is drawn out and the pacing of the story is very slow despite it only being 30 minutes an episode. The thing is you really, really want to find out what happened. And that's where the second problem with Homecoming lies. The end is, well, unsatisfying. Now I don't expect a nice neat bow to wrap everything up but something other than a really vague conclusion would have been nice. Oh, and you absolutely have to watch right through to the end of the credits to get an extra hidden bit of the storyline!
Season 2 of Homecoming is in the works. But spoiler alert, anybody expecting a continuation of the Bergman-Cruz storyline will be disappointed. Julia Roberts will not star in Season 2. Instead, Janelle Monet will take up the lead role in an entirely different story.
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