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Homecoming 

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Good intentions. Erratic bosses. Mounting paranoia. Unforeseen consequences spiraling out of control. Heidi (Julia Roberts) works at Homecoming, a facility helping soldiers transition to ... See full summary »
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7 ( 14)

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Julia Roberts ...  Heidi Bergman 10 episodes, 2018
Bobby Cannavale ...  Colin Belfast 10 episodes, 2018
Stephan James ...  Walter Cruz 10 episodes, 2018
Shea Whigham ...  Thomas Carrasco 8 episodes, 2018
Alex Karpovsky ...  Craig 8 episodes, 2018
Ayden Mayeri ...  Reina 7 episodes, 2018
Sissy Spacek ...  Ellen Bergman 6 episodes, 2018
Billy Stevenson ...  Abe 6 episodes, 2018
Marianne Jean-Baptiste ...  Gloria Morisseau 5 episodes, 2018
Alden Ray ...  Maurice 5 episodes, 2018
Sam Marra ...  Javen 5 episodes, 2018
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Storyline

Good intentions. Erratic bosses. Mounting paranoia. Unforeseen consequences spiraling out of control. Heidi (Julia Roberts) works at Homecoming, a facility helping soldiers transition to civilian life. Years later she has started a new life, when the Department of Defense questions why she left Homecoming. Heidi realizes there's a whole other story behind the one she's been telling herself.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Homecoming See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dermont Mulroney and Julia Roberts previously co-starred together in My Best Friend's Wedding (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Everything in its Right Place
(uncredited)
Performed by Radiohead
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User Reviews

 
Better noir than Kubrick, almost as good as Mr. Robot
3 November 2018 | by paulr1978See all my reviews

On the surface, a government contractor acts as a facilitator to reintroduce veterans with significant PTSD issues back into their stateside former lives, presumably to reduce or eliminate shock, self-alienation, and failure. The experimental approach involves a sleek, comfortable Florida setting complete with therapists who are unwitting of their actual role, and mind control by means of experimental drugs.

By the end of S1, it is not clear at all who is calling the shots at this facility as employees all seem to have an outsized opinion of their function when, in fact, they each perform as cogs in another more nefarious plan. What they are doing to the veterans becomes evident eventually. That's when the wheels fall off. Crises of conscience are suffered leading to illicit use of or dependence on the mystery drug.

Fans of Mr. Robot will probably love this. Viewers looking for more explicit action and quick pacing will probably be too bored to stick with it. Fans of Kubrick, Lynch, or in my case, Denis Villeneuve, will recognize the influences of these and other directors. But Esmail is no copycat. His use of the long shot is not as painfully suspended as Kubrick's. Whenever the camera hangs on long, the viewer can observe character development as the actor acts with their eyes and face. Esmail chooses the most arbitrary set details to linger on just barely long enough for you to begin to suspect a clue, or foreshadow, is being given (I just knew that pelican in the beginning had its own particular role in the game, beyond just posing majestically).

Symbolism is everywhere, but the use of if is woven into the background, never in your face, never overstated as is the case with so many of the most popular police procedural shows (i'm thinking of Law & Order SVU, NCIS, or anything involving Bruckheimer). By way of example, the contractor is named Geist which translates to "ghost" from German. Another one: at Geist headquarters where the various divisions are named after tree species, the division where Colin Belfast (played by Cannavale) resides is named after the Manchineel tree, a southern US native tree commonly called the beach apple, and everything on the tree is toxic. These are a couple of the most obvious cases. Less clear are tiny things like Heidi Bergman's (played by Roberts) rarely observed slight obsessive-compulsive disorder. What does that mean?

Esmail's fingerprints are unique and found throughout this series. Scoring and sound is used to identify certain characters and situations, much the same way as Esmail does in Mr. Robot, leitmotif. Birds eye view camera shots enhance the feeling of suspense/suspicion. The overhead-and-a-few-feet-behind camera trailing the slow moving car is ripped directly off the S2 final episode of Mr. Robot. It made me smile. One curious appropriation still has me spooked. A piano study is played through the ending of ep. 8 when Heidi Bergman is at her rock bottom lowest, having just discovered the true malice of her employer and what role she played in condemning the vets. The music, here newly arranged, is thematic music from a little seen old Coppola move, The Conversation, an excellent suspense noir also involving hidden motives, surveillance, and paranoia.

Esmail is outstanding in my estimation, and I believe we've only gotten the tip of his iceberg. He develops characters like nobody else today, and often with very little dialogue being used. Characters are sympathetic and complex, possessing both virtues and negative traits. At 30-minute episode pacing, this series is dangerously prone to binge material. And yet, in that short span Esmail conveys a level of suspense followed up with cliffhangers that one by one produce a heavy sense of dread. Kubrick usually needed two or three hours to achieve this.


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