Homecoming Review: Julia Roberts' Thriller Crafts a Gripping Mystery

TVLine | 10/22/2018 | Dave Nemetz
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We’ve gotten used to big movie stars doing TV for a while now… but still, Julia Roberts starring in a TV series is a pretty big deal, right? She’s not wasting her time on the small screen, either: Her new Amazon drama Homecoming — debuting Friday, Nov. 2 on the streaming service — is a smartly layered, coolly effective thriller that gets more intriguing as it goes, slowly unraveling a mystery made up of intricately interlocking clues.

Homecoming hops back and forth in time to tell the story of Heidi Bergman (Roberts, in a distractingly bad wig), a counselor at a facility for American soldiers returning home from war. There, the soldiers are offered therapy and job-training skills to help them reenter society, and Heidi strikes up a tentative friendship with one of her patients, Walter Cruz (Shots Fired‘s Stephan James). But there’s a sinister vibe lurking underneath all of this, and years later, Heidi is a waitress at a cruddy seaside diner when a Department of Defense investigator (Boardwalk Empire‘s Shea Whigham) drops by to ask questions about what exactly happened inside that facility. Yeah, what did happen?

Mr - Robot - Creator - Sam - Esmail

Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail directs every episode here — it’s created by Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg, based on their podcast — and he has an unmistakable visual flair, with lots of off-kilter framing and extreme close-ups that ratchet up the tension even further. Homecoming also shares Mr. Robot‘s ultra-paranoid worldview and creeping sense of technological dread, along with a healthy distrust of major institutions. (Heidi’s facility is actually a subsidiary of Geist Group, a behemoth conglomerate that feels a lot like Mr. Robot‘s E Corp.) The more we learn about Heidi’s place of work, the more we start to feel like something very wrong is going on there, and Homecoming develops...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TVLine
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