After the success of the previous season, Homecoming returns with a new group of characters joining the show and a simple but effective opening episode to kick us off. With the departure of Julia Roberts for this second season, Janelle Monáe takes the reigns of the show as main protagonist Jackie, setting the scene nicely for the drama to follow.
Season 2 episode 1 of Homecoming begins with a woman named Jackie awakening on a boat in the middle of a lake. When she screams for help, a strange man in the distance bolts, leaving behind keys to a car by the water. Making her way back to the road, Officer Donna stops her and requests the girl empty her pockets. It turns out Jackie’s an army vet and thanks to her confused mental state, taken down to the hospital for a check-up. Suspecting something afoul, she gets up and leaves.
Outside she runs into one of the patients at the hospital, Buddy. He agrees to take her to a place called Skins which may hold clues to her past. Skins happens to be a diner and as the two sit together, a waiter called Kyle approaches and clearly knows Jackie, going on to admit she was there with someone yesterday. Determined to figure out the truth, she works with Buddy to sift through receipts to try and find some clues to her past.
Upon finding the receipt, they also find an address and it brings them to a hotel room. Going through the belongings, Jackie finds a test tube with the familiar logo of Geist along with a stack of notes and a credit card under the name of Alex Eastern.
Jackie also finds a picture with her army friends, complete with black crosses through their faces. In the bathroom she realizes the tattoo on her forearm is actually fake and rubbing off. Leaving the room. Buddy stands waiting and smacks her in the head with his hammer, unwilling to be mixed up with her as he leaves.
As the episode closes out, we cut across to Leonard Geist on his farm entering his cabin as the camera pans up.
With some great camera work and a Hitchcockian soundtrack accompanying proceedings, Director Kyle Patrick Alvarez does a great job capturing the same Sam Esmail tropes inherent with the camera work. There’s a good array of zoom shots and artistic camera movements accompanying this simple but effective mystery hook that keeps things consistent with last season. There’s lots of questions left unanswered here as Homecoming gets off to a promising start.