People – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Giant – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Previously – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Soap – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Meters – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Needle – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Again – | Review Score – 4/5
Back for a second season, Homecoming delivers a neatly arranged puzzle box that’s satisfying but ultimately overshadowed by its excellent first season. With a narrative shift that feels like it focuses on the wrong protagonist across its 7 episodes, Homecoming is a show that lacks the same flair and storytelling Sam Esmail achieved the first time, while adopting all the same stylistic cues that make his shows so memorable.
The story this time focuses on Alex, a girl who wakes up in the middle of a lake with no knowledge of who she is and what happened to her. The cliched amnesia plot plays out across the first six episodes before a climax wraps up all the big plot points in a satisfying manner in the finale. Without giving too much away, the story sees a returning Walter Cruz enter the fray during the height of Alex’s investigation into what happened and from here onward the show really slips up and misses a trick in not having him as the central protagonist.
The narrative feels so wrapped up in understanding who Alex is that the flashback segments and editing that builds up to this point lack any dramatic tension or weight during the more thrilling moments. It doesn’t help that the choice of music swings from atmospherically chilled during a chase sequence to Hitchcockian levels of horror while uncovering clues. This does help make the show unique in its presentation but unlike something like Mr Robot, these elements just feel random rather than adding to the show’s appeal.
The season itself is certainly interesting though and the different puzzle elements are wrapped up nicely within a few episodes of being introduced and there’s a conscious effort to make sure the show doesn’t drag on and outstay its welcome. The 30 minute episodes, much like the first season, help to condense down the series and add in a more direct storyline and to be honest, the finale is a perfectly poetic way to end the ongoing story with Geist.
While the door is left open for a third season, there’s actually enough here to bow out Homecoming with a conclusive story. There’s no denying though that this second season lacks the same urgency, atmosphere and feel the first had and this is ultimately something Homecoming never really recovers from. Sure, the show is a fun binge watch and has some nice twists toward the end, but it’s also one that feels utterly forgettable and digestible which is a real shame, especially given how good the first season was.
Still, it’s not all bad though and if you haven’t watched this show before, Homecoming actually does quite a good job of living up to its anthological roots to produce something enjoyable that can easily be consumed on its own. Only, this works as its own catch 22 because to be honest, why would you jump into season 2 of something without watching the first?
Ultimately then Homecoming is simply a run-of-the-mill thriller. It’s an okay puzzle box that has some nice elements and a welcome resolution to all of its questions but also fails to live up to expectations too. It’s not the worst drama out there, but it’s far from the best either. It’s one of those middle-of-the-park seasons that’s unlikely to be remembered for years to come, especially compared to what’s come before.
Published: 23 May 2020 at 12:26pm on TheReviewGeek.com