Friday, November 2, 2018

REVIEW: 'Homecoming' - Shrier Starts to Question His Reality at the Homecoming Facility in 'Pineapple'

Amazon's Homecoming - Episode 1.02 "Pineapple"

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In 2018, it makes no sense to provide full-length reviews of each individual episode for shows released all at once on the streaming services. Sure, there are some shows out there that value the power of the episode. They do make a point in differentiating each episode to ensure it's not just one big slog to the finish. However, the ability to watch the entire season at one's own viewing pace has largely changed the way we consume and discuss these shows. So, some brief summary thoughts are really all that's actually necessary with these seasons. As such, here are my latest thoughts on the next episode of Amazon's Homecoming.

"Pineapple" was written by Eli Horowitz and directed by Sam Esmail

The premiere showed mostly everything from Heidi's perspective. And now, "Pineapple" spends a little more time fleshing out the supporting characters. Sure, Heidi is still a huge aspect of the show. She is tied directly to whatever mysteries are currently going on at the Homecoming facility. In the future, she returns home to her mother to tell her vaguely what happened when Thomas came to see her at the diner. That sets a new suspicion of perhaps Heidi also being confused about what actually happened at the Homecoming facility. She knows that she's not suppose to talk about it and that she quit to take care of her mother. But that may just be a carefully crafted story to provide cover for her should anyone like Thomas come asking her questions about what happened. The Department of Defense is just now getting to this complain from 2018. It's up to Thomas to decide whether to elevate it to a full investigation. Right now, he appears to be the only agent working on it. He is going to his boss with the updates on the case. And yet, he's not sure what to make of these details yet either. And so, it seems like he may not be very good at his job either. He is just getting his bearings in this world and is already expected to have a full report on what further action - if any - should be taken. He doesn't quite know just yet. The same is also true of the story in the present day. Heidi wants to take a hands-on approach with the soldiers. She wants to help them with this transition. She knows it has to be a personal therapy session because they feel honest enough with her to tell her the brutal details of their service in the military. Walter is able to tell this long story about his fellow soldier Benji's love of the movie Titanic and how another soldier convinced him that there was a sequel film. It's so light and innocent. And then, it is shaken by the realities of war with death. That too may show the inner darkness just lurking within Walter ready to burst out at a moment's notice. He genuinely believes in everything that this facility is telling him. The audience is on the lookout for clues as to what could potentially be wrong with this place. Someone had to file a complaint and mention Walter Cruz by name for a reason. His mother certainly knows that he had a relationship with Heidi and that she's lying when she says she doesn't remember him. And yet, she too could be foggy on the details of her time in the program. Right now, she is following Colin's orders. Even though he's not actually on the ground monitoring the progress being made by the soldiers, he has the final word on whatever actions will be taken to ensure that nothing compromises this program. He has a lot riding on its success. He needs Heidi to be compliant with his needs. In the end, she does that. But she is far removed from the action as well because she's not the one locking Shrier in his room to ensure that he doesn't have any more violent outbursts. That's how everyone is choosing to see the grand display he makes during supper. In reality, he is trying to get his fellow soldiers to see the deceit that surrounds them in this facility. They may not be able to leave. There is no guarantee that they are where they say they are. He is being extremely paranoid. He may be perfectly right to be suspicious of the world around him. The administrators may be lying to him. Walter doesn't see it yet. He holds the system by its word. However, the show is establishing something eery throughout this environment. Right now, the most traumatic thing to happen though is taking Shrier's freedom away from him. That's still horrifying. But it could hint at more to come as well if this situation isn't handled carefully.