Friday, November 2, 2018

REVIEW: 'Homecoming' - Heidi Is Confused About Her Relationship with Anthony in the Present and Future in 'Optics'

Amazon's Homecoming - Episode 1.03 "Optics"

If a client experiences adverse effects to the treatment, domestic reassignment may be a better path to success.

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.

"Optics" was written by David Wiener and directed by Sam Esmail

Everyone is absolutely right to be paranoid whenever it comes to this time spent in the Homecoming facility. It's agonizing for Thomas to figure out if he should continue this investigation or not. He has been told to close it. But he still hasn't done enough to get all of the basic information. He still makes the decision to go down to the file room and look through dozens of boxes just to get Heidi's record at the Geist Emergent Group. That's a very ominous note because it becomes clear that both Heidi and Walter were forced to leave the program on the same day. Walter left because of misconduct and violence. Heidi was fired because she was in the hospital. That certainly presents a looming threat for that relationship. Things are at their simplest and most natural when it's just Heidi and Walter sitting down for their therapy sessions. She wants to help him. She presents as a smiling face who is actually encouraging the progress that the soldiers are making here. She seems like someone they can trust even though it's also pretty clear that she knows exactly what's going on in this program. She's dealing with a paranoid boss who doesn't want anything to disrupt the numbers. He wants Shrier removed from the environment after every single instance of rule-breaking. Shrier was only locked in his room after yelling on top of a table. And now, he is forced to go back home. That may be the best thing for him. He may not be a good fit for this program. That's all that Colin cares about. He wants everything about this to be a success so that he can get even more funding for it. He wants everything to go according to plan. There is a protocol in place that must be adhered to. Shrier once again breaks the rules by stealing a vehicle and going for a drive. This program was always presented as voluntary where the soldiers could leave at any time. That's the way that Walter understands this new world. But Shrier only sees a conspiracy everywhere. On this drive, the soldiers are looking for proof of whether or not they are actually in Florida. It seems pretty damning that they only arrive in a desolate town with no one but a low-grade security guard standing watch. And yet, the action quickly returns to them back at the Homecoming facility. It's played as if it was their decision to return. This story had a happy ending where it seemed like one big misunderstanding. However, the way the story is being depicted forces the audience to question if there is actually more to it than Walter's simple explanation. Lapses in memory have proven to be a huge theme of the show so far. It's possibly the purpose of the drugs that are being slipped to the soldiers. The pills in the infirmary aren't really doing anything. Instead, the actual drugs are laced in one of the meals. That's so nefarious. It's deceitful and shows that these soldiers really don't have any say on what's being done to them in this program. They aren't aware of the true stakes of this life. They just remain unaware of what's truly going on. That being exposed could very well cause traumatic outbursts. And yet, Heidi can't remember what happened to her. It's more than her just being cagey and combative about the past as well. She remembers moving to Tampa with Anthony. But she doesn't recall how they broke up or any of the other details of working at Homecoming. That's so sinister because it proves that she is a victim from all of this as well. Thomas may be looking at her with suspicion but Anthony now sees her with empathy. She was subjected to something she doesn't understand and it has completely changed her life. That's heartbreaking and means that she deserves answers just as much as everyone else who was a part of this program. As such, it's important for Thomas to continue with this investigation.