Sunday, November 4, 2018

REVIEW: 'Homecoming' - Walter Experiences Some Surprising Results from the Program in 'Test'

Amazon's Homecoming - Episode 1.07 "Test"

By letting go of the past, the client will be able to fully embrace his or her future.

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.

"Test" was written by Eric Simonson and directed by Sam Esmail

Walter's story about Titanic Rising was a fun, light-hearted tale that just so happened to have a tragic ending. He delighted at being able to share it with Heidi the first time around. It was a bonding experience with those in his unit. It was a happy memory that allowed him to wallow less in Lesky's grief. Of course, that tragic death is the core detail of the story as well. That's the kind of traumatic memory that the Homecoming program is trying to erase entirely. They are treating this psychological condition in the hopes that it can be deleted and the soldier can re-enlist with no problem whatsoever. That's the way that Colin has always seen things. He sees this as a worthy investment. It's establishing trust with the military. The soldiers go off to war zones and come back with problems that only Homecoming can solve. He sees the erasure of this complete memory for Walter as proof that the program actually works. Sure, the medication levels may have to be adjusted a little bit. But he sees a new way forward in order to give these guys a second chance to serve their country. He believes that the only thing stopping them from going back are the memories of what happened the first time around. Even though those are now lost to Walter, he still has an emotional feeling of the relief and excitement that came from the end of his tour. He may no longer remember Benji, Lesky and Shrier but he's still grateful for the work that Heidi has done for him. Instead, it's up to Heidi to freak out about what she is responsible for. She has formed a close attachment with him. She sees this as more than what anyone signed up for. He has lost even more of his memories. That's a traumatic invasion of his privacy that he isn't even aware of any more. He sees Heidi freaking out and saying details that he no longer has any understanding about. He still has a close relationship with her and wants to give her whatever will satisfy the requirements of the program. But she's the one on the phone with Colin freaking out. It's in that moment that he calls her hysterical. It's just such a despicable and callous word to call her. He is an abusive monster who enjoys having fun at the expense of others. He sees an opportunity for career advancement in his own life. He sees a way to move forward and actually build a legacy. He doesn't really care who he hurts in the process. And so, he dismisses Heidi's concerns. And in the future, he is keeping a close tab on her by presenting as an ally in her search for answers. She has no awareness that he is the Colin she is trying to track down. Instead, she is only bombarded with new information from Thomas about what she did at Homecoming. She too has suffered clear memory loss. That should also inform the audience that this program may not be voluntary after all. It was never perceived that way. But Heidi would never willingly sign up for this program because she knows the extent of the damage that could be caused. Colin may think that she's working with the investigation. She may be lying to him in one epic performance. But she is genuinely confused when Thomas plays a recording of hers. She has no recollection of it whatsoever. Nor does she remember sending it to Gloria in the first place. But that should also highlight how Walter has yet to be seen in the future. That has to mean something as well because he is probably even worse off than Heidi has been.