Monday, November 5, 2018

REVIEW: 'Homecoming' - Colin Interviews Heidi and She Comes to Reflect on Her Actions in 'Work'

Amazon's Homecoming - Episode 1.09 "Work"

What is experience?

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.

"Work" was written by Micah Bloomberg and directed by Sam Esmail

The show destroyed its aspect ratio conceit in the previous episode. And now, a new variation on that format is introduced here when the story flashes back to show Heidi interviewing with Colin to get the Homecoming job in the first place. It shows that once again the story is taking place in a different point in time. It highlights how much this relationship has changed as well. It proves that Colin and Heidi did meet before this program was up and running. But even then, she is very naive and malleable to whatever needs Colin asks of her. She is so tentative and vague with every answer that she gives. And yet, she gets this job because she is willing to be committed solely to it and build her career out of it. As such, she is the perfect target for this program. Someone who can reasonably collect the data while still fall in line with whatever Colin asks. Of course, that's not the woman in the future. Right now, she is horribly distraught and depressed after remembering everything that happened at the Homecoming facility. She believes that she deserves to be punished for her actions. She sees herself as responsible for what happened. She may push Colin away and tell Thomas the entire truth. But she still succumbs to the thoughts that she is the one who deserves the most damning punishment because she was actually on the ground overseeing the entire program. Thomas can reassure her that the department will probably go after someone much larger in the corporate food chain. But all of this proves Heidi's own frailty in this world. Her mother was stronger because she recognized it was a scam the moment she heard about the job. And then, Heidi goes to work at the diner only for her co-worker to be distracted and their longtime patron to die in her booth. It's enough to inspire her to take that road trip she promised to always go on with Walter. However, the action in the present shows just how destructive she has been with his mental care as well. The season has long set up the mystery of what happened on May 15, 2018. It was the day that both Heidi and Walter were removed from Homecoming. And now, it's revealed to also be the day that Colin pitches the program to the Department of Defense as well as Walter's planned final day at the facility. He was suppose to leave today. As such, that emboldens Heidi to act because she sees a man she cares about being manipulated in order to serve his country once more even though that's not what he wanted in their earlier sessions. Now, he seems to have no memory whatsoever of Shrier and Lesky beyond that they served with him in his previous unit. It's in that moment that Heidi decides to take action. Of course, this episode doesn't provide full clarity on what happened to them. It shows Heidi taking matters into her own hands simply by sitting down to have lunch with Walter. In that moment, she is poisoning him with twice the Week 6 dosage. That's bound to have major repercussions for him following his extreme reaction to the drug so far. She may be doing that to ensure that he never is sent off to war again. She may believe she is helping him. But she is eating as well. That's very dangerous and may also explain how she wound up in the hospital. She hasn't had this drug before. As such, it's a high dosage for her to consume. It may contribute to her own memory problems with this program. She may also want to forget everything that happened here. But now that these memories are back, she is very much afraid of the true extent of her actions in this program as well as how culpable she is in all of it.