Homecoming: Season 2
May 24, 2020 11:13 AM - Season 2 (Full Season) - Subscribe

The podcast turned Amazon streaming show returns for a second season, following directly from the events of season one and featuring many of the same characters.

The second season is no longer directed by Sam Esmail, though he is still an executive producer; podcast creators Micah Bloomberg and Eli Horowitz remain as showrunners and co-writers. I only ever listened to the first season of the podcast, but apparently the second season of the show differs significantly from the second series of the podcast.

Vulture: "Part two, then, is less a conspiracy thriller and more of a psychological one."

Variety: "With Roberts and Esmail gone and James appearing in a more limited capacity, the show doesn’t come up with a credible way forward, instead stumbling through familiar story beats with less gusto."

Rogerebert.com: "Less narratively ambitious in every way, season two feels like an echo of something that didn’t really need an echo."

The AV Club is recapping this with posts per episode.
posted by whir (9 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Not as good as the first season, but I enjoyed it. The whole season was only 3.5 hours, so it didn’t really need to be a big story. I wish there were more shows with short episodes and short seasons like this. With Russian Doll and Maniac, it seems like it is starting to be a thing.
posted by snofoam at 11:24 AM on May 25, 2020 [1 favorite]

Didn't watch S1, started S2 because I'm a hopeless fandroid. Seems pretty good so far. I like the occasional retro flourish on the camera work; long focus pulls, split screen stuff. Fun!
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 6:25 PM on May 25, 2020

I also didn't watch season one and started with this season. (This goes against everything I stand for, but I did it anyway because my Amazon Fire told me to.) I got sucked in.

The episodes seemed to be split apart almost randomly. An episode would suddenly end, ta dah, on to the next one. I understand that they were told from different characters' points of view, but it was so abrupt it felt clumsy. I presume this was deliberate and not just the producers saying "fuck it, we know you're binging this anyway, what are 'episodes'?"
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:31 PM on May 26, 2020

Halfway through E5. I really liked the first season, and when I saw that Janelle Monáe was onboard, I was onboard. She's as great as I had hoped, but I'm also enjoying pretty much the whole cast, especially Hong Chau, Joan Cusack, and Stephan James. It seems to be different enough from S1 that I don't really compare the two. It's just a tight and tense mystery unfolding at weird angles, and I'm here for it.

As an aside, lest we forget, besides being a great actor, Monáe is a hell of a musical artist too.
posted by vverse23 at 11:36 PM on May 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

I **really** liked S1 so much: character development, acting, directing, scifi plot.

I had a hard time buying the character motivation in S2. "Loyalty" as a theme (to the company, to your partner, to the military) wasn't enough of a motivation when they were all bad.
posted by armacy at 7:05 AM on May 27, 2020

I'm only up to about episode 4, but I've been noticing some really notable camera choices. And the introduction of past-Alex was one of the best heel turns I've seen in film/tv in a while.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:43 AM on June 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

Finished it last night. Good performances - the whole drive out with Alex and Walter was good, although I'm a big confused by the alleged timeline, there, as far as how long it takes to drive places. I liked Audrey's changes through the season. Cusack was having fun as Bunda. I kept bumping into suspension of disbelief problems with things about the drug (if it's that potent, no way they have it deployed with so many doses in one container), and the flow of the show was a bit clunky.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:03 PM on June 13, 2020

I really really liked the fact that this was such a woman focused season. Except for Walter and Leonard, all the men are bit players and it’s the women who are driving the action, and even those two dudes are only supporting characters. Just really refreshing to see all the action come from women and that they also get to be the baddies in a series where it’s the goodies are almost barely there.
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:18 AM on June 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

i think i liked this season (which I finally just finished catching up on this evening) more in concept than in the actual watching of it. the finale takes a huge swing to the degree that I don't actually have much at all interest in the contents of a third season -- not a bad thing, necessarily!

but while the season's overall brevity helps a lot with the pacing, I think it and the playful structure end up robbing a lot of things of the weight they need to really land beyond the surface themes and tensions. the ending should be equal measures horrifying and cathartic, both for the audience and the principal characters; it kind of just happens, though. Bunda and Leonard's final conversation, which kind of just wanders around until Leonard walks away, really drove that home for me -- I knew none of these people, their motivations or their context, well enough to be invested in watching it be lost or destroyed.

it's not even a likability thing -- it's really clever, actually, how Alex ends up playing simultaneous protagonist and antagonist, and how flecks of her "known" self's underlying anxieties and guilt are still present in the post-dosing version -- it's just that everyone feels more hollow than I would expect from a show whose first season was essentially nothing but deep character study.
posted by Kybard at 6:02 PM on August 27, 2020

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