The coronavirus challenged compassion-providing ministries in new ways
If you’re an Amazon Prime customer, you’ve seen a lot of hype for Homecoming, a new series of 10 half-hour episodes released in early November. Critics love the show. Should you watch too?
Julia Roberts stars as Heidi Bergman, the head of a transition center, helping veterans whose combat memories make normal life difficult. Despite thin credentials, Heidi runs the isolated campus as its primary counselor. One patient, Walter Cruz (Stephan James), recalls every detail of the death of one of his men and blames himself for his friend’s demise.
Heidi’s cell phone is a constant connection to her off-site boss Colin Belfast (Bobby Cannavale), a controlling, malevolent force with a surface charm. Heidi drops everything, including connections to family and friends, whenever he calls, mostly to berate or chastise her about what a poor job she is doing.
The Homecoming facility is a private venture, run by a mysterious corporation named Geist. Are the patients truly volunteers, or are they prisoners undergoing experimental treatments? Walter’s mother does not trust this strange program, and she sleuths her way to the undisclosed location. Her maternal instincts tell her something is not right, but she can’t convince her son to leave.
The storyline bounces back and forth between events at the Homecoming center and four years later. Future Heidi is a waitress back in her hometown, and she has almost no memory of her years at Homecoming, except a vague feeling that things ended poorly. When Thomas Carrasco from the Department of Defense (Shea Whigham) begins investigating what happened to Heidi and her patients, her unease heightens.
Bumbling and endearing, Carrasco doggedly pursues the case. He wins the trust of Walter’s mother, and the pieces start to fall into place.
Slow buildup, beautiful cinematography, and enough mystery to keep patient viewers interested all add up to an intriguing viewing package. Regrettably, frequent profanity, some depictions of adultery, and blasphemous language mar the experience, making Homecoming a difficult series to recommend.