Julia Roberts Meets ‘Mr. Robot’ Vibe In ‘Homecoming’

The memory lapses mirror “Mr. Robot,” where the audience sees things through the perspective of a character whose own perceptions are not always trustworthy. Here, Esmail — working with writers Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg, who created the show — brings a bit more discipline and momentum to the story, which hinges on the mystery surrounding what Homecoming, described in corporate-speak as “A Geist Initiative,” really had in mind for these soldiers, and why.
The stated goal, Heidi’s told, is to “treat PTSD like a cancer,” something to be “eradicated, not just managed.” It’s pretty clear, however, that Cannavale’s ultra-caffeinated CEO harbors ulterior motives, while Heidi’s current state of affairs fuels the mystery regarding how she got from there to here.
“Homecoming” doesn’t entirely hold together down the home stretch, but Roberts is very good as a character trying to putty in the gaps about what she did, and who might have paid the price for that. The format, moreover, is especially welcome in terms of not stretching the suspense out beyond the story’s relatively slim weight.
There are various ways for streaming services and networks to stand out in such a crowded environment, and casting a “Movie Star” like Roberts, in caps, is certainly one strategy to get people’s attention.
    “Homecoming,” fortunately, makes that bet pay off as more than just a shiny object, but a compelling series in its own right — one that features plenty of “Mr. Robot’s” wiring, but with enough of its own wrinkles and surprises to avoid feeling as if it rolled off the assembly line.
    “Homecoming” premieres Nov. 2 on Amazon.

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