Homecoming returns on May 22nd with its 2nd season that’s painfully average. The narrative this season centers around Janelle Monáe, who seeks to find out who she is after waking up in the middle of a lake with no memory. While the concept itself does seem appealing, the execution of it is poor. The audience is supposed to invest in what is occurring, but most will only muster up a shoulder shrug. Now there’s much about the season Amazon wants you to experience as it happens, so we will avoid revealing too much.
What we can touch on is that this season continues to tie in with The Geist company, and many of the characters in season one have returned. The first season was about revealing what the company was doing to those soldiers; this time, it’s more about the consequences which come from that. Walter Cruz (Stephan James) is one of those soldiers who was treated for PTSD by the Geist company and is starting to piece together what’s occurred. In his quest for the truth, he continues to run into bureaucratic roadblocks that send him over the edge.
Audrey Temple (Hong Chau) plays a more significant role in the second season as she tries to mitigate Cruz’s complaints while planning to announce a partnership with the Department of Defense as they want to take over the operation of the Homecoming program. Amid all the madness, Monáe’s character is trying to find out who she is, and someone would place her in the boat like that. As we soon find out, all of these moments are intertwined. It’s hard initially to even know who to root for.
The biggest issue with Homecoming is that none of these storylines are fleshed out particularly well. The show has these different elements in the 2nd season, and they’re all barely approaching average. Even the big “pay off” is easily deduced after 3 episodes. I understand how these creators wanted to connect the 1st and 2nd season, but they would have been better off going in another direction, taking inspiration from season one. This is what happens once you deviate from the source material, which inspired the show in the beginning.
Monáe is a talented performer, but she’s grossly misplaced in a season that amounts to nothing more than tying up loose ends.