Homecoming season 2: Why you’ll be addicted to this puzzle box mystery

Janelle Monáe and Hong Chau replace Julia Roberts as the stars of the show, but the heart-pounding, psychological drama series remains just as compelling as season one.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 21 May 2020 - 4.28pm
Drama Prime Video

Janelle Monae

Amazon Prime Video

Despite it starring Julia Roberts and being directed by Mr Robot’s Sam Esmail, the first season of Homecoming didn’t receive anywhere near the fanfare it deserved.

A Hitchcock-esque thriller, the series blended mind-bending visual storytelling, a sumptuous soundtrack and a hypnotic dynamic between Roberts and Stephan James.

Based on a hit podcast series, the season one post-credits sequence broke away from the source material to tease a deeper exploration of the mysteries and dark world it had tantalizingly set-up across the first 10-episodes.

Despite the change of cast and director – Janelle Monáe replaces Julia Roberts and Kyle Patrick Alvarez (13 Reasons Why) takes over behind the camera – Homecoming season two is very much a continuation of both the story and also the look, feel and sounds of season one.

Here are three reasons you should make an appointment with the Amazon Prime Video mystery series...

A perfect lockdown puzzle

Janelle Monáe in Homecoming season 2 Amazon Prime Video

A woman on an old rowing boat with no idea how she got there or who she is. A melon in a hotel room. A trail of clues and looming billboards for the shady Geist Group.

Homecoming carefully places jigsaw pieces across the opening episodes of season two for viewers to piece together at the same time as our characters are figuring out what on earth is going on around them.

Brilliantly sliced down into just seven perfectly formed 30-minute episodes, Homecoming works just as well whether its devoured in a single binge-watch or if you choose to spread it out to ruminate on its many burning questions and puzzles.

We’ll avoid revealing too much about the storyline, because it’s near impossible without revealing some spoilers. What we can say is that it very much picks up the loose threads from the season one post-credits sequence where Hong Chau’s Audrey Temple was elevated to a position of power at Geist.

And it also continues to delve into the themes of memory, reality and how we define who we really are.

Janelle Monáe and Hong Chau

Janelle Monáe in Homecoming season 2 Amazon Prime Video

How do you replace Julia Roberts as the face of your TV series? It’s perhaps season two’s greatest achievement that you’re never left longing for a return from Heidi Bergman or Bobby Cannavale's Colin Belfast.

With Janelle Monáe (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) as the mysterious 'Jacqueline' on the boat and Hong Chau (Watchmen) coming to the fore, the series has a new central dynamic that is just as compelling as the one we saw from Roberts and James in season one.

Monáe is more than capable of carrying the central mystery, bringing a powerful stillness to her character in a performance that grows all the more impressive as the different layers of her characters are slowly unveiled across the seven episodes.

Utterly unique

Stephan James and Janelle Monae in Homecoming season 2 Amazon Prime Video

One of the primary pleasures of Homecoming is that it doesn’t look or feel quite like anything else on TV.

From the haunting and suspense-filled soundtrack, delivered this time by composer Emile Mosseri, to the visual flourishes and hypnotic storytelling style, the series blends the classic with the extremely modern to make it distinct from everything else out there.

Watch Homecoming season two on Amazon Prime Video from Friday, May 22nd.

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