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I'm so scared for Heidi too.  And that Colin is super creepy, goes to intimidate Heidi, realizes she doesn't remember him, comes up with a backstory that hits her buttons and has sex with her?! Yikes he is calculating.  Makes me think that he isn't part of whatever took away Heidi's memories so who did that?  

And Walter, I'm hoping he is not a shell of a person but it doesn't sound good.

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Maybe because I don’t watch/listen to podcast or care how a director tells a story....but I found this very interesting if a little fragmented.   But I do think it is intentionally that way.   I came fir Julia Roberts then I heard Esmail was involved so I am in fir the duration.  

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Its nice to see the kids from Shameless getting work.  Jeremy Allen White is really good as Shrier the increasingly paranoid soldier.  I am also enjoying the side story of the investigator dude.

What I found really interesting though is that it is even more confirmed that Heidi's memory is not reliable.   She didn't come home to help her mother.  According to her mother she fell after Heidi came home.  

Edited by Chaos Theory
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 In fact, I’m sick and tired of downer endings.  Save that shit for FX/USA/TNT.

I don't know why, but this made me laugh.

I enjoyed this show. I'd listened to the podcast when it came out (seasons 1 and 2), and I really loved it. The show translates the story from the podcast very well, and the show cast is every bit as good as the one from the podcast (though I do have a soft spot for Catherine Keener's Heidi and Oscar Isaac's Walter Cruz)

I read a recap of the finale where the recapper said they felt a smidge of sympathy for Colin. Not me. Colin was just slimey from start to finish. Bobby Canavale did a great job with the role.

Edited by Gillian Rosh
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On 11/6/2018 at 12:22 PM, linared said:

And that Colin is super creepy, goes to intimidate Heidi, realizes she doesn't remember him, comes up with a backstory that hits her buttons and has sex with her?! Yikes he is calculating.  Makes me think that he isn't part of whatever took away Heidi's memories so who did that?  

I didn't think it was possible for this version of Colin to be smarmier than the podcast version, but damn if they didn't do exactly that. Colin is so gross. I feel terrible for Heidi that she was ensnared by such a snake.

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On 11/4/2018 at 6:43 AM, BeatrixK said:

I think this episode needs to give a shout out to Bobbi Cannavale.  He can play lovable goof (The Station Agent) and diabolical monster (this right here) without breaking a sweat.

Seeing him in this show has reminded me that I've always liked him as an actor. 

This episode was so so good. The confrontation between Heidi, Colin and Carrasco was great. I cheered when Heidi yelled at Colin to just stop talking. 

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Ok  I really liked this.  It was enjoyable thriller.  It was fairly predictable but I think that was kind of the point and what made it so tragic.  Heidi was a good person doing a very bad thing.  But in the end couldn't go through with it because she liked Walter Cruz.  I really liked the end scene with them talking.  

Colin was a smarmy bad guy wasn't he?  I felt for him for just a second when he finally got his comeuppance.  From his wife who didn't want to hear his pain and then his female boss who through him under the buss.  He is a guy who works better in a boys club where he can play whatever part his male superior needs him to play.  He has no idea how to play off a woman for very long.  He could only manipulate Heidi for so long.  

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I listened to this when it was first released. I love the podcast Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People, and when I saw a mention in the Facebook group for B/A that Chris Gethard (the host) appeared in the Homecoming podcast, I had to check it out. It did not disappoint! I loved it.

Edited by auntiemel

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On 11/8/2018 at 8:02 AM, Gillian Rosh said:

I enjoyed this show. I'd listened to the podcast when it came out (seasons 1 and 2), and I really loved it. The show translates the story from the podcast very well, and the show cast is every bit as good as the one from the podcast (though I do have a soft spot for Catherine Keener's Heidi and Oscar Isaac's Walter Cruz)

This! I enjoyed the show cast quite a bit, but am having trouble shaking Oscar Isaac's and Mercedes Rheul's podcast takes on their characters, in particular.

I thought the necessary plot changes and additions, as well as character additions, fit the tone of the original story quite well.

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Dermot Mulroney looks like my BIL in this. Ugh. 

I am re-watching the first episode, because I wasn't focused on it, and was surprised when it abruptly finished. 

I had no idea this was based on a podcast, until I heard something about it elsewhere. You can tell that Sam Esmail created it, and Bobby Cannavale seems to be playing the same kind of guy he plays in Mr. Robot (which I'm missing horrible right now). I thought Julia Robert's voice was a bit high at first, so I'm glad she sounded normal after that. It is choppy.

Frankie Shaw, too - another Mr. Robot actress.

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On 11/3/2018 at 12:51 PM, veronicalodge44 said:

by this episode i really started noticing how amazing stephan james is.  i find him so watchable.  and he seems so natural even while he's magnetic.  i am loving the chemistry between him and julia roberts.  and i care more about his character, walter, than anyone else in the series.  really terrific performance.

He is great!

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I'm interested in what's going on, but have to stop watching tonight. My head is hurting, and the end credits with the weird music and the bird were too much for me. 

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On 11/4/2018 at 5:43 AM, BeatrixK said:

I think this episode needs to give a shout out to Bobbi Cannavale.  He can play lovable goof (The Station Agent) and diabolical monster (this right here) without breaking a sweat.

And in this show, his character somehow combines goof (not lovable, but definitely goof) with diabolical. That's a combination I can say with certainty I've never seen before, and he brings it off.

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On 11/4/2018 at 6:00 PM, Penman61 said:

ETA: It could also be that Walter shifting the knife was an unconscious reflex, that he didn't actually recognize Heidi, but that reflex is enough to give Heidi hope that the Walter she knew is in there somewhere..

That was definitely my one-and-only interpretation...and remains so.

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I love Walter's mother! 

Julia Roberts is good in this. Her whole situation is heartbreaking. I wonder why she can't get close to anyone, and I hate that she finally seemed to, with a con artist. 

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What a nice surprise!

I never knew there was a podcast so it all seemed fresh to me... Loved the production design, the camera work, the acting and writing was topnotch.

It felt like a Kafkaesque Eternal Sunshine blended with Erin Brockovich with even a little of Sleeping With the Enemy thrown in there.

Julia finally did Oscar worthy work that I don't think she ever quite achieved in her other whistle blower film.

Bobby Cannavale is so good at playing sleazeballs to the point where he managed to out Negan Negan.

Shea Whigham was terrific playing the impotent Bartleby like bureaucrat and Stephan James managed to project so much charisma and empathy into a fairly thin character.

Wouldn't mind seeing a sequel, but they should do something like American Crime where the same cast does an entirely different story.

Don't see where else they can really go with this one.

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"I'm taking pictures!!" 

Of what, him soaking wet?

I'm glad she finally remembered, and he didn't get away with it. For a few minutes, I thought they were going to have the other guy experiencing amnesia, after that fall, and I groaned. Glad that they didn't go that route, too.

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His wife doesn't want to know what he did? I hate it when characters do that.

I missed the end of the episode. I don't know what happened after they ate dinner together.

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On 11/4/2018 at 10:17 AM, preeya said:

The one thing that puzzles me. After eating the last stage meal [together with Heidi] Walter lost his memory of Heidi.  It didn't affect Heidi in the same manner as she remembered the map, the plans for the road trip, and Walter. Then she actually takes the road trip they planned, meets up with him in some rural diner, but he has no recollection of her.  What's up with that? Why would/could she remember him but he not remember her?

 

On 11/4/2018 at 8:04 PM, Cardie said:

It did, as her failure to remember anything about her time at Homecoming in the future scenes proved. But she had taken some of Walter's stuff with her before losing her memory. When the pelican's croaking restored her memories--signified by the screen going wide in the future scenes--she knew the significance of the map she found in one of her boxes.

The second post was what I was going to add in response to the first. She got that huge dose of whatever they were given, and it wiped her memory. I knew the pelican croak would restore her memory, because it was so annoying, and something that they talked about earlier. I also knew that she would take that road trip. I don't know if she was in love with him, but we've seen much older men involved with younger women since forever, so I wouldn't have minded if there was something between them. I think it was more of a really good friendship, though. 

I also wasn't sure if she knew that all of their memories were being wiped. She was stunned and disturbed when Walter couldn't remember what he'd told her about Lesky, and then laughed, confused, when she brought up Titanic Rising (or whatever that was). I don't think she was fully told what was happening to the soldiers, she only found out late into their sessions, that he was going to be sent back. 

Anyway, I loved it. I don't need a second season, but I did like being able to binge like that. I rarely enjoy anything anymore. Julia Roberts reminded me of why she was America's sweetheart for so many years, and she and Stephan James had great chemistry. I'll look up the podcast, since I read that the show split from the story, halfway through. 

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Yeah, I can see that too, but that "follow the mail" POV sequence was lifted directly from Fincher's Zodiac.

Edited by numbnut
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5 hours ago, numbnut said:

Yeah, I can see that too, but that "follow the mail" POV sequence was lifted directly from Fincher's Zodiac.

I remembered that, too.

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I enjoyed this a lot. That said, I felt as a character Heidi was just as bad as the rest of them. She was fine with engaging these men in an experiment that was unknown to them, she knew the therapy and role plays and such was a ruse, she knew they were being medicated unknown to them, but as long as she thought her reasons were justified doing that to them she was fine with it. When she found out she was also being duped all,of a sudden it was all wrong. Well sorry dear, but having humans function as non voluntary gueni pigs is not okay, ever. The fact that they kind of pushed her as the good guy in this offended me. I wanted to see her and Geist punished more severly at the end. Trials, media coverage, lawsuits, jail. Her road trip and all the gooey eyes at the end was a let down for me. She was just as complicit as Geist. The DOD guy was the true hero here and should have been lauded as such. His “cog” speech was heartbreaking and true, he was the only one with good intentions through this whole thing. 

That said, I really enjoyed this, the mystery, the build up, the reveal, well done! 

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On 11/4/2018 at 5:09 PM, BingeyKohan said:

I assumed the red liquid applied to the wrist was the new usage Colin said he had pioneered, something about ‘comfort’? I assumed she’d already become addicted to it.

 

I thought maybe it was a less severe form of the meds they were giving to the vets. She seemed a bit uncomfortable in her conversation with Colin... so I thought she used it to calm herself down. But I suppose it could be addictive too.

Edited by HollyG
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On 11/14/2018 at 8:55 AM, sadie said:

I felt as a character Heidi was just as bad as the rest of them. She was fine with engaging these men in an experiment that was unknown to them, she knew the therapy and role plays and such was a ruse, she knew they were being medicated unknown to them, but as long as she thought her reasons were justified doing that to them she was fine with it. When she found out she was also being duped all,of a sudden it was all wrong. Well sorry dear, but having humans function as non voluntary gueni pigs is not okay, ever.

I get where you're coming from, but I never felt we were asked to accept her as "good." We got information that before the gig, she was directionless, desperate for a new beginning, over-eager for the job--all of which can make someone very easily deny any moral compromises involved. That doesn't absolve her in any way, although it does make her human. Any one of us might be able to say "there but for fortune go I." But it doesn't make her good.

Even Carrasco, who wanted to forgive her and assure her that she'd be protected from punishment, couldn't honestly tell her that she didn't deserve to be punished. "I don't know" was his best answer.

Re why Walter's memory was more wiped out than Heidi's: Doesn't his getting a double dose that afternoon (while she only got a single one) explain it?

Edited by Milburn Stone
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I love Thomas Carrasco from the get go, but after this and the last episode, with him falling down twice, I love-LOVE him. (And the way Shea Whigham plays him, in all his frumpy charm. He needs to be in a reboot of Columbo.)

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I don’t think Heidi knew their memories were being wiped until late into the project.  Like her mother said she had no real experience and was given this big job...what did she think was going on?   It was hubris and each time  she called her boss on something that seemed a little bit hinky he brought her a little bit further along.  Even the idea of a memory wipe so they can have a peaceful life at home.....oh no Heidi they aren’t going home they are being sent back.  Didn’t I tell you that?

What now?

That was the bridge too far for Heidi.   

 

Do do I think they were in love?  No.  I think Heidi was in a relationship she didn’t want to be in with a guy who wasn’t taking the hint to leave.  I think she liked talking to Cruz and the idea of running off with him made her happy.  But it wasn’t love it was just the closest thing to being happy that either of them had.  And when Heidi got her memory back she just had to check on her friend to make sure he was alright. 

Edited by Chaos Theory
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Wow, Bobby Cannavale really knocked this one out of the park! I think my favorite scene (besides his ultimate comeuppance at the end) was when Heidi decided she was leaving, and spoke very calmly to him on the phone, telling him HE sounded hysterical!

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On 11/15/2018 at 9:30 AM, Corgi-ears said:

I love Thomas Carrasco from the get go, but after this and the last episode, with him falling down twice, I love-LOVE him. (And the way Shea Whigham plays him, in all his frumpy charm. He needs to be in a reboot of Columbo.)

For several episodes, I’ve been wanting to say how much I love his snap-together magnetic glasses. But to post that I’d have to pause binging (bingeing? Neither one looks right. Oh well on to the penultimate episode.)

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4 hours ago, SoMuchTV said:

For several episodes, I’ve been wanting to say how much I love his snap-together magnetic glasses.

YES! I want those!

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I finished watching it last night.  For the most part, I liked it I think but I couldn't recommend it.  I think Esmail spent too much time drawing out the mystery.  What they were doing in Homecoming was wrong and nefarious but I never got a sense of true danger for Heidi or Carrasco in uncovering what really happened.  Resolutions didn't particularly execute well at the end either.

That being said, fantastic cast and direction.  I LOVED the score for this series.  It was hard to pin down when era it felt like.  I would say 70s/80s movies/television but I really thought it was great.  I appreciate the short running time per episode too.

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So I assume Heidi dosed herself with the medication at the lunch just to get Walter to join in and overdose so he'd be released. What if he was too full and declined to eat more? Or only ate a little? And if it took six weeks of ever increasing dosages to bring about amnesia in the soldiers, why would a single dose wipe Heidi's memories so effectively (to say nothing of inducing catatonia)? Another plot point that confuses me is the status of the soldiers at Homecoming. They seem to believe military careers are over, yet once their PTSD is resolved, they are redeployed. Are they voluntarily re-enlisting? The show was well done, but the plot doesn't stand up to much analysis. My recommendation would be to watch it, but not think about it very much.

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I had no idea this was based on a podcast, but I am intrigued as of now. It got Julia into the television game, so there has to be something here thats special. 

Its very stylish, but I do hope that the style doesn't overwhelm the substance. 

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I am loving all the random actors on this show that I like. We have Jeremy Allen White as the paranoid soldier, Shea Whigham as the fed trying to unravel the truth, Sissy Spacek as the mom, Alex Karpovsky as the possibly shady counselor, and, of course, Julia who is linking everything together. 

I think that Heidi had her memory wiped of her job, because she found whatever the government is looking for with the soldiers. The atmosphere in the Homecoming center is really unsettling, especially during the nighttime scenes. 

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I really enjoyed this series, and I don't need a continuation of this story in a second series. Each of the actors did wonderful work.

My sense of Heidi's relationship with Walter is that she holds a deep sense of caring, which may include love.  Although it's not clear that she or the show necessarily means romantic love. It's hinted at in their one hug, the look on her face seems almost blissful, but by the time she finds him, I'm not sure it's the same emotion.  On Walter's part, some of his comments to her, and the practical jokes, have a sweet, almost flirtatious vibe.  Mr. James has a playful warmth about him in some scenes, and openness that seems to convey his affection for her.

Her emotional reaction to him makes perfect sense, as her motivation in this program, while short on moral underpinning, was to help soldiers transition to civilian life without the crippling effects of PTSD. IIRC she spent three years at the VA after earning her masters in social work. So she was primed to help military veterans outside the limiting bureaucracy-- and (for a moment ignoring the negative consequences) Walter was, as Colin pointed out in his presentation, the best-case scenario. He initially carried guilt, shame, and responsibility for Lesky's death. He may not have been able to overcome those feelings and move on without some meaningful intervention. The point of divergence between Heidi and Colin being: Heidi cared so much for Walter that she would not tolerate his loss of the better memories, like 'Titanic Rising', whereas Colin didn't give a shit. But, such as it is, Walter's success is her success, and that could be a powerful bond. Walter's fall is her fault via the double-dose of lunch, and her guilt, on top of the fondness she had for Walter is also a compelling motivation to deepen her feelings and/or sense of duty to him. 

In Walter, Heidi sees not only someone who she has helped (until her realization about the evil being done), but someone who represents a general kind of freedom for her. His freedom from potentially life-altering consequences of war, her freedom from the life she has lead.  The wind-in-the-hair road trip idea, the escapism of that is alluring to her in ways that her life-consuming career cannot provide. So, I think, when she finds him in CA, she cherishes the idea that he is free and her decision not to show him the map is another act of caring, of love. She won't force him back to Homecoming on her timeline... but then, the angled fork, and that amazing look she shoots him out the diner window-- relief, happiness bordering on glee, caring.  It's a stellar moment of work from Ms. Roberts. And it makes me think that what's next for her is moving down the road a bit to another similar town, to make her own freedom.  Maybe she and Walter cross paths again, maybe not.  But I think we are intended to believe that she's not quite done with Walter.  She might be a fool for that (his mother would be furious), but he is so much a focal point for her "fixing" what her complicit behavior allowed, I don't see her having the integrity or strength necessary to walk away for good.

On the after-credit scene: I didn't take it as perfume, just a transdermal application of some form of the medication. Audrey was clearly shaken by the confrontation with Colin, maybe just adrenaline, but she visibly calmed down after applying the red stuff.  And I'm not sure it's intended to be marketed, as the vial said "Lab Use Only" or some such. Maybe that's just a bit of insight to the ongoing malignancy festering at Geist-- the wrongful use of a potentially dangerous substance by the woman sent to cure the Colin problem. 

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Stephan James really is great, and he really the anchor of the series for me so far. With much of the show, I’m still not sure what’s going on, or what people’s motives are, but he just seems like a port in a mysterious storm. 

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On 11/3/2018 at 9:51 AM, veronicalodge44 said:

by this episode i really started noticing how amazing stephan james is.  i find him so watchable.  and he seems so natural even while he's magnetic.  i am loving the chemistry between him and julia roberts.  and i care more about his character, walter, than anyone else in the series.  really terrific performance.

He is really wonderful; as you say, he is magnetic. His character is keeping me in the story.  I do care what happens to him.  And yes, there is a sizzle between him and Heidi (Julia Roberts).  

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This really annoys me when these sequences or shots don't really fit the show.  I wish Esmail would stop shoehorning things in because he likes them.  I have the same complaint with much of the music.  Even if I don't remember the specific movie and scene something is taken from, the music may still invoke the feelings I had when seeing the original movie.  It's off-putting. 

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On 11/2/2018 at 9:02 PM, numbnut said:

And we open with more DePalma music. The prank stuff seems like it was written for a different show. Why is Cruz no longer worried about Shrier? Is that due to the drug treatment?

It seems like Cruz is believing or choosing to believe the story that Shrier is okay, but I do think your thought about the drug treatment somehow affecting that makes sense.  Going from hos is he gone and they're throwing away his stuff to it's all good is a stretch.  Perhaps his memory is being blanked.  

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Walter's mom was a force to be reckoned with.  Damn,  I want her in my corner. Marianna Jean-Baptiste is excellent.  I did like the blocking on the scene when she was talking to Walter. She looked so small yet she is so fierce.  

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I felt like Heidi was planting the seed in Walter to go to the small town in California and reiterated a couple of points to that end to ensure he would follow through.  I think that is how she was able to find him.  I think she did it for him as a way for him to escape but for her also to be able to reconnect to him.

I was happy to see him coherent and not like his friend who had totally gone around the bend.

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I really liked this series. I am glad that it looks like Walter got away alright (unlike his poor brainwashed friend) and seems to have all his faculties, even if he probably doesent remember Heidi. or maybe he does, subconsciously? Either way, he seems alright. 

It took me awhile to figure out Heidi, and how she fit into all of this, and if she was a decent person who got caught in a bad situation, a bad person who realized the error of her ways, or just a bad person with memory problems. I ended up feeling bad for her, she seemed like she really did want to help the men, and was horrified when she realized what was really going on. I think she was brought in thinking the treatment would cure them of their PTSD by making them forget the incidents that led to it, and they would go back to civilian life. I do think it is highly questionable that she engaged with this kind of manipulation towards these men, but she at least had good intentions, unlike the rest of the employees. 

The score was also great, very old school conspiracy thriller, and the look of the piece was totally on point. You could tell how much work was put in to make the two timelines look different just in style and costume design, and I especially loved the design for Homecoming the facility. It looked nice at first, but the longer you spend there, the more closed up and sinister it starts to seem. 

Colin really was a sleazeball, huh? Loved the secretary basically usurping him at the company and telling him where he could shove his coffee. Especially when he started going on about blaming everything on a "rouge employee", clearly not getting where this was going, as the secretary was looking at him like "...do you really not see where this is going?"

Interested to see where a second season goes. This story seems to be over, maybe it will be an anthology series?

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On 11/19/2018 at 5:09 PM, Mommaj said:

So I assume Heidi dosed herself with the medication at the lunch just to get Walter to join in and overdose so he'd be released. What if he was too full and declined to eat more? Or only ate a little? And if it took six weeks of ever increasing dosages to bring about amnesia in the soldiers, why would a single dose wipe Heidi's memories so effectively (to say nothing of inducing catatonia)? Another plot point that confuses me is the status of the soldiers at Homecoming. They seem to believe military careers are over, yet once their PTSD is resolved, they are redeployed. Are they voluntarily re-enlisting? The show was well done, but the plot doesn't stand up to much analysis. My recommendation would be to watch it, but not think about it very much.

Heidi jumped straight to a week 6 dose, so it probably wiped her memory indiscriminately in addition to the physical side effects whereas the more controlled doses were more targeted (though not perfect yet).

As for re-enlisting, I would imagine that was part of the screening process--finding men who would have kept going back if not for the PTSD.

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Golden Globe nominations:

Best Television Series – Drama
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama: Julia Roberts (“Homecoming”)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama: Stephan James (“Homecoming”)

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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just watched the last episode.  I think Walter remembered something.  If you watch the scene in the diner about when the waitress asked Heidi is she wanted anything, Walter's eyes look down and there's a very subtle change in them...like something clicked.  I'm not sure he remembered everything or just enough to know he should move the fork.  I think Heidi just wanted to be assured he was ok.  besides, if Walter ever told his mother he was with Heidi, she'd have a fit.

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