Homecoming continues offering the audience light reveals, but Episode 3, “Optics”, provided the most significant one so far.
This review of Homecoming Episode 3, “Optics”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
After his pineapple outburst during the last episode, Shrier (Jeremy Allen White) is determined to prove to Walter Cruz (Stephan James) that the homecoming facility has been created to make them think they are in Florida. Shrier, in a moment of madness, decides to steal a van, and drive out of the facility. All Walter is thinking about is that beer; foolishly believing his experiences are legitimate.
The road trip that Shrier and Walter went on was odd, almost like a bad dream; they shot their lengthy drive from a birds’-eye angle, and it quickly moved from day to night. Eventually, they reach a small village and Shrier, in wild paranoia, attacks a local security guard. Due to reaching an innocent-looking town, and accidentally mistaking an unaware person as an enemy, Walter insists that the entire Florida theory will be forgotten, at least for now.
The break out leads to another intimate counselling session between Walter and Heidi Bergman (Julia Roberts). At this point, both characters are gauging feelings with each other, with Heidi breaking protocol and allowing Walter to ask her the inappropriate questions.
“Optics” proves that Heidi’s role in the organisation is distorted by an underlying scheme from her manager Colin Belfast (Bobby Cannavale), who rarely sees eye to eye with his colleague. Heidi’s judgements follow basic counselling principles for her clients; reduce the risk of danger and ensure safety is the highest priority. As for Colin, who appears to be struggling to juggle work life with family, he’s only interested in the success of the experiment, and orders Shrier for Domestic reassignment with this family.
In the present day, the ending of “Optics” gave the audience the most significant answer to Heidi’s experiences so far in Homecoming. After breaking up with her partner, she meets an ex in a moment of half-hearted reconciliation; the pair argue about their past relationship, and how Heidi used to be obsessed with her job, and more importantly, always on the phone to Colin. Julia Roberts’s character looks dismayed – she does not remember Colin or most of her time at the facility.
Homecoming gives the audience something to hold onto with each episode and so far, it is working superbly.