In this episode of Homecoming, everything comes together for Heidi. But it also all falls apart.
Season 1, Episode 8: “Protocol”
The episode begins with a distinct lack of music, as we see Colin/Hunter and Heidi in the car on their road trip to Tampa. He’s failing at small talk, and she’s even less interested in hearing it. Here are two people that fail at human connection.
Thomas realizes Heidi is headed to Tampa and he goes after her. He calls his boss, Pam, leaving her a rather frenetic message about Heidi destroying evidence and his plan to “intercept.” Poor Thomas just wants a little excitement in his life!
Heidi and Colin/Hunter arrive at the Homecoming facility, which is now a “wellness center.” The music conveys tension. There’s lots of activity going on. Colin walks in with her… maybe no one at the facility has ever seen Colin? He was just a corporate guy, after all, and he’s probably kept his hands clean as much as possible.
Thomas arrives shortly after and finds the staircase that matches up to the photo he found in Heidi’s file. He finds a wing of the building blocked off and discovers “Homecoming” signs. Thomas’s boss calls him and tells him he needs to stop wasting time on a whim. He hangs up on Pam, then breaks open the glass door to Homecoming wing. Damn, Thomas!
Meanwhile, Heidi and Hunter are exploring the facility. There are tanning beds, massage rooms, yoga. Heidi sees a soldier coming out of a room and immediately thinks that’s Homecoming. She goes to the room, but it’s just a yoga room. She is confused, deflated, disoriented.
These sequences with Heidi and Thomas exploring different parts of the building, are shot beautifully! There’s a seamless back and forth between them, but with each seeing something very different. We’ll say it again – we LOVE the cinematography in this series!
Colin/Hunter tries to get Heidi to go to the car. He takes her hand, and suddenly, she freezes. She hears the honking of the pelican and her memories come flooding back. It’s a powerful scene where the black bars on the side of screen – that signified the scenes shot in 2022, or when Heidi didn’t have her memory – melted away to a wide-screen shot as her memory came back. Those black bars were symbolic of the hidden parts of her memory.
Meanwhile, Thomas is looking out the window and sees Colin and Heidi in an office on the other side of the building. He runs to find them.
As Heidi is running away from Colin, he tries to catch her and do damage control. He tells her it’s his fault, but then threatens that if she tells anyone, it’s going to look like her fault. He never stepped foot in that building!
Thomas Carrasco finds them and Colin tries to talk his way out of it, telling them to “be careful how they unpack this.” Then he belittles Thomas and calls him insignificant. Thomas can’t disagree. But Heidi loses it and attacks Colin, pushing him into a pond.
Colin flees and Thomas offers Heidi a ride. It’s touching when she breaks down and cries in the car.
Back to 2018, after she learns from Colin that the soldiers are intended to deploy again, she goes to her office and pulls all her normally neat, tidy desk items to her chest and hugs them. This is symbolic of the chaos she feels.
At the end of every podcast, we talk about the episode title, the question overlay on the episode thumbnail, and how they fit into the episode. We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Episode title: Protocol
Question: WHO’S FAULT IS IT?
Join the conversation about Homecoming
Please follow us @stingerpodcast everywhere!