(The following story contains spoilers for the entire second of Amazon Prime’s “Homecoming”)
“Homecoming” ends its second season much less ambiguously than the Sam Esmail-directed freshman run. And in much, much deadlier fashion, thanks to Walter Cruz (Stephan James).
It turns out Cruz wasn’t the mellowed out, seemingly-happy guy that Heidi Bergman (Julia Roberts) believed him to be when she caught up with him in that diner three years after he was experimented on at the Homecoming facility. It turns out, according to director Kyle Patrick Alvarez, that having parts of your mind wiped has some long-term consequences, especially when you find out who is responsible.
“I always saw and felt Heidi understood that Walter had become this idealistic version of himself. That he was here, he was in his happy place in a way,” Alvarez told TheWrap. “I think what the season does, it says ‘No, he’s being deeply haunted by something and it’s driving him to a really dark and angry place.'”
That “angry place” manifests itself in the finale, when Walter, with the help of pushed-out Geist Group founder Leonard Geist, commits mass murder after serving everyone poison. That included Alex/Jackie’s (Janelle Monae) girlfriend Audrey Temple (Hong Chau), as well as Francine Bunda (Joan Cusack).
Alvarez said it was the combination of Walter not only figuring out why he couldn’t remember most of his service time — he is led to believe it’s because of brain surgery — but also that “Jackie” was going to do it to him again. And then he met with Leonard at his farm, who told him that Geist was going to start dosing others with this memory-loss drug (remember, the Homecoming project had long-been shut down by this point). That confluence of events led Walter to think “we have an emergency we need to do something about.”
And since Leonard, who had effectively been pushed out of his own company (he wanted to destroy the berries that cause the memory-loss effect), was “already off the deep end,” that’s how you get to an “alchemy where you can believe that these people would take some dire actions and somewhat even, arguably, absurdist actions to handle the situation,” Alvarez explains.