Homecoming is one of the best shows of 2018. It’s creative and suspenseful and thrilling, it features A+ performances from Julia Roberts and Bobby Cannavale and Stephan James, and it features some really great directorial style from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail. Also, each of its 10 episodes are only about 30 minutes long, so you can finish the whole thing in one rainy afternoon. You should watch it, if you haven’t. And once you do, you, like me, will probably be fascinated with the final scene of the final episode. That’s what we’re going to discuss here. You are welcome to keep reading if you haven’t seen it yet, but also, like, don’t. Don’t let me ruin it for you. Go watch it and come back here later. We’ll wait.
The background, quickly, with spoilers: Heidi (Julia Roberts) was a therapist at a shady facility that “helped” veterans overcome PTSD so they could re-enter civilian life. Allegedly. The whole thing turned out to be a ruse to “fix” soldiers so they could be re-deployed over and over. When Heidi found out, she dosed herself and her favorite patient, Walter (Stephan James), with enough of the facility’s anti-PTSD/memory-wiping medicine to turn them both into blank slates and get them out. Her memory eventually comes back and she goes looking for Walter. She finds him in a small town not unlike the ones they discussed in their therapy sessions.
When they meet, it appears that Walter still has no memory of her. They chat like two strangers making small-talk and then Walter leaves. But — BUT — just after he leaves, Heidi looks down and sees he has turned her fork sideways, something he had always done to the pens and other items on her desk during their sessions as a playful way to tease her for always having everything in perfect order. Heidi snaps her head toward his car, looking out the window as he pulls away, wondering — like the rest of us — what exactly it meant. Cut to black, credits, season over.
This, obviously, raises a number of questions. Questions we don’t have the answers to. Questions we might never have the answer to. And that’s okay, if we never get them, both because it all adds to the mystery and depth of the series and because it allows us all to speculate wildly about things, and speculating wildly is fun. I’ve been doing it for a while now, ever since I saw the scene, and I’ve come up with three ways to look at it all.