“You need to do what you think is right. But you must protect yourself—because nobody else will.” Those 18 words are the only ones spoken in the entirety of the new teaser trailer for the second season of Homecoming, Amazon’s smart and entertaining adaptation of the Gimlet Media podcast of the same name. However, those who were expecting the show to continue faithfully following the story from its original version may be in for a surprise: The second season of the streaming series plans to deviate from its source material, delivering an original twist that nonetheless continues the strange investigation into the Geist Group and the people suffering at its hands.
Season one focused on Julia Roberts’ social worker Heidi, managing a group of soldiers in an experimental therapy program run by the shadowy organization, and her time with traumatized vet Walter (Stephan James). This time out, Heidi is nowhere to be seen—guess she really did get free of things—and Janelle Monáe joins the cast as a woman who wakes up in a rowboat, with no memory of who she is or how she got there. (So...Geist didn’t put a stop to its memory-erasing drugs program, we’re guessing.) From the many unusual and intriguing shots included here, it looks like she might be seeking Walter’s help, which makes sense, since he also escaped Geist’s clutches. Along with James, Hong Chau is also back, and it appears her character is fully invested in her new position with the company.
Along with Monáe, joining the cast are Chris Cooper as Geist’s mysterious CEO Leonard Geist (when god closes a Roberts-shaped door, he opens another Oscar-winner window), and Joan Cusack (!) as a military intelligence officer. We’d be hard-pressed to think of a more oddly appealing trio to join this show, which leaves us cautiously optimistic. True, we’re losing Sam Esmail as director, which doesn’t help matters, but here’s hoping incoming helmer Kyle Patrick Alvarez can keep it as suspenseful and visually compelling as his predecessor. Homecoming season two drops May 22 on Amazon Prime Video.