Red Band Society Season 1 Review “There’s No Place Like Homecoming”

Red Band Society episode 4 There's No Place Like Homecoming (1)

Red Band Society has been struggling to live up to the promise it showed in the finale, but ‘There’s No Place Like Homecoming’ was the first episode that had that special sparkle. It was one that I wasn’t holding out much hope for, given that it was taking the ‘high school in hospital’ mantra a little too literally, but it actually helped to snap some of the show’s themes into focus.

Leo has stolen my heart, and he’s the only one of the group who has a distinct relationship with everyone. His friendships with the guys and potentially romantic relationships with Emma and Kara are a collection of brilliantly drawn, distinct connections, and the sooner the rest of the characters catch up to his development the better. The soccer storyline was also very sweet, and his aversion to being pitied rang very true with what we already know about him and his background.

Emma was at least fleshed out a little in this episode, even if she regressed further into her eating disorder. Her illness is aggravated by the feelings of rejection and loneliness that plagued her back in high school, and meeting those anorexia groupies (for lack of a better term) gave her the little bit of validation she needed to give up entirely on getting better. She’s the one character who might even struggle with the sense of community the Red Banders give her, since it’s become preferable to facing the real world and it’s many triggers.

One of those triggers is Leo, and her dependence on him as a stabilising force in her life. As sweet as Emma and Jordi have been to each other since the pilot, Leo is the one who supports and loves her without question, and I’m not sure Leo grasps how much that means for someone like her. The gesture he made for Kara might not have had romantic intentions behind it, but that’s the way Emma took it, and it’s black and white in her world.

That said, whatever the relationship between Leo and Kara grows to be, I absolutely love it. Their exchange in the pilot was one of those moments that made me excited for the show, and it was the same here. Kara needs someone who can cut through her bullshit, and Leo is looking for someone who understands his mindset about being in the hospital. As he points out to Emma, she isn’t there for the same reasons as the rest of them, and I got the feeling that their argument had been brewing for some time.

Ash is still being underused, but I like his approach to the fragmented dynamic this week. Instead of getting weird and clingy with Leo as he has been, he decided to befriend Jordi instead. Yes, his interest in Leo is a little bit unhealthy, but seeing the three boys rise above a potential love triangle will be a good twist. Jordi on his own still isn’t wowing me, even though the storyline with his mother was objectively said, and I can’t help but feel like these characters are better when they’re together.

This episode was great, and that was probably helped by the fact that there was less voiceover. It was still there, reminding me why I hate it whenever a scene I was enjoying was interrupted, but it was used more sparingly.

What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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