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'Homecoming' adds a new chapter -- and star -- to Amazon's eerie thriller

(CNN)A second season of "Homecoming" seemed unnecessary, especially with its primary draw, Julia Roberts, bowing out as the star. Yet the producers have managed the difficult feat of layering a new story on top of the original, in an easily consumed binge that features Janelle Monae while bringing back co-star Stephan James.For those who missed the first flight -- based on the Gimlet Media podcast and produced in concert with "Mr. Robot" creator Sam Esmail -- the series focused on a secret operation that experimented on soldiers, toying with their minds and memories. It's again an understated version of a 1970s paranoid conspiracy thriller, diced into half-hour installments.Here, Monae's character is introduced waking up in a rowboat float ...