In its second episode, the Pure Flix original series Going Home continues to shine as a powerful and moving show about family, faith, and salvation as one journey ends and another begins. Going Home follows a compassionate, inspiring team of nurses whose calling is to help guide patients and their loved ones on the ultimate journey - one of transition from this world to their forever home. At times, it's a race against time to help these people find peace and wrap up loose ends with compassion and dignity.
At the center is Charley (Cynthia Geary), a slightly edgy yet prayerful and fiercely devoted nurse who both exudes calm within the storm and serves as a beacon of hope at a time when the word hopeless could rise so easily. In this episode, she's providing end-of-life support and care for Betty Baker (Sharva Maynard), who until recently has been getting by with the help of home health and an extremely devoted, but seemingly decompensating, husband named Vance (Tom Skerritt).
Going Home is refreshingly devoid of the usual histrionics and faux conflicts that so often accompany a series such as this one. Instead, it brings to mind the wonderful Touched by an Angel in the way that it centers itself squarely in very real human experiences, emotions, fears, hopes, and the faith that holds us together even when the world around us is falling apart.
Geary is a steady, gentle wonder here as Charley, who approaches every difficult situation quietly and prayerfully but without the showiness one might expect. Instead, Geary's practically silent devotion serves to remind us that even the simple word "help" can be the holiest of prayers. Geary's Charley is the kind of nurse you want by your side in your final days, quietly affirming yet grounded in truth and realism.
Another little gem for this episode, and indeed the series thus far, is Cozi Zuehlsdorff as Janey Richards. Janey's a relative newbie in the field and still learning her way yet her vibrance and enthusiasm provides a wonderful spark for the series amidst the heaviness of the emotions unfolding. Zuehlsdorff has always been a remarkable actress and her turn here as Janey is sublimely suited to her.
However, there's no denying that this episode, The Cards You're Dealt, ultimately centers squarely around the deeply felt and intuitive performances of both Skerritt and Maynard. Maynard's turn as Betty is simultaneously beautiful yet heartbreaking. She's a woman who knows that she's not long for this world and she's learning how to let go and also in some pretty amazing ways making sure that her husband is going to be alright in the days, weeks, and months to come. Maynard's performance here feels honest and true as does her bond with the always remarkable Tom Skerritt.
Speaking of Skerritt, he manages to take what could have so easily been a one-note caricature and adds depth and sincerity, heartbreak and vulnerability. I kept expecting a false note to get hit, however, Skerritt simply surrendered here with a performance that is still making me sniffle when I think about it.
Two episodes in, Going Home is claiming a place as one of Pure Flix's most heartfelt and emotionally honest series and a series guaranteed to inspire you to tink deeper about your relationships and how you can live well with whatever time you're given.
You can watch Going Home for yourself by clicking on the "Join Pure Flix" link the credits and signing up!
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic