Civilization is collapsing, the adults in the room are dying, and the aliens are starting to discover themselves. Is there a chance? Science fiction series Apple TV + Invasion this week he encounters new obstacles and reaches paranoid heights.
And Monty, a school bully, and Ahmed a cheating husband, close to the limits of their likeability and despair, while Caspar, Aneesha, and Mitsuki find new stores of courage and are determined to fight their horrific new reality. And everyone’s destiny depends on what will happen next.
Invasion Review: ‘The King is Dead’
The bully takes control
In an episode titled “The King is Dead,” Mr. Edwards (played by Tom Cullen), a companion on a school trip who drove a bus into a ravine, finally died after a few days trapped under the wheel. That leaves the bully Monty (Paddy Holland) firmly at the forefront.
Sure, it’s easy to say you have control – but the kids are literally trapped in the hole. Monty doesn’t want to leave (after all, his trip ends if they find help). So when Caspar (Billy Barratt) finally says he’s had enough, Monty tells everyone how Kaspar’s dad threw his mom down the stairs. This finally pulls Caspar out of fear and he starts climbing up the rock to safety.
When at the top, Caspar finds a piece of the shuttle, the thing that actually caused the bus accident, and something strange and almost miraculous happens. The inscription on the side of the debris? Caspar drew it in his notebook a few days ago. It was almost as if he unconsciously knew somewhere that he was going to land.
… And the woman becomes suspicious
Elsewhere, Aneesha (Golshifteh Farahani), Ahmed (Firas Nassar), Luke (Azhy Robertson) and Sarah (Tara Moayedi) are being evacuated by the National Guard. They don’t know where to go, but they know they can’t stop. And that is simply not metaphorically speaking. Every time they slow down, Aneesha becomes suspicious and curious about what her distasteful husband is up to and discovers some new horrible details about his affair. She looks at his phone as he tries to get information from some troops and finds ultrasound images. She almost doesn’t let him back in the car.
Still, they have to work together when Luke disappears after a break in the roadside bathroom. Could his disappearance have anything to do with a piece of strange old metal he keeps in his bag? Or the fact that he himself seems to reject the effects of extraterrestrial technology among terrestrial children?
Meanwhile, in Japan…
In JAXA, Mitsuki (Shioli Kutsuna) manages to sneak in to look at encrypted files containing the last minutes of the spaceship in which her mistress Hinata Murai (Rinko Kikuchi) died. He doesn’t see much, but he knows that what crashed that shuttle was an accident. Hinata’s last words are hard to fathom, but her last recorded moments seem like enough proof that the ship was attacked by someone or something.
Authorities don’t want Mitsuki to talk to people and cause panic, but that part could be out of her hands anyway. Her colleague Daisuke (Kaito Kawaguchi) also saw the footage. And he lies to try to save their jobs (though that may not matter in a day or two).
Mitsuki goes to see Murai’s father, Ikuru (Togo Igawa), lying about her relationship with Hinata to gain access to her room. Ikura doesn’t ask questions when he finds her lying in his daughter’s bed and looking sadly at the ceiling. But he gets angry when she accuses him of keeping her memory of the real person she grew up into. Of course it is the opposite. They quarreled when Ikura realized that his daughter would hide her sexuality from the world.
… And Afghanistan…
Navy SEAL Trevante Ward (Shamier Anderson), who loses his entire unit after meeting aliens, now has only farmer Zemar (Shamail Ali) for company. They do not speak each other’s language, which makes their journey a little difficult. But Zemar is not a stupid peasant that Trevante assumes is based on his positive attitude.
The herdsman approaches Trevante close enough to start reading the signal from one of his guys, and he follows him to the hospital where one of his men, Chavez (Alex Hernandez) is resting. Unfortunately, a group of rebels appears – and something else inhuman, but just as deadly – interrupting their reunion.
Problem solved, right?
Jamie Payne, a veteran of British TV products such as Luther i Dr. Who, returns to direct this week’s episode Invasion. The play begins to feel more like a part, formally, with his other works. Fluid digital photography, elegant framing and blocking, increase the looseness in the script department.
In addition, nothing has yet proven lethal to the show’s credibility or interest. This is a very exciting show that hits, bugs and everything else. Payne and the team of editors keep everything at a pace you don’t to want necessarily, to ruin the fun by asking questions. You just want to know what will happen next.
Only when you look back, for example, does it seem a little silly to spend one episode watching children decide who is in charge of their small group. I like the Caspar plot, and the kids actors are all superlative, but there’s no denying that it’s a weird feeling to spend time with the kids walking in story C when we have government conspiracies and aliens throwing trash at hospitals in D and E stories.
A frustrating affair
The same is true in the end for the saga of the Malik family. Actor Golshifteh Farahani remains the best thing about him Invasion four episodes. But unfortunately, the writers didn’t find much to do with her other than she looked sadly and yelled at her husband.
I’m pretty sure the dynamics will be important at some point (why even have a divorce story unless you know where it ends for everyone interested?). But for now there is no small frustration when we watch her come to the same conclusion once in the episode: Ahmed is a bastard.
The highlight of this week was the narratively discursive, but with a deep feeling meeting of Ikura and Mitsuki. Not only does it end with a stunning little scene in which the sound of a craft creates a bizarre effect on the plants in the old man’s house, but the show puts the story on hold for these two poor lost souls to talk about that person missing each other.
Things like this save Invasion of his less graceful moments, and gives me hope that this will end in some satisfying place. Even if it’s not, I enjoy the trip.
Look Invasion on Apple TV +
New episodes Invasion arrive on Apple TV + on Fridays.
Look at: Apple TV +
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of a long-running series of video essays The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He wrote for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books i Nylon Magazine. He is the director of 25 feature films and the author of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.
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