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Invasion (AppleTV+)
Invasion (AppleTV+)

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‘Invasion’ episode 8 ‘Contact’ recap/review

‘Invasion’ lurches toward its final two episodes without a satisfying or coherent ending in sight.

Here’s where we stand after Invasion’s seventh episode:

  • Aneesha was able to save her husband (unfortunately), who appears to be starting an undeserved redemption arc.
  • Trev made it onto a military transport out of Afghanistan.
  • After the rest of their classmates all went their separate ways, Casper and Jamila (the girl of his dreams) are wandering through the ruins of London together to get home. They were also nearly spotted by an alien.
  • Mitsuki was about to learn a lot more about what happened to Hinata, but was taken into custody by the authorities before she could do so.
  • Sheriff Tyson is still dead.

This week, two of our perspectives link up for the first time while even more mystery and/or frustrating vagueness is injected into the narrative.

As always, the recap portion of this review will contain plenty of spoilers. The sequence of events has also been streamlined for the sake of clarity.

Grounded

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

The episode opens with Trev’s cargo plane landing in the United Kingdom. He disembarks, finds the base commander, and demands to be put on the next plane headed toward any city in the United States. Unfortunately, nothing is flying out on account on the alien invasion. As far as the commander is concerned, their primary purpose is to keep the surrounding area safe. He also points out that Trev’s plane was one of the lucky few that didn’t get knocked out of the sky before reaching its destination.

When Trev continues to push his case, the commander allows him to leave the base with a sidearm to see if he can find a sailboat back across the Atlantic.

He initially begins his journey by heading into London via a car, but is forced to abandon the vehicle after discovering that all the major roadways are blocked. After hiking through the country a bit, Trev reaches a vantage point that allows him to see just how devastated the city is.

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

With his options running thin, Trev goes to a nearby phone booth to call Learah. He ends up reaching a voicemail recording of her that she made specifically for him. After grimly describing the devastation in the United States as “as a war we can’t win,” Learah tells Trev that she will always love her husband, but also love “him.” She starts to explain how love doesn’t die just because a person does moments before the the message cuts off (of course).

Trev takes a moment to gather himself before replying that he will always love “him,” too, which would seem to indicate that they’re both speaking about a deceased son. He also promises that he loves her, will always be there for her, and hopes she gives him another chance.

Trev then hangs up the phone and sinks down next to the booth, struggling not to let despair and exhaustion finally overtake him.

Fair Betrayal

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Over in the states, Aneesha finally gets a chance to speak with David (her doctor friend from before). She learns that he also had severe family issues, which lead to him and his wife getting a divorce. After sharing that connection with each other, he once again explains how badly they need her at the shelter before asking to show her something.

Turns out that “something” was how low their supplies were, which he parlays into a speech about how they need survivors of her ilk before starting to kiss her. Aneesha is hesitant at first, but ends up passionately kissing David back. This moment of passion somehow leads to Aneesha admitting that she never finished medical school. She also explains that it wasn’t just her medical training that helped keep her family alive — it was also the strange piece of rock that Luke had in his book bag.

Elsewhere, a recovering Ahmed comforts his daughter and actually sounds like a decent person for the first time in the show’s run. He then goes looking for his wife and son. When Aneesha returns with David and finds her family missing, she leaves him and begins searching for them.

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Meanwhile, Luke finds a boy named Jack who asks if he wants to see something cool that the grownups don’t want them to see. Sure enough, Jack takes him to see a dead body that’s covered in black alien goo. When he explains how his dad says the aliens can’t be killed, Luke counters that his mom can and begins to take out the alien rock from his book bag.

By the time Aneesha finds him, Luke has an audience consisting of his father, sister, and Jack’s family, all of them watching in disbelief as the black goo on the corpse reacts to the rock in his hand.

Drawing Allies

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

In London, Casper and Jamila make it to Casper’s apartment, where they find that one of the aliens took time off from interplanetary domination to infiltrate a low income housing unit and murder his mother at the dinner table.

After taking some time to let him grieve, Jamila asks Casper to tell her about his mom. He responds with a description of a someone who was both a wonderful parent and person. He also laments/insists that if he’d been there, he could have killed the alien that killed her. This firmly convinces him that they need to go where Jamila’s mother works (the hospital) and find her before it’s too late.

Like most of us would, Jamila asks what he could specifically do to help. Casper responds that in addition to being able to see the aliens in his mind, he can also feel their presence when they’re nearby….and even before they got to Earth.

Because of this, he’s convinced that having a seizure that won’t stop (something that could likely be induced at the hospital) will allow him to talk to the creatures.

It’s still not clear how talking with them like this would help, but whatever.

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

On their way to the hospital, the pair see a group of soldiers firing at one of the aliens climbing a nearby building. Instead of sticking around to watch that awesomeness play out, they duck into a bar and find our old friend Trev, who’s drunk and has clearly given up on going home.

When Trev refuses to help them get to the hospital, Casper explains that he saw the aliens before they arrived and might know things that could stop them. Predictably, this does little to convince the soldier to join them. His interest is piqued, however, when Jamila shows him one of Casper’s drawings that features a black blob attacking his unit’s insignia.

Trev still isn’t convinced this means anything (nor am I), but it’s enough to make him decide to help.

Lost in Translation

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Over in Japan, Mitsuki has been handcuffed to a desk and put under guard while the authorities figure out what to do with her. She’s eventually paid a visit by her old boss (Akira), who apologizes for having to turn her in before demanding she hand over everything she’s found. He also reveals that they have a fixed location on something holding the remains of Hinata’s shuttle, essentially making it the only form of communication Earth has with the alien invaders.

When Mitsuki refuses to help, Akira tells her it’s time to accept that Hinata is gone and that situation has become something much different/bigger than them now. Mitsuki agrees to help, but only if she’s the one who gets to make contact.

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

The military and government leaders take Mitsuki and her team to another room and allow her to get back to work. After a bit of fancy sciencing, she’s able to open two-way communication between their location and the remains of Hinata’s shuttle.

Unfortunately, using human languages does nothing to open up a line of dialogue. In response, Mitsuki begins decoding and repackaging the alien sounds as data…I think. Whatever the case, we know it’s going to work because her fancy science solutions always do.

While she’s working on this, Kaito confesses that he cares about Mitsuki more than anyone in the world. It’s supposed to be a sweet moment, but just ends up feeling supremely awkward and ill-timed.

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

While all this is going on, a soldier watches from a monitor as an alien specimen is operated on. He gets a phone call, tells the person on the other line that there’s been no progress, and then assures whomever he’s speaking to that he won’t tell anyone.

Later, Akira tells Mitsuki that Los Angeles has gone dark. He also reminds her that her job is only to keep the lines of communication open and to let the linguist do their job, but she refuses. She also acknowledges that the language is too complex for her to translate, as well. Instead, Mitsuki has begun taking old video files that Hinata sent to her when they were still together, converting them into the the alien’s language, and transmitting them.

After a few tense moments the aliens (or Hinata) respond by repeating one word back: Wajo.

The Verdict

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Just like last week, there is a TON wrong with this episode. One area that’s brought into sharp relief is Trev’s phone call to his wife. Shamier Anderson absolutely sells the hell out of this scene, but that still can’t change how ridiculous the ambiguous “I’ll always love him” line is.

Instead of playing it off from long seeded hints or creating an intriguing new wrinkle, it’s used for one moment of ambiguity before moving onto the next vague/unsatisfying plotline.

It’s also neat that we finally see Trev meet up with other established characters, but I hate that it’s in service of exploring Casper’s ever shifting seizure powers. Now they’re telling us that his seizures had him seeing the future before the alien attack? I can believe him randomly getting stranded with the girl of his dreams in post apocalyptic London, but that’s plain absurd.

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

As for Aneesha, I have no problem with her getting a genuine love story, but with “genuine” being the operative word. Yes, she’s been through absolute hell and back, but I don’t think that would make her immediately fall into the arms of some milquetoast admirer who she’s spoken with all of 10 minutes.

And don’t even ask me about Mitsuki’s plotline because I have no idea what’s going on there. Between us going back to “Wajo” and her sending old vlogs to the aliens, I’m halfway expecting Hinata to descend from the clouds and explain that the aliens have dubbed her their queen and the war is over. Heck, maybe Sheriff Tyson can be her sergeant at arms.

Of course, peace won’t be possible until the aliens explain their need to kill random people in isolated settings in between their vast (and nearly invisible) attempts at world domination. Perhaps that answer will come when we figure out why Luke’s nose didn’t bleed or what that soldier was looking at on his monitor.

With only two episodes left, however, I fear we’re past the point where a satisfying conclusion is possible. Much like the rest of Invasion, it’s likely to be something nonsensical that’s also nowhere near as smart as it thinks. The cast (which is incredible) has made the material work far longer than I expected, but I’ll be genuinely surprised if they can keep it going for two more installments.

Invasion (AppleTV+)
‘Invasion’ episode 8 ‘Contact’ recap/review
'Invasion' episode 8 'Contact' recap/review
'Invasion' lurches toward its final two episodes without a satisfying or coherent ending in sight.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
The cast, which is phenomenal, continues to be the only thing keeping this series afloat.
Instead of answering any of the series' major question, 'Invasion' continues to stack vague and nonsensical plot points on top of each other.
From Trev's phone call to Aneesha's stolen kiss, the moments 'Invasion' wants to be big are contrived at best.
Does anyone understand what's happening with Mitsuki's narrative?
2
Poor

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