Connect with us
Invasion (AppleTV+)
Invasion (AppleTV+)

Television

‘Invasion’ episode 9 ‘Full of Stars’ recap/review

Some great action sequences aren’t enough to save Invasion’s penultimate episode from being a complete mess.

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

  • For at least the second time in her life, Aneesha made out with a guy she’s way too good for. After that, she and her family found Luke with another kid (Jack) and his family in the morgue. Luke had also taken out the strange alien rock from his book bag and was hovering it over a goo covered corpse. This caused the goo to move and create weird shapes, which understandably freaked everyone out.
  • Casper and Jamila met up with Trev in London. After seeing Casper’s drawings, Trev agreed to help them get to a hospital, where Casper plans to use his seizures to try and communicate with the aliens and stop them. We have no idea HOW he’d go about stopping them, but that’s the plan.
  • Mitsuki has once again almost made contact with Hinata and/or whatever is holding the ruins of her shuttle in place.
  • Sheriff Tyson is still dead.

This week, we finally start to get some answers. They’re aren’t necessarily good answers, but answers none the less.

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.

Starman

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

The episode opens with a flashback to Mitsuki and Hinata in happier times. After watching them go from a shared interest in David Bowie to falling in love, we return to the present, where Hinata is floating back toward her destroyed space shuttle. As she gets closer, we hear Mitsuki’s uploaded videos playing in her helmet’s comm system. She responds to this by transmitting the word “waju.”

Back on the ground, we catch up to the final scene of last week’s episode — Mitsuki desperately trying to respond to her lover who she now knows (or thinks she knows) is alive.

Hinata is eventually able to ask Mitsuki and the others to “help us.” As you might imagine, the United States military isn’t at all convinced that the “us” Hinata’s referring to is the rest of her presumably dead crew. They also decide that Hinata’s signal is the best target they have for their still operational nuclear defense system. If Mitsuki is unable to somehow get the aliens the stop attacking earth, they plan to launch a strike in a little over an hour.

Things become even more dire when it’s revealed that Hinata’s voice does not include any breathing, all but confirming that it’s not her.

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Later, Mitsuki realizes she’s been cut off from communication with Hinata (or “Hinata”) and storms into the command center to demand answers. She refuses to accept that the person she’s talking to isn’t her lover, which is an understandable reaction. She then obliterates any deserved degree of sympathy by yelling about how a planned counter attack could “start a war.”

After one of the leaders in the room points out that they’re already in a war, Akira notes that Hinata might still be alive if she’s inside one of the alien crafts. This would give them someone on the inside, thus making her a valuable asset. Unfortunately, that scenario would require it to be proven without a doubt that the entity they’ve been speaking with is really her — something Mitsuki says she can do.

She gets back on the microphone and asks Hinata what was the first thing she ever said after coming home with her the first time. Hinata responds by playing a recording of “Space Oddity” by David Bowie, a callback to their first conversation about how Mitsuki reminded her of him.

*Side Note: I get that this is supposed to be an emotional moment, but I hardly thinks it counts as confirmation that they’re speaking with Hinata — especially since Mitsuki uploaded all those files that must’ve included a lot of Bowie tunes, as well. All it really confirms is that the aliens have good taste in music.

When the song unexpectedly cuts off, Mitsuki demands that the U.S. military commander reopen communications. He refuses, explaining that her discovery doesn’t prove anything (duh) and that even if it did, it’s worth sacrificing one life in order to potentially save billions. The nuclear attack will proceed.

Mitsuki reacts to this news by laying down on the satellite dish as the last known location of her lover is destroyed, leaving behind a bright light that burns through the ski.

Blackout

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Trev gets Jamila and Casper into the hospital where Jamila’s mother works as a neurologist (of course). They aren’t able to locate her, but they do manage to find another neurologist who can help them. She initially refuses to induce a seizure without a solid medical reason or parental consent, but Trev convinces her via a mix of earnest whispering and intimidation.

Casper gets linked up for a trip under the a CT scanner and convinces Jamila to go look for her mother. One she’s gone, Trev and Casper begin talking about their pasts, where we finally learn that Trev’s son was born very sick (although there’s clearly more to the story).

With that out of the way, the neurologist induces a seizure in Casper that causes him to see flashes of artistic landscapes and black & white abstract images — all while his neurons move in sync with each other. He also repeats a couple words (“wajo” being one of them) and we get a brief glimpse of Sheriff Tyson crying out to the sky before he was murdered.

The neurologist and Trev quickly determine that Casper is seeing what the aliens see. Seconds later, Casper wakes up and begins screaming that the aliens are inside the building.

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Sure enough, one of those FX budget friendly Wacky Wall Walkers heads inside the hospital and starts tearing stuff up. Despite not being hooked up to the CT scanner, Casper continues having mini seizures, which allows him to track the alien’s movements as he and Trev search for Jamila. Once they find her, he sees that there’s actually more than one alien inside the hospital and leads them away from an ambush.

When the pair of aliens close in on their location again, Casper announces that they know he’s here and that they’re coming for him. Moments later, one of the creatures locates the group and begins pursuing them. Trev gets the kids inside a storage closet before turning and firing on it. When that doesn’t do anything except piss the creature off, he finds a handy tank of flammable gas and torches it, causing both the alien and Casper to cry out in pain.

Trev’s joy at finally defeating one of the invaders is cut short when the other zips into the hallway and up into the ceiling, thus allowing it to reach Casper and Jamila. Trev manages to evacuate the kids just in time and leads them downstairs to the hospital’s street exit. Unfortunately, this ends up with them surrounded by even more aliens.

As the trio prepares to make a final stand, Casper forces himself to have a violent seizure that freezes all the aliens in place. It allows his friends to escape, but also appears to kill him.

As Trev and Jamila desperately try to revive Casper, a strange light begins to shine in the sky above them.

As the World Falls Down

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Over in the States, scientists confirm that the rock Aneesha’s son was carrying can kill the aliens. Armed with this new/vital knowledge, they order her and her family to prepare for transport to the Pentagon. As they depart, people angrily shout at them for getting to leave and receiving special treatment.

Along the way, their transport is ambushed by a group of heavily armed civilians. In a surprising turn of events for a show filled with tropes like this one is, one of the attackers remembers to stop shooting at the transport’s armored plating and goes for the tires, instead. After the vehicle flips over, the well-armed/well-trained soldiers take up position to protect Aneesha’s family against what appears to be four other shooters.

Seems like the best bet for the family would be to stay put, right? WRONG! Aneesha leads her family out of the armored truck, past a hail of gunfire, and into the woods.

All snark aside, this actually turned out to be the right move. That same handful of civilians handily takes out the soldiers who had better training, weapons, and cover. They’re also able easily to track Aneesha and her family in the woods.

Upon realizing they’ve run out of options, Ahmed gears up to complete his redemption arc by telling his wife and kids to flee while he distracts their pursuers. Instead of doing that, however, he crosses paths with a single soldier who somehow survived the ambush and ended up in the woods behind them. As if that weren’t enough red flags, the soldier (who is well within earshot of the civilian attackers) tells Ahmed to call out to his wife, which he does.

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

For once, however, Ahmed isn’t as stupid as he seems. He calls out the name “Angela,” which is the fake identity his wife used while working as a doctor a few episodes ago.

Aneesha realizes she’s being given a warning and continues to hide with the children. When the soldier realizes this as well, he commands Ahmed to get his wife to reveal herself or be shot in the head. Ahmed responds by calling his wife by her real name and telling her to run — an act that results in him being executed.

As Aneesha and her family continue to flee, they eventually come across an area of the woods that’s covered in the alien’s black goo. It also reacts/shrinks away from Luke’s rock, allowing them to pass. When they look up in the sky, a giant light appears that is definitely not the sun.

The Verdict

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

While this was a definite improvement over the last two episodes, “Full of Star” still has a number of issues that keep it from being enjoyable.

Aneesha’s storyline gave us some decent thrills, but the tension was predicated on circumstances even harder to believe than Earth getting invaded by galactic Wacky Wall Crawlers. To be fair, a handful of civilians could take out a military convey in under five minutes if they had help from someone on the inside. I certainly hope that’s what the soldier who killed Ahmed was, at least. Otherwise, having him manage to get behind the attackers and demand Ahmed call out to his wife would be ridiculously bad writing.

Those issues aside, Ahmed’s moment of redemption was so predictable and unearned that it’s hard to feel any sadness over his death. I guess the whole thing with Aneesha making out with the doctor was supposed to add some weight to the moment, but it ended up being yet another of Invasion‘s discarded plotlines.

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Speaking of discarded plotlines, why the heck did Casper’s seizure cause him to see Sheriff Tyson before he died? I suppose we could get an answer during next week’s finale, but it would almost have to be completely out of left field at this point. Whatever the case, it sucks that the poor kid had to die just to neutralize three aliens. I still have no idea how he planned to stop the entire invasion by himself, but Casper deserved a lot better than that.

As for the Mitsuki/Hinata storyline, your guess is as good as mine. It certainly seemed like Hinata was alive when we saw her floating in space, but that doesn’t line up with the revelation about her being able to speak without using any breath. Sadly, it’s a mystery we’re doubtful to solve since the U.S. military decided to nuke whatever the alien “wajo” was from orbit.

Invasion (AppleTV+)

Invasion (AppleTV+)

On the positive side of things, the action in “Full of Stars” was fantastic. Also, despite being saddled with a plotline that makes almost no sense, Shioli Kutsuna turned in an absolute powerhouse of a performance as Mitsuki. Any actor’s job is going to get a boost with David Bowie’s music as their character’s soundtrack, but she took things to a completely different level.

I’d love to see Kutsuna and the rest of this incredible cast in something with a script that utilizes their talent instead of relying on it to salvage what they can from the show.

Unfortunately, we still have one episode left of what might be the most beautifully produced disaster I’ve seen from a television series in years. I’d love nothing more than for Invasion to prove me wrong with a barnburner of a finale, but it’s burdened with far too many disjointed narratives for that to be a real possibility.

 

Next Episode: ‘First Day’

Invasion (AppleTV+)
‘Invasion’ episode 9 ‘Full of Stars’ recap/review
'Invasion' episode 9 'Full of Stars'
Some great action sequences aren't enough to save Invasion's penultimate episode from being a complete mess.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
The action sequences are great.
As usual, the cast is outstanding. This time it was Shioli Kutsuna (Mitsuki) who turned in a dynamite performance.
'Full of Stars' continues the series' trend of absurdly predictable story beats surrounded by vague and/or abandoned plotlines.
Are we ever going to find out or understand what Casper's plan was to stop the aliens by himself?
Does anyone understand Mitsuki's plotline?
4
Meh

Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!

Comments

In Case You Missed It

EXCLUSIVE Heavy Metal Preview: Taarna: The Last Taarakian TPB EXCLUSIVE Heavy Metal Preview: Taarna: The Last Taarakian TPB

EXCLUSIVE Heavy Metal Preview: Taarna: The Last Taarakian TPB

Comic Books

marionette marionette

‘Marionette’ review: Creepy kid horror has a deeper story to tell

Movie Reviews

'Nightwing' #88 is outstanding in every way 'Nightwing' #88 is outstanding in every way

‘Nightwing’ #88 is outstanding in every way

Comic Books

She-Hulk #1 She-Hulk #1

‘She-Hulk’ #1 review: It’s not easy being green

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup