Invasion season 1, episode 5 recap – “Going Home”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: November 11, 2021
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Invasion season 1, episode 5 recap - "Going Home"


“Going Home” isn’t any less tedious than previous episodes, but at least it contains an acknowledgment of alien involvement. At this point, that’ll have to do.

This recap of Invasion season 1, episode 5, “Going Home”, contains spoilers.

It took five episodes, but in “Going Home” Apple TV+’s ostensible alien invasion show actually revealed an alien. Sort of, anyway. The little parasitic octopus thing that Aneesha pulls from a local accident victim using a pair of tweezers certainly looks otherworldly, but if we’ve already spent five hours building up to this moment and have another five to go, I’m going to need something with more legitimate space-monster bonafides than that thing. Still, it’s a start.

Invasion season 1, episode 5 recap

The fact we’ve waited for half a season to get that start is a problem, obviously. Even though we actually build to something invasion-adjacent in this episode, it frustrated me as much or perhaps even more so than previous installments because I could just see how flagrantly it was killing time. There’s an extended cold open with Trevante roaming around the desert that went on for so long I honestly thought it was a joke of some kind, presumably at my expense. Whether it’s an attempt at realism, build-up, or character development is inscrutable. To me, it feels a lot like Invasion being up its own backside.

The feeling of faux profundity really is everywhere in “Going Home”, and it’s annoying. At this point, we’re dealing with four distinct stories that are bound to intersect at some point, but that thus far have focused on the least interesting aspects of each perspective. I don’t care about Trevante’s pre-war home life, or even, if I’m being frank, the loss of his buddies. I’m interested in how him staggering through a desert really has a bearing on the overarching plot; why what he’s doing matters. It’s the same with Aneesha. She puts her medical skills to use here, which is welcome, but the attention thus far has been paid to Ahmed’s infidelity and how the knock-on effects are impacting the kids. And I just don’t care, you know?

It’s the same with the kids. Casper clearly has an interesting and perhaps vital telepathic connection to what’s going on and yet we’re forced to deal with the petty drama of an abandoned chocolate truck. Mitsuki seems like she’s always on the cusp of really driving the plot forward but keeps having to run around in circles just to be acknowledged. It’s a grating way of extending the drama and the mystery, and it’s misjudged here. We’re way beyond the point when something needs to happen.

To say Invasion is dealing with so many characters spread so thinly across the globe, though, it feels oddly empty. Each character’s story seems to exist in a little pocket dimension – here’s the dystopian wasteland, here’s Lord of the Flies, and so on, so even though we’re clearly heading towards some overlap, the world doesn’t feel coherent or connected. There are probably a few decent ideas for a show in here, but that’s all they are – just disparate ideas without any unifying theme or purpose.

At least by the end of “Going Home” there has been a wide-scale acknowledgment that something extra-terrestrial is on the near horizon. If that can’t liven this show up, nothing will.

You can stream Invasion season 1, episode 5, “Going Home”, exclusively on Apple TV+.

Apple TV+, Streaming Service, TV, Weekly TV
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