“Home Invasion” finally reveals Invasion‘s alien menace in a tight, focused installment with some rare genuine tension.
This recap of Invasion season 1, episode 6, “Home Invasion”, contains spoilers.
With the news having finally been broken in a global address by the President of the United States last week that aliens are invading, “Home Invasion” begins in a more interesting position than any of the previous episodes. Everyone is frenzied. It takes Aneesha half of the cold open to even remember she has left her kids behind, and she has to leave the transport she’s in and sprint in the opposite direction. It’s a bit of a silly scene, but it only goes on a couple of minutes, which feels like a mercy, as does the entire episode being uncharacteristically brief at just 33 minutes.
Invasion season 1, episode 6 recap
Very quickly, it becomes obvious why this is. As Aneesha retraces her steps along the road she’s just driven along, she encounters corpses and upturned vehicles. Everything is still and quiet, 28 Days Later style. If you really wanted to quibble, you could wonder how this level of devastation has occurred so quickly and completely. But I was just happy that Invasion seemed to actually be doing something, and going somewhere. And it was going there with Aneesha.
This is the smartest decision “Home Invasion” makes. It doesn’t jump around and try to factor in multiple perspectives across the globe. It follows Aneesha all along that road and then back to the safe haven Ahmed and the kids are hiding in. That’s when it begins in earnest, really, morphing into something resembling a slasher movie, as Aneesha’s family and the neighbors attempt to hide from the aliens that have begun to make their presence on Earth felt rather strongly.
This, I thought, is more like it. The way Invasion usually uses extended moments of characters roaming around not doing much of anything is different here; Aneesha stood perfectly still, hiding in a doorway, becomes a sequence of great tension, because it has been established that there’s a bloodthirsty extraterrestrial around the corner. That was all it took! All Invasion had to do to become much more interesting was simply start the invasion. Who’d have thought?
It isn’t all perfect, obviously. Some of the drama between the characters feels a bit forced, the show is still really bad at communicating time and distance, and Ahmed doesn’t die when it seems very much like he might. These are all obvious downsides. But, for once, there are clear upsides. In just one episode, the show’s aliens haven’t just been introduced but have been made to seem truly deadly and yet still mysterious. It takes most of “Home Invasion” to even get a proper sight of them — there are lots of smart glimpses to build up the reveal — and seeing them only raises more questions. The design is… strange, a gloopy mass of what seem like tentacles and many stacked mouths, like an oral matryoshka doll. They’re tough, as we see, but killable, even if it’s only in quite a specific, stabby way, with a particular instrument. Either way, the show’s immediately a lot better for their presence.