Invasion season 1, episode 10 recap – the finale/ending explained

December 10, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 25
Apple TV+, Ending Explained, Streaming Service
2

Summary

“First Day” spends its entire runtime teasing a potential second season — but does anybody really want to see that?

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2

Summary

“First Day” spends its entire runtime teasing a potential second season — but does anybody really want to see that?

This recap of Invasion season 1, episode 10, “First Day”, contains spoilers, as well as a discussion of Invasion’s ending.


Since it began, Apple TV+’s Invasion has felt like a colossal waste of time, talent, and resources, the kind of well-intentioned but inexplicable misfire that makes you wonder how nobody involved in the process thought to point out how boring it all was. And yet, having said that, it has nonetheless been fun to pick at and speculate over each week. There was that one good episode that everyone liked. There was a chance, however slim, that the finale would turn things around somehow, make the journey worth the destination, and the penultimate installment certainly felt like it was setting up a big denouement. “First Day” was this bizarre, ambitious, but ultimately disappointing show’s chance to redeem itself.

Invasion season 1, episode 10 recap

Last week, I was so determined to convince myself and perhaps some readers that all wasn’t lost that I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. I didn’t make the obvious connection that the great flashes of light glimpsed in the sky at the end of that episode were the alien ships being destroyed by the Japanese nuclear strike — several commenters pointed this out, of course, and it was a kick-yourself moment, but I’d been hoping that a show called Invasion, about an alien invasion, wouldn’t unceremoniously kill off its attacking threat in the penultimate episode without having really explored anything about them. Yet, “First Day” opens with a radio broadcast claiming the extra-terrestrials have been destroyed, with Japan taking credit for Earth’s salvation. The invasion is over before it even really began.

Another thing I didn’t notice straight away is that the premiere of Invasion was titled “Last Day”. The implication is clear. The show began on the last day of normality; the last day before a world-changing event that would ultimately alter the course of human history, and it will end on the first day in the wake of that event, the first day of post-alien life. Thus, we return to the focal characters and find them changed. Casper is braindead, and Trevante is furious about it. Ahmed is dead, though admittedly through no fault of the aliens, but Aneesha nonetheless has to explain to Luke and Sarah that their father has been taken away by a bad man — the kind of bad man, though she doesn’t say this aloud, that was there on both the last day and the first and will persist through the second, third, and fourth, and indeed indefinitely, bad men being a fixture of humanity since we crawled out of the primordial soup. Mitsuki goes to Hinata’s place and tears the David Bowie picture from her wall. Despite the poster’s claim, no man, or indeed woman, fell to Earth.

This hook of pre-and-post-invasion would have worked better had we seen more of the actual invasion in the first place. But we have spent so much time rooted in the perspectives of people who didn’t see any of the aliens at all, only glimpsed them, or stumbled into the carnage left in their wake long after they had departed, that nothing feels especially different. And that’s frustrating because it’s easy to see how all of this could be much more emotionally resonant had the effort been made in the build-up. We never really got much sense of Mitsuki and Hinata’s relationship, so her following Hinata’s compass needle north, as Mr. Murai explained a scene or two earlier she used to do as a child, doesn’t mean much to us. The show has been deliberately cagey about Trevante’s backstory and his son’s death, and when he did share details, it was with Casper, so when he begins talking about it to Jamila the dots don’t quite connect. We never really saw Japan or London under siege, so there’s no juxtaposition between fleeing, terrified citizens, and the revelers who dance through the streets, cheering and beating the alien corpses with cricket bats. First day, last — what’s the difference, really?

There are some decent ideas here, but none the show seems all that interested in exploring. Aneesha keeps the kids isolated, insistent that they cannot return to civilization despite the televised revelry, since they’re not safe from other people. Luke undermines this potentially fruitful idea — a family of color being targeted and shot at by white militiamen during a literal alien invasion — by being deeply, irritatingly unreasonable. Mitsuki meets a lapsed monk whose beliefs have been challenged by the invasion, and has now turned to beer and weed in the absence of true answers; through him, Mitsuki continues to grieve but also learns to believe in the power of memory as a way to preserve Hinata and their love. And Trevante, while trying to secure a transport home, is given some scant details of the alien threat — how each individual was seemingly identical to another, coded in the same way, and that perhaps terraforming using the black goo was their ultimate intention. Trev closes the laptop he’s being shown evidence of this on, apparently uninterested.

When I say nothing really happens in “First Day”, it sounds like hyperbole. The episode’s an hour long. But it really feels that way, like there’s so little of consequence actually going on on-screen that there might as well be nothing at all. Soldiers in hazmat suits entering one of the alien vessels, which has crashed in the Brazilian rainforest, amounts to nothing. It’s all in service of a tease, really. As we amble towards the end of the episode, Luke’s magic rock starts glowing, Mitsuki patches into the satellite and picks something up, Trev looks through Casper’s sketchbook and sees he scribbled the kanji for Hoshi, meaning star, and Casper himself, pronounced dead hours later, begins to dream of Mr. Murai giving him Hinata’s compass. The final shot of Invasion, after lingering on the terrified eyes of Aneesha and Trevante, is of a giant alien craft in the sky, the extra-terrestrials not being quite as done with Earth as we were led to believe. That might mean a second season. But does anyone really want to see that?

You can stream Invasion season 1, episode 10, “First Day”, exclusively on Apple TV+. Do you have any thoughts about Invasion’s ending? Let us know in the comments.

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25 thoughts on “Invasion season 1, episode 10 recap – the finale/ending explained

  • December 10, 2021 at 10:53 am
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    I want to see a season 2. I thought the show was great. Everyone I see complain about it says it was slow, so I guess they want Independence day in series form.

  • December 10, 2021 at 3:49 pm
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    I found invasion curios but not great. If there is a second season I’ll watch, hopefully it will get better as it matures.

  • December 10, 2021 at 6:06 pm
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    I absolutely love this show! It was criticized as a slow burn but I was drawn in my the character development. The sheriff’s character in episode one seemed like a waste of time but maybe they’ll explore that in season 2.

  • December 10, 2021 at 8:11 pm
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    If you have the attention span of a ferret, I would not suggest this series; however, if you’re from the old school and enjoy good dialog, strong character development and great camera work without all of the fluff … This series is for you. I’m looking forward to season 2.

  • December 10, 2021 at 9:43 pm
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    Started a bit slow and tedious, but got slowly better towards the end, I’d watch season 2. if it happens.

  • December 10, 2021 at 10:11 pm
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    A minor point. With Trevante securing official transport to the States and being debriefed by an official, why is he still wearing his blood soaked fatigues as he approaches his house? Yes, a minor point, but I know the military, at least they would make you take a shower before you board a civilian/military aircraft. At least they could have factored in a screaming match with a flight attendant, seems to be popular for no reason right now.

  • December 10, 2021 at 10:20 pm
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    I understand Trevante not wanting to engage with the debriefer: Going into details about Casper would have triggered a “what? show me!” and he would be stuck there playing show and tell and voiding any chance for a flight back home – I get it – although the knowledge that there were humans on the same mental wavelength as the aliens could trigger a search to find …. nah, this series is a series of promising dead ends, and thats as much as we could expect.

    Trevante spilling his guts would result in precisely nothing but a bare hint of story direction, soon abandoned

    Yet, still I watch. Thank god for The Expanse! <3

  • December 10, 2021 at 11:41 pm
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    “There was that one good episode that everyone liked. ”

    That was the worst episode of the season, the one that brought the show back to something we already saw 100 times.

  • December 11, 2021 at 5:10 am
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    I believe the reviewer matter of factly (and accurately) described a meandering series that continuously offered some kind of crescendo finale that never came. Shame on us for expecting more right up to the very end. Great stories are made up of a series of great sub plots.
    This wasn’t much more than a money saving exercise that
    promised to make a promise right up to the very end.
    It’s the quintessential Ponsi style series.
    From 1 to 10 we’ll give it a sentimental 4.

  • December 11, 2021 at 6:35 am
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    This was a show about character development, family and support….and only marginally about invaders. It was not your typical alien invasion story with spectacular CGI. And that was its strength.

  • December 11, 2021 at 6:18 pm
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    Reviewer probably not much fun at parties.

  • December 12, 2021 at 2:22 pm
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    Did you watch the same series I did? All of those questions in the article that he says were not answered, were answered. The show was more about what individuals may go through during an invasion from their POV. It was a close up of people and not about the aliens. Jeez. I think this critic missed the whole point of what this series was about.

  • December 12, 2021 at 3:05 pm
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    i loved this show! keep wanting more!!! please be there season 2

  • December 12, 2021 at 4:52 pm
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    i stuck with it – it was boting
    didnt think acting was great , cringe celebration scenes in final episode.
    could have been great – 5/10

  • December 12, 2021 at 8:14 pm
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    I really liked the first half of this series. I enjoyed the slow story building. First, the thing that really pissed me off was the bus that fell into the ravine. How is it possible that all the students survived that? The rest of the scenario seemed solid, then it became more and more boring and insignificant after the episode 6. Looks like the whole budget went into the episode in which the aliens finally appear and kills everyone. Not sure I will watch the next season even though I found most of the actors talented.

  • December 12, 2021 at 9:59 pm
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    An incredibly mediocre show although the characters were interesting with the Iranian actress playing Aneesha being outstanding. Kept waiting for something interesting to happen but it never really did. I will start to watch again if it comes back to see Aneesha again

  • December 13, 2021 at 8:08 am
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    Invasion is not a good show. I watched it because I’m a sci-fi fan but you’ll need the fast forward button quite a bit. If you want to watch some of the action sequences are good but similar to Walking Dead season 1 and 2 just fast forward the insane dialogue moments. Almost every male character is wrong all the time. The main japanese woman is terrible. You just need to fast forward most of it as they rehash what seems like 1000 sad moments about her existence. Hopefully a new show runner can take over if they make a second season. Foundation is good and The Expanse is an example of a really good sci-fi show.

  • December 13, 2021 at 10:30 am
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    Despite all the character “development”, I was left not caring about any of the characters. At the end, they were all a bunch of whiny “me, me, me!” folks. Trevante had brief moments of caring from Casper, and Casper had a few moments of caring. But at the end they are all a bunch of angry, self-pitying narcisists.

  • December 14, 2021 at 6:29 am
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    The article is wrong I believe. Everyone thinks the husband is dead….all we heard was a gun shot but we didn’t even see a body…so I don’t think he is dead. The brain dead kid is still alive otherwise we wouldn’t have seen that part at the end. The beach scene with the chief was not the Japanese destroying the ships….I thought that had been done already. The one we just saw I believe is the mother ship and the invasion starts again with different circumstances. We are not done with Hoshi station yet. That’s is my short take on it.

  • December 14, 2021 at 3:52 pm
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    I stuck with the show through the whole season. It was mediocre although I might start watching the beginning of a season 2 just to see if it gets better. The main reason I kept watching is the Iranian actress who plays Aneesha . Gorgeous woman and great actress who steals the show

  • December 15, 2021 at 12:23 am
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    I want to see a season 2! I loved this show…so many camparisons can be made to what was happening to the people in this show and to what is happening to us now with Covid. But I am not going to get into politics or any of that because ironically, I liked it because it was a good escape from what is happening in the real world and being a sci-fi lover, I liked that it wasn’t over the top like most sci-fi. There were no ridiculous CGI effects, no impossible stunts, and no superhero’s (not that I mind that but hey, not in sci-fi). The people were real every day citizens with every day problems marital issues, death of a loved one and bullied kids fighting against what most think is implausible. I personally prefer the suspense of not seeing too much of the aliens, but rather seeing the destruction and loss they cause. No super gorey overtones or absurd “Alien” like creatures. It’s the fear, the isolation and the unknown that is the most scary…kind of like the real world today. Cheers, Invasion! I hope to see you again!

  • December 15, 2021 at 7:31 pm
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    I really liked the show. Not everything has to be an Avengers movie. It is nice that facts are revealed slowly, and that there is more than one protagonist, although it appears that they will be eventually related. Looking forward to season 2.

  • December 17, 2021 at 2:58 pm
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    The fact that the reviewer didn’t even have the mental acuity to get basic plot points correct tells you all I need to know about their opinion. You should ignore it. The Japanese nuclear strike? Seriously? We’re you even paying attention to the show you were going to review? P.S. The Bowie poster was not in Hinata’s place, it was Mitsuki’s…which was sort of important in understanding why she was convinced it was really Hinayana she was communicating with…

  • December 19, 2021 at 7:06 am
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    Insomniacs rejoice! Salvation is here and you will sleep soundly and deeply after enduring this interminably frustrating series. Like many, I was drawn to this show and appreciate the various character developments. But, my Lord, this feels like Lost (which I didn’t watch but heard the howls of protest at the bizarre ending). I feel this is just setting us up for the same. Good acting, yes, all around but poor Golshifteh who spent the entire season with that single pained expression on her face. And can someone explain to me how Sam Neill gets top billing for his one appearance – er, I mean, disappearance? Enough. Life is too short to endure more of this. Fool me once, shame on you. Buh-bye. (PS – to all who enjoyed this show, I respect that, too. No need to castigate me.)

  • January 6, 2022 at 11:51 pm
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    Please find yourself another job. Your review is terrible. You have no ability to assess the show. You missed many key points and clues that are vital to understanding this plot. You dislike the show because you don’t understand it! It is not meant for you. It is meant for higher intelligence people who get it. This show is a phenomenal work that deserves more praise.

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