For much of the first two seasons of Invasion, the show’s characters have seemingly been moving independently of each other. It’s clear that they were heading in similar directions, with paths that would converge in some way, but it wasn’t until the season 2 finale that Invasion finally started coming together. And it’s setting the show up for a big showdown in the future.
Invasion has played out a lot like a character-driven drama that just so happens to be set at the ground level of an alien invasion. It started out slowly — we didn’t even get to see the spiky, blob-like invaders until a few episodes in — and largely stayed that way, even though season 2 ratcheted up the intensity somewhat to start.
This story contains spoilers for the first two seasons of Invasion, including the season 2 finale.
During season 2, the groups have been spread across the world, all focused on very different elements of the invasion. There’s Mitsuki (Shioli Kutsuna), whose quest to translate the aliens’ language has taken her from Japan to a lab in the Amazon, housed inside of a downed enemy craft; a group of kids trekking from London to Paris to find their friend Caspar (Billy Barratt), whose visions seem to predict the invaders’ movements; a former soldier named Trevante (Shamier Anderson) investigating a suspicious military presence on a Wyoming farm; and Aneesha (Golshifteh Farahani), who has just been trying to keep her kids safe while on the road, seemingly protected by an alien shard with mysterious powers.
The new season also made the mysteries of the aliens a much bigger focus. It wasn’t just the people we were following — it was the developments around certain alien phenomena: the shard; a Jell-O-like creature that only Mitsuki could communicate with; a group of kids with psychic powers, connected together Sense8-style; and a giant hole in the ground where something bad was obviously happening. Plus, the aliens made their presence felt to a greater degree, with new varieties of attackers, including some scary beasts with the very apt name “hunter-killer.”
So here we are at the finale, and everyone’s paths have started to intersect at last. Aneesha and a group of fellow survivors have infiltrated a military facility in search of her daughter, which just so happens to be the facility that Trevante has snuck into to find out what’s going on in the big hole. Oh, and as Trevante is exploring the underground facility inside of that hole, he stumbles on a Zoom meeting that features his old friend Caspar, who just finished having an out-of-body experience, talking to Mitsuki through a process that involved the alien hive mind. Whew!
The previous 19 episodes of Invasion talked a lot about “connections,” and it’s here we finally get to see what that means. Everything seems to fit in a way that feels natural. A combination of Mitsuki’s research and Aneesha’s shard help Trevante enter into a wobbly portal, which brings him to an alien stronghold that looks like a trippy hedge maze made out of bad CG. There, he meets Caspar so they can take the attack to the aliens once and for all. If you’ve been watching from the very beginning, it’s very satisfying to see it all come together. (And if you haven’t, you can start watching now knowing that things are going somewhere.)
A lot of modern mystery shows love to throw out plot threads that are never resolved or that don’t really go anywhere. But in the season 2 finale, Invasion shows that there’s been an intentionality to its story. Sure, it was a slow process, and things got pretty weird at times. But at this point, everything does indeed seem to connect. And now all of the cast — including one character who seems to have died but I’m pretty sure will return in a more corporeal form — have clear objectives in front of them.
What’s impressive is that Invasion did this while keeping its core mystery firmly in place. We still know almost nothing about the aliens or what they want. Since the story has been told entirely from the human perspective, viewers are in the dark the same way that the survivors in the show are. The first season of Invasion felt like the opening chapter of a much bigger epic, while the current season was a bit of a midway point, moving all of the characters right where they needed to be for big things to unfold.
The promise now is that season 3 will shift into action mode: we’re finally bringing the fight to the aliens, and some answers should come with it.