Invasion

invasion tv show

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Paul Asay

TV Series Review

Visitors, we call them. But in entertainment, they’re rarely just here to just see the sites or for a quick pit-stop on their way to Alpha Centauri.

So it is in Invasion, Apple TV+’s drama that spoils that little fact in its one-word title. These aliens are not here for lunch at Cracker Barrel. These visitors want something, and they may want to stay.

What do they want? The people in the story sure don’t know. Perhaps the people writing the story don’t, either. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Invasion of the Body Blasters

We see the invasion through the eyes of a number of pretty normal folks: John Bell Tyson, a sheriff from a small town in Oklahoma who was just about to retire when he spots a very strange crop circle. Mitsuki Yamato, a scientist for Japan’s space agency who watches helplessly as her astronaut girlfriend’s mission goes tragically awry. Casper, a bullied kid in London whose field trip takes a curious Lord of the Flies-like turn. Wade, a U.S. soldier serving in Afghanistan, and an Afghan shepherd marvel at the weird things going on in the desert.

And then there’s the Malik family, located in Long Island, New York. Wife Aneesha discovered her husband had been cheating on her just before their neighborhood got its first extraterrestrial calling card. And, oh yeah, their little boy, Sam, seems to be strangely immune from—or in tune with—those alien invaders.

Most of our characters have a lot more on their plates than just alien invasions. Sure, the world may be collapsing, but that doesn’t stop Aneesha’s marriage from collapsing. School bullies don’t abate: They accelerate. Life goes on, apparently, even in the face of a potential life-ending attack from space. As Vulture’s Kathryn VanArendonk writes, “The story this show wants to tell has remarkably little to do with the alien invasion of Earth that is killing untold thousands (millions?) of people.”

Fittingly, the invaders themselves are remarkably shy. Oh, they have no problem in making their presence known. But they’re very hard to see. They’re not invisible, exactly, but rather the next step from it, like a jellyfish in the tide, or a piece of cellophane blowing through the air on a cloudy day.

But if viewers aren’t seeing the aliens clearly just yet, they’re seeing—and hearing—plenty else.

Apple Attacks!

Invasion earns its TV-MA rating for a bevy of reasons. While critical body parts have not shown up on screen yet, you still see lots of skin. Intimate relationships are a huge part of the show’s drama—including adulterous and same-sex couplings—and we see some of that intimacy on screen.

Invasion doesn’t aim to shock us with grotesque splatter. But blood? We see plenty of it. Some jarring moments of grotesquery are on tap, too. Keep in mind, we are talking about an invasion, after all. And the aliens themselves might prefer to call the show Extermination. Countless people worldwide are dying, here—regardless of whether we’re seeing each and every one of them.

Language, including f- and s-words sully the script as well. People drink and smoke and can behave pretty badly. While there’s some question as to what Invasion’s aliens want, there’s no doubt about what your screen will be invaded by if you watch.

Episode Reviews

Oct. 22, 2021: “The Last Day”

Across the globe, something strange is afoot. An Afghan sees something crash in the desert and speed invisibly toward him. The International Space Station is destroyed, killing at least three astronauts. Oklahoma Sheriff John Bell Tyson—on his last day of work before retiring—investigates the strangest crop circle he’s ever seen.

The sheriff is a deeply religious man. He listens to a radio preacher on his way into work. When he spies a Scripture verse tattooed on a lowlife thug he’s roughing up a bit (Romans 8:18), he backs off and ponders its significance. John Bell tells his deputy that just as God calls people to preach, He calls people “to the badge,” often just for one case. He’s mystified that he’s never had that “one case,” until perhaps now—on his very last day. “Maybe God is giving me something,” he muses. “Something bigger.”

A crop circle that the sheriff investigates is filled at the center with what looks to be ash or chalk. A stolen truck, empty of its passengers, sits nearby. John Bell and his deputy are attacked by what looks to be a swarm of locusts. A number of schoolchildren suffer bloody noses. (Only one boy seems to escape without one.) A man encounters an alien force: He holds his ears and then seems to be blown backward. When the ISS explodes in space, we don’t see much after the initial blast—other than a wedding ring floating in the void. Debris—perhaps from the ISS—lands in a neighborhood, creating a number of small fires. A character is thwapped in the neck with something, which either kills him or knocks him out. We hear a story about a girl who died in a car accident.

A woman spends time in bed, apparently (but not obviously) unclothed as her lover takes a shower. Later, we learn that said lover was also woman. A woman named Aneesha, while trying to locate her husband, spies him in the home of another woman. Through the window, Aneesha spies the two kissing; both take off their shirts (the woman isn’t wearing a bra, but most of her breasts are obscured) and begin to make out (he holds her up as her legs wrap around his middle) before the couple stagger out of view. A woman wonders about in her underwear. There’s some speculation about whether a celebrity couple has good sex. John Bell questions a woman—perhaps an exotic dancer—wearing a top that shows of a great deal of cleavage. She and others smoke.

A number of people in what looks to be a white supremacist hangout (festooned with Confederate battle flags) drink and mock the visiting sheriff and his black deputy—flinging a racist pejorative at the latter. Characters say the f-word about eight times and the s-word about five. We also hear “a–,” “b–ch,” “p-ss,” “t-ts,” “h—” and “g-dd–n.” We hear references to drug tests and meth lab explosions.

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Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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