Irrespective of how much the vastness of the cosmos has been explored in the pop culture landscape in recent years, the classic alien invasion plots as staple sci-fi stories will never lose their thrill factor when done right. Speaking of sci-fi classics, Apple TV+ has been on a hot streak of releasing some of the best adaptations of the genre. Although the extraterrestrial attack-oriented series Invasion doesn’t fall into the category of direct adaptation, the influence of War of the Worlds is easily identifiable from the character tropes, set design, and narrative structure.
The first season of Invasion, consisting of ten episodes, boasts enough star power and budget to amaze viewers but fails to bring anything innovative to the genre. The basic premise of the series revolves around the perspectives of different people around the Earth during the ongoing extraterrestrial attack and how it continues to affect their lives in the long run. There is also an interlinked narrative structure as some of the characters come across each other through the course of the series, while others have an inexplicable connection with the central crisis. Before the first episode of the second season releases today, let’s jog our memories regarding the key points we should remember from the first season.
Last Day At Work: What Did Sheriff Tyson Discover?
The series opens in the Arabian Desert, in Yemen, where a camel herder gets killed by an unidentifiable object that landed in the province. As previously mentioned, the series chronicles the ongoing alien invasion storyline from multiple perspectives, and the first one is that of Jim Bell Tyson, a small-town sheriff in Oklahoma. It is the retirement day of the seemingly work-driven sheriff, and he is having a hard time wrapping his head around that fact. Along with his partner, Officer Grady, Jim goes to respond to a stolen truck complaint when he discovers a strange circular space in a cornfield marked by a bird hovering above it. As they investigate the site, they find the truck in a burned-out condition and get inexplicably attacked by a swarm of locusts. The owner of the truck, Ben Shelton, believes his cousins stole the truck, and as Jim finds no sign of them whatsoever at the crime scene, he goes to their known associates. Gradually, the truck heist seemingly turns into a murder mystery, and Jim, who has always searched for a divine pattern in the grand scheme of things, a sense of purpose, contemplates finding it on the last day of his 45-year career.
Even during the farewell ceremony organized for him, Jim acts restless and gets increasingly desperate at not being able to find answers; he returns to the site at night to look for clues. His search comes to an end when he gets stabbed to death by an invisible being or object. It is a shame that the character played by Sam Neil was introduced and sent off in the very first episode of the series, given how well-acted his segment was.
Tragedy All Around: The Fates Of Aneesha And Mitsuki
The scene moves to Long Island, New York, where a well-to-do couple, Aneesha and Ahmed Malik, are living happily with their kids, Luke and Sarah. At the school, all the children except Luke suffer from a sudden onset of nosebleeds, the cause of which remains unknown. Aneesha informs Ahmed of the situation, but Aneesha gets suspicious after his prolonged absence and discovers his affair. An enraged Aneesha later confronts him regarding the situation when a tremor hits and destroys all the houses in the neighborhood vicinity, all except their own. Much to Aneesha’s disgust, Ahmed tries to flee by abandoning his family like a coward, and Aneesha also gets to know that he is expecting a child with the woman he cheated on her with. Habituated to the usual frowning, skeptical gaze from people due to their religious differences, the Maliks gradually discover the extent of discriminatory behavior during the crisis hours as a city-wide exodus occurs due to a series of unknown attacks rattling the world.
In Japan, celebrated astronaut Hinata sets off on a space exploration mission, leaving her JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) colleague and lover Mitsuki in shambles. The duo is deeply in love with each other, but societal pressure and prejudice lead them to pursue a secretive relationship. A day after Hinata’s departure, the spacecraft collides with an unknown mechanism, all communication is severed, and the crew is presumed dead, much to Mitsuki’s horror. In her desperation, she tries to access the last communication details by forcing her way into JAXA’s database and learning about a possible alien invasion being the cause of the destruction of the spacecraft.
A Common Ground: How Did Trev And Casper Meet?
The tragic death of his newborn child pushed SOC chief Trevante Cole away from his wife and gave him a major savior complex and abandonment guilt, which he carried through his unit’s occupation in Afghanistan. While investigating a possible terrorist attack on a school, the unit comes across a giant alien lifeform in the midst of a sandstorm that kills the entire battalion, with Trev being the only survivor. Later, gaining assistance from a kind local, Trev reaches a nearby locality and is relieved to find out about the junior unit member, Chavez, who looked up to him as a big brother. However, Trev is unable to save him, and he starts questioning his life’s purpose. Remembering the promise he made to Chavez during his last moments, Trev decides to move back to the USA with his wife and gets help from an Afghan family to reach Kabul airport.
In London, Casper, a teenager with a neurological disorder, gets bullied by his batchmate, Monty, but finds a friend in Jamila, who stands up for him. Casper’s rough childhood with an abusive father, who was the reason for his mother’s paraplegic condition, did a number on him, and this led to him going through occasional seizures when he gets emotionally troubled. During the day of the Invasion, a metal rain causes their school bus to fall down a ditch, which causes the deaths of their adult supervisor and bus driver. Casper shows great bravery in climbing up the ditch, which inspires other kids to follow suit as well, and Monty gradually develops a sense of respect for him. Later, the group learns about the ongoing invasion situation, and Casper finds out that the vision he sees during his seizure, which inspired some of his artwork, is somehow connected with the alien Invasion as well. The chaotic situation all across the globe gradually worsens as the extremely advanced alien forms seem impervious to any human weapon. In several areas, the aliens have used biotechnology to terraform Earth as well.
Trev boards one of the last aircraft departing from Kabul along with the family, arrives in London, and is unable to leave for the States due to an aggravating lockdown situation. On the other hand, as Casper returns to his home, he is devastated to find his mother killed by alien lifeforms. Jamila comforts Casper, and the duo sets off for the hospital where her mother works, only to find the outskirts of the place to be a battleground between humans and aliens. Retreating to a bar, they find Trev there moping alone, and Casper manages to convince him to help them enter the hospital by showing him his foreboding artwork.
How Did The First Phase Of The Attack Stop?
Inside the woods, Aneesha and her family find shelter thanks to a veteran couple living in a secluded household. Her arc is really confusing most of the time, as her medical expertise subplot is shoehorned into the narrative in a peculiar way. Aneesha goes to salvage products from the nearest convenience store, only to get escorted to a nearby army facility, where she helps a certain Dr. Barton save the life of an attack victim. After a significant period of time, she remembers her family and returns to them, only to discover an attack by the aliens was happening at the same time. The veteran couple are viciously killed by the aliens, Ahmed gets injured, and somehow Aneesha manages to drive her family to safety—but not before being able to kill a couple of aliens using alien spaceship debris Luke managed to procure erstwhile. Coincidentally, the Malik family ends up in the same army facility Aneesha previously came across, where news of Aneesha’s discovery spreads, and from there, her family sets off to the Pentagon, much to the dismay of a bunch of survivors. A bunch of xenophobes attack the military convoy, resulting in the death of Ahmed and forcing the Malik family to stay on the run.
Casper and Trev manage to coerce the medical personnel at the hospital to induce a seizure in Casper in order to learn any possible way to fight against the aliens, and while doing so, it is revealed that Casper is somehow neurologically connected with billions of aliens boarding the mothership. On the other hand, Mitsuki takes help from Hinata’s father, the ex-JAXA engineer Mr. Murai, and the duo comes across evidence from the audio records that the aliens are trying to communicate with humans and Hinata might still be alive. Learning of the existence of an alien mothership at Hinata’s spacecraft’s coordinates, the American forces decide to launch a nuke at it, as unlike Mitsuki, the equation between one life and that of billions is quite clear to them. The nuclear strike happens at the same time as Casper successfully commands a bunch of attacking aliens to’stop’—and the mothership falls down to Earth, causing all the alien life forms to turn dormant or dead. But in the process, Casper dies, leaving Jamila and Trev heartbroken. With a sense of supposed victory over the aliens, the world erupts in joy: Jamila reunites with her mother; Mitsuki tries to move on from memories of Hinata by heading towards the unknown; and Trev returns to his wife and reconciles.
However, Casper wakes up on another plane, where he sees Mr. Murai handing over a compass—the same one he gifted to his daughter Hinata and later handed over to Mitsuki. The audio encryption of the aliens that Mitsuki managed to recover reveals the world as Wajo—the exact same term Casper and even Trev heard from the Afghan kid who witnessed the alien attack. As Trev and his wife spend time near the seashore, he goes through Casper’s artbook once again and identifies a word written numerous times: Hoshi, which means star in Japanese and was also the name of the spacecraft of Hinata. The series finale ends with Trev watching in horror as another gigantic alien mothership appears on the horizon, signifying that the Invasion truly begins from this point onward.