Episode 1 of Invasion begins in the Arabian Desert in Yemen. An explosion overhead paves way for a meteor to rocket down to Earth and skid across the sandy surface. Dust clouds pick up as this cylindrical core suddenly lets out a piercing shriek and blasts the poor, unsuspecting farmer across the desert.
Cut forward to Oklahoma and John Bell Tyson prepares for another day on the job. His last day, in fact. His wife is quick to remind him retirement isn’t the end, as Tyson silently steps out the door and makes his way into the office. First port of call- a stolen truck. Only, crop circles out in the yard and a strange figure 8 of birds swooping and circling are incredibly unnerving signs. So naturally, Bell heads out to take a look.
There’s a massive crater in the middle of these crops and nearby an abandoned car. As Bell takes a closer look, a whole plague of locusts come crashing through the crops. Daniel, the missing man around these parts, is nowhere to be seen and Bell is convinced that he’s been taken. But by whom?
This singular event seems to pave way for a massive epidemic across in Long Island, where the Malik family reconvene in the hospital. All kids at the nearby school have come down with nose bleeds – apart from Luke. Aneesha and Ahmed are obviously worried about their kids and try to reassure them that everything will be okay.
Sarah, their daughter, is still bleeding as they drive to see Dr Lockhart. All the vitals come back absolutely fine for her, so the doctor advises the family just to take it easy. For Luke though, it appears he’s playing up the “chosen one” trope in this.
Anyway, Ahmed slips away that night and it turns out he’s actually cheating on Aneesha. She follows a tracker to a secluded house and leaves her kids in the car while she witnesses him doing this firsthand.
Distraught and angry, Aneesha stuffs her face with food when she gets home while the kids sleep on the sofa. His lover, Amanda Hornsby, has a whole profile set up on Linkedin and Aneesha decides to go through and like every single post.
When Ahmed eventually returns home, the pair butt heads but everything soon goes awry when a power cut rocks the house. Fires are spread throughout the neighbourhood as it appears this incident is not isolated.
In Tokyo, Japan a businesswoman called Captain Murai attends a press conference for JASA. She’s preparing for her longest stay aboard the I.S.S which is crucial to planning longer missions further afield. Overseeing this mission is the very clever Mitsuki Yamato, who works in communications. She runs a diagnostic onboard the shuttle, but it soon becomes clear that her and Murai have some chemistry together.
The checks finish and the plane takes off, ready to make it to the I.S.S. The launch is a success and Yamato eventually heads back to her apartment. Up in the HOSHI12 Space shuttle, something rips right through the hull and the quiet soon turns to stunned silence as these astronauts are almost certainly killed.
Back on Earth, Bell prepares for his retirement but he’s not in a particularly celebratory mood. As he heads back to the crop circle and asks the Lord for a sign, a strange tentacle darts him in the back of the neck and kills him outright. As the camera pans up, an invisible ship flies away. We’re not alone.
The Episode Review
With different stories spread across the globe (although amusingly two in the same country), Invasion lives up to its premise of showcasing an alien invasion in real-time, from the very beginning. It’s this period of time, the proverbial calm before the storm, that’s rife for the most tension and that much is especially true here. This opening chapter is eerie, atmospheric and undeniably unnerving.
The stories are pretty standard fodder so far, working well to set the tone and mood while also establishing Sam as the early contender for “chosen one.” The crop circles feel quite reminiscent of Signs in a way, leaning into those slow-burn reveals while the I.S.S being ripped apart is a shocking way to close out Murai’s involvement in the story.
Like most of Apple’s shows, there’s a lavish budget behind this one but unlike something like Mosquito Coast or Truth Be Told, it does look like this one has a solid script to go with it. It’s early days yet but we’ll have to wait and see what the rest of the show has in store for us. Based on this showing though, it definitely looks promising.