The second season of Invasion from AppleTV+ starts the story on Day 121. The world has a terrifying sense of the chaos left now that the invasion has hit every city with extraterrestrials in the street. A unique take on an alien invasion, the series tells its stories through five different characters, and in the premiere episode, it focused on Aneesha (Golshifteh Farahani) and Mitsuki (Shioli Kutsuna). But in Invasion Season 2 Episode 2, “Chasing Ghosts,” the series switches its focus on Jamila (India Brown) as she reaches out to Kaspar and Travante (Shamier Anderson), now at home with his family in Miami.
In Invasion Season 1, Jamila and Trevante were tied together through Kaspar, and now, in the wake of the season finale, they’re both having to process the trauma. The choice to tell their stories together in Invasion Season 2 Episode 2 is a perfect one. They accentuate each other. An adult soldier feels grief and trauma differently than a child.
For a young actor, India Brown as Jamila is also phenomenal. She’s empathic and adventurous, but there is a steadfast assuredness to her candor that is refreshing to see. The two against each other, Jamila is a character who doesn’t want to give up and holds on to hope to find Kaspar again and to survive even when the British are burning their cities to stop the aliens. As she connects with old friends, Jamila becomes one of the best elements of the season so far, especially as she turns into the center of a Goonies-like group in the series.
Jamila’s dynamic as a leader of a small group of teens her age is phenomenally captured. Leading with empathy, she’s able to connect with each person she meets whether she knows them or just meets them. As the group expands, there is a small ray of hope that even in the horror of the invasion and the uncertainty of the military restricting access to the cities, children can survive. Perhaps, more easily than adults when you look at Jamila’s sections of the episode against Trevante’s story for Invasion Season 2.
Trevante, on the other hand, is just lost. He’s unsure about his choice at the end of the last season, and he’s questioning everything he knows. His uncertainty as an adult and Jamila’s determination as a child showcase how age builds up barriers in exploration, and for Trevante, how it keeps him from processing his trauma, which means learning more about what Kaspar saw, drew, and ultimately how it all ended.
Shamier Anderson is a phenomenal actor, and his ability to tap into fear is astounding as Trevante saves his nephew only to yell at him to survive. Additionally, his dedication to getting answers and the use of his training makes his story in this episode fantastic. Trevante is an adult who is supposed to have it all together but is having a hard time understanding life at ease instead of at war, especially as the invasion looms over Miami. Though they’re marked as safe for now, certain restrictions show how fragile it is. As a character, Trevante’s position with trauma and loss is tied to life as a soldier, and much of the reality we see happens when soldiers transition to normal life without an objective to accomplish, left alone with their grief.
In the end, though, Trevante and Jamila just want answers to help them make sense of it all, and the process of finding them is both emotional and important to unraveling the larger mystery of the invasion. As they both search for answers, you can also see the world become much more fleshed out and specific.
While Invasion has created stellar character stories, it lagged in its action, and given the uncertainty at the start of the invasion, it also lacked worldbuilding. But that isn’t the case this season in the slightest. In two episodes, we’ve seen a battle in the street, interaction with alien tech, and the impact on society post-invasion with Jamila’s mother running a community of people as London begins to restrict what areas people can live in, while Trevante’s life is relatively stable with actual military support in the shadow of a spaceship. The vision of this new world in the wake of the alien invasion is taking shape, and the scarier role the military is playing is also becoming a reality for viewers regardless of the country of origin, whether it’s Canadian, American, or British.
The only glaring issue with Invasion Season 2 Episode 2 is it’s visually extremely dark, with little attention given to lighting its Black leads. Even without the disservice done to the actors, the scenes themselves are more muddy than ominous. Shots can be done in the dark without losing your subjects or the environment. It’s specifically frustrating, given Invasion’s stellar set designs. Losing both actors and set design because of bad lighting choices is frustrating to see.
All of that said, it’s clear that Invasion Season 2 is making all of its character stories interesting from the start and dealing with the events of the past tangibly in Episode 2. But through each of the characters, the guiding force in their stories are how Aneesha, Mitsuki, Trevante, and Jamila deal with loss. They can act, they can fight, or they can hold onto guilt. Seeing their choices unravel is sure to keep the series interesting from the very start to its finish.
Invasion Season 2 Episode 2 is streaming now on AppleTV+ with new episodes every Wednesday.
Invasion Season 2 Episode 2 — "Chasing Ghosts"
it’s clear that Invasion Season 2 is making all of its character stories interesting from the start and dealing with the events of the past in a tangible way in Episode 2. But through each of the characters, the guiding force in their stories are how Aneesha, Mitsuki, Trevante, and Jamila deal with loss.