After some narrative stumbles in the last episode, Invasion Season 2 Episode 4, “The Tunnel” recenters on Jamila’s (India Brown) story and her newfound old friends. Having taken Monty’s father’s car, the quintet are on the road to France, only to be immediately stopped by soldiers. While Episode 3 ended triumphantly with a military success (child abduction notwithstanding), the radio tells a different story as a military warning gives a grim repeating message about taking on the alien forces with equal force.
Moving away from Trevante (Shamier Anderson), Aneesha (Golshifteh Farahani), and Mitsuki (Shioli Kutsuna), the series hones in the youngest of the cast to great effect. Alluded to throughout the first season of the series and in the past episodes, children are connected to the alien invasion, even if the adults are unsure why. In Invasion Season 2 Episode 4, we finally get to see more than just a few children we’ve seen before; instead, we get to learn more about Caspar (Billy Barratt), the children in the ward where he’s being kept and finally give payoff to that early season cliffhanger.
The new characters introduced to the series in this episode, particularly the doctors, carry a weight that offers intrigue and mystery while still shedding light on the question: What happened to Caspar? Probably the largest question after the Invasion finale for Season 1, and a driving force for some of the characters, now, we get the chance to peel the curtain back.
That said, the best part of “The Tunnel” is in fact, the tunnel. Having chosen to go around the military barricade by entering a blocked-off tunnel, the group of kids find themselves stuck face-to-face with one of the alien creatures. Scared at first, the group learned that there was a sickness among the aliens when they were spared after an alien collapsed. Penny, the youngest among them, may make the rest worry, but her fearlessness among the group adds humor and keeps the childish sense of adventure alive in the series in a way I didn’t know was needed. The kids have to band together, fight together, and explore the tunnel as the aliens begin to change in devastating ways.
Invasion Season 2 Episode 4 offers substantial wonder that was missing from alien encounters. While there is a sense of fear as the action pushes forward, the way the children watch as situations get graver is substantial to seeing this newly invaded world and the new dangers that are in it. Suppose the last episode was a celebration of resiliency and solving the alien threat. In that case, this episode is the extraterrestrial response to that success, adapting and becoming even more deadly in the process.
At the same time, we see what’s happening with the doctors and Caspar, showing a different angle on what the kids find in the tunnel. The two stories work together to shed light on the aliens, their purpose, and how they connect to humanity in a very different way than we’ve seen so far. The glimpses of the French hospital add mystery, while the kids in the tunnel offer up something more substantial to hold onto. When Caspar converges with Jamila’s world, the information shared, and the emotion offer a much-needed complexity to the series.
Invasion Season 2 Episode 4 feels like an entirely different series altogether. Like the last episode, the differences in the individual character stories and their limited overlap. The strength of the series, and primarily why I fell in love with it at first, was how dynamic the characters were and, ultimately, how the edges of their stories all converged, touching through small elements that made it all cohesive.
However, for Season 2, the gaps between places in the world and stages of grief are too wide to cross and connect each of the individual stories. When looked at as a whole, the season suffers, given these recent episodes. That said, there are gems in the incoherent narrative, and Invasion Season 2 Episode 4 is one of them, thanks to the charisma of the small cast and how the mystery around Caspar is unwound. Given how the last episode ended, this one feels nearly self-contained. That is its strength, but it’s also the weakness for the whole season.
Invasion Season 2 is good, even if it struggles, and Episode 4 offers more world-building elements that are done without heavy-handed exposition. Action, exploration, and new revelations are baked into the narrative for “The Tunnel,” However, with the next episode sure to pivot viewpoints again, any steam gained as we head to the season’s mid-point may be lost.
Invasion Season 2 Episode 4 is streaming now on AppleTV+, with new episodes every Wednesday.
Invasion Season 2 Episode 4 — "The Tunnel"
Action, exploration, and new revelations are baked into the narrative for “The Tunnel,” However, with the next episode sure to pivot viewpoints again, any steam gained as we head to the season’s mid-point may be lost.