Invasion S2E3 Recap: “Fireworks” — Ground Control to Major Bombs

Rose stands in front of a board full of missing persons
Screenshot/Apple TV+

The following recap contains spoilers for Invasion S2E3, “Fireworks” (written by Aditi Brennan Kapil and directed by Alik Sakharov).

Editor’s Note: This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Invasion S2E3 picks up with Mitsuki (Shioli Kutsuna), who’s been trying to communicate with the downed alien ship in the Amazon. Despite the fact that it seemed to respond positively to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in the season premiere, she seems to have given up on the idea that there is any remnant of Hinata (Rinko Kikuchi) left.

She tells Maya (Naian González Norvind) later in the episode that she does, in fact, blame herself for Hinata’s death, so maybe as the alien blobbed out towards her face she sensed a lack of Hinata… I don’t know. Regardless, her turn to thinking it might make things better if they can down more ships felt a little undermotivated to me.

Mitsuki smiles
Screenshot/Apple TV+

Mitsuki sets up lasers pointed at the entity and proceeds, with her team, to test out hitting it with various frequencies. They discover one (numbered 190, if that detail might seem at all important) that affects the cloaking ability of the ship. Then, Mitsuki is somehow the only person smart enough to infer that the signal the downed ship is sending out on a regular basis—something that has been happening for months, and which the team, prior to her arrival, began treating as garbage data—is a distress signal.

Put all of this together and we get the “Fireworks” of Episode 3’s title. They manage to hack the distress call to turn off the cloaking of the ships the aliens are using as transports to the surface, with the militaries of the world at large ready to nuke them out of the sky. And it works! We’re told that seven ships are shot down, though we don’t know how many there were in the first place. And S2E3 provides no information about if any of these fell on densely populated areas.

Was this like Stalingrad, as Nikhil (Shane Zaza) posited it would be? That’s two questions: Did a lot of human beings die; and will this be the moment that turns the tide in the war?

An alien ship getting nuked in Invasion S2E3, "Fireworks"
Screenshot/Apple TV+

Aneesha (Golshifteh Farahani) and her kids are being transported to the nearest refugee camp by Clark (Enver Gjokaj) when he gets a distress call from some people surrounded by aliens. Since The Movement’s number one rule is to never abandon anyone, this means diverting the convoy to help, which of course Aneesha is not happy about.

Clark looks on
Screenshot/Apple TV+

Luke (Azhy Robertson) finds a moment in all of this to insist to her that they abandoned his father, and she says that’s not true. I’d have to say Aneesha’s right here. We saw how that went down in Season 1 and it was much more like Ahmed (Firas Nassar) sacrificed himself to save his family. So, basically, Luke continues to be a brat. This isn’t really anything new.

We last see Sarah (Tara Moayedi) sitting in the car by herself, and she seems to see all of the encroaching aliens falling dead. But when everyone else returns, she’s missing. That’s intriguing, because I can hardly guess what might have happened to her. The most likely thing I can think of is that she was kidnapped by some other group of human beings, perhaps like those who killed her father.

Sarah huddles, afraid, in the backseat of a car
Screenshot/Apple TV+

Regardless, we get a big bit of information about how the aliens work through the perspective of this scene. It would seem that destroying the transport means that all of the Koosh ball aliens that came from it also die. This isn’t the first time in the history of television we’ve seen such a premise, but if it does indeed work that way, humanity seems to have a fighting chance overall. I expect some twist to complicate things next week.

Trev in jail
Screenshot/Apple TV+

Meanwhile, Trevante (Shamier Anderson) spends most of Invasion S2E3 in a jail cell trying to convince Rose (Nedra Marie Taylor) to let him out so he can help her. He finally succeeds after he notices the numbers on missing persons flyers on the wall match up to numbers in Caspar’s (Billy Barratt) notebook, and the shape on that same page matches that of Sheriff Tyson’s (Sam Neill) badge. He gets Rose to look at the notebook, and it’s implied that she’s released him to pursue his leads.

Trev doesn’t actually have a ton to go on, if you think about it, so I wonder what he might find and where that might lead him in the weeks to come. Given Sheriff Tyson’s early disappearance from the show, I’ve presumed him dead, but now that Invasion is picking up this thread again we have to think about the fact that we don’t actually know that. All we know is that he went into a crop circle and disappeared.

Will he come back blind and say that where they’re going, they won’t need eyes to see? I kind of doubt it, but that would be cool.

Sheriff Tyson walks in a cornfield in the Invasion premiere
Courtesy of Apple TV+

We don’t check in with Jamila (India Brown) and the rest of the kids this week. Last we saw them, they were headed to Paris, and I can’t help but wonder where they were when the “fireworks” happened. I’m sure we’ll pick up with them next week, so I hope the show fills that in.

See you then.

Written by Caemeron Crain

Caemeron Crain is Executive Editor of TV Obsessive. He struggles with authority, including his own.

Caesar non est supra grammaticos

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