Invasion S2E4 Recap: “The Tunnel” of… Well, Not Love Exactly

Penny and Monty look on in fear with a light between them as they stand in a tunnel in Invasion S2E4

The following recap contains spoilers for Invasion S2E4, “The Tunnel” (written by Dan Dietz and directed by Brad Anderson)

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.

I was glad to see Invasion S2E4 pick up with our merry band of youngsters. As the episode begins, Jamila (India Brown), Alfie (Cache Vanderpuye), Darwin (Louis Toghill), Monty (Paddy Holland), and Penny (Ruby Siddle) headed towards France, with Monty driving his dad’s Jaguar (however poorly).

When they reach the Chunnel, though, they find their path blocked by a number of cars, along with a contingent of military troops. Everyone’s looking at the sky because this aligns with the moment we saw last week when everyone was looking at the sky awaiting humanity’s counterstrike against the aliens, but the kids have no idea about that.

Lines of cars and people looking into the sky outside of the Chunnel in England
Screenshot/Apple TV+

I do find it kind of funny that the army guy Jamila talks to mocks them for their ignorance (“Don’t you have a radio in that thing?”), as if everyone listens to the radio all the time in 2023 and no one at all is busy jamming to a digital playlist that has Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose” on it for some reason.

Regardless, even after learning that the tunnel is closed because a train didn’t make it through and the recon team sent to investigate did not return, Jamila will not be deterred. I suppose it’s plausible that she would be this strong-willed about her mission to find Caspar (Billy Barratt), given that she’s been experiencing some kind of psychic connection with him (and also, let’s be honest, is in love with him), but it’s a little less plausible that all of the others are down to follow her lead on this. That there are aliens in the tunnel that killed those missing people is a fairly obvious conclusion to draw.

Penny sits in the backseat of a car looking at a smartphone, with Alfie and Darwin to each side of her
Screenshot/Apple TV+

Nevertheless, off they all go, including Monty and Penny, despite the former’s insistence that he has to protect the latter at all costs. The explanation he offers Jamila later, that he hasn’t been able to get Penny to leave the house for months, and this is the first bit of hope they’ve had in quite some time, goes some ways toward providing a motivation. But also, I think it would be totally reasonable to never leave the house again so long as Earth is being swarmed by an alien invasion. Maybe that’s just me.

The trek through the tunnel on foot provides a number of moments of bonding between erstwhile frenemies, as Jamila and Monty ultimately bond in figuring out how to overcome an impasse, and Alfie and Monty decide it’s bygones after Monty explains that he likes to listen to Seal sometimes because it reminds him of when his parents loved each other.

Overall, the gang’s 31.5 mile journey through an underwater tunnel is not nearly as racked with tension as it should be. Early on, Monty yells at Penny for talking too much, which is quite mean since she’s probably talking to stave off panic. But “The Tunnel” ends up making the same sort of move writ large—there’s so much banter that you never really feel scared by the fact that there are aliens down there.

Jamila looks on in fear
Screenshot/Apple TV+

On their first encounter with one, we get a repeat of something we saw in other contexts in Episode 3: the alien crumples to the ground and apparently dies. So we can time this moment with the moment when humanity nukes their ships, which we saw happen last week as we followed different characters.

Unfortunately, it turns out that these fallen aliens aren’t actually dead. They’re cocooning in some fashion and come back to life with a vengeance.

Now they look more like rabid cockroach dogs than Koosh balls, and it would seem that fire no longer kills them.

Alien cocoon things in Invasion S2E4, "The Tunnel"
Screenshot/Apple TV+

When the kids reach the French side of the Chunnel, they find it blocked, as the military is preparing to blow up the entrance. Luckily, they’ve made it just in time to holler and get an opening created for them. The kids make it through—though Darwin is scratched on the leg by an alien—and the French troops detonate their bombs to keep the aliens from following.

I half-expected a swarm of aliens to come through the fallen cement and start killing people anyway, but Invasion is not quite that kind of show. Our friends have reached relative safety, and Darwin encourages the others to carry on towards Paris to find Caspar. Whether his wound will turn him into some kind of alien zombie or something is a question we’ll have to leave for another day.

Esmee gives a dour look as a subtitle says Victory
Screenshot/Apple TV+

In Paris, meanwhile, Esmee (Emeline Lambert) and Gabriel (Louis Bernard) are studying not just Caspar but a number of other children who seem to have a connection to the aliens. They also do drawings and things like that. But, the hospital gets attacked when the aliens come back to life, and we end with Caspar lying unconscious in his bed with chaos around him.

We know that he has some connection to the alien hivemind both from what we saw at the end of Season 1 and from what he says to Jamila when he psychically visits her here in S2E4. Whether that might help humanity win the war remains to be seen.

There have now been two times in Invasion where humanity thought they’d struck a decisive blow by nuking alien ships only for it to turn out to have made things worse. I’d like to read some kind of message into that, but there have been no real indications that the aliens are anything but malicious.

Maybe Invasion is on the path of narratively paraphrasing Dr. King: Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

That might feel terribly schmaltzy, but it honestly would feel right in line with the tone of this show for that to be the conclusion. So I promise not to mock it if that’s where we end up.

See you next week.

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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