The series finally delivers on its promise with a thrilling episode, titled Home Invasion, with a riveting narrative
Unlike the previous episodes, Home Invasion focuses only on one of the four storylines in the series - Aneesha and her family. The family is forced to hide in a house in the middle of nowhere as extraterrestrial beings are hunting them down.
The first few episodes of Invasion did not endear it to fans of the genre for its lack of action or spine-chilling sequences. The character-driven methodical narrative may not have been everyone’s cup of tea but the effort behind the writing and the technical aspects of the film cannot be faulted. In fact, it deserves praise for its unique narrative structure and visual aesthetics. The grounded story arcs give more authenticity to the individual stories.
However, the episode titled Home Invasion offers the complete package in terms of an alien invasion storyline. There are genuine thrills and spills throughout the episode, which closely follows the ‘home invasion’ subgenre. There are also thematic and visual nods to Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, and Tim Robbins. It could be said that Invasion is also a loose adaptation of HG Wells’ famous novel War of the Worlds.
The episode's most obvious homage is probably to John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place starring himself and Emily Blunt in the leading roles. Just like the critically acclaimed film, this episode explores the idea of elemental fears. The well-paced narrative and gripping screenplay make this episode the best in the series so far. The performances by the cast, Golshifteh Farahani in particular, are excellent which perfectly translates the intense moments onto the screen.
The choice of not including the other storylines has turned out to be a stroke of genius, as it has provided Aneesha’s story the ideal platform to develop. It is likely that the next three episodes will each focus on one storyline at a time before the finale airs. This could help give more breathing room to the other three storylines if a similar template is adopted until the finale.
The visuals have remained fairly consistent across the season, but this episode’s dark visuals may require getting used to, as the minimal use of light in some of the shots are barely visible. Similar criticisms were shared by fans of Game of Thrones for the final season’s ‘Battle of Winterfell’, but in defence of these cinematographers of both shows, the idea is to elevate the fear and paranoia felt by the characters in these stories.
The episode has finally delivered on what the series had promised from the get-go, there are tangible scenes that work well with the screenplay and setting. It has also elevated the overall quality of the show and has set up for an exciting second half of the season. It remains to be seen which storyline will receive a similar treatment as Home Invasion.