The Gresham family reunion was momentarily moving before it was undermined by Jonathan’s ‘by the way love, you’re chucked for this French bird’ bolt-on coming so soon afterwards. From Ash telling Jonathan that his family weren’t only alive but around the corner, to that final hug with Emily, it was a touching sequence. The break-up following so fast on its heels, with no real sign of any turmoil on Jonathan’s part, detracted from that.
It also made Jonathan’s character roughly as sympathetic as a cyberdog (less perhaps, as even they have that surprisingly endearing puppet-with-slack-strings thing going for them). Though seeing as the first time we met Jonathan he was about to cheat on his wife, perhaps sympathy and admiration were never the goal with his character. This series has always been emotional but never sentimental, neither has it followed TV’s rules of moral desert. Innocent kids and good-hearted heroes are as likely to die as anyone, as this episode showed.
The attack on the Observatory gave us fast-paced horror and real plot consequences. With no musical score, it unleashed a sense of realistic panic from the moment that first bullet came through the window. Sophia’s young charge Theo was shot dead, as was Adel Bencherif’s Colonel Mokrani, who was the closest thing this show had to an old-fashioned hero, and who will be missed.
The Invaders kill just like their Cyberdogs – indiscriminately and without conscience. Well, some of them do. There’s clearly a schism among their ranks, which are split between hard-line human-hating zealots like Jokim and Adina, played by Leo Bill and Ania Sowinski, and more peaceable thinkers like Micah and Isla, played by Robert Emms and Aimee Ffion-Edwards. Jokim’s zealotry made him choke his own brother to death to stop him from collaborating with the humans and changing the course of events. (By the way, Jokim, Micah, Adina… what’s the significance of the Invaders having Judeo-Christian biblical names?)
We learned from Micah that over hundreds of years, the Invaders developed the scientific capability to transport their ships through space and time. It would be fair to assume then, that this lot are from the future and descended from Emily and Sacha’s future child, which will inherit his familial muscular dystrophy, and her Stargardt disease. That is, if Emily survives Bill’s virus, which we’re to believe he injected her with after her DNA psychic link-up made her sleep-walk into a scissor-based attempt on his life. I said there was a lot going on this season. We’re only on episode two.
An exchange between Adina and Isla this episode perhaps offered an obscure clue into Human-Invader relations. As Adina prepared to give the stolen babies their very own Invader tattoos, Isla mused that they would never know they were human. “If they knew, they’d grow up to hate us,” said Adina. “Like we grew up to hate them,” said Isla, “We kill them, they kill us, sometimes I think it will never end.” “It’s different this time”, said Adina, suggesting that somehow, the warring factions are in a repeating loop. Why did they invade Earth? Because they’re dying and want to live. Why are they dying? Because of the virus created in retaliation for them invading Earth… It’s a thinker.