The Aliens S01E02 “Episode 2” REVIEW

The Aliens S01E02 “Episode 2” REVIEW

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stars 4

Airing in the UK on E4 on Tuesdays at 9pm
Writer: Fintan Ryan
Director: Jonathan van Tulleken

 

Essential Plot Points:

  • Two very Welsh aliens, Daniel and Hercule, are talking about Lilyhot; turns out she seduced Daniel into helping her take out the Silence Crew, and into helping her get into Fabien’s inner circle – Fabien being the guy who pretty much runs Troy with iron knuckles – for reasons currently unknown. When she finds out that Daniel isn’t actually “in” with Fabien, she ditches him without a second thought.
  • Lilyhot turns up at border control demanding that Lewis comes into Troy, otherwise she’ll reveal his half alien status and basically destroy his life. She has an incentive for him: apparently she knows who his real Father is.
  • Fabien’s home, and engaging in fun Father-son bonding time: shooting paintballs at his son’s bare chest. It’s Fabien’s way of trying to teach him to be a “warrior”, free of fear, apparently.
  • Lewis makes his way back into Troy and is taxi-serviced by Dominic, who figured out Lewis was taking the day off to see Lilyhot, and so came to the obvious conclusion: drink a half-glass of bleach to induce vomiting to get off work early and help out. He’s nothing if not determinedly resourceful.
  • Lilyhot’s (more likely just “Lily”) endgame is getting Lewis to spring his Dad, named Antoine Berry, from prison so he can overthrow Fabien and re-claim his “benevolent leader of Troy” position, or so Lilyhot makes it sound. She explains that it’s Fabien’s fault the aliens live in a violent, chaotic ghetto; he keeps it how the humans want it, “f**ked up and afraid.” That’s why Lilyhot’s trying to get into Fabien’s inner circle – she wants to take him down and create a better world for the aliens, (supposedly) even if it means dealing with his slimy cohorts.
  • Speaking of cohorts, Lilyhot gets her new seductee Patrice to take her to Fabien, where she makes a distinct first impression.
  • Guy, the unfortunate alien who got his hand cut off at the fur house last episode, recognises her, but before he can take her out with a baseball bat, Fabien calls him off. He’s intrigued.
  • Ivan is getting in on Holly’s Fur-selling business without telling her, so she goes and breaks up a deal as it’s about to go down. Thing is, she’s brought their son Eli along, which Ivan isn’t happy about. He gives Holly an incentive: she can have the business, but he gets Eli. When they give their son the chance to make his own choice – he goes with Ivan. Devastated, Holly writes a suicide note and gathers together a mass of pills.

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  • Lewis agrees to meet his father, and poses as a lawyer to get into prison and meet with him. Whilst the meet itself doesn’t go too smoothly, Lewis does manage to get a vomit-inducing pill to Antoine which allows him to get out of jail in an ambulance. Lilyhot and Patrice ambush said ambulance, and Antoine is theirs.
  • En route back to Troy, Lewis’s dad calls after having read Holly’s suicide note. Lewis races back to the house, only to find out that the note was just a cry for help, and that she never actually took the pills. During the time they lost detouring to Lewis’s, Antoine’s escape has become public news, meaning Fabien will be on the look-out, so Lewis has no choice but to hide Antoine in his room for the time being. Whilst at first Antoine’s all violence and holding a knife to Lewis’s throat, once he finds out Lewis is his son, he instantly changes his tune, hugging him and telling him he never meant to leave him.
  • Given that getting Antoine into Troy through the underground tunnels is impossible with Fabien’s guys watching, Lilyhot and Lewis have to come up with a plan. Lilyhot “goes crawling back” to Welsh Daniel so she can convince him to help her again, this time by creating a distraction at border control that allows Antoine to simply saunter through without being noticed.
  • Lewis’s co-worker Truss is suspicious. He saw the flash of recognition between Lewis and Lilyhot, and he saw Lewis stashing something in the trunk of his car earlier that day. (That “something” being Antoine.) He goes to check out Lewis’s car, and finds hair that glows green when he lights it; alien hair. It spells trouble for Lewis.
  • In Troy, it doesn’t take long for Antoine to be recognised, and Fabien’s put a £10,000 bounty on his head, so attempted murder isn’t far behind. The first person who tries it, Antoine violently stabs over and over to death, right in front of Lewis.

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Review:

Lewis is well on his way to becoming a fully-fledged criminal this episode! Between more illegal jaunts into Troy and helping to spring a powerful alien convict from prison, his argument that, “he can’t break the law, he works for law enforcement,” is wearing thin quickly. If you’d told the naïve Lewis from the beginning of episode one that he’d shortly be meeting his alien father, helping to ambush an ambulance and sneaking into Troy on a regular basis, he’d probably have punched you. Now though, he’s settling into his new half-alien lifestyle remarkably quickly.

It’d be easy to say that Lewis being swayed so quickly is down to Lilyhot and her impressive manipulative powers, but his primary motivator this episode does seem to be his father. Not that Dominic believes that. “This is about getting your father back, isn’t it? This isn’t about her?” he asks, to which Lewis’s only reply is silence. To his credit, she does have him on a leash; if he doesn’t cooperate, she might reveal that he’s half-alien, which is not an outcome Lewis wants. Still, it’s difficult to tell exactly what Lewis’s agenda is here. It doesn’t seem to be out of any kind of soft spot for alien-kind, given that he’s still throwing around racial slurs and dismissing the alien way of life, but then Lilyhot’s entire plan is geared towards getting Antoine back into Troy specifically so he can help change that very way of life.

A way of life that’s lead by Fabien, Troy’s malevolent leader. First impressions might lead you to think he’s an alright guy; he comes across as personable with a sense of humour and a misleading Welsh accent, but à la Jessica Jones’s Kilgrave: there’s evil under the urbane exterior. Over the course of the episode we see him shooting paintballs at his son as a training exercise, knocking Patrice’s eye out with a pool cue (before casually turning back to his game like one of his cohorts isn’t writhing around on the floor in pain) and sticking a £10,000 bounty on who looks to be his arch-nemesis, Antoine. And okay, these aren’t the worst things he could be doing, but then there’s also his effect on Troy to be taken into account. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him up the ante over the course of the series – in fact, it would be disappointing if he didn’t, especially since it looks like we’re going to be heading towards some sort of face-off between him and Antoine.

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When it comes to plot, so far Lilyhot seems to be the driving force of the series. She’s the woman with the plans, and the skills and ruthlessness to see them through. You get the feeling that not just anyone could waltz into Fabien’s hideaway and take a seat on his desk like she owns the thing, for example. She spends a majority of her time on-screen double crossing someone or another, all whilst keeping up an air of intrigue and mystery. Makes you wonder exactly what she’s got planned for Lewis and Antoine. Dominic, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be much more than Lewis’s personal chaperone, though he chooses some great music doing it! If last episode is anything to go by, most of Dominic’s actions seem driven by his borderline obsession with Lewis, to the point where he’s developed stalker-esque tendencies and a willingness to leap into the unknown for him, even if that unknown is accidentally shooting a guy in the stomach. Still, it seems like there’s more potential to Dominic than just comic relief, and we hope he’ll prove himself in coming episodes.

Overall, The Aliens continues to be a solid show that’s still shrouded in mystery. There’s still no real explanation for the aliens themselves – although the woman brandishing flyers and claiming that there’s no real evidence that a space ship ever crash landed is interesting. Presumably we’ll find out more about that soon enough. The characters’ agendas are difficult to pin down right now, which makes us want to find out all the more what exactly is going on here.

 

The Good:

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  • Fabien, although coming across as a decent guy at first, has just the right undercurrent of evil in him to make him pretty scary character.
  • Lilyhot is such an intriguing character. She has no qualms about seducing men for her own gain, double-crossing and murder, and goes so far as to casually throw Patrice out of their getaway vehicle as he bleeds to death. It makes you wonder just how far she’s willing to go to get what she wants – and what it is that she actually does want.
  • There are some great lines this episode – one standout was Antoine’s impeccably timed, “How’s it going?” to Lewis when he finds out he’s his son.
  • The music choices continue to be stellar – Dominic driving up to Lewis blaring Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me” is a highlight.

 

The Bad:

  • So far Holly and Ivan’s plotline seems out of place, and not particularly relevant to the plot as a whole. Not to mention Holly’s “suicide attempt” was crass.
  • Hopefully in episodes to come Dominic will prove more useful than his current “light stalking with some comic relief” persona is portraying him to be.

 

And The Random:

  • Antoine Berry is portrayed by Michael Smiley, infamous for his portrayal as Tyres in Spaced!
  • At one point Antoine makes a reference to “Azkaban” from the Harry Potter books – good to know that the literature wasn’t affected by the arrival of the aliens!

Review by Jessica Anson


 

Read our other reviews of The Aliens

 

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