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MCM BUZZ – Movies, TV, Comics, Gaming, Anime, Cosplay News & Reviews » The Aliens S01E05 “Episode 5” REVIEW
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The Aliens S01E05 “Episode 5” REVIEW

The Aliens S01E05 “Episode 5” REVIEW

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stars 3.5

Airing in the UK on E4 on Tuesdays at 9pm

Writer: Fintan Ryan
Director: Lawrence Gough

 

Essential Plot Points:

  • Lewis stands totally inconspicuous in his back garden, burning the shirt he had on when Truss died. Holly calls him out on it, but really she’s more interested in borrowing cash off him. For nefarious purposes? Not that Lewis questions it. He’s a little busy.
  • Border Patrol has found Truss’s body, fitted up in a dilapidated house with stashes of Fur on the table. It’s meant to look like a Fur deal gone wrong, and it hits its mark – credibility helped along by Truss’s less than amiable personality when he was alive.
  • Fabien’s not happy that more and more humans in the Fur-dealing business are defecting to Antoine’s side, and decides that the latest one should be killed to make a point.
  • Dominic’s right in the middle of his new job as a cleaner at the house where the hitman Henri is sent, and he won’t allow the shooting to take place. Just as Henri’s about to shoot, Dominic knocks into him, leaving the target alive and in eyeshot of his would-be murderer.
  • Henri isn’t happy. He can’t do the hit because he’s been seen, and so he hands the job over to Dominic, given that he messed it up. Not that Dominic is at all willing, but he has two options: do it, or face Fabien.
  • Having apparently run out of reasons to mess with Lewis’s life, Lilyhot’s going for Holly instead. She wants her to sell Fur as one of Fabien’s dealers, and Holly tentatively agrees, but it isn’t long before she gets caught by an undercover police officer who makes her arrange a meeting with her supplier.
  • Wracked with guilt for Truss’s death, Lewis calls Antoine to let him know that he’s decided to hand himself in.
  • Dominic, dressed for the part in a suave black trenchcoat, is pursuing his hit, but it doesn’t go very well: he’s caught out following him, and uses the excuse of wanting to buy drugs. The deal goes down. As the dealer, Sean, is about to walk away, he susses out that Dominic wasn’t following him for a drug deal – and then in a complete plot twist, kisses him square on the mouth. Dominic agrees to go with him, but doesn’t seem particularly into it when they get to his apartment – probably since he’s supposed to be murdering this guy, not sleeping with him.
  • On her way out of Troy to see Holly, Lilyhot’s intercepted by Antoine, who seems to have let his threat of “killing her if he sees her again” go for the moment; he needs her help contacting Lewis to try to stop him from handing himself in.
  • She goes to the checkpoint and tries to convince Lewis to stop – and also lets him know about the hit Dominic’s been put onto, having overheard about it at Fabien’s headquarters.
  • Lewis rushes to the address Lilyhot gives him and finds Dominic with Sean taped up to a chair, but still alive. Dominic’s having real trouble carrying out the hit, and so far has only managed to knock Sean out. What follows is a tense scene in which Lewis convinces Dominic not to do the hit, only for him to decide to carry out the hit himself; he’s giving himself up anyway, so what does he have to lose? Whereas Dominic would lose his life. Poor Sean, now conscious, can only writhe in the chair, trying to scream through the duct tape on his mouth.

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  • Lilyhot reaches Holly, but quickly realises that the whole meeting is staged. She threatens to reveal Lewis’s half-alien status if she’s arrested – not that Holly ever actually knew her brother wasn’t entirely human. She calls Lewis, and finds out that yeah, it’s true, and so turns herself in, letting Lilyhot escape.
  • Lewis and Dominic manage to work around their situation by taking a photo of Dominic with a “dead” Sean as proof for Fabien. It’s a staged photo – instead of killing him, they’re letting Sean go, even if it’s essentially them telling him to create a new life for himself. Better than being dead.
  • Fabien’s son Davide takes a dangerous step: he gets himself into Antoine’s Fur house, and pulls a gun on the man himself.
  • Not that he can go through with it: despite all of Fabien’s “training”, he just isn’t his Dad. Antoine is surprisingly understanding, and sends him back home.
  • In Troy, the war is escalating, and the Alien League isn’t happy. It wants to take Troy back from the gangsters: Antoine and Fabien.

 

Review:

It’s the penultimate episode of The Aliens, and hasn’t it come quickly? We’re heading for what the series has been driving towards this whole time: full-blown warfare in Troy, and this episode does a fairly good job setting the scene.

Every character goes through their own personal struggles this week. Lewis is planning to hand himself in for the crime of being half-alien; Lilyhot is back working with Fabien; and Dominic is trying his hand at being a hitman for the first time in his life – a bit of a departure for someone who’s probably never so much as hurt a fly before! Plus Holly’s back after her absence last week, being dragged back into the Fur business.

Of all these storylines, Lewis’s is the weakest. It’s pretty clear that he isn’t actually going to end up handing himself in, and really, what good would it do? As he realises nearer the end of the episode, people need him around. Dominic certainly benefits from his presence, as he stops him from committing potential murder. It’s really interesting to see Dominic forced into the role of hitman; it’s obvious he wants to do his job well, if only to save his own skin, but his personality is so rooted in being good and kind-hearted that he physically can’t bring himself to do it. It’s an interesting dichotomy, and takes on a particularly dark side when Dominic’s target Sean is duct taped to a chair and screaming for his life while Dominic himself muses on whether or not he can do the hit, gun pointed directly at Sean’s face.

The thing is, while Dominic’s dilemma this week is fun to watch (in a dark sort of way), it doesn’t really add much to the main storyline. As a character Dominic’s always felt a little like that – more of a plot afterthought. He didn’t need to be there when they sprung Antoine, or be around when Truss and Lewis were trying to escape Troy last week. This episode is much the same, and Dominic being so conveniently placed to meet Henri didn’t help. As a character he’s likeable and easy to warm up to, and at least he’s helped Lewis on his journey to be more accepting of aliens, but it would be great to see him doing something more relevant.

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If anything, the main focus of the show by this point is the antagonism between Fabien and Antoine. Fabien’s right back into the swing of things, shoving keys into people’s thighs and putting hits on defectors. His arc has been pretty clear cut and right there on screen. On the other hand, Antoine’s side of story has been a bit more ambiguous. We’re introduced to his Fur house for the first time this episode which came as a bit of a surprise; we haven’t actually seen much of Antoine’s rise back to power after all. Most of what we’ve seen of Antoine has been through the lens of his interactions with Lewis, which have had much more of a “father-son” vibe to them than “drug lord leader of Troy”. The Aliens could probably do have done with a few more episodes to flesh things out more than we’re getting now, but at least it gets the gist across.

Meanwhile, Lilyhot still remains a complete mystery. She’s chock-full of contradictions, from putting herself back onto Fabien’s team to still having Lewis dangling by a half-alien thread, despite telling him she doesn’t have any reason to mess with him anymore. You’ve got to feel sorry for Holly, who’d only just turned her life around for the better before getting spun into Lilyhot’s web of deception, and then landing in prison as the cherry on top. It’s going to be interesting to see just where Lilyhot’s standing by the end of the finale.

For a penultimate episode, this didn’t feel much like one. The content itself was well done and fun to watch, but it didn’t feel like it was starting to tie plot points together in time for next week like you might expect. The sudden escalation of the gang war that looks like it’s going to be the main focus for the finale seemed like an afterthought shoved in at the very end of this episode, and seems to come out of nowhere. Again, The Aliens really could have benefitted from an extra few episodes to explain everything in more detail. Still, for what it’s been given, the show is decent job, and overall this is a pretty solid episode.

 

The Good:

  • Dominic’s struggle between his kind-hearted nature and his need to kill someone to save himself is fascinating to watch.

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  • As silly as it would be for everyone involved if Lewis handed himself in, it’s nice to see that his secret life in Troy hasn’t completely destroyed his sense of morality; that, despite everything, he still really cares.
  • There are some definite heart-warming moments in this episode, from Lewis rushing to help Dominic to Holly refusing to let her brother be outed. (Alright, maybe that one’s more bittersweet, but still.)
  • Fabien is just a fun character to watch. He pulls off “nonchalant bastard with an unassuming Welsh accent” so well.

 

The Bad

  • With a six-episode run, The Aliens is starting to feel cramped. There’s so much happening off-screen that we could be learning about in far more detail, and as a result some parts of the storyline feel unfinished and left behind. We would have loved to see more of Antoine’s rise to power in Troy, for example.
  • As lovely a character as Dominic is, he always feels just that little bit irrelevant, which is a shame. Even though his plot arc was possibly the one with the most screen time this episode, it wasn’t something that was 100% necessary to the plot as a whole.
  • Lewis spends a good deal of this episode moping, which isn’t that much fun for anyone. (Maybe he should consider joining the cast of Shadowhunters; he’d fit right in – ed.)

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And the Random:

  • We still haven’t been told the entire truth about the aliens themselves. The Alien League claims there wasn’t any spaceship at all, and yet they definitely aren’t entirely human. Click here for a timeline from the human perspective on things.
  • Music cue of the week: “Friction” by Television.

Review by Jessica Anson


 

Read our other reviews of The Aliens

 

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