The Aliens S01E06 “Episode 6” REVIEW

The Aliens S01E06 “Episode 6” REVIEW

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stars 4

Finished airing in the UK on E4, Tuesdays at 9pm

Writer: Fintan Ryan
Director: Lawrence Gough

 

Essential Plot Points:

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  • Chaos at border patrol! The aliens are trying to escape the gang wars by fleeing to the human side, but the gate is shut on them. Alien entry to the human side is prohibited.
  • After her escape from the police last episode, Lilyhot breaks into Lewis’s house to try and find Holly’s money – but she’s discovered by Lewis’s dad, so makes up a story about how she’s Lewis’s girlfriend sneaking in to surprise him. When Lewis comes back home to find Lilyhot sitting with his Dad on the sofa, he isn’t best pleased.
  • Lilyhot ends up spending the night at Lewis’s, where they kiss for the first time. There’s clearly a mutual attraction there that, as Lewis points out, he just hasn’t been able to shake off, but Lilyhot denies him, saying she only has sex with people she doesn’t care about. She also warns Lewis that her plan is still on, and that he won’t like her once it’s over.
  • The next part of the plan is set in motion that morning, when Lilyhot tips off border patrol about the tunnel leading into Troy. Lewis’s one means of getting in and out of Troy is gone.
  • Standing in the wreckage of a building bombed by Fabien’s gang, Antione and Gaspard talk about their next move. Gaspard thinks they should hit Fabien right back, but Antoine wants to talk, to his companion’s dismay.
  • Paulette and the Alien League are building up for a fight of their own to take back Troy from the “gangsters”.
  • Gaspard goes to Fabien, but has a surprise for him: Truss’s phone with the video of Lewis ’fessing up to being half-human, half-alien. Seems like Antoine’s past has rubbed Gaspard the wrong way. Seeing the video, Fabien’s more than up for “talking” to Antoine. He tells him to get all his men to stand down, otherwise he’ll release the video for all to see. Antoine complies, and watches as Gaspard walks over to Fabien’s side.
  • Holly’s Dad visits prison, but it doesn’t go too well. Holly ends up spitting out Lewis’s half-alien status to him after finding out that the very woman who landed her in jail is the one Lewis is (supposedly) going out with.
  • In a fit of madness, Lewis breaks all the rules and opens the checkpoint gate to Troy so he can walk straight through and in, to his boss’s horror. Dominic’s there waiting for him – and, in fact, has been waiting for 20 hours straight, just because he knew Lewis would show. Now that’s loyalty.
  • Lewis wants Dominic to take him to Antoine so he can help guard him, but Antoine’s in hiding, so Dominic takes them to Lilyhot instead. She tells them what’s happened and that Fabien’s got a hit out on Antoine.
  • The plan is to get a-hold of the phone with the video on it whilst Fabien’s mid-party. The phone’s in Fabien’s office, which is guarded, so Lilyhot gives Dominic a cattle-prod to take the guard down with. Meanwhile, Lilyhot will distract Fabien from his victory party with sex, leaving the safe open for Lewis to get to. Sounds easy enough…
  • During the party, Lewis overhears Guy talking about going to kill Antoine, and panics. At Lilyhot’s suggestion, he sends Dominic off to get Fabien and take him to a safe house whilst Lewis takes the cattle-prod. It’s all going fine until Lewis realises the phone isn’t in the safe; it was all just a ploy to get Fabien alone so Lilyhot can shoot him straight in the back, killing him instantly.

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  • With one drug lord down, Lewis quickly realises that it’s Lilyhot who’s ordered the hit on Antoine, not Fabien. She wants them both out of the picture: it’s been her plan all along. Lewis runs off to try and save him before it’s too late.
  • Dominic reaches Antoine’s hideout, but is quickly followed by Lillyhot’s guys. He shoots one of them, murdering him. It’s a step-up (down?) from last week – guess he’s turned a new, murderous leaf.
  • Of course, with Lilyhot at the helm, Gaspard’s already waiting for Antoine to show up at the safehouse. It’s a standoff, ending in Dominic getting shot, and Lewis shooting Gaspard dead, turning up just at the right moment. There’s a moment where he thinks Dominic’s going to die, and confesses that he is his best mate, but Dominic only has a flesh wound – he’s going to be fine.
  • Lewis is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Go back to the human side, and he’ll most likely get arrested for extreme misconduct. Stay with Antoine, and he’ll probably get murdered by more men sent by Lilyhot. But Antoine has a plan. Get Lewis to turn him in to border patrol. Lewis doesn’t like it at all.
  • They walk towards border control, Lewis begrudgingly holding a gun to his father’s back. As they approach, the command is given to fire, and Antoine drops dead.
  • Lilyhot takes her place as the new leader of Troy. But first, she makes sure that the phone with the damning video is destroyed. As she settles in, though, the Alien League bursts in waving guns around, claiming the building in their name.
  • Lilyhot sends Lewis a message pleading for help.

 

Review:

So here we are: the end of series one. It’s been a wild ride, and although the finale wasn’t quite as explosive as we were expecting, it still ends up being a satisfying climax to the main story we’ve been following for the past five episodes. Most of the main characters achieve some kind of resolution – even if that does mean death – but many things are left open-ended for a potential second series.

Lewis has taken a journey since episode one; a journey towards self-discovery and increased tolerance. It’s a huge change to see him preaching alien rights to his co-workers this episode when back at the start he treated the “morks” like dirt same as the rest of them. It’s no surprise he’s come around: from finding out he’s half alien himself to having an alien best friend (and also girlfriend?), the aliens have had a gigantic impact on his life. He’s come out of his experiences the good person he was, but with a much broader world view. It’s heart-warming watching him tell Dominic how he’s his best mate! As the protagonist, Lewis has never been boring to watch, and even at his worst he’s been a likeable character. He always wants the best for everyone, even at the risk of his own life. There’s no doubt that come the potential series two, he’ll be diving right back in to help Lilyhot out of her new predicaments.

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Speaking of Lewis and Lilyhot, things are finally starting to come to a head. It’s clear now that they both have a mutual attraction to each other that they just can’t shake no matter the consequences, especially since it’s this episode where they finally kiss. As Lilyhot herself says, she doesn’t have sex with anyone unless she’s using them, so for her to kiss Lewis is a big step for her, even if she refuses to go further. She goes as far as trying to stop Lewis from having access to Troy so he won’t get involved in her plans – although that’s probably because she aims to have his father murdered. Well, she’s never been perfect. It’s been such a rollercoaster of a relationship from the start, and this episode is no exception. It’s clear to see that theirs is never going to be a “normal relationship”.

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Of course, that’s mostly due to Lilyhot’s manipulative and clever nature. Her characterisation has stayed strong throughout the series, always holding that air of mystery. You can never be entirely sure what she’s going to do next, exemplified in this episode by the scene where she shoots Fabien out of the blue. Sure, Fabien might have thought he’d won – that he was in charge – but that’s never really been the case. It’s always been Lilyhot. It’s going to be really interesting seeing how she fares when she genuinely isn’t the one in control.

It’s a real shame that two of the big players in The Aliens have been taken out, but at least it feels like a natural conclusion. Antoine and Fabien’s stories have run their course. It was heart-breaking to see Antoine get shot, both because it was his last moment with his son, who he’s loved and protected for the duration of the series, but also because he’s arguably one of the best characters in the show. Still, death is probably a better option for him than spending his days locked away in jail. Will the Alien League be able to fill their boots as the next series’ Big Bad?

The Aliens has been such a fun show to watch, with great direction, scripts, music choices and acting all round. Although this episode didn’t provide the full-on war that’s been hinted that over the weeks – instead relying on quiet backhand deals to get the war over and done with – it still delivered, bringing the emotion and action as good as it gets. We’ll miss it on our screens – here’s hoping for a series two announcement!

 

The Good:

  • A satisfying ending to a satisfying series. The “Antoine vs Fabien” storyline is tied up nicely, making room for a whole new set of problems come next series.
  • Lilyhot’s scheming. There are twists and turns all over the place, making it difficult to keep up – which makes the payoff that much sweeter. We didn’t see her attack on Fabien coming, and luckily, neither did he. She looks like a natural sitting in his chair.
  • Lewis defending the aliens, showing how far he’s come as a character. He’s been through so much, and yet has grown as a person. Of all the characters, he feels the most human, with the broadest personality, and Michael Socha has done a fantastic job portraying him throughout.

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  • Antoine’s death scene. It’s bittersweet, but right until the end he’s there comforting Lewis, being the Father he so desperately wants to stick around.
  • Dominic’s “death” scene. It’s lovely to finally hear Lewis tell Dominic that he’s his best friend – that he believes in him. Dominic’s done so much for Lewis, so the payoff must feel pretty good. Plus it helps that, y’know, he isn’t actually dying. Dominic’s loss would have been hard to swallow!
  • Lewis’s (non-biological) dad hugging him even though he’s found out he’s half-alien. After all the mork hatred he’s thrown around, it’s a big gesture.

 

The Bad:

  • Antoine’s death! He’s such a great character. It makes sense, but it’s still hard to watch.
  • There’s been a war teased over the course of the series, and then… we never really got one. What we got was good in of itself, but it felt more than a little anticlimactic.

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  • The Alien League never really got round to doing anything. They’ve talked the talk (well, Paulette has at least) but that’s about it. It looks like this will be the focus of a second series, though.
  • Dominic committing murder this episode. It was out of necessity, sure, but he spent the entirety of last week fretting over killing one person, let alone three.
  • We’ve mentioned this before, but six episodes just didn’t feel like enough to cover the full spectrum we’re sure this world has to offer.

 

And the Random:

  • Music cue of the week: Fabien’s party had some good ones, but “Omen” by the Prodigy stood out.
  • The Aliens was part-filmed in Bulgaria’s Nu Boyana Studios, where unfortunately Michaela Cole, who plays Lilyhot, was subject to racial abuse. Pretty poignant given the issues covered in the series.
  • So we’ve had no explanation as to what the aliens are, exactly. Is it going to be kept in the dark for audience interpretation, maybe? Or will it be brought up in series two?

Review by Jessica Anson


 

Read our other reviews of The Aliens

 

 

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