Season 1 Episode 5

Unnatural Selection

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 19, 2005 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

Write A Review
out of 10
322 votes
  • I'm loving every minute of it.

    After watching the other episodes, we see that conflicts to to arise between the underlays and the varons. the weird things that are happening around town are affecting people in town that russel finds worrying. this episode reveals a little bit of the mystery surrounding tom underlay. just enough for this episode, but it feels that there's something more to this. the writers have something else coming. it's exciting, i just can't wait for the next one. i enjoyed this episode just as much as the other episodes, i know there's something special coming in the future episodes. i just love every minute of it, abc should stop doing repeats, it's not a good thing for a good show like invasion.
  • This episode was mostly a filler episode, mainly more into the different characters interacting. The main story is what Larkin sees at the military base, which to me was good but I wish they would have at least given us a clue to start working on what/wh

    Like through most of the episodes the story is developing extremely slowly, its called Invasion and we dont even know if its an actual invasion or where the creatures already here, which makes more sense due to the first episode when they popped out of the ocean then fell from the sky. Anyway this episode was mainly about clueing us in to the Military's involvement and knowledge of the invaders. But as usual it just showed us the same boxes that we saw earlier, not giving any clues about anything. We already knew that the military was storing something, probably the creatures or bodies of the people the creatures posess. So Larkin going to the military base accomplished one thing, that the military is now on to her. I was hoping for something solid some clue, maybe a quick shot of a lab getting set up or even soldiers in vacuum suits, affraid to open the box, but nope, they are just sitting there next to the canned peaches. I really like the show its good cause it develops slowly but its also bad, cause when are we gonna get to the Invasion and some sort of resistance to it. If it keeps on the same track the series will end when the main characters finally figure out whats going on. Throw me a bone here.
  • a slow coming for the story line

    i strill do not understad why the writer and directors make the story line so slow for us to see. This is the fith episode and still do not have a face for the aliens and we do not have a reason why the came to earth. in the other hand is starting to follow the line of that ols series called V on nbc. Hope that the storie shapes up and we star enjoying again like when it start
  • I'm writing this review as I watch the episode so I don't forget any main points...Let's see how it goes...

    Ok...7 seconds into the show I gotta hit the ol' pause button. Is this Rose we see wandering the swamps of the Florida Everglades by herself? How old is this kid? 6? I have a 7 year old who doesn't go down the street by herself and we live in the suburbs.

    I've said it before in my past reviews of this show and I'll say it again now...even in absence of alien lifeforms lurking in the water, is no one in Florida wary of entering unfamiliar areas of swampy water? Are they not afraid of getting eaten by an alligator or crocodile or whatever else lurks out there? What about snakes or sinkholes or poisonous other crap? Every episode, someone is diving into the water to "check things out" whether its an upturned camper, or a skeleton (hello, alarm bells there folks...stop leaning over the edge and get your ass fully on board the boat), or some glowing freaky lights or whatever. The first reaction these idiots have is to go slogging out into the water to check it out (well, unless they dive in head first that is).

    Now we have a little girl wandering on her own in the swamp? Good Lord! Someone call Child Protective Services and figure out why she's being allowed to roam the frigging swamps like this! Idiots!! (By the term, "idiots", I'm referring, of course to the writers, not the characters. The characters are innocent of any wrongdoings as they are only being forced to make completely unbelievable and asinine decisions every episode by writers who think the public is too dumb to notice).

    Ok....first 7 seconds down...let's keep watching...

    Sigh...Ok...something apparantly comes out of the water or pokes its head out or something. Rose has a completely bland expressionless face. Yeah. That's believable. Most kids are calm and rational when freaky stuff starts to happen. You in Kill Bill 1, when the little girls walks in the kitchen and sees her mother lying dead in the floor and seems to be about as interested as if there was nothing there at all? Yeah. Kids haven't figured out emotions by the time they get shipped off to elementary school. They don't learn to freak out until college I think. Sigh.

    Ok...mixed feelings now. Good, Rose came back excited because she saw the light in the water. YAY...she DOES have emotions. The next scene, after being warned of lights in the water, Dad, brilliant individual that he is, and one of the few people to have a good idea how scary the stuff in the water really is, runs knee deep into the water!!! GAH!!! Stop it you stupid writers. You're killing me. What exactly would he be hoping to accomplish by running into the water up to his knees?

    "I'm a gonna catch me that light. And then I'm a gonna hang it over muh mantle ta show all the fellers what I done did caught."


    If nothing else, do these people not mind walking around in soaking wet jeans? You ever been in the rain and gotten your jeans soaked? It feels horrible. That alone should keep them outta the water. But here goes old Russell....running into the water to chase a light...a LIGHT people...a light that obviously isn't even there anymore. GAH!

    Oh, and Larkin has an ex-"friend" in the Air Force? Convenient. Again, I say, Sigh.

    Ok...we're about 2 minutes into the show...let's see what comes next.

    YAY!!! Something that makes perfect sense! And I quote Jesse Varon, "Yeah. Why didn't you tell me about this? Probably coulda saved me a trip to the hospital." Awesome!!! Russell deserved that in a major way. Something freaky is going on. There's dangerous stuff in the water. His wife is a frigging news reporter with resources to get to the bottom of things and his kids are in a dangerous environment and he keeps it all to himself. Idiot!!! (writers that is). People just don't keep stuff that big to themselves. They just don't. He'd have told someone close to him. Larkin and Jesse at least should have been told even if Russell is the sort of bozo who wouldn't tell. Bottom line, he deserved the jab Jesse took at him in a big way.

    Sigh....Russell is gonna build the tree house and tells Rose she's not going down by the water till they figure out what's in there. I'll tell ya what's in there. Gators, ded-gummit!!! Gators and snakes and varmits!!!! It's no place for a flippin' 6 year old to be hanging out with or without aliens.

    Moving on...

    Jesse wants to stay at Russell's house cause his mom is never home. And when she is home, it's like she's never there anyway. Ok...Jesse is what, like 16 or so? Isn't that pretty much every 16 year old's ultimate state of being? Hanging out at home sans parent influence? I don't know, but when I was that age, I don't remember being particularly bummed if my mommy didn't spend enough time with me. But, the writers needed to drop yet another hint to those brain-dead, glue-sniffing few out there who have not been beaten over the head by the plethora of clues that something is -gasp- up with Dr. Mariel Underlay!!! (cue ominous music)


    So Larkin is driving around the base with her conveniently placed ex-whatever who we now find out is pretty dang high up the ladder at the base he is stationed at (imagine that). They drive up to the O.S.I. building and she asks what it is. He tells her...Office of Special Investigation...and no sooner do the words escape his lips than the ominous music begins playing in the background. How heavy-handed do we need to be here exactly? How about building some suspense or letting her spend actually do some investigative reporting to find out what's going on.

    "Nah, why bother?" say the clever writers. "She's a hot chick. We can say she has an ex-boyfriend who can take her directly to the source of the story. She couldn't possibly have a brain in her head and be able to figure it out on her own. Just use the clever "ex-boyfriend" angle and we're covered."

    Sigh...lazy, lazy writing. Reminds me of Independence day where Jeff Goldblum is the only guy on earth who can figure out what the aliens are doing and his ex-wife is conveniently the chief assistant of the President of the United States.

    To quote the Church Lady.....Con-VEEEEEN-ient...

    The response to Mariel asking about Tom..."You're never going to lose him. Ever." Ok...gonna skate right on past the ham-fisted clues as to the priest involvement with whatever is going on since that's been obvous for several episodes now. I'm just gonna briefly comment on what a ridiculous thing this would be for a priest to promise with such absolute finality in real life. The comment isn't what bothers me so much.

    It's Mariel's reaction to it.

    If someone told me that I would never lose my wife. EVER. I'd look at them like they had a foot growing out of their nose. "Say what? How the heck would you know for sure if I'm never gonna lose my wife...ever?" How can someone possibly sit there and have someone promise them something that unpromisable and accept it with a straight face? I dunno...maybe I should ask Mariel because that's exactly what she does.

    Ok...I gotta retract my previous comments about Larkin possibly being intelligent enough to investigate this story on her own. Her ex-boyfriend leaves her in a room 3 feet away from a military personnel person of some sort and says that he'll be back in 2 minutes and to stay put.

    Count em folks...that's 120 seconds...assuming he doesn't come back sooner. She figures "Oh heck, 2 minutes...that's plenty of time to sneak across a military compound, break into a building with an ominous sounding name like Office of Special Investigation (doors won't be locked and there certainly won't be guards or anything), crack this story wide open and come back before loverboy even knows I'm missing." Again I say...Idiot!!!

    I gotta ask at this point as well, under what pretense did she arrange to come visit this guy? And how much free time does he have when says he's supposedly pretty much in charge of half the dang base that he can block off a few hours of quality time to spend with an old flame the same day she suddenly calls out of the blue? Man...if military jobs allow that much free time, I'm in the wrong business! Lucy McKittrick was pulled from the water after the hurricane and was somehow...changed. I wonder...and stop me if you think I might be going too far out on a limb here...but I wonder if maybe people are being dragged into the water and somehow...changed?


    You're telling me that's the whole point of the whole Carl and Lucy story this episode? To give us the same dang clue we already have? How many people have been pulled from the water and changed now? I've lost count. I thought maybe Carl had discovered something. A new clue that no one else had heard of yet. I thought maybe the good sheriff killed him to silence him. I had hoped that we would then slowly learn over the next few episodes what Carl knew. But no...all this was, was yet another person being dragged into the water and changed. Wonderful. Hey...maybe next episode, they can have someone be dragged into the water and, I don't know, maybe they can be changed or something? That would be cool!!!

    ARGH!!! FOUL!!!! NO WAY!! Larkin found an unlocked, unguarded door into a frigging military helicopter hanger? Ok....I admit. I pretty much knew she would. I also know she'll be busted before the episode is over. But I'll pretend to be surprised when it happens.

    Let me do a quick calculation here.
    24 hours in the day.
    60 minutes in an hour.
    That should be 1,440 minutes in a day right?

    Ok...assuming she was lucky enough to show up on the same day that the little lockerbox things are being (un)loaded in the hangar, she has a 1 in 1,440 chance of the one minute that she is in the hangar being the same 1 minute in which they (un)load those little lockerbox thingees. Ahh convenience..thou art the lifesblood of shoddy writing.

    ARGH!!! I cry FOUL again!!! The soldier unloading the lockerbox thingees in the hangar saw someone. He used his radio to report it. When Larkin left, she SLAMMED the hangar door shut. She was gone well over the 2 minutes that Vince asked her to wait. The guy working where Vince told her to stay put had to have heard Vince tell her to stay put and had to know she ran off. And now we see Vince dropping her off completely unaware that anything happened? Huh??? Why the heck did they bother having the guard seem to have seen anything? What the heck is this? Does anyone out there buy this entire scenario even for a second? Does anyone else recognize this for the garbage that it is? ARGH!!!

    Hmm...shadowy figures following her. I can only HOPE that this is someone investigating her interest in the hangar. But somehow I doubt it. The military doesn't seem likely to employ a couple of private dicks or whatever to trail a reporter. They'd have arrested her on the spot and been done with it. But at least there's hope. Maybe the writers have recognized this plot hole and intend to fill it with silly putty or something.

    Ok...the church group is pretty much a cult that will prep the "survivors" for whatever the heck it is they're supposed to do. Nifty. Russell now has a treehouse that he can look at the swamp from. Nifty.

    I do believe I'm done with this show after this episode. I'm not going to comment further on how ludicrous it is. I've done that enough in this review. Suffice it to say, I haven't had my intelligence insulted this much since Middle School P.E.
  • getting better

    I am really starting to enjoy this series. There is a major problem with it though. The whole show is just taking to long to play out. I don;t feel i know anymore now than i did when the show first started.(with the exception of the great speech at the end of this episode by the sheriff)I think the show has great potential but its going to loose its fan base if it draws everything out like this. Besides that fact i am very much involved with all of the characters and look forward to seing what will happen. Slow, but good.
  • The Episode of Invasion That Is Interesting And Yet They Still Manage To Slowly But Surely Guide You In And Out of The Plotline.

    This Invasion is slightly less informative than the other's. It only states the obvious that change is happening in that specific area of Florida. We only see a revealing change within the people of the story. The lead character Russell has had the decision to talk to a man who apparently pulled a gun on the Sheriff of the town and was killed. Russell's wife goes on a trip to meet her old friend on a military base and pick up some answers. The children once again go on another personal trek with their families all about the "Lights." This episode points out many obvious details but towards the end the family all realizes that it is aliens who are doing all this and then accept the fact. You should watch this episode and notice the revalations but only for those reasons.
  • More people are affected by the aftermath of the hurricane

    We are still left in the dark about what the lights in the water mean. It seems that Larkin is going to be the next person who is goning to get affected by the nysterious something. I say that because she has her reporter noise everywhere. Sheriff Underlay is still creepy and Russell continues to be the Dana Scully ofthe show.
  • Still too slow, but a great final act

    This is another episode that doesn’t really go anywhere for most of its running time, but at least the final act or so brings the story a little further along. In terms of the overall narrative, the battle lines are being drawn between Underlay and Russell rather distinctly, which may or may not be the best thing for the story. In between stands Mariel, who has already shown signs of being on the fence between the two men.

    That core triangle is where the key dramatic conflict lies, and that’s where this episode is largely centered. Underlay is firmly behind whatever process is taking place, because his own previous survival (and apparent “possession”) leads him to believe that it’s all for the benefit of those who become hosts. Russell, on the other hand, represents those who resist this process. Or at least, he’s being prepared for that role, since at the moment, he’s still not sure what it is he’s resisting.

    I imagine that the purpose of this episode was to show how Russell is becoming more and more aware of the lines being drawn by Underlay. Underlay has been making his decisions based on the preservation and benefit of those “possessed”. Of course, Underlay refers to them as the “survivors”, which might be a reference to the fact that some encounters with the “aliens” don’t end well.

    But Russell finally begins learning from the events since the pilot, which is something I was waiting (impatiently) for. He takes measures, even in ignorance, to keep Rose away from the water and to keep Jesse from being directly involved in his personal investigation. Slowly but surely, he’s pulling together the start of a resistance. If I have any sense of where this story is going, that proto-movement should really gel right around episode 6 or 7.

    So I try and look at these first few episodes on the assumption that this is the introduction phase of the season arc: it’s all about getting to know the characters and the basic conflicts. I’m just not sure that the writers have framed the early stages of the story in the most interesting way. I get the premise, and I get the style used to provide it scope, but it’s not the most fascinating introduction in the world. Until the final act, I wasn’t feeling this episode.

    One problem has been the inconsistent portrayal of Larkin. Not just in terms of the character herself, but rather, in terms of how others react to her. Clearly she should have a reputation for pushing the buttons of authority and getting into things she shouldn’t. But she’s dealing with a sheriff with a secret agenda and the military. She seems to get treated with kid gloves by both. Underlay, at least, had some hope that he could control Larkin, but I’m not at all impressed by the military security in this episode. (Yes, I realize Larkin was ultimately followed, but she never should have been able to see anything in the first place.)

    The goal is apparently to have Larkin discover information useful to Russell, with the efforts to keep her quiet being another reason for Russell to pursue the truth. At least, that’s how I interpret it. Meanwhile, Mariel is the window into Underlay’s agenda, but this episode seems to suggest that he doesn’t quite know what’s happening either. I imagine that the extended family will become pawns in the battle between Underlay and Russell.

    At least the network is giving the series a chance to make its case. The series gained a full season pickup this week, based on the fact that it’s performed better than any other series in the same hour for something like five years. Surely the “Lost” lead-in is a huge factor, but that wouldn’t matter if the series had completely tanked. Hopefully the hint of a growing momentum for the story will actually come to fruition.
  • Despite some specific complaints, Invasion continues it’s stellar run. The atmosphere is great, the character moments are engrossing, and in spite of the slow pacing we get some fascinating development here. Fichtner stand out once again, revealing some j

    Another strong episode, as the plot thickens, and the characters continue to fascinate. William Fichtner shines once again as Sheriff Underlay. He is far and away the most engrossing thing about this story and what makes the slow pacing of Invasion so worthwhile. Frankly, if they continue to give so much meaty character moments to Fichtner I don’t care how slowly the plot is revealed.

    That said there is a bit of development through this episode. Russell finally asks Tom to be straight and tell him what’s going on. We learn some of the truth behind the Sheriff’s shadowy past, and Larkin continues her as yet fairly un-educational romp through military conspiracy. As with the last episode, a few small plot points bugged me and mostly they deal with the intrepid reporter Larkin Groves. Firstly, why did the military leave the super-secret military hanger’s back door open? What was the point of her investigation? I mean did Larkin actually find out anything of value? How come her army buddy didn’t seem to notice she was gone for like an hour? Very significantly I think; what kind of reporter doesn’t carry a digital camera (at the very least) into a situation like that one? And finally how did any of this serve the story? Larkin is undoubtedly the most poorly written character on the show. They definitely need to work on her. Oh and additionally, while I loved how it all played out, I couldn’t imagine that Mariel, after so recently ending her marriage with Russell, would get married a second time to a man who she know so little about. I kind of think an explanation of his past is an obvious question she would want answered, especially considering how much it plays into who Tom is.

    Despite these complaints I am really enjoying this show. It’s finally getting somewhere with the main plotline, I suspect the slow pacing will pay off big at the end of the day, and the character moments are atmospheric and moody. Invasion has me bagged, great work all around.