'War of the Worlds' Episode 8 Review: Season 1 was meticulously constructed but the story remains to be told
Spoilers for 'War of the Worlds' Episode 8
Midway through the finale episode, it's established that this reimagining of the H. G. Wells classic needs another season or two. Quite simply because what the audience has seen is the tip of the iceberg, and it's only in the final few minutes that they probably get a clue of what's really happening. Again, not an answer, but a clue.
The grim and gritty Epix drama has been a slow-burner, and minus the odd-action, all that it focussed on was the survivors and their mindset when they realize they're up against something they have no idea about. Something we can relate to given the current pandemic scenario. If the first couple of episodes captured the fear and the confusion of being attacked by extraterrestrials, the next four episodes saw mankind attempting to take stock of the situation and learn more about the threat, while also learning a few of life's lessons along the way.
Episode 8 is another slow dirge. It focuses on each of the characters for a good few minutes before putting all the spotlight on Emily (Daisy Edgar-Jones). Bill Ward (Gabriel Byrne) is plunged into grief after the death of his wife, Helen (Elizabeth McGovern) and finds some support from Ash Daniel (Aaron Heffernan). Sarah (Natasha Little) and Tom (Ty Tennant) find out that Emily has left the relative safety of the university with Kariem (Bayo Gbadamosi) to find out more about the creatures she has a connection with.
Elsewhere, Chloe (Stéphane Caillard), Jonathan (Stephen Campbell Moore), and Sacha (Mathieu Torloting) brave another attack from the aliens and make their way to England, while Catherine (Léa Drucker), General Mokrani (Adel Bencherif ) and Sophie (Emilie de Preissac) attempt to rescue survivors stuck in a building near the observatory. And this is where the first sign of human retaliation is seen when Catherine's frequency-emitting device works causing the metallic creatures to malfunction.
Emily just might be the most important part of the puzzle as she follows one of the creatures with Kariem. They come across a structure that appears to be the spaceship as it hosts all the metallic creatures. As she explores the place further, she comes across a machine that has an alien (Jonathan Gunning from 'Game of Thrones') who has the same green symbol with a dot in the middle, one that Emily sees in her vision. The other baffling plot point is the unexplained relationship between Sacha and Emily.
They're in two different parts of the world at the moment, but both have visions and are somehow connected to the alien creatures. In our previous article on Episode 7, we had theorized about how the aliens may have actually wanted to get Emily and Sacha to get together. And, considering how the cyborgs have been collecting human babies and scanning DNA, maybe the offspring of their union could be the key to what the aliens are doing on Earth. An extended part of the vision sees Emily as pregnant with Sacha's child.
All this just goes on to say that there's more to this than just the typical 'War of the Worlds' ending we've seen in the film. If anything, the entire pilot season was a meticulously constructed platform that now can start telling the story at a more rapid pace because there's still a story to be told, a rather long one.
'War of the Worlds' airs Sundays at 9 pm on EPIX.