Last week’s premiere of Intruders didn’t grab viewers with stereotypical ‘scary’ gimmicks. It snuck in suggestive glimpses at the bizarre goings-on in a series of seemingly unconnected stories. Nine-year-old Madison’s outbreaks in particular held the most intrigue. By the episode’s end there were no resolutions for the mounting mysteries – only questions. Taking this less-is-more approach meant the running the risk of alienating the audience. So, does episode two answer them?
The slow-build mechanics of the show mean that no, it doesn’t. Last week ended with Madison, the precocious split-persona kid, packing her bags, leaving her mom and hitting the road. A sudden change spurred on by the incident in the bathroom. You know, the one when she lapsed into a hideous moment of violence (cat drowning!) It seems her brief altercation with the mysterious hitman awoke within her the spirit of a man called Marcus. An intruder.
It’s through Madison’s wandering that the main bulk of back story exposition – what are intruders exactly? – is revealed. Her chunk of screen time sees her vacillate between innocent girl and the brusque, thuggish Marcus. Like an Invasion Of The Body Sharers. It’s soon revealed that the mystery man, known as Special Agent Shepherd, works for a cult who enable the deceased to inhabit the bodies of the living. A nifty idea that goes awry when Marcus takes control of a child’s body. His flee to Seattle is scuppered when he is refused entry onto a train – because he’s an unaccompanied minor.
Cue another phenomenal performance from Millie Brown. First, she’s a confused kid with no memory of how and why she’s in a train station with a bag of random objects. Then she’s an aggressive adult with an agenda. The switch between the two is a seamless blend, as if she’s staggering into a forgotten self. It’s an intriguing time-stalling technique to prevent Marcus from reaching his destination. After all, the rest of the stories need to catch up.