E: Thrills! Chills! Backstabbing and guns and – frontstabbing? Was that supposed to be a body? What on earth? Lots of good stuff this week on V – pocket sized recap and spoilers after the jump.
Actually, before I get into all that, who else is shocked to find that next week’s episode of V is going to be the last until March?!!!!! We are NOT pleased.
V: A Bright New Day: Want to know something fun I’ve learned? Joel Gretsch, the actor who plays Fr. Jack, is William Shatner’s son in law. Want to know some other things I’ve learned? Get ready, because there’s a lot in this episode. The Vs now have visas (V, visa, ha) to travel about the US. You already knew that? Just you wait. We start with a montage of confused supplicants talking to Fr. Jack in confession, which re-enforces Jack’s frustration to the point that he shows up at Erica’s door, begging for something to do. “Mom,” says Tyler, “there’s a priest at the door.” “It’s okay, we work together.” “Oh, that’s cute.” Hee hee! She sets him to match complainants to the FBI with people who might have been at the warehouse, as an attempt to restart an underground. Ryan, meanwhile, is walks his girl Valerie to work (“I would never want to keep secrets from you” – nice weasel-wording, there, lizard. M: Agreed, that was an excellent way of not lying, but not telling the whole truth) chats with a somewhat despairing Georgie about the V “5th column” and its mythical leader, John May (are we sure it’s not John Conner? Just checking) and then sets off to find Cyrus, the guy who, Santa-like, left a card on Ryan’s mantle piece. Love this idea of a 5th column of active resistors. Very, very cool.
M: Agreed! The 5th Column is a great addition, with a cool name. Let’s hope they do better with it than FlashForward did with The Blue Hand, which was in and out of the plot in a total of two episodes.
E: Quit with the FF spoiling – I’m still not caught up! We find that the protest movement is led, or figure-headed, by a woman named Mary Faulkner whose husband died in an F14 that crashed into one of the motherships or some such thing (M: Um, E, that happened in the beginning of the pilot. Very chilling scene of the dead pilot parachuting into the streets of Manhattan, remember? E: True, and that was great/horrific, but we didn’t know who he was – or even if Faulkner is that guy. ). Anna wants a crack at her, to cure the contagion hatred. We also find out that the captains of all 29 ships are men. What’s up with that? Doesn’t that strike anyone else as odd, given that their supreme commander and a large part of their crew is female? We find out that Dale is awake and working with a fawning medic (“it’s kind of a big deal – you’re a real hero”) to recover his memory. He knows, at least, that his “prey” (shudder) saw his true face. We also get to see him do this really creepy vibrating thing and find out that the Vs are grossed out by hair. Fr. Jack finds Georgie, or initially Georgie’s house, and learns that Georgie’s entire family was killed by the Vs. I’d definitely like more details on that, but it’s easy to see how that would take you off the grid. Jack proves he is a lousy revolutionary when he gives a neighbor his card (M: to which she asks “Priests have cards?” Great line!) and asks her to let Georgie know he was at the warehouse. So down with the incognito, our Jack. Later, Georgie lets him know with a gun to his head just what he thinks of that technique.
Ryan is a smoother revolutionary (and seriously, Morris Chestnut was made to be a lizard person, don’t you think? all that amazing bone structure and symmetry, the bald head) but even he runs into a problem; Cyrus turns out to be some sort of junkie, addicted to something called The Bliss which the mainstream Vs will reconnect him to (or so they say) if he hands in enough members of the 5th column . Interesting insight into the V discipline and society, that. You have to be alive for them to reconnect you, Ryan says, with his gun to Cyrus’ head. That is one bad assed pacifist, y’all.
We get to see how good Erica is at her job while we’re at it; there’s been a threat to the V, and Erica is able to debrief the V security teams, gets them to take her into their restricted section to help them point their camera more correctly, gets a look at some sort of secret room, and catches the would be killer just in time to save Marcus’s life. I’m sure that rankled. But wait – are you kidding me, the perp is left with the Vs, per order of Erica’s FBI master? (“It wasn’t like I was the only V in the Bureau,” Dale tells his therapist.) That would so not fly! I totally suspect him of being a V now. Why would he ever do that? Erica puts the moment to good use, however; she manages to discover the real surveillance room and finds that the stripe on the dark blue visitor jackets (you know, the kind Tyler wears when he’s a V “peace ambassador”) actually transmits images. Good grief. We see Anna practicing sympathetic phrases – with tears or without – and then waylaying Mary Faulkner (who had a stunning, complicated updo, btw – all she needed was a veil and she could’ve gotten married in that hair) just before the latter was supposed to give a big anti-V speech. “What we share we those we feared,” she says, “is far greater than that which divides us.” Suddenly everything is hearts and roses. As Chad narrates, it’s been a good week for the Vs in terms of public relations.
Then we’re left with the big shockers of the week. Marcus shows up at Cyrus’ place (Cyrus having pushed some sort of panic button) to find a person shaped pile of dirt. “There will be no peace,” he snarls. Wait, huh? Do the Vs dust, like vampires? Fascinating. (M: No, I think it was intended to make them think Cyrus is dead, but he’s really with Ryan, who left the “John May Lives!” message behind for Marcus to find at the scene. It’s on!) Dale remembers that Erica was the one who saw him, and vows to return immediately and take her out. That would be a waste of a good recruit, the formerly sychophantic doc smiles at him: “The 5th column says hello.” The doc poisons and kills Dale! Again! (M: For me that was the WOW! moment of the show. So well hidden until right when the doc turns, so well worked into the overall 5th Column plot. Just awesome. E: Agreed – totally awesome) Tyler brings Lisa back to his place, and starts macking on her; when Erica arrives at home he shoves his ambassador jacket under the bed (“my mom hates the Vs!”) and tries to pretend there’s no one there. Lisa astutely and hilariously deduces it’s better for her to be undressed than dressed as a V, so when Erica guesses that terrible liar Tyler isn’t alone, she finds Lisa in his bedroom in her underwear. Erica almost dies of embarrassment. Tyler almost dies of lust. Erica has Tyler take Lisa home (“we’ll talk about this later!”), presumably in a borrowed shirt, and Lisa reports back to Anna. “Tyler’s the one. We should use him.” “You’re doing an excellent job,” Anna intones, “I’m proud of you.” “Thank you, Mother,” Lisa beams. Woah!
Indulge me for a moment. Does she mean this literally, or as a title? Is Anna the figurehead Mother of the Fleet? Is Lisa Anna’s biological daughter, one of a Terran style family, or is Anna actually the biological mother of most of the fleet? The gender imbalance in the command structure makes me wonder if there isn’t an insect queen parallel here. (M: I say it’s literal, biological) Also, here’s something that doesn’t make much sense given what we know of the source material. If the Lisa/Tyler relationship is based on the teen courtship of Robin/Brian, then the point of this whole exercise is to get Lisa knocked up. I still contend that this isn’t as effective as a male V impregnating a human – there’s a sense of invasion that doesn’t occur otherwise. And the resistance wouldn’t automatically have hold of the baby, which proved the key to the original series. Unless, I suppose, V women impregnate V men, in which case, the freak is totally on. Sorry to repeat myself on that topic. Anyway, here’s my big question. Given what we assume to be their intent towards humanity (if we assume that the original motivation holds true), why do they want a hybrid in the first place? Isn’t that just gratuitously creepy and evil? (M: I’m still hoping they drop the hybrid baby plot. Especially since we know V’s have been under cover on Earth for at least 20 years, it would have happened already).
And speaking of people Anna’s proud of today, there’s the would-be assassin – who turns out to be a V planted at the center for the FBI to catch. No wonder they didn’t want the police to have him. Makes me even more sure that Erica’s boss was in on this little adventure. All in all, that was a serious load of new information. I mostly enjoyed it. I’m still waiting for Jack to take off as a hero – he’s a bit wishy washy, no? Not that I blame him, exactly. Maybe what I mean is that his confusion isn’t as compelling as it ought to be yet. But in general, good stuff!
And that’s my attempt at pocket-sized. Apparently I have really big pockets.