E: Yikes! Was that an ending or what? I cannot believe they’re not bringing this show back until March! And will they actually, really bring it back?
Let me start by saying this. I think the problem with V is that they really need a time line to work with; they need to know how long they’ve got to spin this storyline out. It’s hard to build the proper amount of dread, somehow, without that deadline. Am I wrong? Maybe the pace is throwing me off because I’m used to the miniseries, but I dunno. I think they need an endgame in order to have a decent start.
M: I think you’re wrong. I think you need to have an endgame and a finish line to have a proper middle. Lost proved that with its lousy (by its standards) first half of the 3rd season, then they set and end time and the second half of that season, concluding with the finale with the first flash forwards, was some of the best TV ever. I think they are doing well with the pace, which was too fast in the beginning of the pilot, but has now settled into a “not rushing through things” flow that most shows have trouble finding. I feel most shows feel like they need to resolve things every week, so they end up blasting through major plot items way too quickly. I like the way that V is going with the slow build.
E: Let’s agree to differ, then. That said, we did get some exciting stuff, mostly at the end of this episode, in three main plot lines or categories: first, The Halls of Healing, then Puppy/Lizard Love (the seduction of Tyler), and finally what I’m beginning to think of as the Idiots Revolution.
The Halls of Healing: Chad does some exploring in the V’s free health care clinics, or Healing Centers, for a piece, and uses himself as a test subject. He doesn’t get all the access he wants, but he does get a little surprise; when the V medics scanned him on a cellular level, they figured out his complete medical history AND the fact that he’s going to end up with a brain aneurysm in six months. Chad is sure what to think about this, and neither are we. Are they lying to pull him further into their scaly clutches? Is it a set up to get him to sing their praises even more than he’s already done? Chad wants a second opinion. Not that any Terran is going to be able to figure out whether he’s going to develop something like that in advance!
Meanwhile on the New York mothership, we see Anna (standing with Marcus and Joshua) in a cold fury over Dale’s apparent murder. Which, okay, the guy is a doctor. Couldn’t he have killed Dale in a more unobtrusive way? Something less obvious? Not that it wouldn’t be hard to hide from a cellular level scan, but shouldn’t he have thought of that? Anna orders Joshua to find the killer. Ah, the conundrum. One of Joshua’s aids and Fifth Column comrades (who we’re calling the Third London Twin) announces ominously that Joshua is too highly placed to lose, and I, at least, know what’s coming for him.
M: That’s the plot that got me going the most this week, well, before the ending. Find that Dr Joshua has some 5th Column support around him, and that he is so highly placed that they can’t afford for him to be caught, was good, and the payoff scene where he had to “skin” the aforementioned Third London Twin was really well done.
E: Yeah, that was super disturbing. I pretty much knew immediately that the Third London Twin would sacrifice himself for Joshua, and I wasn’t surprised that Anna made Joshua carry out the sentence. I also wasn’t surprised to see Ryan’s girlfriend Valerie show up at the Healing Center to see if they can help with her heart condition, and find out that the tiredness she was complaining of at the start of the episode was actually pregnancy induced fatigue. Oh my! (M: Boo!) (E: Why boo? Too many potential babies?) Looks like we DO have a human woman pregnant with a lizard baby. Don’t know how long you can keep that one a secret, Ryan. Especially since the Vs have scanned the Valerie – and by extension the baby – on a cellular level. You have to think that’s going to show, right?
M: I thought that the seduction of Tyler was dry. Sure, the engine room was cool, and we see Anna being creepy-charming, and Lisa being attentive/attractive, and find that he is councelled by Valerie (who gets into the Halls of Healing with Tyler’s Youth Ambassador Clout), but I didn’t find that plot to be overly enthralling this week, just good setup.
E: It certainly was more set up than anything else, but I’m not as down on this plotline as most people seem to be. How could you not love the moment when Tyler – who knows he’s going to meet Lisa’s mother but not who that is – is rendered nearly speechless to find out that Stacy’s Mom is really the glamorous face of the V? “Don’t worry,” Lisa says soothingly, “she doesn’t bite.” That’s right, Tyler. She’d be more likely to swallow you whole.
We find out what the infamous Bliss is as well. It’s some sort mind meld that Anna – who is appearing more and more to be a sort of Borg Queen – achieves with the V after she drops a flowing white cloak and sinks, naked, into some sort of glowing bath. All the V freeze, including sleeper agents like a Tibetan Monk (except folks like Ryan who’ve been excommunicated) and bask in her pleasant reassurances of peace. We see Joshua looking constipated as he tries not to Bliss out. Tyler finds it all incredibly sexy. Sigh.
And yeah, he was basically enraptured by the engine room. He got to be the first human ever to see it! Anna sure knows what buttons to push. “What you’ve seen here today,” Anna smiles, “it’s only the beginning”. We get a more ominous view, as the scene pans out into space, across the galaxy, to an armada of insect-like motherships departing a planet, presumably headed for Earth. Yikes!
The Idiots’ Revolution:
M: We got a little more from total bad@$$ Ryan about of the 5th Column plotline, finding out that most of the sleeper V scientists involved in a science project he had tracked before are dead. Oh, and we got another John May reference. (E: Several, actually. Isn’t it handy that they always write that calling card, “John May Lives,” in English? Even on V computers, which you would think would only type in V characters.) I hope they do that justice when they finally reveal the back story. Georgie, who previously had been a shady but stable potential leader, has a complete character meltdown and turns into Michael Ironside’s character from the mini-series, only concerned with skinning or killing V’s.
E: Michael Ironsides! I totally forgot about that character. Nice one, M.
M: Ok, I have to interject for a moment…
E: Fine, I’ll stop complimenting you.
M: Sorry, sooooo not accustomed to that. Anyway, does anyone else find it odd that the aliens that humans just started referring to as the Visitors a couple weeks ago, and abbreviated it to the V’s at some point after that, are now referring to themselves as V’s? Because, you know, they didn’t have a name for themselves (like we call ourselves humans or Earthlings) until they came here, right?
E: Good point. Don’t know that this means anything or is anything other than annoying, but it’s a valid observation.
M: Thank you E (is that better?). Anyway, our fledgling resistance found a remaining scientist and, through the info they got out of the guy’s briefcase after he killed himself (E: with suicide pill that dusts them! like Cyrus!), foiled a V plot to contaminate the flu shot (see there’s another reason I never get the flu shot!).
E: Let me just stop you right there. I thought this was inane. Some what like you refusing the flu shot.
M: I never get the flu. The flu shot… GIVES YOU THE FLU! Why would I do that? Ok, digressing again… Back to you.
E: And back to our resident genius revolutionaries, as I throw up my hands and give up on you. First off, they go after this scientist knowing that the V have fabric cameras and could literally be watching everything they do – and yet, do any of them wear masks? Dark makeup? Hoodies? Nope. They just follow the guy into his parking garage and walk right up to him. Are they insane? (M: No, they’re just dumb) Then they do the same thing in the V pharmaceutical company. It’s a good thing Ryan comes up with a plan on the fly to get everyone out of the building! Of course, it does alert a V security team, who thankfully aren’t fast enough to stop them from looking around the place, finding an X-Files style alien autopsy tent/lab with human corpses that were obviously experimented on by the aliens. Nice, that. Fr. Jack punches out a nasty looking bald V (shades of The X-Files’s alien bounty hunter). Have we mentioned that Fr.Jack was an army chaplin who did two tours in Iraq? This is why he can street fight with super strong aliens and also act as field medic when the scientist, a bit earlier, shot Georgie in the stomach.
So, let’s see. To sum up. Ryan foolishly fails to tell a suspicious Erica that he’s a V, and she’s not at all pleased when she figures it out. Fr Jack was followed back to his church by the bald V and stabbed. See? Dumb. How can they not take any precautions? Really annoying. So hopefully, Fr. Jack will live to take insufficient caution another day. Not to mention vasillating between being a revolutionary and being a priest.
M: Sorry, one more digression before V breaks until March (and yes, I think it will be back in full force then). What, exactly, is the definition of a “Mothership”? Because all Visitors ships are referred to as motherships (the New York mothership, the Moscow mothership, the captains of the 29 motherships, etc), and every ship in the armada looked like the motherships that already arrived. It can’t be just because they have smaller shuttles on them, right? I mean, isn’t there supposed to be some special significance to a ship being “THE Mothership”? They can’t all be, can they?
E: You and your Earth definitions of the word Mothership… How pesky of you.