Anna: “You’ll get your army.”
Back in high school, I had this misunderstood friend (let’s call her Sally) who wasn’t the most popular girl in our grade but whom I liked because she had smarts and purpose. Sally went away one summer and came back a different person, abandoning her old aspirations, using swear words as punctuation, and bringing up sex and drugs at every occasion. Like this new incarnation of V, which got retooled during the extended mid-season break, she’d started seeking approval in the most desperate ways, and I couldn’t stand her anymore.
V Is for Vexed Mother
Titled “Welcome to the War”, which is presumably short for “Welcome to the War We’ve Got War Please Like Us”, the episode opens with a heavy dose of gratuitous violence as Erica turns the tables on an assailant we didn’t know she had and utters the first of many one-liners: “I bet that stings like hell too.” The woman’s become so eighties hardcore she spends the rest of the hour saying things like, “If I have to cross the line to blow that bitch out of the sky, I will!” as she covers her tracks at the FBI and tries to pull her son away from the Visitors. Yes, Erica primetime cusses now, a lot, so you should totally invite her to Derek’s party this weekend.
V Is for Versed in Manipulation
Chad’s subplot is more in keeping with previous episodes. I especially liked the newsman ensuring his salvation by tying it to the Visitors’ public image. However, the blowfish scene is about as subtle as its green screen effects (the ship’s walls were apparently rendered by a Sega Genesis), and Anna’s overt threats more or less miss the original point, which was to echo the modern dichotomy between journalism and the news industry. Also, the way the camera keeps spinning during the conversation drove me bonkers. I know superfluous camera movement is all the rage now, but if every cool show on television jumped off a bridge, would V do it too?
V Is for Vegetable Lover
Anna spends an awful lot of time explaining the plot for the slow kids in the class: “He can only have one family: us.” Now, I ask you, do we really need that last word, or any part of the sentence? Anyway, the details don’t add up: if the Visitors aren’t “burdened by emotional imprints” and their queen lays eggs, why was Dale so prone to anger, and how is it Ryan got a woman pregnant? I realise the hybrid conception is presented as a deliberate mystery, but you’d figure the parents would’ve at least needed similar reproductive systems. Then again, who needs writing that makes sense when you’ve got gratuitous Anna sex? If it could, V would buy you beer with its fake ID.
V Is for Viable Alien Sperm
As Valerie deals with the side effects of her alien pregnancy, Ryan calls upon an old friend, Lexa Doig from Andromeda, to figure out how two creatures from different species could have conceived a child. Her insight: “I guess nature and fate, they find a way.” Uh, thanks, Doc. Actually, the hybrid birth was one of the most horrifying sequences in the original series, so I’m curious where this is going. I’m just not sure about the whole “miracle baby” angle. It feels a bit like the show’s trying to make up for its early portrayal of the Church. America likes God, right? Well, V is down with G.O.D. too. This series is just like you. Want to hang out at the mall?
V Is for Vitamin Supplement of Doom
Father Jack, who was stabbed in the gut before the mid-season break, is taken to a V healing centre, where doctors digitally erase his wound and inject him with R6. This worries the priest to no end, even though he learnt in the previous episode that R6 is inoffensive and that the Visitors poisoned the human flu vaccine instead so we’d start favouring V technology over our own. I suppose I can’t blame Father Jack for forgetting part of the plot when the writers themselves can’t keep it straight. Now R6 allows the Visitors to tag humans like cattle. How does this revelation improve the established storyline? Did the new Powers That Be look at Anna’s original scheme and declare, “Needs more dumb?”
Bits and Pieces
- Valerie staring hungrily at the dead mouse is a cute throwback to the original series. It’s kind of gross too.
- The show has finally got around to introducing its version of Ham (now called Hobbs), the tough-as-nails mercenary. I dig how Erica recruits him. As an aside, Ham in the original V was portrayed by Michael Ironside, who played opposite Roy Dupuis in the Canadian mini-series The Last Chapter. What does this have to do with anything? Absolutely nothing.
More goofy one-liners from Erica:
Ryan: “This is the guard from the V warehouse we torched?”
Erica: “Well, he was.”
Yeah! Callousness after taking a life is so cool!
Erica: “You want to help? Lose the body.”
You tell that helpful man!
Erica: “And he figured that he would suffer a better fate in my hands than hers? He was wrong.”
Erica don’t take no guff from nobody!
Erica: “Don’t tell me what I can’t do!”
Okay, I sort of get why the smoke monster would start behaving like Locke, but why is Juliet?
Erica: “I broke every oath that I have sworn to protect.”
I realise I’m being pedantic, but one does not swear to protect an oath. One swears or makes an oath to protect others.
The thing is that my friend became even less popular when she started pandering to the cool kids. The difference with this series, of course, is, though I didn’t stay in touch with her, I’m confident Sally eventually found herself again. I hold no such hope for V.