Thursday, April 8, 2010

V 1.05: "Welcome to the War"

“And he figured that he would suffer a better fate at my hand than hers? He was wrong.”


Episodes of V don’t really seem to have a theme- they just advance the overall story of the V invasion. I sometimes wonder if the show overall suffers because of that. It feels like ABC wants it to have a finite lifespan. This episode basically just picked up where we left off several months ago. Jack has been stabbed, Tyler is missing, you know the drill. I really do wish V would spend a little more time on character work. These big, shocking events would have much more impact if we could connect to the characters living through them. As it is, they seem more like simply pieces being moved on a chess board to advance the plot.

The first update we get is of Jack. Everything is hazy, but it’s clear that the other priest at Jack’s church has taken him to the nearest V healing center. This brings up a lot of questions. Later, the other priest claims that he took Jack to the healing center because he knew that’s where Jack could be saved. It seems awfully shady to me. The priest could either genuinely be naive and concerned for Jack’s welfare, or he might be a V. It’s soon apparent what became of Jack’s attacker, as well. Erica is leaving frantic phone messages trying to get Tyler back from the V ship when the attacker pays her a visit. It turns out that FBI agent Erika is just as tough as her “Lost” alter-ego Juliet, because she pretty much beats the crap out of him. Then she stabs him. When he snidely tells her that his heart is on the other side of his chest, she stabs him again, and that one sticks.

Ryan and Val are dealing with their own drama. Val’s appetite has increased dramatically, and she’s freaking out because women in their first trimester usually lose their appetite. Ryan, of course, knows why Val’s pregnancy symptoms are out of whack, but he’s not telling her anything. The urgency for Ryan to deal with this situation is ramped up when Val says that she moved up her OB/GYN appointment because she was really concerned. I’d be concerned too if I, like Val, came really close to eating a dead mouse because it just looked that tasty. I believe that particular scene was an homage to what I’ve heard is a classic scene from the original miniseries where somebody eats a hamster.

It turns out that Erika has good reason to be worried about Tyler. He’s not exactly roaming free on the V ship. He’s in this really odd chamber, just floating. Every now and then, Anna and Lisa sort-of menacingly look through the window into the chamber. Against the advice of most of the rest of her small resistance band, Erika goes to the V mothership to demand Tyler’s return. At first, it seems like Anna may grant Erika’s wish, but when she thought she was speaking to Tyler, it turns out that Erika was just speaking with a hologram. Needless to say, this did not make her happy at all.

That chamber that Tyler is in seems to be scanning his memories. Anna and Lisa find some useful ones, and they use that knowledge to manipulate Tyler into driving a further wedge between himself and his mother. Anna tells Tyler to tell Erika that he’s not going to leave “like dad did.” Tyler also reveals to Erika that he’s a Peace Ambassador. Erika knows those jackets have cameras embedded, so she has to fake that she’s not completely disgusted and horrified.

In addition to manipulating a very gullible teenage boy, the Vs are also investigating the big warehouse explosion. To throw the FBI of the trail and give themselves a little room to maneuver, the Vs pretend that they have technology to recreate a crime scene in perfect detail. They claim they can even pull fingerprints from this recreation. And they do just that as Erika looks on nervously. She’s got no need to worry, though. The prints belong to a man named Hobbes. He’s a very wanted terrorist. Erika, obviously, knows that Hobbes can’t be the culprit, so she decides to try and turn the situation to her advantage. She wants Hobbes to help her little group build a bigger Resistance.

Erika accomplishes this by using some information Dale conveniently left behind at the FBI. She finds likely whereabouts for Hobbes on Dale’s hard drive, and what do you know, she finds him pretty easily. She gives him an ultimatum. Either come with her, or she’s going to sic the FBI on him, and they don’t know he’s not responsible for the warehouse. He decides to go with Erika. Erika still calls a raid on Hobbes’ lair for appearances’ sake, but by the time the FBI gets there, he’s long gone.

At the Healing Center, Jack gets dosed with R6, and he’s not at all happy about it. Before Georgie eventually finds him and gets him out of the Healing Center, Jack has a creepy nightmare where R6 turns him into a V. Jack’s got good reason to be freaked, too. Anna is very interested in giving R6 to as many humans as possible. She decides to use Chad to convince more people to go to Healing Centers, where a dose of R6 seems to be standard operating procedure. She asks Chad to do a story on the healing center healing his “future aneurism.” Chad is a tool, so of course he eventually caves and does the story.

Ryan makes a visit to a V doctor friend of his. He’s got two subjects to talk to her about. Val, and R6. The doctor does some research into R6, and it turns out that it interacts with the human genome to “tag” people. Much like we tag animals to track their migration habits. Anna’s got yet another scheme besides just tagging people, though. She also wants to “build and army.” Which turns out to be pretty gross. She has the captain of every mothership send their best soldier, and she chooses one of them with whom to mate. Predictably, once the deed is done, she eats the poor sap.

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