Monday, April 26, 2010

V 1.08: "We Can't Win"

“Agenda? I thought this was a gift.”


After a somewhat more focused episode in “John May,” we’re back to what is becoming the standard “V” formula in “We Can’t Win.” Anna’s got a new nefarious plan and the Resistance thinks they’re going to make a completely unrelated breakthrough only to be foiled again. And you’ve got to add in a dash of Ryan/Val drama for good measure. The most interesting deviation from the usual formula in this particular episode was a side plot involving Lisa, Tyler, and Joshua. I’d like to see more of Joshua overall. His character is intriguing, and if his backstory gets filled in, could be the answer to some of what is missing in the show overall.

Anna’s nefarious scheme of the week involves the World Progress Forum in Geneva. She hasn’t been officially invited, but she decides to show up anyway, Chad Decker predictably in tow. She wants to make a presentation about a V technology called Blue Energy. The episode opens with Chad in his hotel room in Geneva, dreaming. The dream is a fantasy about Anna that ends with her strangling him. The whole Chad/Anna attraction thing still grosses me out. Anna’s plan faces a roadblock when the Secretary General tells her that only invited guests are allowed to make presentations. She’s going to have to find a way to convince them to let her present anyway. I like that the Secretary General seems to see through Anna somewhat. Chad even says that the Secretary General is the only politician currently openly opposing Anna.

Anna finds her solution while watching the news. A monsoon has devastated the island nation of Timbal, destroying all their infrastructure, and there’s political wrangling going on over the rescue effort. Anna sees the opportunity and takes it. She tells her lieutenant to dispatch rescue shuttles to Timbal immediately. She gives Blue Energy to Timbal, and they’re able to get emergency operations up and running. This earns Anna a spot at the World Progress Forum presenter’s lectern, where she uses more Blue Energy to put on a bit of a light show. She says it’s basically the answer to all our energy needs, clean and sustainable. Remember how back in my very first post on this blog, I mentioned how some critics saw an anti-Obama (or maybe just anti-Progressive) sentiment in V? Well, I’m definitely seeing where it’s coming from, and it’s getting harder to ignore. And I’ll stop here because I don’t want my TV blog degrading into political discussion.

Back in the United States, the Resistance members have some personal drama to deal with besides fighting the Vs. Tyler is still furious with Erika, and he isn’t at all interested in listening to or believing her explanation. He’s going to the V ship and doesn’t know when he’ll be back. Ryan also still can’t find Val. She does contact her briefly by cell phone and tries to tell her that he was on her way home to tell her the entire truth, but she says it’s too late. The V doctor he took Val to warns Ryan that because of the…unique…nature of the baby, Ryan really does need to find Val ASAP.

It’s not going to be all personal drama and Anna’s schemes, though. Every member of a local Fifth Column cell except for one has been murdered. The woman in charge of the V task force wants Erika to investigate, given Erika’s terrorism investigation experience. This makes Erika a little uncomfortable, but she has no choice but to go along with it. The Resistance forms a plan of action. Ryan’s going to try to find Val while Jack goes and talks to the survivor’s (Alex’s) dad. Jack does indeed find Alex’s dad. He’s a Viet Nam veteran in a hospital fighting a losing battle with cancer. The fact that Jack is a veteran as well, and the fact that Jack has the telltale scar behind his ear, convince the father to give Jack some information about where his son might be found.

The Resistance finds Alex, and he’s definitely jumpy. He shoots at them, but Erika eventually gets him to calm down. She’s got a good point- if they were V’s, he’d already be dead. The plan is to set a trap for the V who tried to kill Alex (and succeeded in killing Alex’s friends). They’re going to use Alex as bait by encoding a message on the Fifth Column website saying Alex wants a meetup. The Vs obviously know Fifth Column code already, so they’ll see the message and show up to take Alex out. The situation is getting more urgent- there have been more Fifth Column murders all over the world.

Alex continues to make life difficult for the Resistance, but Jack is determined to make sure he comes out of the planned trap safely. He promised Alex’s dad he’d keep Alex safe, and Jack wants to keep his word. Jack can’t however, save Alex from his own stupidity. At the faux meetup, Hobbes sees that the V who was sent is actually in sniper position across the street. Alex isn’t in the line of fire yet, and if he moves exactly as Hobbes tells him to, he won’t be. Alex panics and starts to run, though, and he gets two shots in the back for his trouble. Father Jack tries to save him. If you consider yelling at someone to stay conscious saving them. In the end, all Father Jack can really do for Alex is say the Last Rites. And shoot the sniper right before the sniper is about to kill Erika. Oddly enough, the sniper isn’t a V, he’s human.

While all this was going on, Ryan was still trying to find Val. He had Erika do a trace on her phone, and the result was not good. She was at a V Healing Center. The V tending to Val got all sinister when he saw her unusual baby. He gave her a vitamin shot, and he was about to pick up some scary sharp looking tool when Ryan tackled him and broke his neck. Then Ryan shoved an immolation pill in his mouth. Val is shocked, but when Ryan asks her to trust him and leave with him, she complies.

As I said earlier, the most interesting plot of this episode involved Lisa, Joshua, and Tyler. Joshua tells Lisa that Anna has instructed him to administer the empathy test to everyone, even Lisa. Lisa fails the test, most likely thanks to her budding relationship with Tyler teaching her a little about humanity. Lisa thinks the failure is a death sentence, so when Tyler arrives on the ship stressed out about his own problems with his mother, Lisa takes them out on a shuttle so they can have some final peaceful time together. Not surprisingly, they have sex on the shuttle, even though Lisa says she’s not really okay with it. When they get back, Joshua informs Lisa that her mother wishes to speak with her. Anna has Lisa squish the egg of a weak soon-to-be-soldier (ew!) and says that she heard Lisa passed her empathy test. Lisa’s surprised, but she rolls with it. Later she asks Joshua why he lied. The answer is really simple. He wants Lisa to return the favor some day.

No comments:

Post a Comment