Saturday, May 15, 2010

V 1.09: "Heretic's Fork"

“Time for all decent people to leave the room now.”


“Heretic’s Fork” wasn’t really a stand out episode of “V,” although it did have a few important plot developments. At the same time, I certainly wouldn’t say it was a bad episode. There was nothing that especially irked me about it. Okay, the way Ryan and Val was a bit overly dramatic, but what on “V” isn’t? It’s like the writers think the drama can make up for overlooking character work in the earlier episodes. The episode still followed the formula for the most part. Anna had several nefarious plans in play that all seem somewhat related, and the Resistance gang is focused on helping Ryan and Val.

The episode opens where the last one left off, with the Resistance questioning the Assassin about why he said that “we can’t win.” The Resistance interaction with this human who has decided to serve the Vs is interesting in that it showcases the fundamental differences between Father Jack and Hobbes, albeit a bit anviliciouslly. Hobbes wants to get the information they need (the location of a hard drive with Fifth Column names and addresses) at any cost, and Father Jack still wants to give the Assassin a little respect. Their conversations on the topic are a bit preachy (pun not really intended), but I like that the show paused a little to consider the morality of torture.

The Resistance wonders why a human would serve the Vs as an assassin, and it doesn’t take too long for them to figure it out. Erica pays his wife a visit, and she has quite a story to tell. Her daughter was hit by a careless driver as she crossed the street, and she was paralyzed from the neck down. As the mother finishes her story, the daughter comes skipping in on a pair of those rolly sneakers that I certainly would have injured myself trying to use had they been around when I was a kid. The Vs healed her. I guess the family felt they owed the Vs. Erica confronts the Assassin with what she has learned, and the Assassin challenges her to name one bad thing the Vs have done during their time on Earth. She can’t, which I guess is a pretty big problem for the Resistance at this point in the game.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of Ryan and Val drama. In fact, that’s kind of the focus of this episode, which isn’t really a selling point for me. Following the rescue from the Healing Center, Val is still extremely angry at Ryan, even more so when he reveals the whole truth and tells her he’s a V. She’s so angry that she acts irrationally and immaturely and seriously puts both her life and the baby’s life in danger. It was more frustrating than compelling to watch, really. She doesn’t want to run from New York, but she also never wants to see Ryan again. This, of course, is never going to happen, and she realizes the gravity of the situation more quickly than Ryan probably would have liked, because as they’re having this discussion in their house, Ryan has to kill a V invader.

Ryan and Val go on the run, heading to the house of friends out in the country. Ryan’s V doctor friend has given Val an injection that should neutralize the tracking signal from the R6, but it will take a day to kick in. They believe their friends can keep them safe. Anna, as we know however, is nothing if not determined. She thinks a human/V hybrid at this point is a threat to the V species, and she wants the whole family brought to the mothership for study at all costs. She’s going to send down a soldier, a truly terrible type of V humanity has not yet experienced. Joshua is able to warn the Resistance via the coms device, and the Resistance becomes even more determined to get information from the Assassin. They need to find out the names and address of the friends Ryan and Val are going to visit, because Ryan and Val are most definitely still in danger.

The questioning of the Assassin begins again in earnest, and this time Hobbes takes over. We don’t see what exactly he does to get the information, but he definitely gets it. He tells the rest of the group that he has arranged for the Assassin to be taken to an overseas prison, but it appears that isn’t quite the truth. Hobbes actually killed him. The gang race towards Ryan and Val just in time to help them fend off the soldier. Unfortunately, Ryan and Val’s friends do not survive the attack. Val now sees the obvious need to go into hiding, but that still doesn’t mean she wants to ever see Ryan again. She and the V doctor board the train to safety, and Ryan is forced to stay behind. I’m really not thrilled with this resolution to the story. I mean, intellectually, I can understand why someone in Val’s position would be pissed off, but I didn’t actually feel that emotion while watching. I’m not sure if it was the writing, the performance, or both.

It wouldn’t be an episode of “V” without Anna’s nefarious schemes. In this episode, she’s got several going on, all seemingly related to an as-yet-unknown overall goal. She really, really wants Tyler to be part of the Liveaboard program, I guess so whatever is supposed to happen between Lisa and Tyler can happen. Tyler is leaning towards accepting, but is a little bit hesitant to abandon Erica. Lisa is sent to turn on the charm and convince Erica to let Tyler go, but she has a change of heart. Instead, she tells Tyler not to do Liveaboard, because she really doesn’t want Anna to have more of a hold on him. Lisa realizes how dangerous Anna is. It doesn’t look like Tyler’s going to listen to her, though. He’s convinced Erica did something to make Lisa change her mind, so he resents his mom even more than he already did.

The other scheme, which also seems to be related to Liveaboard and whatever Anna hopes to accomplish with that, is Chad getting Healed of his “aneurysm.” He goes through with the surgery, and it’s filmed by the Prime Focus camera crew. The idea is to make people love the Vs even more than they already did. And since Chad doesn’t know whether the procedure was really truly necessary, he’s now indebted to Anna on the chance that she may have actually saved his life. This will have serious ramifications in the episodes to come.

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