Sunday, July 25, 2010

V 1.12: "Red Sky"

“Anna didn’t cure your aneurism. She gave you one.”

“Red Sky” was the season finale of “V,” and surprisingly, I found it very effective. I know I’ve been hard on “V” here at MTVP, but this episode really worked for me. I actually started to view the characters as characters and not just pieces that were being moved around on the chess board that is the plot. Some loose ends were tied up in this episode, some more questions were posed, and things definitely got very, very dangerous. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next, even though it appears that we have a rather long wait. All of the major characters got a moment to shine in “Red Sky,” and while normally that might make an episode a jumbled mess, I think this particular episode was better for it. We viewers really needed to become invested in the characters, and “Red Sky” was when that finally started to happen for me. It’s about time, right?

A whole lot of plots that had been brewing for a while come to a head in “Red Sky,” and the first of those is the birth of Val and Ryan’s child. The birth is complicated by the appearance of a Soldier. The Soldier knocks Val’s doctor unconscious and takes Val to the mothership. When the doctor comes to, she contacts Ryan immediately. Ryan, of course, goes a bit nuts. He decides that the best way to handle the situation is to turn himself in and get taken up to the mothership. This plays perfectly into Anna’s nefarious plans, of course. Anna’s goal is to turn Ryan back to the side of the Visitors. The fact that he’s immune to her Bliss seems especially troubling to her. She also, of course, wants to know how a human/Visitor hybrid could ever have come to exist.

Understandably, that development takes Ryan out of all the drama happening with the rest of the Resistance. The main focus of the Resistance in this episode is destroying Anna’s Soldier eggs. Erica agrees to let Tyler accept his Liveaboard invitation just to give the group more of a chance to squish the eggs. It’s a move that shows just how important destroying those eggs is to Erica. Before now, she wanted to keep Tyler as far away from the Visitors as possible, but now she’s willing to put Tyler in harm’s way. Anna has invited Tyler and Erica to the mothership so they can discuss Liveaboard further, and Erica thinks it is the perfect opportunity to attack. Joshua is going to create a diversion so Erica can get to where the eggs are growing and destroy them. Nothing can possibly go wrong, right?

Something does, of course, go wrong rather quickly. Anna is stepping up her hunt for possible Fifth Column Visitors aboard her mothership, and Joshua has to ditch the comms device to avoid being found out. This means he can’t coordinate the squishing the eggs plan with Erica and the rest of the Resistance. Each side of the plan is wondering how to possibly get in touch with the other before everything is supposed to go down. Jack wants to use Chad to deliver the message. He figures this can’t do any harm. If Chad delivers it to the medical bay as instructed, Joshua will get it. If Anna intercepts it, she won’t be able to understand it. Joshua, in turn, tells Lisa he’s cashing in that favor she owes him for not telling Anna that Lisa failed her empathy test.

Chad’s Anna’s lapdog, so of course he takes Jack’s message directly to her. Anna doesn’t just dismiss it as gibberish, though. She tells Chad to deliver it as he was instructed to. She’s going to use it to root out the Fifth Column aboard the mothership. She’s still insistent with Chad that no Visitors are Fifth Column, however. She makes up the excuse that it must be Liveaboard humans who are responsible for anything Fifth Column related happening aboard the mothership. Chad heads to the medical bay and tries to deliver the message to Joshua, but Joshua turns him away, claiming he knows no one on the surface. Joshua’s Fifth Column second-in-command is in the medical bay, too, and he panics that Anna is soon going to be able to round up all Fifth Column. He thinks they need to send out some sort of warning message not to interact with Chad Decker. Soon after the message is sent out, the medical bay is stormed by guards, and Joshua is held still in a sort of blue light until Anna can arrive to deal with him.

Meanwhile, Hobbes has the job of drawing Marcus away from the mothership so that all the distraction and egg destruction can happen (Marcus would certainly snuff out any plan if he was allowed to remain on the mothership). We know Hobbes has been in contact with Marcus since finding Parker’s research, so this task isn’t as difficult as the rest of the Resistance thinks it will be. The two meet in a car in a deserted parking garage. Marcus wants Hobbes to work for the Visitors to stomp out Fifth Column on Earth. Hobbes isn’t too thrilled about the idea, considering he is Fifth Column, but Marcus seems to have something on him. Marcus shows Hobbes some surveillance photos and claims that Hobbes has unwittingly been working for the Visitors for years. He also brings up a “she” who might be harmed if Hobbes doesn’t play along.

Chad returns to the medical bay to gloat to Joshua a bit. Joshua tries to get Chad to see the error of his ways, but Chad is convinced that everything Anna tells him must be the truth. Joshua tells Chad how to get to the room where the Visitors experiment on the Liveaboard humans, and he tells Chad that if he goes there, he’ll realize that Joshua is telling the truth. Joshua’s next visitor is Lisa, who skipped out on the meet the parents dinner after giving Erica a blue energy grenade to use on the eggs. Lisa sets Joshua free, and before she leaves the room, she does a very Anna-like move and touches his chin. Joshua then calls her his “queen.” This makes me wonder if Lisa is really going to be on the side of the humans, or is she her own side now, fighting to take power of the hive from her mother because she can.

The meet the parents dinner is interrupted when guards burst in with news of a Fifth Column “attack.” Erica’s gun and purse had been taken from her when she arrived at Anna’s quarters, but under the guise of protecting Anna, she gets her gun back. Erica eventually makes her way to the room with the Soldier eggs, and after pausing to be disgusted by the squishy embryos, she throws the blue energy grenade and runs out of there, just barely escaping the grenade’s blast. She runs into Joshua, who is in the middle of a gunfight with V security. Joshua tells Erica she has to kill him. It’s important for Erica to maintain her standing and trust with Anna. After some hesitation, Erica does what Joshua says. This isn’t the end of Joshua, though. At the very end of the episode, he is brought back to life. I definitely enjoyed Joshua’s arc in this episode. It was really the first time Mark Hildreth got to do more than just be a pretty face who occasionally talks on the comms device.

Just before the insane conclusion to the show is what I like to call the “dance of lies.” Chad has seen the experiments like Joshua told him to, but he still tries to act exactly the same around Anna. Anna convinces Ryan that Val died in childbirth, even though Anna killed Val herself. She secures Ryan’s renewed devotion by showing him his child. Surrounded by fellow Resistance members, Hobbes tries to act like nothing has changed, despite the fact that he might be working for the Visitors now. The one person who is truly being honest is Jack. He gives a forceful anti-V sermon over the objection of Father Travis, who went so far as to say that if Jack preached against the Visitors, he would no longer be welcome at the Church. At first, it seems like Jack is going to give into Father Travis, but he doesn’t. As he preaches his sermon, more and more people start to leave the sanctuary. By the end, only Erica, Hobbes, and a few other devoted followers are left. Erica and Hobbes stand in support of Jack as he leaves the sanctuary. As the Resistance lost Ryan, they gained Chad, who shows up in the back of the sanctuary near the end of the sermon.

When Anna sees the room of dead Soldier embryos and her handlers tell her just how bad the damage was, she goes absolutely berserk. Her handlers start telling her she’s become subject to human emotion, but Anna doesn’t care. It’s Morena Baccarin’s finest performance of the series to date. She just completely lets go, and it’s so powerful that it’s uncomfortable to watch. In her rage, Anna decides to step up the schedule for whatever it is the Visitors are planning to do to Earth. As her handlers protest, Anna marches over to a panel and starts pushing buttons. As she does, the sky starts to turn red all over the world. Although we don’t quite know the meaning of the red sky yet, it’s obvious that it can’t be good.

No comments:

Post a Comment