First of all: It's bad form to start a new season with a dream sequence. That's just not nice. But it was cool to see Tyler's face disintegrate, if only to give us a moment of hope that he was dead.
V returned from TV's winter break as a midseason entry last night, continuing its confusing scheduling history (it debuted with four episodes in November 2009, returned from a short break in March 2010, and is now back in January 2011). V started out with much promise, but the show hasn't ever reached its potential, as is the case with most non-cable sci-fi dramas. After watching the Season 2 premiere, "Red Rain," it's apparent that not much has changed—but we will give it some points for answering a few questions that we're supposed to believe are very important to our mental well-being.
After the show reestablished what's going on for those tuning in for the first time, Anna, her slinky grey dress, and "dat ass," as the kids say, were accused of succumbing to "human emotions" by her minions, and her ability to execute a plan to emotionlessly decimate humans was called into question. So she did what any nutjob leader would do to prove she's hardcore, and stabbed the bejeezus out of a petty officer with her tail-knife. That was very cool, even if the effects were lacking. We would like to see more of that.
Then the merry-go-round of Earthlings liking-then-hating-then-liking the aliens continued, with Anna explaining the ominous red sky that appeared at the end of last season: The red sky squirts out red rain, which acts like Rogaine for the planet! Decades of irreversible damage to Earth have been reversed with one simple red rinse, so go ahead and spray those aerosol hairspray cans willy-nilly and tell Al Gore to shut up! At least, that's what Anna said. Queen A showed the protesters a simple computer simulation of our planet being transformed from barren wasteland to fertile ground as "proof" that the red sky works, and the humans dropped their picket signs and went back to loving the Visitors like the dimwits we are. I still can't believe that in New York City not one person demanded the aliens pay for the dry cleaning to get the red out of their threads. Totally fake!
Most of the rest of the episode involved the same stuff that's been going on this entire series: The Fifth Column resistance running around like a Dungeons & Dragons party, making sure their intentions are VERY clear to the audience—"I need to get on that ship!"—and uttering under-their-breath comments about how the aliens aren't actually our friends. If they want to keep their secret underground party out of the public eye, they probably shouldn't be engaging in exciting chase scenes with an alien unnecessarily parkour-ing over and off objects and ending in frying said alien to dust right in the middle of the street. Stupidity 1, subtlety 0.
But it's great to see Brett Harrison (Reaper) back on television, and his inclusion in V brings the total number of likable characters on the series up to one. With his help, we learned that the aliens want to increase the levels of phosphorous on the planet and in human bodies because they need it to help protect their young during gestation. And how do they up the P on Earth? With the red rain, duh. Anna, you tricky little she-devil. Then we learned this little tidbit about Erica: Once upon a time, she had high levels of phosphorous in her bloodstream when she was pregnant with Tyler! Something fishy is going on here. Or at least, something stinks.
The episode ended with a bombshell: Anna has a mother! And it's the actress who played the queen baddie in the original 1983 V series! And Anna keeps her in a strange basement in the ship! Okay, I guess it wasn't that much of a bombshell, but the producers wanted us to think it was.
It's fair to say that, unlike it's source material, V won't be one of the top sci-fi series of our time. The show still struggles with creating characters that we care about, crafting storylines that don't have huge holes in them, and delivering believable dialogue. But hey, it's got aliens, man!
In 2009, V pulled in 14 million viewers for its series premiere. Last night's big return drew in 6.5 million and finished third even though it was the only original scripted program airing on network TV during its time slot. Those numbers are only going to go down, and I can't imagine ABC will keep the show around after this season. Would V have even returned this season if FlashForward hadn't make it look so good?
... Anna watching Lisa and Tyler get it on... really creepy. I mean, I would have done the same, but I'm not related to them. I'm just normal creepy.
... Enough with the "Anna is hot" jokes. They don't work anymore.
... Does the Aussie mercenary dude remind anyone else of Gimli, the dwarf from The Lord of the Rings?
And a question for you, dear reader: Are you sticking with V this season?
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom