Season 1 Episode 2

There Is No Normal Anymore

Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Nov 10, 2009 on ABC

Episode Fan Reviews (12)

Write A Review
out of 10
498 votes
  • 'There is No Normal Anymore' isn't a bad episode as such, it's just rather uninspiring.

    V treads water this week, relying on a number of fairly bog-standard narrative tropes to keep the arc plot chugging along rather than soaring ahead. While Scott Wolf continues to be excellent as put-upon anchorman Chad Decker, his attack of journalistic integrity is predictably written: his solution to the problem of Anna's insistent censorship is far too easily orchestrated, conveniently tied up in a neat little bow by episode's end. It would be nice if this was a little less black and white; if things weren't so quickly resolved, as they aren't in that lovely little thing we call real life. It wouldn't hurt to make a few braver decisions guys; in fact, your audience would probably appreciate you more for it. They are trying though - the fact that the Visitors aren't all duplicitous no-gooders with sinister intent is certainly commendable, ensuring that the show avoids becoming trapped in an all-too-simplistic binary opposition. So Vs can have a conscience too, as demonstrated by Morris Chestnut's Ryan Nichols, whose quest to round up those that sympathise less with stone cold Anna and more with, well, humankind is at least somewhat interesting thanks to its penchant for withholding information, for offering oblique references to 'resistance' minutiae but rarely explaining them. Unfortunately, it's also a little lazy; it's obvious from the get go that his contact is going to pull the wool over his eyes... well, how else could the writers drag the storyline out over more than episodes than it's really worth?

    Elsewhere, Elizabeth Mitchell and Joel Gretsch continue their joint quest to form some sort of resistance, but the story ends up just running around in circles and not really going anywhere. Sure, there's some noteworthy fallout from last week's revelation about Dale but it ultimately amounts to a list of phone numbers which, frankly, after twenty-five minutes of chin stroking, feels somewhat disappointing. Alan Tudyk's reappearance at hour's end can't salvage it either, since the very fact of the narrative's prominent focus on his character is a massive giveaway that the show isn't done with him. And then there's Tyler's story, which reads like a fourteen year old's attempt at dramatic plot structure: boy likes girl, girl likes boy, girl contrives a situation so that they spend time together, boy and girl flirt, boy tries to impress girl with his prowess, girl is decidedly unimpressed, conflict ensues. Yup, haven't seen that one before. The fact that Tyler will go just that one step too far is a given from the moment we see his Peace Ambassador initiation contrasted with the unruly protesters outside, and it's bloody irritating. As if the whole storyline didn't feel uninteresting enough in concept, now we have to endure the weepy, brooding youngster trying desperately to win back the affections of the girl he met about five minutes ago but already knows he's madly in love with. Yawn. Just get him to take off his clothes please, that'd be far more interesting.

    'There is No Normal Anymore' isn't a bad episode as such, it's just rather uninspiring. The arc plot doesn't really go anywhere and the material that we're given fails to disguise the fact that it's just stalling for time. After being treated to a plethora of alien invasion/exposition TV shows and movies in the last decade, we're used to the sort of beats that are on offer here. We need something that genuinely surprises to keep our attention and sadly, at the moment, V seems content to rest squarely on its laurels.