The sad thing about "V" (other than its eroding ratings) is how they've squandered all the potential that they gave themselves with "Siege". After that episode, I was completely ready to support them on their new direction, and was even looking forward to a third season. Yet in two episodes, they've lost whatever momentum that the revitalization of the Fifth Column provided.
Erica's more pro-active anti-Visitor terrorism does have its benefits. It throws her into some morally ambiguous territory, which gives Elizabeth Mitchell more to do than stand around and look worried for Tyler. But that's where the good part stops. Why in the world would this ridiculously complex plan be necessary to force Anna to acknowledge that the Fifth Column still exists? Just a few episodes ago, Anna demonstrated the utility of viral video to carry a targeted message. Why not use that?
Or better yet, why not go underground for a while until Erika can work with the global Resistance leadership to come up with a truly effective counter-strike? Erika has, ostensibly, an entire network worth of intellectual resources to put to the task, yet she shuts them out in favor of her existing team's very limited (and conflicted) perspective. Proactive does not mean short-term and short-sighted. In essence, the writers should have had the Fifth Column consolidating resources, putting plans in place while thwarting Anna's initiatives with targeted actions, and then triggering the big payoff in the season finale.
Instead, they continue on the ill-advised path of having Erika and Hobbes get together. One could say that this is a way to demonstrate how far Erika is spiraling out of control after Joe's death and Tyler's conversion to the Visitors, but that isn't being explored nearly well enough to make it plausible. Granted, I can't complain too much about a scene that displays Mitchell's considerable hotness, but when there's a reminder in that very scene about the loss of her family, it just highlights the logical gaps!
Another part of the problem is that Jack is supposed to be transitioning into the soldier he vowed to become. So when is that going to happen? I'm glad they haven't dispensed with his moral compass completely, but does it have to paralyze him to such an extent? He knows this is war, and he knows the stakes. If he was willing to stand up to the pressure of his church to speak his heart, where is that conviction now, when the time has come to fight? Perhaps, as some have speculated, it's because he has nothing left to lose, so in a certain respect, he has that much less to fight for.
On the Visitor side of the equation, things are getting interesting, but not enough to make up for the lack on the human side. (Pretty much the ongoing structural flaw in the series since the beginning.) Things are heading towards a Team Anna vs. Team Diana throwdown, which makes sense given the direction of the second season. But is it just me, or did they completely drop the exploration of the human soul that was at the heart of that conflict?
Black Lady Victim: AAAUGH! I dreamed I was Chinese, and a guy turned inside-out! Joshua: Cool! We'll take your weird-dream-causing DNA, thank you!
Fifth Column: Erica, we need a pithy metaphor to guide us. Erica: We're going to put a turd in their genetic punchbowl. Fifth Column: Good one!
Joshua: It turns out that WASN'T a dream, and one of our test subjects in Beijing DID turn inside-out. Anna: Excellent. Another opportunity to obsess over Tyler, Lisa, Mendoza and my queen-egg-blob. Joshua: You left out Freak Girlie. Anna: With so many nefarious plans, a girl loses count.
Anna: Oh, come ON, Lisa! "Get it on with a Spaniard" is a hurdle that's six inches high! Lisa: Nine inches, I'm hoping. Thomas: Anna, there's a problem with a little-girl live-aboard named Jennifer. Her mom's cranky. Anna: Persuade her. Thomas: I have tried, but, alas, the power of the turtleneck has its limits.
Erica: We're breaking into the supervirus lab. And Sid's coming. Sid: *gulp!* Erica: Wear something red.
Jennifer's Mom: I have misgivings about your live-aboard program. Anna: No worries! There's a Freak Girlie here for Jennifer to play with. Jennifer's Mom: Actually, I was worried by the repeated use of the word "nefarious" in the Live-Aboard Brochure.
Ryan: I WUV you, Freak Girlie! V Guard: Ryan, your visitation time is over ... perrrrrrmanently! Mwuh-ha-ha-haaaa! Ryan: Way to telegraph, chump! [SMACK!] [DISARM!] V Guard: [POOF!] Ryan: And now Joshua: Cure Freak Girlie of her agonizing pain. Joshua: Would if I cared. Ryan: You've forgotten who you are. A punch in the nose will restore your human emotions. [PUNCH!] Joshua: Such pain! Ryan: See? It worked.
Erica: Here we are at the supervirus lab. Let's get this stealthy operation going. [BANG!] [SHATTER!] [KLAXON!] [TASER!] [SCREAM!] [GUNPLAY!] [BLOODSHED!] Erica: Hooray! Success! Sid: I can't believe I lived through that! Erica: Yeah, I'm a little shocked myself. Jack: I've got moral objections. Erica: Jack, you've got just one note to play, but you play it. Jack: You mean, "but you play it well." Erica: No, what I said.
Thomas: My queen, we can't find Ryan anywhere on this ship. Anna: We can SEE heartbeats! Why is this so f*cking hard?!
Mendoza: Hello again! Lisa: What sort of accent IS that?! Oh, never mind! [SMOOCH!] Tyler: You there! Smooching my girl! I'm gonna punch your face inside-out! [PUNCH!] Mendoza: [SPLURP!]
Chad: Here's the list of new live-aboards to infect with the supervirus. Jack: And here are those same moral objections. Erica: In the Army, when they gave you an order, what did you do? Jack: They never gave me orders. Even back then, I had a relevance problem.
Hobbes: There's our target, and I've poisoned his coffee. Erica: Your ruthlessness is such a turn-on.
Joshua: That inside-out thing is incurable. Anna: Cure it. Joshua: Will do.
Tyler: You, smooching a Spaniard?! What the hell, girl?! Lisa: Oh, think it through! At this point, you're such an ignoramus, it's directly impacting the plot. Tyler: Oh, Lisa! There's so much inside me that I want to show you. Lisa: If they can't cure this this thing, I'm sure you will. 'til then, buzz off, Pugsley.
Joshua: This newbie has a virus. Anna: Let's overreact. Killing all the newbies will tip our hand. Joshua: That's my girl!
Ryan: Lisa, help me spring my daughter. Lisa: Let's go down to the dungeon, for some reason. [ZIP!] Ryan: *gasp!* The prior queen! Diana: *ahem* Bliss. Rescue. Valuable on the ground. Hybrids. Ryan: We've heard all this before. Diana: Invisible escape pod. That's something new.
Chad on TV: Good evening. Tonight's headline: Fifth Column totally muffed it. Fifth Column: Did any good come out of this? Erica: Of course. Our organization, which thrives on secrecy, has gotten lots of publicity! Fifth Column: Cool. What's our bold, new course of action? Erica: TBA. Jack: Whine, whine, whine. Erica: That brow of yours is always creased. Is that a makeup effect?
Ryan: Goodbye, Freak Girlie. I'd rescue you if I had even a whiff of character consistency. Not-Invisible Escape Pod: [WHOOSH!]
Anna: Thomas, even though you couldn't find a known fugitive aboard this ship you live on, I want you to track down the mysterious, new Fifth Column leader, who could be anywhere on the planet. Thomas: Piece o' cake.
Diana: Success, blah-blah-blah. Emotions, blah-blah-blah. Weakness, strength-- *cough!* Lisa: I'll go tell Marcus. Evidently, he lives for this sort of blather.
Hobbes: Hi. I'm Australian, and I have booze. Erica: Works for me! [SMOOCH!] [UNDRESS!] Hobbes: Wow, spectacular t*ts! Erica: Thanks! Hobbes: I meant mine.
Joshua: My queen, you requested ... a low-key ending this week? Anna: Yes. Cure Tyler here of the inside-out-iness. Audience: Booooo!!
How to jump the shark in one easy step: have Erica and Marcus get together. Elizabeth Mitchell slept with nearly everyone on the island on Lost, I guess she has it in her contract to do it on V too.
Kidding aside, this was a disappointing episode of the show. They are investing too much time in the old Queen, when this is not a character that is going to save this show. The V's need to be evil toward humans more, not fighting amongst themselves. We need to see Anna come down hard on the humans, and I think that is one of the reasons the ratings for this show are down: they refuse to pull the trigger on that. Not a bad episode, but not too memorable one.
Uneasy Lies the Head was a superb episode of V. This episode was fun to watch because there was a lot of character and plot development as Erica leads the fifth column on a major strike against Anna's plans, Anna realizes the fifth column still has strong leadership, and Diana's presence is revealed to some key characters. There was a lot of intrigue in this episode which made for great scenes, action, and relationship changes. Jack continues to question the methods the group are employing while Erica and Hobbes take things to another level finally! Anna continues with her plans. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!
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