I wanted to like it. Really, I tried. But I didn’t, and now it’s all over, at least for me. My understanding is that ABC could possibly air up to nine more episodes of V next spring, but I don’t think I’ll be watching them — not unless whoever replaces me as the writer of this recap can convince me that the show has become born again good. The winter finale was not without its interesting ideas, though most of them felt borrowed from other, better shows. Agent Evans, Father Jack, Georgie and Ryan formed the nucleus of a new resistance (or is that terror cell?) to fight back against The Visitors’ insidious plans to tamper with the world’s supply of flu vaccine. (Shades of: The X-Files) But to what end? To brainwash us? Kill us? Pre-digest us into puddles of nutritious liquid mush so we can be better sucked by neon messiah Anna and her Blissed-out lizards-in-disguise followers? The role reversal of identifying with underground rebels/terrorists trying to subvert an occupying force of aliens felt very Battlestar Galactica season 3 to me, while making Anna a (possibly) malevolent pseudo deity who keeps her people enthralled (and in her thrall) with psychically/spiritually-administered calm and euphoria (the Bliss) felt very Angel season 4. I have no problem with recycled ideas. I just have a problem with recycled ideas that are executed without a fresh point of view and pushed through with clunky plotting and phony drama. V has some good things going for it. The Vs are compelling antagonists. The backstory of their infiltration of Earth prep sounds intriguing. And I like the cast (if not their characters), and especially Morena Baccarin, who’s literally willing to bare her all (or at least just the backside of her all) for this show. Imagine what they could do with better scripts. I hope they get them.
The episode opened with the nascent resistance debating how best to attack the Vs. Tragedy-scarred Georgie wanted to capture a V and cut one open on global TV and expose their true slimy selves. Father Jack advocated a more careful, strategic approach. Meanwhile, Ryan shuddered. Being a V himself, he was unnerved by Georgie’s Alien Autopsy plan. After the meeting broke up, Ryan got up in Georgie’s grill: ”I better not ever hear you talk about skinning a V again!” Two things: (1) Hearing V’s characters use the terms ”V” or ”Vs” has always bugged me. Is calling them ”aliens” politically incorrect in their world (not a bad idea) or is the show trying to avoid being too overtly sci-fi? (2) Ryan’s emotional reaction to the skinning pitch was interesting. Combine that with the moment when Anna ordered Joshua to skin a Fifth Columner, and you got the sense that getting scalped out of a skin suit is about as awful as being disconnected from the Bliss for a V. Yes, it must be extremely painful. But I also wondered if there’s something more involved, like an emotional attachment, as if for at least some of these Vs, the human suits have become an essential part of their identity. Could it be that many Vs are self-haters ashamed of their lizardy genes? Do they yearn to be human? (Speaking of Joshua’s dissection of his fellow rebel: ARRRGHH! WHY DIDN’T THEY SHOW IT?! WHY NOT EVEN JUST A LITTLE PEEK?! I now join those of you who’ve been grousing about this since the beginning: How come the show didn’t give us any more of peek of what lies beneath the Vs? It felt to me as if the show was actually trying to minimize that mystery over the course of the four episodes. What was missing from this last episode of V’s first ”pod” was one really great reveal — something that defined the pod and sent us out buzzing. A more substantial glimpse of V physiology could have sufficed.)
NEXT: Bad medicine