Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review - V (2009) Season 1 Episode 4 It's Only the Beginning

Maybe it was because my expectations were set too high, but at the end of the episode I was really underwhelmed. It was a solid episode, but nothing was mindblowing. Compared to the other three episodes, it didn't really stand out, so I'm am wary of how many people will actually stick around until March.

Starting an episode in media res can be effective, but only if it is done right. The opening scene needs to be completely unexpected and leaving the viewer wondering how it possibly could have gotten into that situation. V tried to do that with Ryan shooting at Erica, but immediately, I thought he was probably shooting past her at someone behind her. It was a simple logical explanation considering that neither one of them could be a bad guy. What would have been a real shocker is if one of them were to be revealed as a bad guy which in the fourth episode could be explained.

The story of the week felt very much like a FlashForward episode. The group gets a random lead, follow a lead, have a shootout, find a big discovery, and then accomplish something. There is sort of a crime fighting element to the show, almost like a police procedural against a backdrop of an alien invasion. What we are likely to see is the resistance getting bigger, and tackling the Vs head on instead of going on random hunts.

The characterization of the Visitors is what carries the show. They have these great vitamins that have no side effects, but then have these flu vaccine's that have been tainted. I was wondering how that would work since most people don't receive flu vaccines, and then Erica described the media and their stories of epidemics, much as the media in the real world made the H1N1 virus seem like the end of the world.

We got to see the Bliss which is a weird ritual that Anna performs that connects to Visitors all around the world, invigorating them with her words.I don't know how that fits in the the grand scheme of things, but it leaves many possibilities the writers can work with.

The Fifth Column is operating in full force on the ships, and when the traitor that killed Dale revealed himself, and Anna ordered him skinned, he seemed almost human with his emotions. In a very private moment with the other Fifth Columnist that was about to skin him, they acted much like a human would.

Tyler wasn't as bad this week, mostly because he did nothing, and will be a key figure in the future. For whatever reason, the Visitors have taken a keen interest in him, Anna even showing him the engine room. Erica having so little time on her hands has allowed Tyler to do whatever he wants. In some ways he acknowledges this, turning to the Visitors as his makeshift family. For him to eventually come to the right side, Erica also needs to be involved in his life.

Chad has an interesting story brewing. He is trying to toe the line of real journalism and friend of the Visitors. If he is too critical, he will lose access. If seems like a shill for the Vs, people won't trust him. The Visitors are counting on the fact that he can lie or stretch the truth and still be trusted, but this troubles Chad. Now they tell Chad he will have a brain aneurysm. It seems far too convenient, but what if it is true?.

I was hoping the writers would switch the gender roles for the alien-human hybrid with the female being the Visitor, and I actually expected Lisa to be impregnated by Tyler as part of the Visitor's plan. While that may happen later on, Ryan's wife is pregnant right now which means we may be seeing a creepy alien birthing scene sooner rather than later.

The final twist was cool with hundreds of V ships going towards the solar system. This would indicate that whatever they have planned requires either lots of manpower, supplies, intimidation, or a combination of those. Their endgame can't be accomplished with the limited number of ships they have on Earth right now, which doesn't make sense considering that they are well on their way to domination already.

Score: 9.1/10


Anonymous said...

Tyler acknowledged the "Bliss". How could he feel/hear it if he's human? Could he have been placed here? Maybe he's adopted or half human.

Patrick Keenan said...

I have to agree with "TV Obsessed" in his/her slight disappointment with ep. 4. I mean, since they are counting on an attention from audiences that can rarely be held nowadays (namely that we have to wait for a long time before they re-commence this narrative) they could have upped the wow factor of this semi-finale. I loved the original when I was a kid, and they were much more economic with their storytelling by their fourth episode in series one, albeit much more cheesy in their delivery. I was thinking that it would make sense to have the big reveal of the Visitors wanting us as food for their closing episode of '09. I mean, kids who might like the show but are unfamiliar with the original are just gonna google it anyway, so why not give up the goods, and dramatically enhance the series? It's generally a great show, and this episode maintained the series standard of good acting and special effects, but the plot is beginning to plod, methinks. Yes there are a lot of unanswered questions but we've earned some answers, dammit! And are we going to have to suffer the same slings and arrows delivered by such once-promising series as "Lost" or "Prison Break"? It seems like they are desperately grooming this to me a multi season full-length series. So American. "The Office" managed to pull it off, but a little restraint makes a thing memorable, and that's why the brit version of the office will be remembered long after its American counterpart. Take a cue, V producers!

Patrick Keenan said...

Sorry to quibble, but I don't think anonymous was paying much attention. The reason Tyler acknowledged the "Bliss" session is because every visitor stood around looking up and suddenly looked euphoric afterwards. Then he asks what its all about. There's clear evidence that he's not feeling it, because unlike everyone elese on the mothership, he looks slightly uneasy at this behaviour. However I do like Anonymous's idea that Tyler is half-Visitor, as his dad has not been shown yet and it is conceivable that Tyler's mom was with a visitor all these 17 years, as they have been around for an undetermined time. I never thought of that at all. And like a true geek I have been thinking about all these possibilities much more than I would like to admit.

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