V Series Season 1 Episode 12: Red Sky
We’re happy to hear that the show has been renewed for another season but to be perfectly honest, with a concept like this and leads like Morena Baccarin and Elizabeth Mitchell, its success should have been a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, this first season has been full of missed opportunities and lackluster plotting. Not so with this episode. We really hope the creators behind this show had a late epiphany and realized what kind of show they’re supposed to be producing. If we can get more episodes like this next season, they might actually have a chance of turning this show into a hit. Our one thought during last night’s tense little action-fest was “Every episode should be like this.” Remember when we said we needed to feel like the stakes were high and that meant we needed to start seeing a body count? Done and done.
So it’s goodbye to poor Val. It was a sad death and a chilling scene as Anna finally did something truly villainous instead of just standing around a CG set merely talking about her villainy. But to be honest, we can’t say we’re going to miss Val all that much. There just wasn’t a lot to her character. Whatever story purposes she served have been fulfilled with the birth of the hybrid. It was a smart move on the part of the writers to cut her loose. She was done and it was time to see a truly tragic death on the show.
And how about that Joshua? Gay nerds across the land cried out as one when the cutest little V we ever did see took one for the team. The standoff between him and Erica was tense and nicely done as Erica was forced to do the hard thing for the good of the war.
And it WAS a war last night, for the very first time. Why did it take so long for the creators to figure out how to ramp up the tension? Everything was flying in so many different directions and there was so much plotting and planning going on that we kinda don’t have a handle on what just happened. Maybe you can help us. For instance, what exactly was the point of that whole decoy message thing with Fr. Jack and Chad? What was that supposed to accomplish? All it did was get poor Joshua killed. Sort of. We’re glad he got better by the end. Things aren’t looking good for him but as long as he’s still alive there’s hope. Maybe Lisa can spring him somehow. He’d be a better character down on earth living with the 5th Column instead of wandering CG hallways whispering into his Magic Marble.
And speaking of Lisa, we think we love that little teen V almost as much as we love her mother. She really is one of the most intriguing characters on the show. She made her choice as to whose side she was on but it has to be reiterated that she IS a V and as Ryan proved last night even Vs with the best of intentions and the best reasons to fight can still be turned against the resistance. Besides, when Joshua reverently called her “My Queen,” it was a reminder that she might be defying her mother for the right reasons for now, but she sure as hell benefits quite a bit if she manages to defeat her mother. The idea of being the queen could wind up being a little too tempting for her in the end. But for now, we really love the new status quo in the relationship between Erica and Lisa; both of them working toward a common goal and both of them keeping their intentions shielded from Moron of the Century, Tyler.
Plus, how DELICIOUS was Lisa’s little smirk at her mother’s rage and grief? That’s a little Dynasty-level bitchiness that we can really sink our teeth into. She’s the one character who’s improved the most since the pilot and Laura Vandervoort deserves high praise for finding her footing when the rest of the cast (except for the fabulous Morena, of course) still struggle a bit with the material.
Although that’s not quite fair to Elizabeth Mitchell, who also has improved quite a bit, giving her best showing last night. More of sexy Erica with her pencil skirts and thigh holsters, please. There’s nothing wrong with a little campiness injected into the proceedings. Morena got that from day one. We loved that dinner scene almost as much as we loved Anna’s slit skirt and 5-inch heels. Lisa and Tyler had a play date while the mommies sized each other up. The prospect of more scenes between the two mothers now that they’ve met thrills us. Again, why the hell did it take so long to bring those two characters together? No-brainer. Sit them at a table drinking their space wine in their tight skirts and kickass shoes and have them verbally dance around each other some more. We could watch a scene like that in every episode. It really is all about the ladies with this story, isn’t it? Not one of the male characters is half as interesting as Anna, Erica, and Lisa. And Anna really does think Erica is an ally. For all her plotting and scheming, it’s nice to know she doesn’t have the upper hand in everything she does.
Did anyone else put their hand to their mouth in shock at Morena’s performance when Anna found out about her eggs? Sure, it was a little over the top, but after 12 hours of smirks and blinking, it was thrilling to get to see her really turn it loose. We watched that scene about 5 times and we’re probably going to watch it again when we’re done here. The prospect of Anna feeling all-consuming rage is frankly, terrifying, and she played it to perfection. It remains to be seen what this means for the Vs now that their queen has been “infected” with human emotion. Love it, love it, love it.
As for the men, well, Fr. Jack, we’re sorry to say, gets less interesting and comes off as more of a moron with each episode. We’re just not feeling the character at all. Chad’s newfound revulsion toward the Vs is a welcome change. To be honest, it was getting a little hard to believe that he still had any ambivalency about Anna. Nice to see he’s figured it out. Too bad he had to (sort of) get Joshua killed before he came to his senses.
Like any red-blooded gay male, we’re perfectly happy to look at muscular guys in tight t-shirts all day, but Kyle’s ridiculous flexing and posing in shirts so tight that look like they were bought in the boys department just comes off a little silly to us. We are intrigued about the double agent status going forward. Marcus told him “We found her.” Who’s “her?”
And we even like where they’re going with Ryan. Let’s face it, he was almost as dead end a character as Val was. Completely upending his loyalties like that suddenly makes him more interesting. We did love seeing him with his hand on Anna’s throat, even if it was short-lived.
Which isn’t to say the episode was perfect. Still an annoying amount of plot holes. Chad can just wander around the ship and go where he pleases? Even to restricted areas? Erica can enter the most important room on the ship, all on her own, set off a grenade, and there was no way for the Vs to find out who did it? They’ve got interstellar travel capabilities but they haven’t invented the security camera yet? And despite their victories last night, the 5th Column still demonstrates an almost absurd level of incompetency. “Hey! Let’s all meet in public, task force leader and wanted fugitive alike, just so we can listen to this priest that both the FBI AND the Vs have on their radar give an anti-V sermon to his flock! We’re so brilliant! Then let’s all walk out hand in hand, letting EVERYONE know that we’re allies!” Still, we can forgive a lot of this stuff if they can deliver the kind of fun they showed us last night.
Only a few bullets:
* How could they not show us the baby? Bitches.
* “Without us, you’d lose everything.” Anna overplayed her hand with Chad. Her veiled threats get a little less veiled every time she makes them. Again, it’s good to know that she’s not as perfect as we’d been led to believe.
*That bliss must be some powerful mojo if it can get Ryan to fall to his knees in front of the woman who killed the mother of his child.
* Red skies! What does it mean? We can guarantee one thing: the writers currently have NO IDEA what it means. But at least they’ve got a good long while to figure it out. We’ve got a long wait until January when the show returns. Hopefully, this season finale represents a shift in their priorities for the show. Like we said, if every episode next season turns out as good as this one, they might actually turn this problematic show into a hit. Anything that allows Morena Baccarin to stand in tight dresses and platform pumps shrieking her lungs out in rage like Joan Crawford on meth is a very good thing, as far as we’re concerned. But please, show creators, take a little money out of the budget and spend this time building some sets, because the overuse of CG backgrounds is NOT helping the show.
UPDATE: When it comes to Mo Ryan, TV critic for the Chicago Tribune, we are as one, always. Her review of this episode is almost note for note exactly the same as ours, liking the things we liked and rolling her eyes at the parts where we rolled ours. The one area where we part ways is her tendency to be a lot more forgiving of Kyle’s tiny t-shirts and pornstar poses. Shameless.
[Photo Credit: ABC TV]