V Season 2 Episode 9: Devil in a Blue Dress
Watching V gets a little more depressing each week. Not because the show is declining, but because it gets slightly (and we mean ever-so) better with each episode but the overwhelming truth of the matter is, it’s too little too late. What a shame that the writers inexplicably figured slowing the plot developments down to a snail’s pace was good for the show, up until about 2 episodes ago. Why didn’t they come roaring out of the gate like this at the beginning of the season?
Not that the show has suddenly conquered every one of its issues. The entire premise is still faulty and we got reminders of that this episode. We’re supposed to believe that in less than a year’s time, an alien life form made contact, was allowed to park 29 massive ships semi-permanently over the major cities of the world, started treating humans’ medical problems, gave humanity a new energy source of which virtually no knowledge was shared, and are being given space to build 538 sites all over the globe the purposes of which have been vague. And humanity just wholeheartedly accepted this. In an age where people of different races or religions still find it hard to coexist on the same land mass. In the real world, the 5th Column wouldn’t be a shadowy organization of apparently dozens of people; it would be hundreds of thousands of people rioting in the streets all over the world, flush with fear and righteous anger. Since so much of this was established so early in the series, it’s practically impossible to fix now. In order to continue watching the show, you have to buy a humanity that doesn’t act like any humans you know.
Further, you have to buy the protagonists acting like no humans you know. In light of the fact that they know where and how Anna’s invasion will take place (and they are the only ones who figured it out because apparently, there are no engineers or military experts left on earth or they’re all just really stupid), and they know there are over 500 ships in orbit, ethical questions of just how far they want to go to secure their freedom and the whole issue of becoming a monster to fight monsters seems awfully self-indulgent. We’re not talking about rescuing a kidnapped child here. We’re talking about the fate of humanity with mere minutes on the clock. In other words, sack up, Erica and shut up, Jack.
To be fair, Erica seems to have realized this, even if it did come awfully late. The thing is, we feel like the writers are still dropping the ball here. Erica made it clear how high the stakes are, but there should have been more of a question around whether or not it made good tactical sense to risk the lives of a hundred thousand people in order to prevent the genocide of all of humanity. That’s the issue here. It’s a fight like none ever fought on earth before. Why isn’t the show really hammering this point? Why have so few humans figured this out? Why is Erica STILL arguing about this with her cohorts, especially the supposedly cold-blooded mercenary? So frustrating. We suppose we should take it as a small measure of the show doing something right that we’re still somewhat emotionally invested in it like this.
What helped the proceedings was that Erica seems to be feeling true loss of hope underneath all her bravado. Elizabeth Mitchell did her best work last night since Lost, imbuing Erica – finally! – with some complexity and some idea of the mountains she has to climb. The rest of the 5th Column remain largely useless to us. Honestly, not one of those characters would be missed if they were killed, nor would their absence have any sort of harmful effect on the show (providing they don’t replace them with worse characters). No, the center of this story is and always has been the women: Erica, Anna, Diana, and Lisa. It’s kind of a shame they screwed this show up so bad, because a female-centric action show with an underlying theme of mothers protecting their young is a fantastic idea on paper. Still, we’re not loving the utter loss of ambiguity with Anna. Not that she was ever anything but a villain, and clearly so from the beginning, but you could see how people could fall under the sway of such a charismatic, beautiful woman. Now with her tearing up the scenery and literally crying tears of blood, we feel like something’s been lost.
So Diana has FINALLY made contact with someone other than her daughter and granddaughter which means maybe the entire POINT of the character can be realized. We were excited the first time we set eyes on those pumps, but had we known then that she’d spend the entire season in the mothership’s wine cellar, we might not have been so enthusiastic. At any rate, things are appropriately ramped up going into next week’s “season” finale, including the return of original V freedom fighter Marc Singer, a man almost singlehandedly responsible for getting an entire generation of gay boys through high school in the early ’80s (trust on this; it was all him and Jon Erik Hexum in those days). We wonder if he can still pack a pair of jeans like he did back in the day. At any rate, we’d like to say we’re excited for the finale – because it actually does look pretty good – but since there’s a good chance we’re not ever going to get resolutions to these storylines, it’s going to taste awfully ashy.
[Picture credit: ABC TV]