Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Season Premiere of V RED RAIN

Tonight V returns to ABC, and while No Ordinary Family will remain the ultimate unwatchable Sci Fi show on network television, V has tumbled from the just above mediocre heights it reached in the finale last year.  After Anna's eggs had been wiped out and the skies turned Corvette red, it seemed like that the next season would delve into gut-wrenching character stuff, drop more bodies, and actually play into the really high stakes the characters are always mentioning.  But sadly, V falls back into all of it's bad habits:  ignoring or actively dismissing anything interesting, both over and under explaining the science-y stuff so that it's as frustrating as possible, and Tyler's continued presence on the show.  So let's break this down Western style into the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  Also there are spoilers.  Lots and lots of spoilers.  


When Erica shot Joshua in the finale, I was thrilled that show was finally going there.  This is a war, people you really like need to die, and their friends might have to do the killing.  Awesome!!  But with Joshua's death, we lost one of the most compelling characters.  As a Visitor betraying Anna while working closely with her, he had to do all kinds of icky things that didn't sit well with those pesky human emotions his skin infected him with.  Plus, while everyone else spent most of the first season whining, Joshua got shit done and made the ultimate sacrifice for us human cry babies. 

However, now that Lisa is a full blown emotion-wielding double agent queen-to-be, I don't miss Joshua AT ALL.  Not only is she going to take over Joshua's role supporting the Fifth Column, but doing so will demand so much more of her.  In every scene, she has at least three things going on: working as a double agent, faking a collected Visitor exterior for her mother Anna, and dealing with how conflicted she feels over having emotions at all.  Falling in love with Tyler is what gave her the human emotions that led to her betrayal in the first place, but now she has to have sex with him per her mother's orders while her mother watches!!!  More scenes like this but with less Tyler, please.

Even with Lisa switching over to the Fifth's side, Anna is still the reason to watch the show.  Although it's in large part do to how amazing Morena Baccarin is in the role, she continues to be given the most interesting stuff to work with.  In this episode alone, she ruthlessly murders another Captain with her tail for questioning her decision to launch Red Sky.  To prove to her second in command Marcus that she won't succumb to emotion again, she cuts the life support on her six surviving child soldiers from the finale last year.  Since she's developed human emotions, Anna has become more ruthless and bloodthirsty, and I can't wait to see Baccarin keep hitting it out of the park with her anger on the outside and sadness on the inside.  


I know this was revealed in the finale, but Joshua is still alive.  Kind of destroys the awesomeness of his sacrifice, but I like the Canadian actor (he was awesome in an episode of Being Erica) so it evens out.  However, now that he's back, he remembers nothing about being a traitor.  Now, V, if you're going to have entire conversations about Blue Energy and the evils of Human Emotions, you can't have an amnesia story line, too.  You just can't.  I mean, is there anything more annoying than an amnesia storyline?  I'm serious.  Please comment if you can tell me that there's anything that makes you want to take the batteries out of your remote and eat them more than TV amnesia. 

Then there's alien-human hybrid baby daddy Ryan.  A prisoner on Anna's ship, he escapes to go stare at his noseless lizard daughter swimming around in tank.  He promises to get her out of there, and then he does nothing.  Anna and her guards grab him, and he insists that he knows she murdered Valerie and yawn, ugh, dammit.  What a waste for him to just "know" that Anna killed Valerie.  It would have been so much more heart wrenching if he'd found that out after working with Anna for a couple of weeks to destroy ze humans.  Or even if he somehow knew the truth about Valerie's death, couldn't he have at least pretended he didn't for a while?  As far as he knows, Joshua is gone, and there's no one on the ship to help the Fifth Column.  There's an opening for a double agent idiot!!!  But no, he has to spout some crap about how Anna will never understand love and get himself banished back to Earth.  


If the human race is really counting on the Fifth Column to save us, we are so screwed.  Worst gorilla rebel force ever.  When they're having a club meeting in their super secret hide out, they draw their guns on someone walking down the stairs.  First of all, it's Ryan, and until he showed up, no one seemed to be worried about him at all.  I know the sky is red and all, but he's kind of a huge part of your team, guys.  Second, does everyone in the Fifth Column want to be eaten alive by lizard aliens??? Why don't they lock the door?  There should be a retinal scan and a blood sample and slot where you leave your first born child to get into this place or something!!

Erica continues to be either really ineffective and lucky or the worst mother ever.  During all this red sky stuff, she repeats over and over, "Anna, Anna, we need to talk to Anna, now, Anna."  Then when she meets Tyler at a riot outside a peace center, he's serendipitously hit in the head with a baton and starts bleeding profusely.  Now she has a ticket to see Anna and her snazzy medical tech!  Plot obstacle maneuvered!  And this is how it always goes.  Tyler just happens to get injured or in trouble in such a way that benefits her, and she just stumbles into good fortune at the expense of her son.  But if we're supposed to make the leap that Erica intentionally gets Tyler hurt, suddenly Erica's no better than Anna, using her child to advance her agenda in winning the war.  Actually, it'd be interesting if they went that direction, but they won't.  So Erica's continuing to use Tyler's booboos and dumbassery is just clunky and lame.

Also, Tyler's not dead.  He dies in a dream sequence in the beginning, and then Erica wakes up.  Why did she have to wake up?  Why?  How can he be alive and having sex with Lisa?!  No one that pretty should have to bed someone that annoying even if her evil queen Mother ordered her to!  She should just dislocated her jaw and eat him already! DIE, TYLER, DIE!

Finally, the red rain was the worst pay off possible.  The streets look bloody for a few scenes, Anna broadcasts, "Relax!  We fixed your planet!" and despite the world wide riots, everyone on Earth loves the Visitors again.  Of course the rain really did something to our blood to make us breeders for alien babies, but we're just going to hear that repeated in exposition all season.  It won't actually effect our characters or anything for a long time.  The rain wiped the slate clean and despite all the awesomeness of the season finale, the status quo has returned.  The stakes are gone, and nothing feels all that dire or important again.  The Visitors are still too powerful to fight in the open, but they can't stop some freedom fighters who don't even lock their basement hideout.  The Red Rain that we'll never understand according to Anna is explained two scenes later by a baby-faced scientist and Ryan.  This is the V I watched last year.  This is not the V the finale promised. 


Mati said...

I agree with pretty much all of your post. If anything, I would say that V has become even stupider than it was last year, if that is possible.

Joshua was pretty much the only reason I watched last year, and he was the reason I tuned in last night. I have to admit, however, that Jane Badler looked awesome.