Thursday, January 27, 2011

V: Laid Bare

You guys, I think that red rain crap might have been just straight up disease instead of alien prenatal pills because I was DYING last week.  Like on a slab while Lisa extracts my soul one layer of flesh at a time dying.  As all reason, sanity, and hope left my body, I swore I would double up on V reviews this week and write about the third and fourth episode in one giant post.  Well joke was on cough-rattled, mucus-filled me, and there was no new episode this week.  I will rally!  I will show them!  I really liked (parts of) the third episode because I like it when good people or aliens are forced to do terrible things.  Because I'm sick!  Last time I'll bring that up, I swear.

So without further delay, the good, the bad, and the ugly from season 2's episode 3  "Laid Bare" after the jump 

 The Good

All episode, mama bear Anna kept telling Lisa, "You have to get ready to birth a new generation of alien babies. Look at your skin molt! Aren't you excited?"  As if latent puberty isn't enough, Lisa then has to prove herself by murdering an innocent in the most gruesome way possible.  Did I already mention that Lisa was forced to flay a guy a alive so that her mother wouldn't find out she has human feelings?  Of course I did because it was the best thing this show has ever done.  

This is what I love about science fiction.  It takes something familiar and renders it extreme.  While the majority of the world's daughters never have to literally murder someone to gain Mom's approval, we might have to do things we feel are equally horrifying like wear a wedding dress that looks like a comforter or eat dehydrated turkey on Thanksgiving or clean our room.  We can all feel Lisa's pain to some degree!!

The Bad 

Though it raised the stakes in the war between species, Erica's lame duck Sophie's choice was so frustrating and prolonged that not even alien torture could really save it.  The choice was this:  whether to torture and subsequently kill Malik in order to save a bunch of strangers from being ripped to shreds during Anna's creepy soul extraction OR keep Malik alive so that Reaper Boy Scientist can experiment on her to figure what the V's did to Tyler's DNA.  Two major problems with this choice.  One, I had to wait for a really clunky expositional line from Reaper Boy Scientist to even know how keeping Malik alive would help Erica find shit out about Tyler.  Seriously, it made zero sense until he spelled it out most of the way through the episode.  Second, the choice involves Tyler, and Tyler's stupid so no one would ever choose him so it's not a real Sophie's choice which means there was no tension and I was just waiting for Erica to get her torture on which she did which means even Tyler's own mother knows he's stupid and not worth saving!

Seriously, the main problem with this was that it was left to Erica to decide how to proceed with Malik, and her decision making process was murky at best.  For most of the episode, she whined like an angsty teenager, not a rebel leader who makes the tough decisions.  What about exploring what it means to be torturing someone in a war like this?  Are they sacrificing their humanity to save humanity as a whole?  Anyway, that's what it could have been about if they'd killed Tyler in the pilot like the teasers promised.

The Ugly

In what felt like an attempt to shoehorn in a procedural element, the saving people from Anna's soul extraction story focused on a single teenage runaway.  We met her mother at the cash register of a convenience store, and then our sympathy for this one person was supposed to be endless.  In the end, they only mange to rescue the one runaway while twenty others are flown to the mother ship to die horrible deaths.  I would be okay with this if it was played as the tragedy it was, but instead Erica is incredibly cavalier about all the lives they lost and says things like, "We have to focus on the good we did.  The one girl we saved.  Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative!"  Seriously?  SERIOUSLY??!  We're not going to have a scene where people are upset about this?  We're just supposed to cry at the convenience store reunion and shrug off all the other death?  Why does this show want to shy away from drama/conflict/awesomeness? WHHHYYYY?

Here's hoping next week that Anna makes Lisa eat newborns!

Also, speak out Louise if you want to keep reading these write ups.  If you've moved on to other awesome shows, I'll start writing about Being Human.  I might just do them in addition to V reviews because I love TV CGI too much to let go.  Let me know!


Unknown said...

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