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V, Episode 3 (A Bright New Day): Deeper Than You Think

November 25, 2009

Protestors.  The sharp-eyed viewer would deduce that this is a TV show and not a reality-based news clip because of the protestors.  Anti-V congregants assembled outside the New York “Embassy” dress modestly; yell coherent, intelligible slogans; and hold signs bearing relevant, correctly-spelled messages printed on something other than pizza boxes with giant black sniffing markers.  But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a crazy roaming that crowd intent on assassinating a V, who have recently received visas to travel freely within the U.S.  Let’s be honest, though: no one was going to deny admission to any alien—even the extraterrestrial kind—who looks like Morena Baccarin (Brazilian, by the way).

Maybe it’s because I just watched Firefly again and got a great dose of Baccarin, but she is really impressing me.  She nails it as a scheming non-human trying to pass as human but being just slightly off.  Her short scene practicing a condolence speech, complete with a crocodile tear (ha!), hits the bullseye.  Anna’s whole charade works, though, since a humanoid alien probably wouldn’t be expected to mimic perfectly human behaviors.

It’s no surprise that Ryan and Dale do (did) fit in perfectly with humans.  They’ve been here for 20 years, living in deep cover, with different missions.  Dale got in with the FBI, married a human, and despised it, waiting to rejoin the Vs.  Ryan helped form a resistance cell called the Fifth Column, proposed to a human, loves her, and has dedicated himself to stopping the V’s dastardly but unrevealed plan.  He has so far been the most interesting character, torn between protecting other Vs like him, and thwarting what the rest of the Vs have in store for the planet.  It’s too bad the writers have given him the cruddiest lines, and the most syrupy relationship in the show, with his fiancé, Val.  Oh, and something really interesting or bad is going to happen soon to Val, because every episode, she and Ryan have been super-smoochy lovey-dovey, to the point of being almost gag-worthy.  I stayed away from any pepperoni-based products before watching this episode in preparation.

The Tyler-Brandon dynamic was almost non-existent, which makes me wish I would have eaten a pepperoni omelet (better than it sounds).  Yeah, their dialogue and delivery still stink, and Tyler continued his suckfest by being a sullen, angsty teen.  You can tell he’s rebellious because he rides a motorcycle, wears leather, and sports a black helmet with a reflective visor.  This installment didn’t include a lot of mom-son interaction, so we can’t get a really good bead yet on why Tyler is so sort-of angry, besides being a pubescent male.

We do get to see quite a bit of Erica, who whomps on the aforementioned would-be assassin, who was apparently trying to blend into the crowd by looking exactly like Aaron Eckhart.  By doing her job as an FBI agent and protecting a V against a death threat, Erica gains access to a V surveillance room.  This allows her to spy on everyone within a few feet of a V jacket, which apparently has some sort of visual transmitter at breast-level, which is totally the reason I was staring at the hot V chicks, um, celestial orbs, and not because I’m a perv or anything.  We also begin to suspect Erica’s FBI boss, who turns the captured suspect over to the Vs instead of the human authorities.  This becomes even shadier when the “assassin” turns out to be a V plant whose actions were orchestrated to engender sympathy toward the Vs.

A couple small problems with this episode: what’s with Erica’s “don’t trust anyone,” then leaving Father Jack alone in her apartment, unsupervised, with unfettered access to her FBI computer?  Consistency, please.  And writers, your expositional dialog could be a lot more natural and less obvious.  I know it’s tough to get necessary information across, but let’s be a bit more creative.  It’s why you get paid.  The big problem I had, though, was with Dale (Alan Tudyk) not really being dead, but having amnesia.  Amazing!  How many times in all of modern entertainment has amnesia been used as a plot device?  Writers, let’s try a little harder.  The Dale amnesia subplot did clue us into the thrust of Episode 3: that the Fifth Column (or “V”?) doesn’t exist in just a couple scattered cells on Earth, but stretches deep into the V leadership.  Like Erica’s boss said when handing over their suspect to the V’s, it’s complicated.

(V airs Tuesdays at 10:00p on ABC.)

V, Episode 1 (Pilot)
V, Episode 2 (There Is No Normal Anymore)
V, Episode 3 (A Bright New Day)
V, Episode 4 (It’s Only The Beginning)
V, Episodes 5-8

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