'V' - 'Welcome to the War' Recap
by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 31st 2010 4:20AM
(S01E05) Remember this show? If the ratings results for the return of 'FlashForward' are any indication of things to come, the answer appears to be "No." A difference between 'FlashForward' and 'V,' though, is that while 'FlashForward' delivered ten episodes, which many found to be disappointing, 'V' has only had four.
While ratings did decline over the course of the four episodes, the reaction to them wasn't as clearly negative. For the most part, the jury seemed to be out. The question now is whether or not the show has been out of circulation too long to recover with these remaining nine episodes of the first season.
It's been four months since a new episode of 'V,' but to the credit of the vision, it doesn't feel as if we've been gone that long at all. Tonight's mid-season premiere certainly brought plenty of exciting moments in the growing war between the Visitors and the human race, as well as a nod to a classic 'V' moment.
The sense of just how daunting and overwhelming the idea of a resistance is permeated the first four episodes, particularly when we saw that our tiny little group of renegades was looking at a massive fleet of Visitor ships on its way toward the Earth. And I thought the 29 ships already here were going to be a problem.
I'd still like to see a wider impact of the Visitors' presence on Earth like we got in the initial mini-series, but I can't complain about the foundations of the resistance we've seen so far. As the group expands, we'll probably get to see more of the global response to their arrival; or at least I can hope.
Morena Baccarin was as reptilian as ever throughout this episode. She has absolutely mastered the ability to look human, and yet act as if she's clearly something else entirely. Her facial movements, expressions, and even the way she walks and interacts with others is so alien; it's an impressively creepy performance.
I expected more from the R6 compound than a simple "tracking device" as it were, though the fact that Jack has been injected with it definitely spells trouble for the resistance. It's also possible that Ryan's Visitor doctor friend has outdated Visitor technology, so maybe she can't even detect everything the compound is capable of doing. If it can transmit, perhaps it can receive, as well. And as it's bonded to DNA, that means it could receive data that could change the very DNA of a person, perhaps. After all, V technology is leaps and bounds above our own.
The addition of Charles Mesure to the cast, and to the resistance, gives them some much needed leadership as far as building an army goes. He's clearly got the tech smarts, and savvy to go against authority. It's just that he's some kind of mercenary, cold-blooded criminal that could be a problem down the road.
When Ryan's pregnant wife almost ate the dead mouse, I felt for sure we were going to get a humanized version of the classic Diana and the guinea pig scene from the original. Instead, we got Anna showing us how the Visitors "build" an army, and how mothers get nourishment for their eggs. Those teeth were definitely a step up from Diana's unhinged jaw in the creepy factor.
I'm very worried for Ryan's wife at this point. Either Anna's going to find out about the pregnancy, or it's going to kill her. As much of a mess as she is already, Ryan either needs to tell her what's up, or just abort the baby. There's no way he can play off all that crap like it's normal. Not to mention that she'll probably be giving birth in a matter of weeks, instead of months.
The character of Chad Decker remains an enigma to me. I can't tell which side of this conflict he's going to ultimately fall on, because he definitely seems cautious and uncertain about the true motives of the Visitors. And yet, at every opportunity, he sides with Anna and her wishes. I was hoping he'd reject their offer to cure him of the brain aneurysm that he doesn't have (but they say he'll develop), just to see how Anna would react.
He's so important to her marketing campaign for the Visitors that if and when he finally defies her, it should be a major blow to her campaign.
Writing that made me realize that there will come a time when this guerrilla war will be more out in the open. In fact, if that fleet arrives, it will be all out war. For now, the Earth is pretty much the same, except for those ships floating above the cities, and the Visitors mucking about on the ground, but if this becomes an open war, the entire world looks to be devastated. That would certainly be a bold undertaking for an ongoing television series.
I don't know if viewers are going to come back and give 'V' a chance, but I think the show is definitely worthy of being given that opportunity. If it struggles, then maybe they'd have been better off holding the premiere of the whole series until after the Olympics. They certainly saved some of the more iconic 'V' stuff until now.
[To catch the whole experience, find clips and full episodes of 'V' at SlashControl.]