Episode Review: V – We Can't Win (Season 1, Episode 8)

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Ok, this is really late and I apologize – I will have last week’s up tomorrow and then back on Tuesday with the new episode… possibly. Hopefully. All I can say is that, work has been crazy and it is still snowing here in Utah. And I just had a KFC Mashed Potato Bowl and a root beer float. Not that you need to hear about my deteriorating eating habits and lack of physical fitness. Anyway, Comcast says: “We Can’t Win – Chad and Anna visit Geneva, Switzerland, with Anna toting a technological gift to present at the UN Energy Summit; Erica discovers that the V Task Force is looking into the Fifth Column; trust issues and baby worries prompt Valerie to go on the run.”

Let’s deal with this after the jump and I promise not to dwell on lack of a life.

Play by Play

In the Intro – Party of Five comes out of his shower to find Anna in his room. She gets all up close and creepy and then starts macking on him aggressively while also starting to strangle him like he is David Carradine. Of course it was just a dream. Erica’s dumb little teenager son runs off to the ship where he can be with people that are honest to him. Ryan is desperately trying to track down his girlfriend while Hottie OB/GYN “V” offers to help. Erica gets called into a crime scene where a bunch of Fifth Columnists have been murdered. Ryan confesses to Erica that his girlfriend is missing and preggers and then they have a moment where they realize lying is bad.

In Erica’s World – Erica accomplished very little on her own in this episode. A sure sign that the show is over-paced with too many characters.

In Hobbes’s World – Our eponymous (is that the right usage of that word? I really like using it, but suspect I might not be using it correctly) is still playing dispassionate bystander, while the others all have their own little personal battles to wage. Hopefully the producers will figure out why he is in the show soon and make use of him.

In Father Jack’s World – Poor conflicted, PTSS Jack visits the hospital to check on some old guy (has he been on the show previously?), the old guy was a Vietnam vet, so Jack tells him he was an army chaplain in Iraq – you know because that is the same thing. The old dude grabs Jack and checks behind his ear to see the little “V” mark that shows they are Fifth Column(no idea when they all decided to mark themselves like that, but it seems pretty dumb). The old guy tells Jack where to track down his son (the old guy’s son, not Jack’s – wouldn’t that be a big old howdy doo), who apparently is an on the run Fifth Columnist (all of the sudden there are Fifth Columnists everywhere that actually refer to themselves as the Fifth Column).

In Lisa's World – Anna’s hottie little blondie daughter looks like she is falling in love with obnoxious dumb little Erica’s son, Baba O’Reilly. Joshua, the head “V” doctor fella that is secretly a Fifth Columnist (probably for a small Penny Saver in the middle of Arizona or something), administers the “V”-meter to her and she fails. She asks Joshua why he isn’t going to report her and he tells her because he will ask a favor of her one day and she would comply.

Baba O’Reilly – Erica’s dumb little rug rat of a lizardy off-spring runs up to the mother ship to cry to hottie blondie Lisa, and since she isn’t dead yet she needed to hang with him too. They go up into space together and start macking on each other while lame music plays and they get nekkid.

In Party of Five’s World – Party of Five guy meets the UN Secretary General and they discuss why he is opposed to Anna. Apparently he opposes her, not because she is an alien with an unknown agenda, but because the Universal Health Care clinics are bankrupting the human health care system (?) and the gift of advanced technology would put human tech companies out of business (apparently the tech can do anything without having to be changed to fit into human consumer lifestyles at all).

In Anna’s World – Anna lectures hottie blondie daughter Lisa about being a leader and then they have a mother/daughter moment by crushing a soldier egg embryo thing together to bond. Apparently Joshua didn't turn her in. Anna and Party of Five have a heart to heart where she explains lamely her fake goals, and Party of Five tells her he is a believer and wants to be part of the good that she can do. Anna donates “Blue Energy” to typhoon or quake or tsunami stricken Zimbabwe or Timbalt or whatever and saves a little girl which astounds the UN General Assembly. She then demonstrates the blue energy to the UN by making it dance around in the air in front of everyone, and claims that it is pure and clean renewable energy that is free. She gets a standing ovation. Actually, I don’t remember if that is true or not, but it sounds like it is something that the writer’s would write.

In The Resistance’s World – The nerdy son of the old dude in the hospital tells our valiant human team what happened to his Fifth Column cell. They, in turn, talk him into acting as a decoy so they can lure the assassin in. Luscious or whatever his name is, the nerdy decoy, looks a bit squirrelly. He lets our ever more strident resistance team put him out as a lure which works great until the assassin kills him. Father Jack watches him die and then arrives just in time to shoot the assassin as he is about to pummel Erica. The assassin turns out to be a human!! “Why?” they ask him, and he replies ominously: “Because we can’t win.” Whatever that means.

In Ryan’s World – Our dependable V-American spends most of the episode trying to find his girlfriend to no result. We know where she is though, because that is the power of being a couch bound viewer with a frozen pizza at our command – she, in her weird grief over finding a safe full of fake passports runs away to a “V” healthcare unit to have her baby checked. The V doctor sees the baby and starts to restrain her when Ryan shows up to rescue her.


Our intrepid little group is still surprised that their insurrection could actually get people killed. Plus, it bugs me that the human leadership is so easily swayed other than some token uncertainty. My admittedly third hand and useless experience with watching government in action is that no one is ever satisfied and every yes vote comes with a price. There also continues to be a major lack in believable character motivation – why do we have so many characters if all they are going to do is fulfill basic clichéd plot points and stereotypes? It would be great if the producers could take this potentially very compelling premise and drape it over a series of characters that we could care about, but after every single viewing all I can think is, “why should I care?”

I get this sinking feeling that “V” has learned all the wrong lessons from the shipwreck that is “Heroes”. A big sprawling story line with a ton of stuff going on and nothing every happening…