EPISODE REVIEW: V – A Bright New Day (Season 1, Episode 3)

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The third episode of the re-envisioned “V”, or is it re-imagined, was a nice incremental upgrade over the previous two episodes. To this point the show has been deathly dull, and that is on top of being unimaginably boring. According to our ever trusty and handy Comcast show guide, in tonight’s episode – A Bright New Day – Anna receives the first of 100 diplomatic visas issued to the American Visitors; Erica is paired with an alien officer to track down the source of a death threat; and Ryan recruits allies to oppose the Visitors.

So, on that slightly hopeful note let’s make the jump and see what we thinks.

The show starts off with a news report covering the protest of the widow of the pilot of the F16 jet that went down dramatically in the first episode during the initial V appearance. Oh, wait, don’t remember that? Is it because the jet crashing was basically a throw away background shot with no one in the show actually taking much note of it occurring at the time? Or is it the fact that the pilot seemed to have parachuted to safety while the plane crashed in the distance?

A good point is brought up though, apparently 642 people died from accidents during the initial arrival of the V. Again, I don’t recall this ever being mentioned before, let alone dramatized in any way, which you think they would do since, well, it is a TV show and that kind of thing is basically what the average viewing audience likes to see on TV.

We also get to see Anna, the V leader getting quietly worked up over the potentially bad press that the Widow is possibly throwing their way. This thread, the one with the V waging their war on Earth as a PR incentive, though executed in a bit too obvious a manner, is starting to interest me in that maybe there was some validity to the early initial speculation that the show had a decidedly right wing bent to it (remember the first episode dig at the V offering Universal Healthcare in order to buy public good will and loyalty?).

We cut over to the Priest guy taking confession and struggling with a slight personal crisis of conscience. All of the confessions he takes are of people either struggling with their faith in God with the appearance of the V or feeling bad for not trusting the V like everyone else and he has no words of wisdom to share. Mr. Priest is starting to show a little bit of decisiveness which is nice, but I am struggling with the thought that the he is kind of a cliché of a priest as opposed to a real priest.

We get a chance to spend some wasted time with quirky sexy Erica’s lame teenage son – I really wish that he would just runaway from home and out of the storyline, but it looks like they are setting him up for whatever reason as a turning point type of character, meaning a major plot point will turn on him. He is feeling bad that he let down the hot blondie lizard girl and his stereotyped overweight buddy wants to get them back together again.

Erica, our FBI Agent, shows up and is looking kinda hot again. She is being asked to partner with a V to investigate an assassination threat against one of their muckitymucks. She bristles at first and of course her new temporary V partner says, ”Your species is naturally distrustful” in a creepy way. Naturally.

Ok, so this is bugging me and I just want to vent and then I will not mention it again (possibly) – but does the term “Fifth Column” have to be used pretty much exclusively in referring to the native V resistance? I mean, I understand what it means, but they are referred to as the “Fifth Column” almost exclusively. And by the V. Is this a term that would make sense to the V? Wouldn’t it be cooler to come up with a different term, introduce it, explain it the first couple of times and then let it go?

Something like, “Oh Anna, great queen Lizard with the sexy lizardy overbite and short but not butch at all haircut, we have word that the Vestigial Regrown Tails are active. These traitors seem to be building a resistance force and we need to cut them off and the wound burned closed so that they cannot regrow.”

See, easy-peasey, and it sounded way cooler. Then through the rest of the show they could say stuff like, “we will kick these second tails all over earth” and “I hate these VRTs” or “once we shed these tails our victory is assured and we can start eating human brains for dessert”. This would make everything soooo much more interesting.

We spend some time with Ryan, the African-American V, as he tries to track down other VRTs and recruit them back to the cause.

And then we get to see again how dedicated Anna is to her PR offensive.

Erica’s original partner has come back to consciousness and they realize that someone has seen his “true face”. I thought it interesting that they had such a specific term for this. I don’t recall well if the original show said this the same way, regardless, it was kinda cool.

Our conscience stricken Priest friend finds a lead on a possibly human resistance fighter and goes to track him down, while Ryan connects with one of the other VRTs. Here we learn that the invasion of Earth might have something to do with an addictive substance that they possibly need to retrieve. It probably comes from the human spinal column (I don't know this, I just made it up).

Back to sexy, quirky looking Erika as she proves that she is the only person in all of the US Law enforcement community to actually be competent at what she does for a living. She tracks down the bad guy and then proceeds to kick his ass before he can get a shot off at the visiting V dignitary. Once she has immobilized the attempted assassin the V remove him for questioning which raises all kinds of red flags with Erica, but she gets no answers – it probably means her boss is a V as well.

As she lets them abscond with her rightful collar, she sneaks around and finds a room that is filled with camera screens – she is able to extrapolate that the video images on the screen are being generated by a camera in the front pocket of the V uniforms. Which makes sense I guess, a camera in the breast pocket is better than cameras that can be left behind to record what happens when they aren't around.

We get to see Anna rehearsing meeting the grieving Widow – you know the widow of the pilot that we didn’t ever really know anything about until this show.

And then the show gets interesting finally. Anna meets the widow and invites her in for a personal discussion. When the widow comes out, she has changed her tune completely. Erica’s former partner finally remembers that she did indeed see his “true face” and realizes he has to get back to the earth surface and find her and kill her. And we learn there are VRTs, or Fifth Columnists, on the big ships as well. And Erica’s useless teenage son starts making out with our hottie blondie lizard girl who has arranged it for him to be let back into the V ROTC.

I do have to say that the show is trying really hard to find its voice – I still feel like that they don’t have a lot of the shows completely mapped out yet and that there needs to be more V world building (more in depth building of the V culture other than that they are enthusiastically into what can only be generously referred to as institutionalized alien bestiality).

The show ends with the shows' main resistance characters finally coming together.

And there you have it. Any thoughts to throw on the pile? Do you think the show took a good step forward tonight or do you think it is still the same old boring aimlessness from the last two weeks.