Episode Review: V – Pound of Flesh (Season 1, Episode 6)

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Welcome back my fellow V-ites. According to our ever handy Comcast program synopsis, on tonight’s very special episode of “V”: Anna launches a pilot program to allow select groups of humans to live on the spaceships; Tyler uncovers a secret about his mom; Valerie’s accelerated pregnancy becomes an issue for Ryan; a sacrifice is made to save Ryan.

Before we get started I just wanted to be honest and state for the record that I question how good of a reviewer I am for this show, because I honestly don’t like it. It is painful to sit through. It has a terrible pacing problem. The story feels like it was written by a secluded writer suffering from Michael Bay syndrome. It just jumps around wantonly every 5 seconds. Lost has a ton of storylines that it is juggling but I always feel like they take the appropriate amount of time that each character requires. V on the other hand feels like the whole story is being told in short hand.

Anyway, enough of my whining – let’s get down the reason you are most likely here, right after the jump.

Play by Play

The Fifth Column is apparently immune to Anna’s bliss, which I guess gives a new meaning to the term “resistance”. Plus, they are apparently starting to feel human emotions such as empathy and love. Which is very different from the primary “V” emotions such as studied disinterest, the ability to sense a nearby sun-warmed rock, the tingling sense one gets when its tail is growing back.

The “V”s announce a new tactic in the PR offensive called the Live Aboard program. A certain amount of “lucky” humans will be invited to actually live aboard the “V” spacecraft and participate in the “V” way of life. Which apparently is comprised mostly of standing around in the background or walking back and forth in order to maintain the illusion of bustle without an real purpose. The “V” masses have taken to heart that old truism that it is always better to walk around with a hammer or clipboard in hand so people think you have purpose when you really don't.

Hobbs the newly acquired terrorist organizer asserts his authority and the on Earth resistance begin to grumpily fall in line. He believes the best next step is to have Ryan sneak aboard the mothership and embed a call to arms in the Anna broadcasts in order to alert the rest of the on Earth “V” resistance. Ryan however says that he can’t, that it will never work, and Erica backs him by telling Hobbs that his plan won’t work and that he needs to come up with a better plan.

Ryan takes his human girlfriend to the hottie “V” doctor from last week to get a check up on her pregnancy. The little “V”-ling is experiencing accelerated growth and is apparently endangering the mother’s life by pulling more phosphorous from her system than is safe. The hottie “V” doctor says that the expectant human girlfriend needs a transfusion of phosphorous soon or she would not survive. Coincidentally, the only place that Ryan can get the right amount of phosphorus to save his human love’s life is on the mother ship.

Anna spends a few moments on a device that records her bio-rhythmic feedback and establishes that she doesn’t feel human emotions like humans do. She then orders that her reading be used as a baseline so that they can start testing everyone else in order to ferret out “V”s that are experiencing emotions like normal humans. For now on I will refer to this as the V-meter…. (heheheh)

Now that Ryan has a compelling reason to go to the mother ship he puts together a Mission Impossible type of plan in order to embed the call to arms and alert the other on Earth Fifth Columnists that they are organizing to fight back. Meanwhile, Hobbs finally does his own due diligence and has an intelligence report put together looking into the back ground of his new compatriots.

Ryan arrives on the mother ship under an assumed fake human V identity. He then takes a few moments to walk ominously in slow motion through the ship. And then he makes his way to a room where he is able to get some phosphorous for his little lady waiting for him back on earth. After achieving the important part of his mission, but before accomplishing the less important part of alerting the resistance he gets pulled aside by a creepy looking “V” and is immediately jumped to the front of the line to be tested on the V-meter.

Do they only have one v-meter?

Georgie, the jumpy human best friend of Ryan (my memory is they didn’t even know each other until a few episodes ago, correc?) finds out that Ryan’s human girl friend is all preggers and decides to head up to the ship himself to help Ryan. Meanwhile, on board Ryan connects with Doctor Joshua who is leading the in fleet resistance. Georgie then helps Ryan escape by killing a V security guard before being captured. And while Anna does her broadcast thing on the bottoms of all of the ships, Dr. Joshua succeeds in embedding the call to action: “John May Lives” – which kinda reminds me of the name of all the aliens in Buckaroo Banzai for some reason.

At the end of the show we see that Anna is secretly pleased that the resistance has been alerted because she thinks it will be easier to destroy them now, and also she is looking forward to the chance to win the “hearts and minds” of the Live Aboard peoples.

Quick Observations

It just seems to me that the show is being written by people who don't understand the meaning of the word sacrifice in the sense that they intend it to mean here. They all talk about what they are giving up, but no one is really giving anything up at any real point in this show. No one actually has had to sacrifice anything yet. Erica complains and cries about giving up her son, which she does willingly. But since when his dropping a kid off to stay a couple of days with his other parent a huge sacrifice? (Oh, yeah, I left out everything to do with the teenage kid in the Play-by-Play this week, you can thank me later.) Ryan refuses to sneak up to the mothership to help organize the resistance – the purpose of which is to save billions of lives, until he realizes that he needs to go up there anyway in order to save his girlfriend and unborn hatchling. Incredibly selfish reasoning there.

Each one of the main characters have similar character arcs – they all are going through the motions of being a freedom fighting force, but none are giving up anything of any real value and therefore are sacrificing nothing. The loss of Georgie at the end, which I assume is the “Pound of Flesh” referred to in the episode title, is not a loss at all – he really has no value since he is borderline crazy as it is. I know, I probably sound a bit heartless, but I don’t think I am really – I am just trying to point out that their reactions to their implied situation are not real reactions and show a startling lack of understanding of the human condition and an inability to adapt it believably to a dramatic representation.

And finally, I found it weird, firstly, that there has been a marked change of language when referring to the medical and health advancements offered so blatantly as Universal Healthcare in the first several episodes and how it is being referenced now. And secondly, I found the increased usage of Bush era catchphrases from Anna to be a bit eye brow raising as well.

Anyway, agree or disagree let us know your thoughts as well in the comments section. This is just my opinion and I am a grumpy recluse who works all the time and needs to get out more socially, so I have a lot of alone time in which I can build up negative opinions of things for no other reason than I am grumpy and reclusive.