‘V’: We’re terrorists now
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Where is the line between a terrorist and a freedom fighter?
It’s the question at the heart of this week’s episode of “V,” which found the human resistance force coming apart at the seams while Anna unveiled her most draconian plot yet.
The Fifth Column has been mostly reactionary thus far, preferring to use sabotage rather than outright warfare against the Visitors, but this week the Fifth Column took the battle straight to the Vs, blowing a Visitor shuttle right out of the sky. It wasn’t meant to be an act of defiance or the opening salvo in a slew of attacks; rather the Fifth Column saw an opportunity to safeguard their identities and protect themselves when they learned that Anna was sending a shuttle full of Visitor trackers to seek out the parties responsible for felling her soldier.
But Anna is a crafty one and, thanks to Chad Decker whispering in her ear, she was all too aware of the Fifth Column’s plans. Instead of sending down those trackers, she filled the shuttle with human remains, resulting in a terrorist attack that painted the Fifth Column in a very bad light indeed and damaged any possible goodwill they could have had with the humans.
Score one for the Visitors.
While this week’s episode lacked a certain narrative drive until the installment’s final moments, it propelled the Fifth Column plot along as it focused less on some of the supporting subplots (Tyler, Val, Chad) and more on the central storyline of the human resistance and particularly the fragile alliance forged among Erica, Father Jack, Ryan and Hobbes. The tenuousness of their relationships becomes all the more clear when Father Jack sees the human remains among the wreckage of the Visitor shuttle, leading him to quit the group.
Of course, while Jack feels aghast at the possibility that they’ve caused the destruction of innocent lives, it’s his simple warning to Chad Decker that causes Anna to gain the upper hand in the first place. Hoping to save Chad, Father Jack warns him against taking the V-only shuttles that day, a fact that Chad helpfully passes along to Anna in one of their formal tete-a-tetes aboard the mothership.
Boxing metaphors and imagery overflowed in this week’s episode, from Jack and Erica sparring at the punching bag to Erica’s recollections that Sugar Ray Leonard was her favorite boxer to Hobbes’ question to the group about whether they want to be the guy who gets knocked down ... or the guy who gets back up.
Meanwhile, however, the group is getting knocked down quite a bit. Erica discovers that the human bones in the wreckage are smooth as they were skeletons before the explosion. Which means that someone is setting them up. But before she can get the evidence to prove their innocence, someone within the FBI deletes the photograph and the signs all point to Paul Kendrick.
Kendrick, of course, isn’t the mole. That honor would go to Agent Sarita Malik, whom we all should have known would be a Visitor based on the fact that actress (Rekha Sharma) already played a similar role as a Cylon on “Battlestar Galactica.” (I actually did wish that the mole would have been Kendrick rather than her.) Thanks to Anna’s machinations, Kendrick assigns Erica and Malik to head up a vital task force to track down members of the Fifth Column, which was Anna’s intention all along.
Jack does return to the group in the end and it’s a good thing too as they are going to need all the help they can get. After Lisa discovers that a human Live Aboard participant wasn’t dreaming about the nightmarish hundred-needle procedure that the Visitors are secretly performing on their human guests, she convinces Tyler that she never had feelings for him and doesn’t want him coming to live aboard the mothership with her (which leads to a scene between a weepy Tyler and Erica on the couch).
But the damage is already done: Anna is more suspicious of Lisa than ever and, after learning of her treachery, Anna knocks Lisa to the ground and orders a guard to break both her legs. Something tells me that you don’t want to make the Lizard Queen angry. And right now she’s very angry.
Best line of the evening, from Hobbes: “It’s like ‘The Thorn Birds’ in here.”
What did you think of this week’s episode? Just what could Anna be planning? Is she really willing to sacrifice her own daughter? Head to the comments section to discuss.
-- Jace Lacob (Follow my musings on television, food and more television on Twitter: @televisionary)
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