‘V’ 1.12 Recap: When Lizards Attack!

Among the many series wrapping up for the spring, the first season of ‘V’ drew to a close last week on ABC. For the sake of whatever viewers the show has left, it sure is a good thing that it got picked up as a 2011 midseason replacement. Episode ‘Red Sky’ makes no attempt at all to provide any sense of finality or closure. If this had been the end of the line for the story… well, that would have been frustrating.

As I’ve written previously, I’ve only found ‘V’ to be an “OK” sci-fi entertainment. Although it courts much of the same audience and shares one actress in common, the show is no ‘Lost’, let me tell you. Honestly, it’s barely even a fraction as fun or smart as the original 1983 miniseries that it’s loosely based on. The show is competent and at least reasonably entertaining, but also kind of generic. If the decision between renewing this series or ‘FlashForward’ had been mine to make, I would have chosen ‘FlashForward’. In a heartbeat. Flawed as it is, ‘FlashForward’ is a lot more interesting and has more room to grow and improve.

So, what happens in the season finale? While in the throws of labor, pregnant Val is kidnapped by the evil lizards. As soon as he finds out, boyfriend Ryan (Morris Chestnut) loses all sense and goes up to the V ship to turn himself in so that he can be with her. V leader Anna (Morena Baccarin) uses this as an opportunity to flip him back to her side by preying on the weakness of his human emotions. Once the baby is born, she personally kills Val and blames her death on pregnancy complications. That’s probably for the best. The actress is even more annoying than usual this episode, and her hammy overacting during the labor scenes is almost as distracting as the absurdly fake CG sets on the V ship.

We never do get to see that damn baby.

Chad Decker (Scott Wolf) continues to vacillate between good and evil. (I guess he’s supposed to be this show’s Ben Linus, if played by a really bad actor.) He uncovers that V doctor Joshua is part of the Fifth Column, and turns him in to get back in Anna’s good graces. However, Joshua points him in the direction of a secret room where the humans from the Live Aboard program are being experimented on. That gives even Chad some pause.

A good chunk of the plotting in this episode is predicated on characters wandering around the V ship unsupervised, and walking right into restricted areas without detection. It’s kind of astounding how bad the V security is. Not only does Chad do this, but Anna’s daughter Lisa also sneaks away to free Joshua, who’s being held in room with no guards or security cameras anywhere.

Further, Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell) and annoying teenage son Tyler visit the ship to have dinner with Anna and Lisa. Erica plays along so that she can sneak into the room with all the soldier eggs and blow them up. Which she does easily. Again, there are no guards or cameras anywhere. The scene is capped by a ridiculous shot of Erica leaping away from a terribly fake CG explosion, which no one on the ship hears or feels.

Just afterwards, Erica runs into Joshua, who’s about to be captured. He tells her that he’ll take the fall for blowing up the eggs, but she has to kill him to maintain her cover. She reluctantly obliges. (Not to worry, he’ll be resuscitated a few minutes later.)

Meanwhile, back on the ground, Father Jack decides that enough is enough, and preaches out against the Visitors as false prophets. That’s a move that gets him kicked out of his church.

When she learns that most of the eggs have been destroyed, Anna experiences her first human emotion: rage. She goes batshit crazy and, against the counsel of her advisor Marcus, orders all of the V ships to initiate some sort of doomsday scenario that turns all the skies on Earth red.

And that’s it. To be continued next year…

The cliffhanger is kind of limp, all things considered. I don’t know what the red cloud is, but I’m sure it will clear up in an episode or two next season, and everything will go back to normal. It certainly isn’t compelling enough to keep me on the edge of my seat for the better part of a year waiting. I doubt I’m in a minority feeling this way. I expect the ratings to plummet further when the show does eventually come back, and the show to be canceled without completing the second season.

1 comment

  1. Ed, Watertown MA

    I agree, there is much in the way of illogical plot twists but to give them the benefit of the doubt on one point, in an authoritarian/monarchal society where there is no opposition to the Leader/Queen, there is also likely to be little tradition of internal security. Of course, now that there is a “Fifth Column” that should change if evolution has taught us anything.

    And please, can someone Chad Decker has double crossed just kill him off? Scott Wolf is vying for this year’s most annoying bad actor award.

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