V – “Mother’s Day” – 3/15/11

You know, when I sat down to watch tonight’s ‘V’, I really thought the writers were going to create an episode that would, for the most part, wrap things up in such a way that it would be a satisfying (albeit incomplete) ending, in anticipation of not getting picked up for a new season.  Sort of like the end of season four of Babylon 5.

I was wrong.

And if ‘V’ doesn’t get picked up for a new season, then shame on Hollywood and TV in general.  It’s clear that about halfway through the season, in between tokes, the writers woke up.  It’s even clearer that more recently they watched all of the last 5 seasons of ‘Doctor Who’ and all 3 ‘Torchwood’ seasons twice, for good measure.

We begin with the obligatory recap that reminds us that Anna can now “Bliss” humans (but doing so is such an energy drain that it could cost her life), and that Marcus was approached by the original queen, Diana (once again, MILF Jane Badler struts her stuff…this time in a sheer white dress that simply makes you drool and wonder who her surgeon is!).  As we reported last time, Diana was smart enough to play on his loyalty to the Visitors’ species and not let on that she was helping the 5th column.

Anyway, I will do my best not to reveal spoilers here, but it’s so hard.  The first half of the episode came across as disappointing and I was really concerned that the writers had given up. The 5th column decides to follow Diana’s plan of holding Lisa hostage in order to get close to Anna to kill her.  The stupid part of the plan is that they task Lisa with killing Anna.  I was screaming at the TV that she would never do it.  Do you think she would?

32 minutes into it and suddenly, not only does the shit hit the fan, it clogs up the motor!  Now, I didn’t say Lisa DID shoot Anna, and I didn’t say she didn’t.  So much happens in the last half of the episode, that it appears that either: a) they fired all the writers and hired Russel Davies and Stephen Moffat, or b) the writers had a moment of clarity and decided to fight for their show.  I’m guessing it was choice “b”.

What happens next, I can’t even tell you.  I will tell you this – all of the actors were above and beyond their normal capabilities.  Scott Wolf (WHEN is he going to play Michael J. Fox, I ask again????) does a great job at one point of hiding how he’s really feeling while he’s supposed to be reporting a V-centric story.  Only we know his inner turmoil, and it shines through.  There’s a later point where he is confronted, and you almost think he’s going to grab his hover board and fly out of there screaming, “Doc!  Get me outta here!”  (Digressing again?  I thought as much…)

Laura Vandervoort…what can I say?  Even as the smokin’ hot Supergirl on Smallville, she always came across as a supermodel turned actress who really couldn’t act.  I believed her character of Lisa, but only because I had to.  But in this episode she really shows her chops!  I mean, an outstanding bit of acting that I was totally impressed with, because I believed that she was the character she was portraying.  Again, I’m being cryptic here on purpose because you should see the episode.

Essentially, the second half of the episode explodes into a nightmare after which you are gasping for more.  Nothing is as it seems and it’s out of one frying pan and into another.  At least Joshua has all his memories back.  There’s hope for us yet.

Charles Mesure, who plays the mercenary Kyle Hobbs, is surprisingly absent for most of this episode.   Granted, he’s no replacement for Michael Ironside’s merc character, Hamilton Tyler, in the orginal ‘V’, but he did manage to win us over…until he betrayed the 5th column an episode or two back by screwing up their assassination plot because Marcus promised him they had his wife alive and well (Kyle had been searching for her for years).  For some reason, this plot thread was never followed up on, but we are clamoring for more.  He got romantic with Erica, in the Biblical sense, and it seemed as if something were going to happen with them…

There are some horrific scenes in this as well.  What’s great is that they are not overt.  There are subtle shots of characters that just simply send a chill up your spine.  Another shot of a bleeding Anna after trying to bliss humans while wearing a white dress is something right out of an Argento film.  If the writers start writing next season NOW, they will be able to keep up the momentum and bring in ratings gold.  If you as viewers tell ABC that you want more ‘V’ that will help immensely!

Morena Baccarin proves herself in this one, too.  As Anna, she is an authority figure that we are all too familiar with in this 21st century – the kind who smiles and says one thing, but you know she’s lying and really meaning another.  It’s really eerie how she portrays the sinister side of Anna while having the loving side show as she cares for the daughter she stole from Ryan Nichols.  She was eye candy on ‘Firefly’ as Inara, and started to show she had promise when she played Adria on Stargate: SG-1.  Now, she really pulls out all the stops as the complicated and scary Anna!

Marc Singer does indeed show up and makes a cool Babylon 5 reference.  Aren’t we glad that he finally made up for his horrific stint on one episode of ‘Highlander: The Series’? I mean, the show rocked, but the first season episodes are sort of like Klingons without brow ridges…we just ignore them.  Okay, digressing again.  Right now, I’m so overwhelmed I feel that Ican’t do this review justice.  Joel Gretsch (the poor man’s Mark Valley) really shines as Father Jack Landry, outdoing himself in this episode.  He sides with Erica on their initial plan to use Lisa as bait, citing the fact that when he used to look up to the sky, he saw God, and now all he sees are V ships.  He wants to see God again.  I have to say, this was the first episode in which I finally liked his character.  I think he even does see God at one point.

But man, things just get out of control. They go from bad to worse.  Characters live, characters die, and the ‘V’ Universe will never be the same.  I still can’t understand why they refer to themselves as “Visitors”, and yes, the plot about Anna wanting to extract the human soul seems a tad silly, but you know what? After this episode, I really believe that she will eventually do just that!

Here’s to season 3!!!

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