"Fruition" S1 / E11
- C+ Community Grade
It's a little irritating that we had to wait until V's penultimate episode to really get things moving, but it's not like this is the first serial drama that's spun its wheels until the final weeks, and it won't be the last, so I won't bear a grudge. This was probably the best episode of V in a long time - because the narrative moved along at a quicker pace, there was less clunky dialog and maddening character stupidity. Fine by me.
We're finally gearing up for some sort of war, and while I don't think we'll be treated to epic spaceship battles or thousands of soldiers marching on Earth, there'll at least be some major conflict next week. And who knows, maybe the writers will decide to go with a more epic cliffhanger and drop the whole wolf-in-sheep's-clothing approach of the visitors. We'll find out next week.
The biggest thing to happen in "Fruition" was Anna finally meeting, and squaring off, with Erica. Their scenes together were enjoyable because they played on the concept of Tyler and Lisa, as boyfriend and girlfriend, introducing their parents to each other, except Erica happens to know that Anna's a killer lizard dictator who (she later learns) has Lisa brutalized to drum up anti-Fifth Column fervor on Earth. Elizabeth Mitchell continued to play things pretty close to the chest, which I guess is true to her character, so she kinda got out-acted by Morena Baccarin this time around.
Baccarin has, I feel, been mostly wasted on the show because Anna is given the same scenes to play every week, either sternly telling her deputy what to do or coyly flirting with Chad. But once in a while, she gets to flex her muscles a bit past just being creepy, and I thought she did a great job this week. Her feigned anguish struck just the right balance between over-acting that we knew was fake, but was still believable for the people she was putting on a show for. Could have done without her knowing smile to the camera, though.
Laura Vandervoort as Lisa also did a decent job selling her final cross over to the Fifth Column after her mom treated her so cruelly. Tyler still needs to be brought into the loop, and Chad also seems to be teetering on the fence, but I think the show might be angling to have all of the main characters, apart from Anna, united against the visitors by the end of the season finale. Tyler actually will be the toughest to flip, mostly because he's such a fucking dope. But as long as Lisa makes puppy-dog eyes at him enough, it should be fine.
Hobbes, however, may not be long for this world. It's revealed at the end of the episode that he's a nasty old traitor, but sort of a half-traitor; he doesn't seem to be giving up the names of his fellow Fifth Columnists, or even that he's in the Fifth Column, but he does offer Anna's deputy the research on some weird killer algae from a climate-change scientist who the Vs desperately want to kill. In return, he wants them to...leave him alone. Pardon? I know that the point of this is that Hobbes is looking out for his own damn self, and no one else, but surely he isn't stupid enough to think these duplicitous killer lizards will just keep to their word and leave him alone from now on? He knows they're planning an invasion! We may find out that he's a triple-agent next week, but I could take or leave the character, honestly.
Chad, on the other hand, gets shut out by Anna this week, who is threatening to leave the planet because of the "attack" on Lisa. This spurs him to break strictures against editorializing and issue a pro-V rallying call on-air. He realizes that Anna was merely goading him, and at the end of the episode, she asks for his source (Father Jack) on the Fifth Column. Go on, compromise your ethics one more time, Chad, it won't hurt, she prods. I don't know what use Chad will be to the resistance other than to spread information, but I don't think they cast Scott Wolf in this role to have him turn into some Gaius Baltar traitor who just hangs out on the mothership after the invasion takes place. His defection seems imminent.
Finally, Ryan's loyalties seem to be heading in the other direction as he realizes that emotions can be quite pesky when they're sad ones, and maybe leaving the whole bliss concept behind wasn't such a good idea after all. He's finally realizing that his so-called mentor John May was actually just a boring dude who sat behind a desk sharpening pencils. But this storyline, which was given pretty short shrift and not exactly knocked out of the park by Morris Chestnut acting-wise, seems like a ploy to me. Valerie's return, with her wacky hybrid baby, is imminent; that'll be enough for him to rise to the occasion.
This episode was really just about moving the pieces into place for the finale next week, which I'm sure is going to disappoint. But it was so nice to see pieces moving at all that I'm gonna give the episode a pass.
Lauren Vandervoort isn't a terrible actress but it kinda seems the point of her character is for her to have her top off, in at least half the episodes.
I know Erica has to do her bit for the cause, but whacking that poor Parker fellow, who was just trying to solve the carbon crisis, and then hauling him off to some V internment camp, was quite cruel.
"I'm sure we'll cross paths again soon," Anna whispers. "I'm not going anywhere, Anna," breathes Erica. Which one can out-icy the other?