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V: "Pound of Flesh" 

We can’t go on like this, V. I’m gonna need some major changes if you expect me to keep coming back like this. This is an alien invasion show. I won’t accept episode plots that include Erica taking her son to meet his dad down in the country so they can all have a heart-to-heart like some goddamn WB show. We can’t have Ryan heroically infiltrating the V ship just so he can steal some purple fairy dust for his pregnant wife. You can’t introduce a character who’s on the FBI’s Most Wanted List a week before and then have him infiltrate the FBI offices like it’s nothing. It’s just not acceptable.

“Pound of Flesh” started with a scene out of an early Battlestar Galactica episode, where a Fifth Column rebel blows himself up while everyone else is experiencing Anna’s bliss. A couple details get straightened out for us: the Fifth Column dudes are indeed disconnected from the mass consciousness of the visitors, and they also experience human emotion, which means they cry when they see Steel Magnolias, and don’t just stare blankly like Anna does when they’re shown video montages of human violence. This is, apparently, no good, so Anna resolves to get rid of them once and for all, as if she hasn’t been trying to do that this whole time.

With the suicide bomb opening I thought we were in for a stepping-up of the Fifth Column antics this week, but it was not to be. Instead, the absurdity of the situation is just further laid bare. Anna devises her montage-of-pain test to screen out who the traitors are. But she forgets to test it on Doctor Traitor (I think his name is Cyrus?) who’s administering the tests. So it’s fucking USELESS.

Anna may swan about the ship acting like she’s ten steps ahead of everyone, but the Vs really don’t feel too threatening at this point. For one, Erica’s motley crew of fools continue to have an impact. But more importantly, there’s more and more scenes on Anna’s ship where Cyrus, or Ryan, or someone else, just sabotages shit without getting caught. This is a ship with a TV screen for a bottom, and yet they don’t have surveillance cameras?

Near the end of the episode, Cyrus sabotages Anna’s broadcast to the people so it says “John May Lives,” referring to the leader of the Fifth Column, still in the wind at this point. Again, he does this with total ease and Anna barely seems to care when she hears about it, instead musing that all it’ll do is bring the traitors out in the open so she can exterminate them. Sure, Anna. Keep acting like you aren’t scared. I’ve got your number now.

This episode didn’t touch on whether the no-doubt considerable number of humans watching Anna’s broadcast thought there was anything untoward about “John May Lives” flashing onto the screen. I know V has basically established that we’re a bunch of drooling cattle, but really? No one would think, “hmm, what was up with that?” In terms of skeptics, the only focus the show gives us is Erica, Father Jack, Georgie and (to a lesser extent) Chad, with no news on how the world at large is reacting to everything now that a few weeks or months have passed.

Speaking of Georgie, poor Georgie. He gets busted this week after he flies onto the V ship after Ryan because, well, I don’t really know why he did that. I don’t know how he did it either; surely he’s on some red-flag list considering the aliens killed his wife and kids. But somehow he manages to get on board and stop a visitor from taking down Ryan, so Ryan can bring the purple phosphorus crystals back to Earth to trick his wife, Glee-style, into thinking she’s having a normal baby. Georgie getting dragged away by the Vs as he screamed “long live the Fifth Column!” was one of the more exciting bits this week, but it was ruined slightly by the fact that nobody gives a shit about him.

In fact, the new addition to the resistance, swarthy black-ops mercenary Hobbes, gives knowing voice to that fact while everyone complains that he let Georgie fly up to his death. He’s “acceptable collateral,” Hobbes says. Exactly right. Seems like the stakes are higher, but they really aren’t. Hobbes himself hasn’t really added much to the mix as of yet – he’s mostly lounging about in a comfortable-looking leather chair. He tells everyone in the resistance that they’re stupid and weak if they’re unwilling to take the Vs head-on, and he’s right, but he doesn’t exactly have much else to offer aside from that yet.

The only other plot this week was Erica trying to fob Tyler off on his bland daddy so that she can conduct her alien war in peace. I basically zoned out entirely during these scenes, to the extent that my girlfriend had to point out that Tyler’s dad mentioned something to Erica about “telling [Tyler] the truth about who he really is.” Buh? That measly clue was still not remotely worth all the other dad-son nonsense. I didn’t think V could make Tyler’s storyline even less original, but they succeeded.

Stray observations:

My DVR cut the final minute off of this episode, so I may have missed some incredible twist (I doubt it.) Please enlighten me if I did. Father

Jack (who’s getting less and less to do) has a business card with a cross on it.

“Sneaking into the FBI is one thing,” Erica barks at Hobbes, after he tricks his way inside by putting on a pair of glasses. Could the FBI be more incompetent on this show? There was barely anyone in the office this week!

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