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V – ‘Welcome to the War’ (1.05) – review
V returns after its long hiatus and pummels its viewers with thickening plots. The creepy V Commander Anna continues to dupe the populace of Earth as she seeks out the alien rebel force known as the Fifth Column, while FBI agent Erica fights to keep her son Tyler from being seduced by the Visitors, only to fail miserably. Meanwhile, Father Jack is stabbed by a Visitor while on a personal mission to cover up a previous rebel attack on a Visitor’s warehouse. The Father, who was part of the rebel attack, is taken to a Visitor healing center, healed, and injected with a formula known as ”R6,” thought to have been destroyed. Ryan, Visitor and member of the Fifth Column, deals with not only organizing a force against Anna but also a most unexpected pregnancy. To make this return episode even more visually and shockingly lucrative, Anna procreates and then eats her mate to feed her future progeny.
Finally this version of V throws out a few twists and turns from the original series, and I think it’s a step in the right direction. I was able to jump right back into the show despite its long absence and remain glued to the plasma screen the whole time. The actors, who seemed to be struggling at first to fill their roles in the first few episodes, now seem to have locked them down tight. I applaud Morena Baccarin for being absolutely stunning as a reptile in human flesh. Her good looks mixed with reptilian glances and cold mannerisms is just plain creepy to watch. This episode to me flew by as each plot twist dropped into place and began to spin threads for future episodes.
The real surprise this episode for me was the recruitment of a known earth terrorist by Erica and Ryan to help bring down the Visitors. Talk about irony and twist of fate; this was a most unexpected plot development. The only character I am having trouble getting into is Scott Wolf’s Chad Decker, who is starting to come off a bit shallow. I must admit to having flashbacks of his boring character in the 90′s drama Party of Five. Chad has lost his bite as the Visitors feed upon his fear of dying from an aneurysm, sometime in the unknown future. I hope the writers don’t make him a patsy and ruin what could be a good character.
The talk of this episode will be Valerie and Ryan’s “V” baby. Just watching Valerie considering to eat a dead mouse in a mousetrap takes pregnancy cravings to a whole new level. Part of me wanted her to take a good munch, but my stomach turned and screamed “Don’t do it!” And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Anna let out her reptilian maw and fed upon her unlucky drone. My jaw dropped.
My biggest complaint about this episode is that it was not enough after such a long hiatus. I would have liked to have seen a two-hour return. Why? Because I had high expectations for this show, and so far it has not disappointed me; I want to see more. V is one of those shows from my childhood that captivated me and kept me tuned in. The new version is doing the same, and I am most pleased with both the rewrite and homage this version pays to the original. Sometimes writers try to reinvigorate a classic series and it goes up in flames, while original fans cry out in horror at the blasphemy of it all. So far…this does not appear to be the case, and I have hope that this trend will continue. It’s a win when new viewers get an updated series with plenty of new material to talk about with old-time fanatics. Everybody loves a good mystery re-spun, and V definitely has scored a victory so far on that.
Hopefully next episode won’t prove my words precipitate…