It’s really not that hard to enjoy V. Every episode, you’re guaranteed one awesome scene, two awesome sci-fi concepts, a cameo appearance by the Magic Flying Ball of Doom, a cameo appearance by an actor from another great sci-fi series, a cameo appearance by Scott Wolf, and lots of scenes featuring attractive people wearing expensive leather jackets. By that metric, last night’s episode, titled “John May,” went according to plan. Let’s run down the list:
Awesome Scene: Le Resistance was hanging out in Father Jack’s study, talking to Doctor Joshua and Georgie via the Magic Glowing Ball of Communication. Georgie had suffered all manner of V torture. He asked Father Jack for his Last Rites and bade farewell to his comrades. The soundtrack, which usually sounds like paranoid elevator music, suddenly discovered an eerie guitar track. Doctor Joshua injected Georgie with Death Juice.
(Thank you, V writers, for granting my humble wish from last week and sending Georgie to Hobo Heaven. But my blood lust has not been sated! Father Jack: you’re next.)
Awesome Sci-Fi Concept #1: Anna called in the Human Pain expert from the Tokyo Ship to torture Georgie. Apparently, Beardie McHobo had enough mental strength to withstand incredibly advanced truth serums. Okay, sure. I’ll accept ridiculous plot turns, if the payoff is something as weird as the Scour, an insect-like creature who pokes around inside of your body and “usually exits through the reproductive organs.” Speaking of reproduction…
Awesome Sci-Fi Concept #2: This was another big week for pregnancy plotlines. Anna was suffering from some brutal morning sickness. Pregnant Girlfriend (or whatever her name is) felt her two-week-old fetus kick, then caught a gander at a disturbing sonogram. (Any sonogram with more than zero visible lizard tails counts as disturbing.) We learned that Tyler’s dad isn’t really his dad. Or maybe he is. It’s Mamma Mia! Starring Meryl Streep! Tyler confronted his dad about this. Daddy Krycek said, “It’s complicated.” Starring Meryl Streep!
Oh, and a random V-loving interviewee made a big point about mentioning how infertile she was compared to her siblings, who all have “big families! Not one under eight kids!” (Was this some kind of veiled Dancing With the Stars reference?) I poked fun at the preponderance of pregnancy plots last week, but I’m starting to think that it’s all intentional — that pregnancy is a kind of overarching motif-thesis for V, kind of like how everyone on Lost has an emotionally distant father.
Certainly, we can agree that any show that features Morena Baccarin laying a million eggs in a giant tub of water has something on its mind.
Magic Flying Ball of Doom Cameo: The ol’ MFBoD falls somewhere far below the Smoke Monster and the evil Prisoner balloon on the scale of “Inexplicably Murderous Flying Things.” Last night, a mere human pistol caused it to explode. That’s no way to get ahead in life, Ball!
Sci-Fi Actor Cameo: Michael Trucco of Battlestar Galactica totally crushed it as John May last night. The big twist – that John May has actually been dead all along – was one of the niftier parts of the episode, and yet more evidence that V can be pretty smart.
Unfortunately, May’s death continues a troubling V trend of killing off some of the most promising characters. First Alan Tudyk’s Dale, then the fearsome bald V enforcer… heck, I dunno about you, but I even found the sleeper-agent V girlfriend more compelling than any members of Le Resistance. (Aside: We didn’t actually see May’s death, which makes me a bit skeptical.)
Sci-Fi Actor Cameo Bonus: The director of this episode was Jonathan “William Riker” Frakes. Nifty.
Scott Wolf Cameo: This week, on “Two Minutes with Chad Decker”: Chad got suspicious, figured out that the Visitors were targeting people who could be great but aren’t, and somehow used this knowledge to show Anna he’s not to be trifled with. Hooray for journalism! With very little actual plot to work with, Wolf is totally making me love Decker’s morally ambiguous, fame-yearning character. I’d be happy with more of him and less of…
Attractive People Wearing Expensive Leather Jackets: The best-dressed resistance movement on earth trucked up to Reedsville in search of the Magic Glowing Ball of Communication. Clever Erica tricked the surprisingly unprepared sleeper agent with the old “mix up the college mascots” gag. (Like anyone knows what a Bruin is.) Also, I might be wrong, but I think Hobbes’ tight black T-shirt shrunk since last week. As the team toasted to their fallen comrade, I could swear that his pecs looked mournful.
I didn’t even get to Tyler, who stole Justin Bieber’s hair and spent the episode pouting. Besides him, I actually think that just about everything about V is working… except for the Fifth Column plotline, which is unfortunately about 90 percent of the show.
What’s your prescription for curing V, viewers? Should we shed a few more main characters? Do we need less pregnancy, or more pregnancy? And am I wrong, or did Anna’s birth-tub look like a flooded version of the Dollhouse set?