Sunday, February 6, 2011

NEW!: V (2009) 2:4 - Unholy Alliance

Overall: 8.2

I approached this episode with some apprehension after reading about Anna's visit to the Vatican in the recaplet - mainly because I feared that papal infallibility was going to take a hit - but as it turned out, that plot did not fulfill my greatest fears. Actually, on balance, this is the strongest episode of the season so far.

Plot Synopsis: has a summary here.

The Skinny:

The pope's astronomer is on record saying that he would baptize an alien if asked, so it makes perfect sense that the Catholic Church would wish to send missionaries to the motherships. But that's not the only reason why Anna's meeting with the cardinals works so well. What I also like about that scene is this: Anna behaves as if Catholics are rational people. She doesn't accept that we believe out of blind faith; instead, she states outright that we base our beliefs in part on actual evidence (i.e., miracles). And she pulls the cardinals to her side not by convincing them that the Church is wrong, but by not-so-subtly threatening to lead people astray with her technological wonders. The Church is in the business of saving souls first and foremost, and the cardinals acceded to Anna's demands out of genuine fear of losing those souls. I do still have a few reservations, but this is about the best way a Hollywood production could've brought about a semi-alliance between the Church and the V's.

And speaking of saving souls, we also have Moreau. Moreau's role in this episode is an implicit acknowledgement on the part of Rockne S. O'Bannon (and just as a side note, I take it as a good sign that Farscape alumni are getting involved now) that the Catholic Faith can be a powerful source of inspiration and strength. What we see in Moreau is not a sleeper who is simply playing a part, but a V who has been utterly converted. Indeed, he is so confident that the soul is immaterial and immortal that he is willing to martyr himself to stymie Anna's plans. Awesome! And by the way, given that both Moreau and Diana have evinced the strong conviction that Anna will ultimately fail in her quest to kill the human soul, it may be that sending missionaries to the motherships will end up becoming our one path to victory -- and that will be awesome too.

Writing: 7.5

This is the first script this season that has actually felt solid to me. We're finally getting things moving, I think. Not only are the scenes at the Vatican quite well done, but with Tyler's increasing pro-V militancy, Eli Cohn's violent anti-V activities, and the FBI's growing suspicions, you can sense that things are coming to head for Erica as well.

Acting: 8.0

There are still a few rough spots here and there - Scott Hylands and the gentleman who plays Cohn fail to completely impress me - but yet again, most of the performances were pretty good. And yes, that includes Mitchell's efforts.

Message: 9.0

I'm going to go for broke and give this one a feature-level score on the message, as I found Moreau's willing sacrifice especially moving.

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