Sunday, March 20, 2011

NEW!: V (2009) 2:10 - Mother's Day

Overall: 5.0

Stop introducing new plot threads, writers, and deal with the ones you've already started! And also? Extreme differences in degree usually indicate differences in kind.

Plot Synopsis: has a recap here.

The Skinny:

I honestly wanted to like this episode. I really did. I mean, there are some bits that are truly great. For example, I love Anna impaling Diana with her tail and then snarking to Lisa, "Now that's how you kill your mother." (Morena Baccarin still completely dominates this show in every way.) And I do like that Tyler finally gets his neck eaten out preying mantis style; there was no way a character that gullible was going to survive to the end of the series. (By the way, is there anyone out in the audience who liked Erica's kid? Normally speaking, I tend to defend characters who are universally hated, but in this instance, even I have trouble seeing anything redeeming in Tyler.)

Unfortunately, I mainly found this episode frustrating. As you've probably noticed, I've been giving this show a ridiculous amount of leeway, rating it on its own terms and awarding it more credit than it probably deserves whenever it showed some promise. Have I gotten anything in return? No, not yet. And at this point in the game, I don't think I'm going to. Consider: Even before this episode, the writers had far too many balls in the air. So far, they've brought up the media (and whether or not they can be trusted), the ethics of guerilla warfare, questions as to the nature and utility of the human soul, the dangers presented by a science divorced from a respect for life, the problem of pain, and many other interesting plot elements and themes. But instead of continuing to capitalize on all of this inherent potential, the writers decide in this episode to throw yet one more ball up there with the revelation of Project Aries. Why? Why start a thread like that now? If you wanted to have a top secret government program working behind the scenes to subvert the V's, you should've introduced them earlier -- or, at the very least, you should've given us some hint that not everyone in the U.S. government was down with the whole "the V's are of peace" mantra. Thinking about it now, I suspect what we're bumping up against here are the consequences of training the lion's share of the show's focus on Erica and her merry men. If the global response had been covered in more than a glancing fashion, I think the existence of Project Aries would not have felt like it was tacked on.

What else irritated me about this episode? Well, for one thing, it makes Lisa look like an idiot for the sake of the plot. Lisa has watched her mother coolly manipulate human emotion to serve her own ends for months now, and yet she believes Anna when Anna turns on the waterworks and claims to love her daughter? I suppose I could accept the explanation that Lisa was blinded by her human emotions - in particular her desire for real motherly affection. Still, a part of me wishes Lisa had been a little more shrewd. As it stands, if this series gets canceled, it will have ended with the humans losing, and that sucks.

But now to what annoyed me most of all: The fact that the writers confirmed my worst suspicions and started portraying Erica and Anna as morally similar. Hell the f*** no. No, you cannot equate Erica's slap-dash and rather pathetic attempts to defeat the V's to Anna's plans to use and discard humanity in order to make the V's a master race. Yes, the Fifth Column has a body count - and yes, that is unfortunate - but by my calculation, less than thirty innocent people have died due to Erica's direct orders (i.e., the Live Aboards carrying the DNA bombs - and even then, their deaths were due to poor planning more than anything else). Others who died at the hands of the rebels died because of the activities of Cohn's outfit -- and when Erica's band merged with the remains of Cohn's organization, the first thing Erica did was announce that they were going to abandon indiscriminate terror and focus on derailing Anna's plans specifically. If Erica were in fact just as merciless as Anna, she would've ignored Jack and blown that blue energy reactor -- and done a lot more besides. Good grief, how can Erica possibly compare to Anna, who has tortured and killed who knows how many human beings in her Mengelian quest to remake the V genome? As I stated in my opening comments, extreme differences in degree are generally understood to indicate differences in kind.

Writing: 5.0

There are parts that have some entertainment value, but I've lost patience with the aimlessness of the plot.

Acting: 7.0

Baccarin and Vandervoort are awesome; they're pretty much propping up this series all by themselves. On the other hand, the young actress who plays Amy is noticeably inferior; I didn't find her performance interesting at all.

Message: 3.0

Claiming that Erica and Anna are the same is like claiming that the night is very much like the day. Can the writers really be that morally obtuse?

1 comment:

  1. This show is now dead to me. All I need to do is read your commentary to know I have no business watching it. Well...that and I always thought the acting sucked and the plots were too complicated and unbalanced even in first season.