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'V': Unleashing a soldier of war

April 27, 2010 | 11:00 pm

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If that's what one Visitor soldier is capable of, imagine what 1000 will do....

The threat of the Visitor soldiers intensified this week on "V," as Anna learned about the existence of Ryan and Val's unborn hybrid child and set out to have it destroyed lest the Fifth Column use it to create a race of emotionally integrated half-breed super-soldiers.

While Anna is concerned about the hybrid baby's potential to do the Visitors' master plan serious harm, I have to wonder if she didn't miss an important beat here. After all, they could slap some synthetic skin on the kid once it is born and hail it as a symbol of unity between the Visitors and the humans. Or maybe that's just me, looking for some spin.

Regardless, the unborn offspring of the two races was on everyone's mind this week as Anna sent off the first Visitor soldier to track down Ryan and Val and locate the half-lizard baby, while they attempted to evade Visitor forces and escape to safety via the Fifth Column underground railroad (and day players the Thompsons) ... while the members of the resistance force sought to track them down as well by trying to extract information from the captured human sniper they picked up last week.

Anna. I'm still trying to figure out just what Anna's master plan entails. Although she wants Ryan and Val's baby destroyed (she calls it a "mongrel"), she seems to be harvesting genetic material from the humans who are selected for the Live Aboard program and invited to begin life on the mother ships. She's particularly keen that Tyler is one of these participants and tells Lisa that Tyler will remain aboard the ship until he is no longer needed, a sentiment that doesn't go over too well with Lisa, who has begun to feel genuine human emotion for Tyler. 

But Anna's no fool; by the end of the episode, she's grown suspicious of her daughter, particularly when she expresses concern about Anna's plan and doesn't want Tyler to be involved with whatever Anna is planning. Any chance there's going to be a major rift forming between mother and daughter? Could the Fifth Column's best chance of success actually lie in the hands of the High Commander's child?

Chad. Likewise, I'm not sure just what side Chad Decker is on in the shadow war that's unfolding before us. Receiving medical treatment aboard the mother ship for his aneurysm, Chad awakens to find Anna watching over him, expressing concern for the journalist and seeking to put him on the trail of the Fifth Column. While Chad pledges his fealty to Anna, I wasn't sure what to make of the scene where he visits Father Jack at the church. He seemed to be angling for information about the Fifth Column, but I couldn't help wondering whether Chad is on his own side, out for himself. He's clearly suspicious of the Visitors, but I think he's playing both sides against one another, a double agent in a slick suit and tight jeans. 

Erica. The resistance struggled with how far to take the questioning of human sniper/Visitor collaborator Jeffrey Barnes, now in their custody. With the possibility that the Fifth Column infrastructure had been compromised, they didn't want to take any chances, though Erica and especially Father Jack were both reluctant to let Hobbes brutally torture Jeffrey. 

Erica's efforts to reason with Barnes resulted in an echo of her earlier argument with her son Tyler, who demanded that she tell him the awful things that the Visitors had done since they arrived on the planet. But, in both cases, Erica couldn't. Both men have been radicalized by the lure of the Visitors, by the gifts that they promise, making false idols out of these aliens (hell, there's even a throwaway line about the Church of the V forming). 

The more Erica tries to reason with Tyler but not tell him the truth, the more she pushes him away. Likewise, Barnes has seen only the benevolence of the Visitors, having had them heal his paralyzed daughter.

Ryan and Val. The star-crossed couple, meanwhile, aren't exactly seeing eye to eye right now. Ryan may have saved Val's life but, in telling her the truth about his identity, he has erased all semblance of trust that existed between them. And when she sees a clear symbol of Ryan's nature -- the reptilian flesh of her Visitor attacker -- she panics. Leah, Ryan's doctor ally, is able to give Val something to prevent the R6 tracking ability, rendering it far more difficult, though not impossible, for the Visitors to find them. 

But find them the Visitor soldier does. He's a reptilian killer in human flesh, blessed with certain gifts that make it nearly impossible to escape his wrath. He quickly dispatches the Thompsons and gives Ryan a run for his money. In fact, Ryan, Val and Leah escape only because Erica and the resistance show up in time to act as the cavalry, effecting their escape and getting Val and Leah aboard a train bound for ... well, who knows where? (Thanks in part to Hobbes nailing the soldier with an ax.)

But Val doesn't want Ryan coming with them. Although he claims that everything he's done has been to protect her and the baby, Val's not buying it: She says that he's sought to protect himself this whole time and that their relationship has been built upon a series of lies. Which leaves Ryan with the resistance, fighting for his wife and unborn child but unaware whether they're safe or not. Something tells me that they are nowhere near out of danger.

-- Jace Lacob (Follow my musings on television, food and more television on Twitter: @televisionary)

Photo: Father Jack Landry (Joel Gretsch) and Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) attempt to take on a Visitor soldier on ABC's "V." 

Credit: Jack Rowand / ABC

RELATED:
'V': Electric blue, or the politics of tragedy
'V': May day, or everyone has a breaking point

‘V’: Morena Baccarin talks about Anna, the Visitors' plan and lizard anatomy
'V': Showrunner Scott Rosenbaum teases 'rodent desire,' multiple pregnancies and more
Complete 'V' coverage on Showtracker


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