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'V': Choose your masters


Does V stand for Visitor? Is it Victory? Or even Vengeance?

That seems to be the question pondered by the season finale of ABC's sci-fi drama "V," recently renewed for a second season. Although the series won't return until midseason (at the earliest, November), the writers left us with quite a few cliffhangers to think about in the meantime as alliances fractured, sides were taken, and a new threat to the planet was unleashed by a vengeful Anna, in the throes of her first real human emotion.

Given the way that the season ended, with more than a few plot twists thrown into the mix, I'm extremely glad that ABC is giving "V" another shot next season. This week's episode ("Red Sky"), offered quite a few surprises as Erica managed to get aboard the mother ship and throw a major wrench in Anna's plans ... only to have Anna bring about hell on Earth itself as the sky above every city on the planet turned crimson.

It was a fantastic sequence that effortlessly mirrored the pilot episode, which depicted the Visitors' arrival on Earth as mother ships descended on 29 of the planet's major cities. Here, we're once again treated to the site of Visitor ships hovering above Los Angeles, Florence and other cities, but with an eerie red backdrop that signals a major turning point in the shadowy war between the humans and the Visitors.

This week's episode also saw some unexpected new alliances and the disintegration of others as each of the characters had to decide which master they would serve, choosing whether to follow their heads or their hearts, knowing that it could be the most important decision of their lives ... as the fate of two races hangs in the balance.

Ryan and Val: Poor Val really got a raw deal here. Not only did she learn that the child she's conceived with her long-term boyfriend is a hybrid, but Ryan is himself a reptilian alien hiding under genetically modified human flesh. No sooner does she go into labor than she's taken prisoner by a deer-munching Visitor soldier, who brings her to the New York mother ship so that she can give birth to her baby. Although Anna claimed that she wants only to help Val, given that this is a severely high-risk pregnancy, the reverse was true. No sooner did Val give birth to the baby and manage to survive the ordeal than Anna decided to murder her, leaving the baby up for grabs and Ryan ripe for the plucking.

Ryan and Val managed to get one tender scene together in the medical bay as the baby's head crowned. He kissed her goodbye and went to wait nearby, unaware that Anna planned to eliminate Val and keep the hybrid baby. But any hope of a happy future together with the woman he loves was brutally ripped away by High Commander Anna, who injected Valerie and instructed the medical officer to state that Val died in childbirth and only the baby lived. 

Later, Ryan confronted Anna and nearly choked her before Anna offered him another option to vengeance. She gave him his child, whose reptilian tail curled around his finger (like a human baby might use its little pinkie), and offered him a second chance. Ryan, for his part, gave into Anna's bliss this time, allowing her radiance to wash over him and pledging himself once more to the Visitors, eliminating his human emotions and closing himself off once more. Just what this means with regard to his allegiance to the Fifth Column's cause remains to be seen. But for now, he's made his choice about which side to support. After all, he now has a child to think about.

"I'm so sorry you lost her," says Anna to Ryan,"but now you have me." (Shudder.)

Anna believes that they can learn from Ryan, to gain insight into their enemy and gain an understanding of "love." If they can manage to turn Ryan back to their side, then they can turn anyone. After all, human emotions are fostered by proximity to the humans. By returning to the mother ship and shutting down his feelings, Ryan might be able to be "saved" by Anna, especially if she continues to use her bliss on him.

Father Jack: Early on in the episode, Father Travis refused to let Jack deliver a sermon that described the Visitors as false prophets, but Jack refused to give in to the demands of his superior, instead delivering a scathing sermon that ended up nearly emptying the entire congregation as Jack stood at the pulpit and asked the parishioners to renounce the Visitors. "You can't serve two masters. ... Even a single Judas can defeat us," cries Jack. "Let V no longer stand for Visitor. Let V stand for Victory."

Jack's decision to cross the line in the sand, to place his career and safety in jeopardy, is an important one. Unlike Chad Decker, he won't sheepishly follow the flock and accept these Visitors with a blind faith that should be used to worship the divine. No, Jack is the leader of a flock and he intends to point it in the correct direction, on the path of righteousness, even though it's not the smart thing to do. As Father Travis tells him, he's done a very dangerous thing. 

So where will we find Jack next season? Will he still be a priest? Or will he have left the priesthood altogether, focusing instead on the Fifth Column and stopping the threat of the Visitors? Hmmm...

Aside: I was a little confused by Jack's efforts to send Joshua a message after the comm device stopped working. By sending said message through Chad Decker, Anna's lap dog, he put Joshua and the entire Fifth Column at risk ... and this gambit ended up leading to the mother-ship-based saboteurs being rounded up. However, it did lead to Chad's eyes being opened about the Visitors and Anna herself.

Chad: Likewise, Chad Decker is also forced to choose his own master this week. At first it seems as though he's proved his loyalty to Anna but, after his whispering in Anna's ear led to the Fifth Column being captured on the mother ship and Joshua imprisoned, he finally learned the truth about what's really going on up in the sky. Joshua told him that the Fifth Column members will be skinned alive and that Anna didn't cure his aneurysm, she gave him one. 

Chad refused to believe Joshua, but then the scales fell from his eyes as he saw the experiments being performed on the Live Aboard humans. He showed up later at Jack's sermon and stood to the side, seemingly making his alliance to their cause known. Can he really be trusted? Is he willing to put aside his personal ambition and thirst for power in order to serve the greater good? And will Anna ever let him go?

Joshua: The ever-selfless Joshua sacrificed himself to further the goals of the Fifth Column, creating a diversion that allowed Erica to detonate a blue energy grenade within the incubation chamber where Anna's thousands of eggs lay, waiting to hatch. After preventing Lisa from risking her own life, he then protected Erica's cover by forcing her to shoot him, seemingly killing him within a firefight. The effect served to prove Erica's loyalty to Anna and to remove suspicion that she was behind the attack on the eggs. But it's not the end of Joshua; a quick scene at the end showed Leah and other Fifth Column survivors reviving Joshua using Visitor technology. ... Could it be that he's meant to replace Ryan as the Visitor member of the human resistance effort?

I also loved the scene where Lisa freed Joshua from the holding cell in the medical bay and she held his face and told him that he was brave. His reply? "Thank you, my queen." It was a quick but powerful moment that summed up Lisa's full potential. Could it be that she's the rightful heir to the throne, a contender supported by the Fifth Column?

Hobbes and Marcus: Both terrorist Kyle Hobbes and Anna's right-hand-man Marcus have been extremely shifty all season. This week, Kyle managed to get Marcus off of the mother ship so that Erica could work unencumbered without him keeping an ever-watchful eye on her. But it was really a business meeting so that he could trade the research that the Visitors are so desperate to have for his own freedom, as well as discovering why the Visitors framed him months earlier. 

But Marcus has a few secrets of his own: He framed Hobbes so that he could get his attention, as he wants to hire him. When Hobbes scoffed at this, Marcus told him that he's been working for him for months and that he wanted him to infiltrate the Fifth Column. Although this made it seem as though Marcus is evil and wanted Hobbes to betray the human resistance effort, it was more of a bait-and-switch as Marcus was among the Fifth Column members who were present at Joshua's revival process.

So is Marcus one of them? Is he playing both sides? Is he the Judas at the table, ready to throw his hand in with whatever side seems like they're about to win? I'm still not sure what to make of Marcus, even at the end of the season. But I dare say that he might just be on the side of the angels, after all. "Welcome back," he tells Joshua, a sentiment that echoes Anna's "welcome home" to Ryan earlier.

Erica: I loved the dinner party scene that played out between Erica, Tyler, Anna, and Lisa as the two families came together aboard the mother ship. But although Anna believes that she is using Erica and exerting her influence over her, the reverse is true: Erica used the invitation to destroy the Visitor soldier eggs, destroying all but 12 of them in the process and wiping them out using a blue energy grenade given to her by none other than Lisa.

Which is lucky because the gel explosive that Hobbes had prepared for her was seized when she came aboard the ship (it was concealed in her purse), along with her firearm. But thanks to Lisa, Erica was still able to carry out her mission and escape without Anna being aware that she was the one who killed all of her precious children.

I thought that Elizabeth Mitchell and Morena Baccarin both did an excellent job at conveying the tension and weight of this meeting, a sit-down confrontation between the two in which neither of them was honest with the other. Erica's grit and determination, as well as her love for Tyler, really came through, as she pretended to go along with Anna's game of playing happy families. 

Anna and Lisa: The royal mother and daughter couldn't be more different as we wrap up the first season of "V." Or are they? Lisa made her allegiance to the Fifth Column clear, giving Erica the means to destroy Anna's children, her own people, rather than allow them to hurt the humans, or even Tyler.

Anna, however, finally has her very first emotion, giving into her heart-rending grief and agony after discovering that someone has destroyed all of her eggs. As Lisa gave a slight smile behind her mother's back, Anna screamed out in utter rage and loss, unable to understand what was happening to her. (Marcus explained that it was her first experience of human emotion.) Although some of the soldiers escaped death, their core temperatures were severely affected, and Marcus was unsure how many will actually survive.

While Anna experienced full-blown grief, she turned to an act of vengeance, initiating a sequence that turned the sky red across the planet. Just what has she done? Was this her plan all along? And why has she not waited until the appropriate time to unleash this attack? Could it be that she's now just as prone to an emotional response as any human? Will this be her very undoing? Or will it be the end of the human race? Find out next season ...

What did you think of this episode and of the season in general? Should we trust Marcus? Sad to see Val go? Will Ryan come back around? Will Lisa become queen? Will you come back next season to watch Season 2 of "V"? Head to the comments section to discuss.

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

Photo: Guess who's coming to dinner? Anna (Morena Baccarin) and Lisa (Laura Vandervoort) share dinner with Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) and Tyler (Logan Huffman) on ABC's "V." Credit: Jeff Petry / ABC


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Comments () | Archives (19)

After such a great episode it's only more exciting now that it's been renewed. The story can go in so many directions...I'm hoping for some sort of V Martial Law and the true plan coming out very soon....

Man, I think this show is a decent series. Sure it's a little cheesy but it has held my attention since episode 1. It's a shame that it has only been renewed for only half a season, it seems as though ABC like's to screw with people and their shows.

Yes, ABC likes to mess with people. Gotta hate that!
Yes, this last episode, ROCKED and it sure can go so many directions. So many questions unanswered....

What I *really* want to know, is what's up with Marcus and Joshua? What's up with Joshua bring brought back and Marcus welcoming him? Welcoming on which side? Who's side is Marcus on? Ugh .... when's the next season starting? I've heard September, then November, then January. And 13 episodes is what I'm hearing. Now it's only 1/2 a season? :(

I will be waiting .... but not sure if so patiently! :)

It was a great cliffhanger, i was crazy about the show before but i liked last nights episode and i will definitely watch season 2.

I liked the fact that Chad realized the true nature of Anna and am glad that Joshua lived. As for Marcus it will be great to see where they are going with the "welcome back" he gave Joshua, i hope he is a 5th C. or maybe even John May, that will be a great twist.

I loved watching "V" the first time...I love it even better the second time around. Loved the season ending! I will be marking my calendar.

Thank you for the second season!

Posted by: Yaz
Marcus = John May...that would be a great twist!

I did not get all that was said when Anna told Erica that a human was wearing the 'V' uniform that she shot...was it Joshua?

Chad needs to go see a human doctor again...the (aneurysm)that was not there in the first place ...now shows up. I would love to see Chad's face expression. The one that Anna has...blink...blink ...blink... ;)

glad it was renewed--i will miss val but they never really did much with her character--best to just kill her off.

LOVE the show and last night's ending was fantastic and I can't wait for the second season!

Yes that episode was great. Anyone who liked it have to be full on dedicated to watching season 2. The twists were awsome but it almost leaves no one truly on the V's side. Erica & the Priest are still 5th C. Lisa is now the queen of 5th C. Chad has now seen the light so he's on brd with 5th C. If Marcus is 5th C. Then the meeting he had with Kyle doesn't make Kyle a traitor like it lead on to be. Then there's the twist that Anna has experienced human emotion which makes her vulnerable & subjective to seeing things the 5th C. Way. This is great for the humans. The only loss is Ryan but there is so many reasons for him to retain his human-ness. He's a father & his girl was killed by Anna so when he finds out, there's no stopping him.

@ the post by Y... I love the Marcus being John May that would be great. But what if he has another motive. Get Anna overthrown, become King & go back to the V planet and live peacefully?

@ the post by H...this is what I got out of Anna when she told Erica the threat was a human who stole a V suit. Anna was just covering for her kind. She's tryna make it seem like humans r all bad and V's are loyal to her. She did the same thing with Chad when he asked if V's r in 5th C. If its known that she has unloyal followers of her own kind, questions will be bought out about her leadership & how true her motives are for the humans.

Wow. I wrote a freakin book haha but great television always make for great conversation. Have a great day.

I hate to point this out, but Leah was not in the scene where they revived Joshua. I went back to watch it again, thinking I was wrong, but no. None of the three doctors present have ever been seen onscreen as 5th Column, so we still don't know 100% for sure if Marcus is 5th Column or not.

We Love V! Not the visitors though... My fiance and I were looking for a show to get hooked on and man did we pick a good one. After every episode, every Tuesday night, we just look at each other and say "Wow... Can't wait till next week." Please ABC, please keep this show going! We are glued to our televisions because with this show, there is never a dull moment. Every time you start to think... "Ok... I get it"... BOOM... something else happens. Anna is so tricky, Chad is a little weasel, Marcus... who knows what to think of this guy, one second he's evil, the next... who knows, maybe getting Hobbs to help kill Anna. Now that's a twist. Erica... smart, hot, and Macgyver like as always, Jack is freaking awesome and who I would pick first for my team anyday. Ryan, did he switch or is he faking it. So many questions. The funny thing is, I hate alien and sci-fi type shows and movies... my fiance does too. We can't stand Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc... but we absolutely love this show! So much action, so much drama, can't wait 'till Season 2...

I believe that Anna will use Ryan as a pawn to infiltrate 5th column, and in the end Jack will choose his military training over being a priest(geogrie asked him that earlier in the season: soldier or priest?)
And this "attack" that Anna started will probably split the world, some of us under the UN secerety general that was a critic of Anna in Geneva and others under the USA, who undoubtly will stay with Anna (first episode they pointed out that our gov't in particular was infiltrated by V's at the highest level). It will probably lead to a war that will destroy our militaries and leave us open to attack by Anna.
That of course will make the relationship between Erica and Tyler tense he will want to stay here and she will probably be torn between her son, her job against what she knows is going on.
My main question is what is going to be the human reaction to the V 5th column members? Because from Jack's speech its apparent that they're cell is going to grow and they aren't gonna trust anyone who's not human.
Needless to say I'm quite excited to see where the writers take this second season, hopefully it helps grow the fan base, so they can make it into another Lost!

An interesting set up for next season (and a pity that we’ll have to wait till mid-season for it).

Both Anna and Erica are mothers and are doing an exceptionally BAD job of mothering their own child while doing an exceptionally GOOD job of mothering the other’s child. Now Lisa is definitely standing with the 5th column. Tyler, however, seems all set to become Anna’s new Chad-stooge, one fueled by raging mommy-issues. It’s probably not good for the love story when Romeo and Juliet fall for each other’s parents.

As for Marcus, I can’t buy that he’s 5th column. He has a consummate lack of emotions and a distaste for all human contact. I could find him believable as the head of a third party, perhaps the Vs who want nothing to do with either bliss or humans. Other roles he might work in are pretender to the throne or spurned lover of Anna out for vengeance. The spurned lover theme isn’t really believable, but would be fun to watch (think Marcus having a grudge match with Chad).

Ryan presents a problem. He’s most interesting as Anna’s newly turned henchman, in part because the show is overloaded with good people and down to Anna for delightfully evil ones. However, he also knows everything about the 5th column, which means that Anna could know everything soon. It would be most convenient if Anna’s bliss is a double edged sword: it cements loyalty but erases everything tinged with emotion, including knowledge of the 5th column.

I think V may (finally) be hitting its groove. Next season has real potential.

Jace, I'm not sure where you got the idea that "a quick scene at the end showed Leah and other Fifth Column survivors reviving Joshua." Um, no, it didn't. MARCUS revived Joshua, and there were no "5th C. survivors" anywhere around. I don't believe Marcus is 5th C.; I think he's solidly on the side of Anna and the Vs, and only awakened Joshua to force him to tell Marcus who killed him so that he could report back to Anna. (Because once she finds out who destroyed her eggs -- and you know she will -- all hell will break loose towards Erica.) Marcus' "welcome back" is what we call "irony" 'cause there will be no "welcome" whatsoever for Joshua. (Although I'm glad they didn't get rid of him. Joshua's hot. lol)

I'm glad to hear my family an I are not the only ones who think this is a rockin' series! Great season finale. ABC better be listening and give us a whole season and sooner than Nov!!! Suprisingly, none of the posts have mentioned the 2- or 3-times mentioned invasion fleet Anna keeps dropping to Marcus. As facinating as that sounds, I almost hope the writers leave it out as it would seem to me to put we scrawny humans at an impossible disadvantage and lead to an unrealistic/unbelievable sequence of events. The way I see it, the only reason the V haven't started their conquest is due to numbers. They have the tech, they have the physical strength, they have the ability to reproduce frighteningly fast (although fatherhood seems to be a rare assignment). Any thoughts?

I will be watching V next season, cannot wait to see if my predictions will come out. I loved the earlier series of V, and was not happy when they cancelled the series.

I can't believe I have to wait till it's almost November to see one of my favorite shows (then and now) it's so much better than those other drama crap that comes on, Now, since this season is done, I have nothing to look forward to until it comes back, I am glad it got renew, as I am so disappointed that NBC canceled my beloved Heroes, I think Supernaturals came to and end (hopefully, It didn't)
There goes my Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays! What the heck am I gonna do now? Looking forward to season 2

I'm not sure that was Leah who was helping to revive Joshua

The final season episode was extremely good. The only sour note was the note they sent with Chad to give to the medical section?? Duh, might as well paint a bullseye on Joshua's reptilian hide.


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