Okay, last week I reviewed the ‘V’ Season finale, but I pulled my punches figuring that just after the episode many of you hadn’t seen it yet. Now, a week later, I figure you must have by now, so if you haven’t seen it yet, be warned that there are major SPOILERS ahead! I laid out all of my criticisms in the last column, and this episode was hands down, the BEST of the season!!!
Like I said previously, the first half of the episode was lackluster, marred by a flawed 5th column plan that hinged on Lisa killing her own mother. After this fails, everything spirals out of control from there! Lisa foolishly believes her mother’s lies about wanting to help the humans, telling Erica that “I saw it in her eyes”. After which, in a moment that we’ve waited for, Diana manages to gather the ship’s people together and addresses them in a large theater-in-the round where she struts her hot milf self out and tells them that she is indeed alive and that they need to embrace the humans and the human soul so that Visitors and humans can live side by side in peace (again, why do they refer to themselves as Visitors??? Is it simply just translated for us and theirs is a nomadic species, so their name in their language actually means “visitor”? That would kind of be a cool explanation, actually…).
As everyone gets on one knee in deference to her, Anna’s tail suddenly rips through Diana’s body. Diana is held up in the air momentarily by the prehensile appendage and then is dropped to the floor. As Anna claims that Diana taught her everything she knows, but Diana herself only knows half of what Anna has learned, Diana’s final words are, “You’ve doomed us all…” Then, Diana dies. Anna turns to Lisa saying, “Now that’s how you kill your mother!” All this in three minutes, literally just after the half hour mark!
The next few minutes pick up the pace: Anna basically spins a yarn to the people that her mother was wrong and wanted to dilute their species by allowing them to be “infected” with human emotion. She has Lisa taken away and everyone kneels to her. Ryan Nichols sneaks out to get his daughter and leave the ship. But the daughter has been brainwashed by Anna to believe her lies, and promptly breaks Ryan’s neck with her own prehensile tail! Meanwhile, Erica calls Tyler telling him to leave the ship. When he balks, she basically spills the beans (off camera, of course) concerning the truth about the visitors. At the same time, Paul Kendrick (Mike Critchlow), Erica’s boss at the FBI, and her partner, Chris Bolling (Jay Karnes) are still on to her, this time with a V-tech bug in her house. They overhear the conversation with Tyler and Bolling says, “They were right. We’ve got a problem. Erica knows everything”. Of course, cutting back to Erica’s plight, Tyler states that if what she says is true then he wants to hear it straight from Lisa (at this point, you roll your eyes because he’s basically the world’s biggest doofus and there’s really no nicer way to point that out. Well, dunderhead also fits). Meanwhile, meanwhile, Anna is watching Chad’s news report about the fact that because she selflessly risked her life to save her daughter, this has earned her the respect of humanity worldwide. Anna, in her calm, evil voice, tells Marcus that they can now proceed with their breeding plan. Marcus points out that since Lisa is now imprisoned, she would hardly mate with the doofus. Anna says that Lisa will not be the one to continue the evolution of the species, and we cut right to the explanation scene as the second queen egg hatches in a gooey, ‘Aliens’ sort of way. We finally get to see a ‘V’ in its full form, without human skin. Of course, this is sci-fi, so don’t expect the Visitor’s physique to look like it could actually fit into human skin. If you do that, then you shouldn’t be watching this show. Anna, beaming with pride, utters “Put skin on my new daughter and make sure she looks exactly like Lisa!” Whew!
So, those of you who didn’t watch the episode until after you read my last review now understand why I held so much back! I mean, I discovered what shirt tails were for and had to raise the alert to code “brown” to match my pants!
Okay, so after we take a short break for station identification, we come back to Erica going to the 5th Column lair, which really was just Hobbs’ hole in the, er, ground. The place is cleaned out and (former) Father Jack Landry and Chad Decker are there, stunned. Erica admits to them that she told Tyler the unfortunate truth and Jack tells her not to panic. We see a tender moment where he tries to console her. She turns it back on him, saying that he was the only one who held strong to what he believed in. Erica is now coming apart at the seams, worried that her son is among enemies on the ship. Chad hangs up his phone and states that not only can they not get in touch with Hobbs, but Ryan as well. This doesn’t look good for our heroes.
Up on the ship, Marcus grows a huge set and confesses to Anna that he witnessed her in a moment of human weakness and that he also fell for Diana’s plot. He offers himself for execution. To have that kind of gumption shows a great deal of character and I have to admit that I liked him more after he did that. Anna does not kill him, realizing that what he did was in the best interest of the species. But she warns him that if he forks up again, he will be dead. Anna also admits that an understanding of human emotion can help you manipulate them. She then shows Marcus that their V-tech has taken the so-called “hostage” video of Lisa and did something sci-fi to it so that they could find out who the disguised voices belonged to. The hostage taker that is speaking in the video turns out to be Chad Decker!!! Anna demands that Chad be brought to her. (Are you biting your nails at this point?). Just wait… Joshua unveils the second queen who looks just like Lisa and has studied enough of the real Lisa to fool the dunderhead… er, Tyler (I think Keanu Reeves could have fooled Tyler, at this stage of the game).
Cut to Lisa’s room. She’s all slinky seductive in a silk red robe, and Tyler walks in wanting to talk. Of course, being a dunderhead, he falls for the tugging in his pants and lets her talk him out of chatting about his mother’s “crazy ideas”. The real Lisa is in Diana’s old prison and we are treated to a nice cross-cut of evil Lisa seducing Tyler and good Lisa being forced to watch. This really showed Laura Vandervoort’s acting chops as I didn’t think she could play anything but a vapid valley girl. But as evil Lisa seduces Tyler, I truly believe it’s a different character all together. Particularly the part where, after consummation, she bites deeply into Tyler’s neck, killing him! Oh yeah, and hooded guys grabbed Erica! What the fork???
It turns out that the kidnappers are led by Lars Freemont and that they are called Project: Aries!! Okay, Lars? Lars? What, is he Phyllis’ husband from ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’??? Lars? Okay, what makes us not laugh at his name is the fact that he’s played by none other than Marc Singer!!! (Yes, jump for joy!) The original Mike Donovan from the original ‘V’!!!!! Okay, so we really only remember him from ‘V’, ‘Beastmaster’, and Highlander: The Series (and that, only because you jumped up and down shouting that it was Marc Singer, but you were confused by his gravelly voice! Was he another Jan Michael Vincent in the waiting, or was he just copying Lee Majors from the show ‘Raven’? Or did that come out after ‘Highlander: The Series’? I forget.). Anyway, he’s still doing acting stuff and it was very nice to see him here!
At the same time, some of Anna’s goons come to retrieve Chad from the newsroom. There’s a great moment when you’re watching this part and your mind is racing as to how he can get out of there. No, he doesn’t have his hoverboard with him. He sucks it up, stands up and buttons his suit jacket. Meanwhile, (there’s tons of meanwhiles in this episode) Erica is treated to a tour of Project: Aries, which appears to be a military-led bunker of some kind with soldiers all manning computers and machines with lights bleeping and flashing, flashing and bleeping. Now this is REAL sci-fi!! They are a mile beneath Manhattan. Lars informs Erica that Project: Aries is a cabal of high ranking government and military leaders from around the world who have long suspected that the V’s are not of peace and that they’ve been here a lot longer than anyone’s imagined. Erica is stunned to see her boss and Chris there!
And in that great ‘Babylon 5’ reference I mentioned last article, Lars tells her that “This…is humanity’s last, best hope… for a future”. Okay, so now they reference one of the greatest sci-fi series of all. Surely the producers have finally woken up? (They have. And don’t call them Shirley!).
Anna, dressed in a white gown, kneels in her circle, attempting to Bliss humanity. Marcus warns her of the danger, but she is confident that she can succeed. As in great Dario Argento fashion, blood streams from her eyes. But there’s hope… in the form of Ryan’s daughter! She joins Anna (in her own little white gown. How cute! And how did she know to wear one? Oh well…), and starts to broadcast her own bliss for peace to the humans. Project: Aries detects that something is happening to people everywhere. In a scene almost totally lifted from ‘Torchwood: Children of Earth’, we see people all over the world standing there, looking up, as light from the heavens beams on them, and they are at peace. This is almost as creepy as that Torchwood scene with the children. Almost, but in a different way. This time, it is ALL of humanity except for those in the Aries bunker (as far as we know). One can only hope that there are other pockets of humans out there in secluded, bliss-proof bunkers as well. Otherwise, we’re back to a handful of dudes ready to save the Earth.
The final shot is devastating as Anna races to the surface and we hear operatic (Doctor Who sounding) music playing as she runs amongst the bliss-enveloped humans, all staring at the sky. Ultimately, she finds Father Jack staring to the heavens, getting what he wanted at last. Juxtapose that with Ryan’s daughter asking her “mother” Anna if she did well. Cut back to the stratosphere and we see the V ships all over the world as the whole world is blissed.
We are all doomed. Go in peace, and hope for a season that will save us from this nightmare!