“V” returned last night, to my everlasting joy and entertainment. In case you missed season one, let me give you a brief recap: in this adaptation of a mid-80s TV series, reptilian aliens calling themselves Visitors come to Earth, looking like humans. They seem helpful, sweet and peaceful, but a small section of resistance fighters (lead by Elizabeth Mitchell, best known as Juliet from Lost) band together to take out the aliens and keep Earth safe.
When we last left our valiant alien fighters, they had wiped out Anna’s unborn army of reptilian Visitors and Anna retaliated by turning the entire sky red. It was one of those moments when you realize... wow, you don’t really want to mess with Anna.
The show picks up four days after the red sky appeared. In quick succession we see all of our old friends: Ryan (held captive on the V mother-ship), Erica (always worried about Tyler), Father Jack (being rather uncharacteristically harsh), everyone’s favorite reporter, Chad Decker and gruff Hobbes, the ammo expert.
Ryan gets kicked off the ship for trying to rescue his little hybrid baby, but Anna tells Marcus (her creepy second-in-command) that her hope is to drive Ryan to the Fifth Column (the anti-V movement) so that Anna can then hold the promise of his child hostage. Anna is crazy, in case anyone missed this memo.
Anna meets with the leaders of her other ships. Anna lies through her teeth about the reasons for releasing red sky, and tells them that no one has any idea of the magnitude of what will happen, and that she has everything under control. Then she whips out a tail and peels off someone’s skin, revealing the most we’ve seen of the V’s true face since they arrived. They’re what we expected--green and scaly.
Erica rescues Tyler from a riot at the Peace Ambassador Whatever. Tyler gets punched out and Erica uses this as an excuse to sweet-talk her way onto the space ship. At this point, the sky starts raining red blood-like stuff. It’s really kind of vile. It’s not actually blood, though, which is sort of a relief.
On the ship, Erica and Anna have a smack-down about the red sky and the red rain. Erica actually raises her voice to Anna, which I’m not sure has ever happened before. I’m waiting for the day that Erica and Anna have a knock-down, drag-out chick fight, the likes of which Joss Whedon would be proud of.
Anna smiles her little smile and tells the world that red sky is “a gift to mankind.” Apparently it heals oceans and fertilizes soil and reverses global warming. Of course, everyone loves this because it’s awesome, but you know that Erica is considering the strings attached to this particular gift, as well as the many other gifts that have come before it.
Erica and Ryan check out a scientist named Dr. Watts who, according to the Vs, is onto something about the chemical compound of the red sky. They’re followed by a tracker V, and a chase ensues! Watts’ research assistant (an evolutionary biologist named Sidney) tells Erica and Ryan that while he was on a dig in New Mexico and discovered a fossilized skeleton of a V.
At this point, I would like to point out that it’s barely 30 minutes past the hour and V has crammed in more drama and back-story than three episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (that’s right, I went there). Erica and company recruit Sidney to the cause.
Sidney points out that the red sky has unusual (really, really unusual) levels of phosphorous in it, and that this phosphorous has left its mark on Earth. Sidney also reveals that the skeleton he found in New Mexico had similar levels of phosphorous. Ryan tells everyone that Vs need phosphorous for breeding. I think I saw this in an episode of Doctor Who!
Then Erica turns this entire episode upside down and reveals that when she was pregnant with Tyler the doctors noticed unusual levels of... phosphorous in her blood! I seem to remember a bit of awkwardness surrounding Tyler’s paternity last season. Nice one, V producers. I approve.
Toward the end of the episode we see Joshua, everyone’s favorite V medical officer. He’s alive, but reprogrammed by Anna (that evil witch). Lisa is sad, because this means she has no more allies on the inside. Side note: is anyone else tickled by Laura Vandervoot’s apparent inability to choose roles that aren’t aliens?
The last shot of the episode is a doozy--Anna enters an underground, cave-like chamber and greets a woman as mother. Yikes! Careful research (on wikipedia) reveals that this is Diana. Diana, played by Jane Badler, was a character in the original show from the 80s. I can only wonder what direction the show is heading now--will they resurface plots from the old show? Will any more old characters pop up? And why was Jack mean to Chad Decker? Tune in next week to find out!