V Episode Three: A Bright New Day

Chad reports on how the American borders are now open to a limited number of Visitors. Anna is the first Visitor to step outside the Peace Ambassador center and onto American soil. She holds up her passport for the cameras.

Erica watches a news broadcast and grouses to Tyler about how there was no time to do a proper threat assessment before opening the borders to Visitors. After Tyler leaves, Father Jack arrives to meet with Erica for a Visitor-fighting strategy sessions. Erica gets called in by the FBI to the Peace Ambassador center, where Visitors have reported receiving death threats. She tells Father Jack she might uncover information there they can use to their advantage, then leaves him behind to sort through the files she’s accumulated on things possibly related to the Visitor threat.

Ryan and Valerie stroll through the city and exchange I-love-yous. Poor Valerie has yet to have anything of substance to do on this show, other than fretting that Ryan is keeping secrets from her. After Valerie leaves, Ryan meets with Georgie to make plans for mounting a resistance. Ryan mentions someone named John May, who was the legendary leader of the Fifth Column, the first organized group of Visitors to revolt against Visitor leadership.

Marcus and a pale, ethereal Visitor named Joshua discuss Dale, who has finally regained consciousness after being stabbed by Erica. As Dale was a highly-placed sleeper agent embedded within human society for over twenty years, Marcus expects he’ll have valuable intelligence. Joshua introduces himself to a confused Dale, who has amnesia from the attack.

Chad reports on a woman named Mary Faulkner, the widow of the fighter pilot whose plane crashed when the Visitor ships first arrived. Mary, who has become the face of the anti-Visitor protest movement, has scheduled a nationally-televised press conference to address the Visitor threat. Anna watches Chad’s report, then asks Marcus for information on Mary Faulkner. You know, I don’t really know for sure that this guy’s name is Marcus, because they never seem to mention it on the show. I had to look it up on IMDB, but for all I know that could be totally wrong. He could be, dunno, George or something. But until I learn otherwise, I’m calling him Marcus. He looks like a Marcus.

Tyler drops Brandon off at the Peace Ambassador center, where there’s a mounting throng of protesters outside. Tyler, still banned from being a Peace Ambassador for fighting, stares wistfully at Lisa.

Erica shows up at the center and gets briefed on the death threats. She’s assigned a partner from the Visitors’ own security force, which seems to be comprised entirely of attractive yet creepy young men wearing head-to-toe black. Kind of strange that the Visitors would need the help of the FBI when they seem to have their own perfectly adequate force, but the ways of the Visitors are often mysterious. Erica, true to her reputation as the world’s least discreet spy, immediately demands access to Visitor’s secret security headquarters.

Ryan enters a deserted shop and meets with Cyrus, a ratty young guy who seems happy to see him. He asks what Ryan’s doing there, and Ryan replies, “I’ll give you 29 guesses.” And just as I’m wondering what the hell that means, we cut to Marcus on the Visitor ship, informing Anna that the leaders of the “Twenty-nine Visitor ships” are ready for their briefing. Aw, V, you’re awfully service-y, aren’t you, hand-feeding your audience information like this? Anna lectures to holographic projections of the other Visitor leaders about shaping human opinions to stop resistance.

Father Jack sorts through files and finds one on Georgie, whom he identifies as the guy who organized the ill-fated warehouse meeting. He goes to an address in the file, which turns out to be a run-down and sad-looking house. He snoops around and gets caught by a woman, presumably the property owner, who tells him no one lives there anymore. Georgie’s entire family was killed -- Georgie claims it was done by aliens.

Ryan asks Cyrus to join his quest to reunite the Fifth Column. Instead, Cyrus pulls a gun on Ryan and presses a big red alarm button to signal the Visitors. He tells Ryan he’s turning him in so the Visitors will “reconnect” him as a reward. And just as I’m wondering about this reconnecting business, Cyrus helpfully explains that Anna will give him something called The Bliss. Service-y again, V. Thank you. Ryan claims The Bliss is what Anna uses to control them, which is the perfect soft-lob setup to a quip I’m not going to bother making. Ryan calls Cyrus a junkie, and now all of a sudden we’re in a different and less interesting TV show. Ryan attacks Cyrus and wrestles the gun away from him.

Brandon sets Lisa and Tyler up on a secret date at a pizza parlor. Lisa tells Tyler they’re letting him back in the Peace Ambassador program.

Erica and her Visitor partner stake out the roof of the Peace Ambassador center. Erica notices a guard missing. They find him unconscious, minus his Visitor uniform. Erica spots a suspicious-looking man disguised as a Visitor and chases him around for a while. The man pulls a gun, but Erica successfully subdues him. The Visitors haul away the attempted assassin.

Erica sneaks around the building a bit and breaks into a room filled with floating monitors displaying surveillance-camera footage from all around. One of the monitors is broadcasting an image of Erica. She traces the camera to a Visitor jacket, which is (oddly) hanging on the back of the door. She leaves the room before noticing that one of the monitors is showing an image of Tyler, who is beaming at himself in the mirror while modeling his new Visitor jacket.

Anna endlessly rehearses words of condolence, trying to hit the right sympathetic notes. When Mary arrives for her press conference, Anna approaches her and offers her sympathy.

Joshua guides Dale through a mental construct of his memories to try to trigger his recollection of who attacked him. Dale’s memories start to return: He remembers there were other Visitors working at the Bureau. (It’ll no doubt turn out to be Erica’s boss, whose name I can’t be bothered to look up right now, but wouldn’t it be kind of cool if Erica turned out to be a Visitor?) Dale insults humans for a while, then remembers that Erica was the one who attacked him. Dale wants to kill her, but Joshua muses that Erica would make a better ally instead. When Dale looks confused at this, Joshua injects him with something and kills him. As Dale dies, Joshua says, “The Fifth Column says hello.”

Georgie approaches Father Jack in the church. Father Jack fills him in on the big resistance plan. Georgie tentatively agrees to join.

At the press conference, Mary Faulkner switches to a pro-Visitor speech, having been won over by Anna. Anna joins her at the podium and reiterates her claim that the Visitors are peaceful.

Marcus arrives at Cyrus’s shop in response to the alarm Cyrus set off, but finds the place trashed and “John May lives!” spray-painted on the door.

Tyler shows Lisa around his bedroom. They make out. When Erica unexpectedly arrives home, Tyler whips off his Visitor jacket and, less explicably, his t-shirt and goes out to meet her. Erica investigates noises in Tyler’s bedroom and finds quick-thinking Lisa in her bra and underwear. I mean, Lisa probably could have gotten away with just taking off her Visitor jacket and stashing it in the closet or something, but points for enthusiasm.

Anna watches Chad broadcast about how everyone is starting to love the Visitors. She thanks the assassin Erica apprehended, who turns out to be a Visitor plant -- the death threats were staged to generate pro-Visitor sympathies.

Erica tells Father Jack about the monitors in the Visitor center. Georgie and Ryan arrive, hoping to join their resistance. All four stand around and stare at each other, and it’s clear no one has the foggiest idea how to go about starting a resistance.

Lisa approaches Anna on the Visitor ship and tells her, “Tyler’s the one. We should use him.” When Anna tells her she’s doing a good job, Lisa replies, “Thank you mother.”

Comments

levitatethis said…
I liked this episode more than the others, but I'm still not feeling all that invested in the show.

It would be cool if Erica turned out to be a visitor. At the very least I'm curious which of her co-workers may be ones.

I liked how manipulative Anna was from start to finish. And at the end when we get the "mother" reveal, the only thing that bothered me was that faint look of uncertainty on Lisa's face (indicating we're supposed to believe she's developing feelings for Tyler). I'd much rather we found out Lisa is manipulative like her mum and enjoying her assignment.
Morgan Richter said…
I sadly suspect Lisa is going to fall in love with Tyler for real (...because he's got such a delightful personality?), which would be disappointing, especially compared to the awesome manipulativeness of Anna. This was my favorite episode thus far, but I'm still feeling a lot of distance from the characters. What's not going to help matters: There's only one more episode before the show goes on a winter break and returns sometime next year. I think audiences are enjoying it well enough, but I would imagine a healthy percentage of viewers aren't feeling invested enough to keep watching when it returns.
levitatethis said…
I agree that this is not a good time for the show to go on break. Even though I'm not loving it there were at least parts of this episode that had me interested in what comes next and with a break I feel like my attention is going to wander away completely.

Speaking of manipulative Anna -- I quite enjoyed the scene of her trying out her lines to the widow, to get the right tone so that she'd sound "sincere". It's something I've seen other shows do, but I still felt the actress sold it really well.
Morgan Richter said…
I'm pretty consistently impressed with Anna. She really sold the rehearsing-condolences scene.

The same problems exist -- I still wish the show would commit to something, either by being sleazier or smarter or campier or more brutal. It's still pretty tepid, but there are elements there that could be pretty good. I liked the introduction of the Fifth Column (Visitor double-agent Jacob seems like he could be a cool character). It's not quite building the momentum it should, but I don't want to give up on it, because it has potential.
Dan said…
Nope. An episode filled with Laura Vandervoort in her underwear won't get me to stick with it either.

(But, nice try, V)
Morgan Richter said…
Yeah. V returns with new episodes next week, and I don't think I'm going to bother watching it. Part of it can be blamed on FlashForward: After a rise in quality last week, it totally sucked this week, and I really can only waste my time watching/recapping one lame-ass show per week. FlashForward wins (or "wins", as the case may be), so V has got to go.
Dan said…
Bummer about FlashForward. We still get conflicting advice about when it's returning here. The official show website says 'Next Episode: March 31'. The official TV guide (part of the same web site) says 'March 31: Criminal Minds!!'

So, whatever, I guess. By the time it returns here, it may be cancelled over there.

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