V Episode Two: There Is No Normal Anymore

Erica and Father Jack sit outside the warehouse following the massacre, looking stunned by what just transpired. They discuss their plan to build an anti-Visitor resistance. When a shuttlecraft from the Visitor ship lands near them, they secretly observe the Visitors clearing away the bodies. Erica uses a payphone to anonymously call 911 and report the massacre, but Visitors intercept her call and send one of the little spike-shooting floating orb thingys after them. Erica smashes it into bits, then orders Father Jack to go home.

When she returns to her own home, she finds that Tyler isn’t in his bed. She heads downstairs with a baseball bat to investigate some suspicious noises and ends up almost braining Tyler, who is sneaking back inside. It wouldn’t have been a huge loss if she had, actually. She asks him not to get involved with the Visitors. Tyler promises, then returns to his room and hides his Visitor Peace Ambassador jacket under his bed.

Erica showers. Well, we saw Scott Wolf in the shower last week, so I guess it’s only fair that it’s Elizabeth Mitchell’s turn. Her FBI supervisor Paul calls to inform her that her duplicitous, treacherous, secret-lizard partner Dale is missing. This is not news to Erica, who whacked him over the head with a pipe last episode, but she gamely pretends to be shocked. Erica secretly retrieves her gun from Dale’s car, which she’d left with him before going into the anti-Visitor meeting at the warehouse

FBI Special Agent Sarita Mali, who is played by Tory the Cylon (Rekha Sharma), visits Father Jack to grill him about the guy who died in his church. She’s part of the Visitor Threat Assessment Task Force. Jack lies and tells her the guy didn’t say anything about the Visitors. Father Jack worries about not telling the FBI the whole story, but vaguely sinister Father Travis assures him he did the right thing.

The Visitors torture someone they captured at the anti-Visitor meeting by making him imagine he’s covered with snakes (…sigh). They grill him to see if anyone from the meeting was involved with the “first resistance.” They’ve got low-resolution photos of the meeting, in which Father Jack and Erica look like blurry, fuzzy blobs. Visitor surveillance technology: Not all it could be.

Ryan enters an auto repair shop and talks to a guy named Angelo, who turns out to be a fellow human-friendly Visitor. While Ryan drones on about how he loves Valerie, Angelo repairs his arm injury sustained in the warehouse fight by healing his fake human skin. Angelo secretly drugs him, telling him he can’t trust him. Ryan wakes up later, alone in the shop. He gets a phone call from Angelo, who tells him to stay away from Valerie -- he’ll just end up putting her in danger. Angelo has left Ryan the phone number of someone named Cyrus. When Valerie asks about Cyrus, Ryan dismisses him as “some guy I know.”

Father Jack, feeling guilty about not having told the FBI the whole story, meets with Agent Mali at the FBI office. When Erica spots him, she bawls him out for giving Mali the photos the dead guy had given him, insisting that he can’t trust anyone.

Paul calls Erica into his office, plays her 911 call, and demands an explanation. On the spot, she whips up a nifty web of lies about how she suspected Dale was conspiring with terrorists, so she trailed him to the warehouse and watched him meet with members of the cell they’d been tracking, then called 911 so as not to blow her cover. Paul is somewhat convinced. He notes that the call was never received by 911 -- he received the copy from the DEA, who were monitoring the payphone.

Erica meets with Dale’s wife Joceyln, who gives her Dale’s phone records. Jocelyn claims Dale had been distant since the Visitors arrived. Prior to his disappearance, he’d been making a lot of regular calls to an untraceable number.

Erica drops by the church to apologize to Father Jack, who has decided he no longer wants to be part of any resistance. He then meets her after work to tell her he’s changed his mind (again). Enough with the waffling, Jack! Make a decision and stick to it! Erica gives him a list of everyone who has contacted the Visitor Threat Assessment Task Force, speculating that they can find more anti-Visitor activists that way.

Tyler and Brandon show up at the Visitor compound for their Peace Ambassador thing. They gurgle some more about how Lisa’s really pretty (“Two words, man: Awe. Some”), and Tyler and Lisa flirt shamelessly. He shows her lots of photos of his motorcycle and asks her out for pizza. When Lisa playfully turns him down, Tyler replies, “Wow, you space girls are funny.” You know, Tyler is so loathsome he might wrapping all the way around the other side and starting to become likeable. In any case, he’s maybe growing on me, or at least I’m becoming convinced that the show isn’t trying to portray him as sympathetic and botching it horribly. A scuffle breaks out between Brandon and a group of anti-Visitor protestors, and Tyler ends up punching someone. Lisa looks gravely disappointed and disapproving. She tells Tyler he’s been kicked out of the Peace Ambassador program for fisticuffs, which seems reasonable enough, really. Tyler is heartbroken.

Anna addresses the people of Japan and Mexico, who have agreed to give their full support to the Visitors. Russia, India and the United States, however, have not committed to anything.

Chad watches tape of his interview with Anna. His producer Hailey asks why he’s beating himself up over agreeing to Anna’s demand that he not ask any tricky questions. Eighty million viewers watched the interview, so Hailey thinks he’s clearly doing something right. Still, Chad feels guilty, so he hosts a televised discussion with a bunch of anti-Visitor political figures about how maybe people shouldn’t be so quick to trust the pretty aliens. Post-broadcast, Anna summons him onboard the Visitor ship to chew him out. Chad claims it was a deliberate move to support her: The public now sees him as trustworthy, and the overall opinion of the Visitors went up following the interview (not entirely sure why that would be, but Chad seems pretty confident about it). Sure enough, soon after the broadcast, the US agrees to open diplomatic relations with the Visitors. Anna calls Chad to thank him.

Dale wakes up on the Vistor’s interrogation table.

Kind of a slow installment, but I liked it a bit better than the pilot, actually -- it wasn't quite as scattershot and scrambled. Not a great show, but there's some potential here. I'll give it another week at least.

Comments

levitatethis said…
I agree this was better than the first episode but it's still not capturing my attention the way it should. Some aspects still seem ho-hum or convenient for the sake of the plot instead of the show pushing expectations. I still think part of this is that the original version of the show was very "whoa" at the time and so this feels like they haven't or are unsure about taking it another step further.
Morgan Richter said…
I agree this was better than the first episode but it's still not capturing my attention the way it should

I'm really not feeling the show, but I don't want to be too rough on it, because there's nothing I can pinpoint other than it's seeming a little stale. It's not bad, and it might just be a matter of it needing a bit of time to find its legs, but I wish it'd commit to something: either it's going to be violent, or gory, or cheesy, or heartwarming, or more like a political thriller, or just a fun action show. Right now, it's pretty middle of the road. Like you point out, it seems like they're unsure of where they should go.
Josh Jackson said…
I had/have high hopes for this show. I liked the original as a kid, and felt a giddy anticipation when I heard about the remake. I really don't want them to screw it up.

That being said, there is something irritating me about this episode. It's kind of lame, but I can't really point to why. I think maybe the characters are too cliche. A milf FBI agent, a doubting priest, etc. But then I think maybe it's not the characters, it's the apparent lack of plot progression. Maybe it's Morena Baccarin's Harry Potter haircut. I don't know.

So I will anxiously await episode 3. Come on, writers! No whammys! Big bucks!
levitatethis said…
That being said, there is something irritating me about this episode. It's kind of lame, but I can't really point to why. I think maybe the characters are too cliche. A milf FBI agent, a doubting priest, etc. But then I think maybe it's not the characters, it's the apparent lack of plot progression.

I think it's all of these things (and more). The show feels stagnant and paint-by-numbers. Nothing's happening that makes me go "wow, I wonder where this is going to go?"

Also is it just me or does it look very muted? Like the colours are drained of pigment?
Morgan Richter said…
It's kind of lame, but I can't really point to why.

Yeah, that's my problem exactly. And it might be solved naturally as the show figures out what it wants to be, and as the actors figure out how to put a signature stamp on their stock characters. Or it might continue to be lame.

Also is it just me or does it look very muted? Like the colours are drained of pigment?

Yeah. Which is strange, because when I think of the original V, I think of bright splashes of red: the red spray-painted Vs, the Visitor jumpsuits... I think the set design of the remake is very tasteful, and it looks like they've spent money well on this production, but it's probably a little too safe. And the endless soft blues and muted grays are wearing a bit thin. Maybe when the invasion picks up steam and we start seeing more bloodshed, things will get more vivid.
Dan said…
So I got round to watching this (and the next episode as well) last night.

And, yeah.

Yawn.

Sadly, I don't think even an episode filled with Elizabeth Mitchell showering would get me to stick with this show. (Or would it? Come on, writers - push the boundaries.)

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