V 1.07: John May

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Broadcast Date: 13 April 2010
Director: Jonathan Frakes
Writer: Gregg Hurtwitz
Cast: Morena Baccarin, Lourdes Benedicto, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch, Logan Huffman, Elizabeth Mitchell, Laura Vandervoort, and Scott Wolf


© Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures

© Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures

Erica: “We can’t lose our way every time we hit a roadblock. Get it together.”

I’m ambivalent about this one. On the one hand, the new mythology is starting to show promise and even hints at coherence. The notion the Visitors’ skin suits are responsible for their newfound gooey feelings, for example, resolves a number of inconsistencies, including Dale’s angry disposition at the beginning of the series and, more importantly, Anna’s questionable leadership, which can now be attributed to emotional subjectivity subtly affecting her judgement. There’s a lot of potential in that premise.

On the other hand, the one that keeps waving for attention, it seems we get a lot of shocking answers to questions no one’s been asking. Consider the flashbacks implicating Ryan in John May’s alleged death ten years ago. Was anyone desperate to know who killed the founder of the Fifth Column? No, because we’d all assumed “John May lives.” Silly us. I suspect I might’ve cared more if the heroes themselves had shown the least bit of concern regarding their friend being a former V assassin, but they didn’t, so I didn’t. I’ve been doing a lot of lexicology in these V reviews. Here’s some math for a change of pace: a big, flashy revelation minus the build-up minus any sort of consequence equals an underwhelmed Dimitri.

V Is for Vagient Teens Galore

This episode has two themes: lies blowing up in everyone’s face and whiny adolescents you want to throttle. In James May’s case, one is a direct result of the other. The boy is so resentful of John apparently committing suicide he refuses to help la Résistance even after learning that it wasn’t, in fact, suicide, that his stepdad was trying to save humanity from an alien invasion, and that his girlfriend, Jessica Parker Kennedy from Another Cinderella Story (2008), is a Visitor spy with mighty morphing scratching powers. It takes the gang saving him from a deadly Phantasm ball for him to realise there’s more at stake than his petty feelings of abandonment.

How is it then Tyler still turns out more obnoxious? Part of the problem lies in Logan Huffman playing the character two years too young, though one wonders whether there’s a right way of delivering lines like, “It can’t be! This is me and you!” At any rate, Tyler’s temper tantrum this week is triggered by Joe blurting out he’s not the boy’s biological father. Asinine behaviour, it seems, is environmental, not hereditary. Joe, when your ex, who catches terrorists for a living, tells you on the phone now is not a good time, you might want to consider postponing the family drama. As an aside, does anyone else suspect Tyler’s the result of a V fertility experiment?

V Is for Viewers Might Have Cared More If He’d Been a More Interesting Character

To their credit, the V Powers That Be get a moderately effective death scene out of Georgie, whom fans will remember best, if at all, for being morbidly boring. What sold it for me is Erica’s expression when Father Jack gives the widower permission to die: “God bless you, George Sutton.” It’s too bad Kyle and Ryan follow it up with a cheesy “silent nod of respect” moment… Scratch that. It’s too bad the scene was preceded by an endless stream of nonsensical torture sequences. If I wanted to watch ludicrously exploitive interrogation techniques, I’d watch 24, thank you very much. As an aside, does anyone else suspect we’ll have forgotten all about Georgie two episodes from now?

V Is for Vista Crashed, Which Is Why I Posted This Review Late

As always, the highlight is Chad’s subplot, in which he threatens to investigate Anna’s live-aboard project unless she gives him a better story. I’m disappointed the writers decided to dumb down their conversation, spelling out every threat, but the scene is still solid entertainment, owing in large part to Scott Wolf’s portrayal of a man who’s already figured out his next three moves but is still weighing his options as to number four. I wouldn’t mind seeing more Chad in future episodes, please. As an aside, does anyone else suspect the live-aboard project is a front to supply skins for Anna’s newborn army?

© Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures

© Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures


Bits and Pieces

  • Normand Corbeil’s score is very pretty, especially during Georgie’s farewell scene.
  • I closed my eyes during the episode and tried to imagine how I would feel about Lisa if I thought she was just a normal girl instead of the evil daughter of an alien despot. I still wanted to smack her.
  • Kyle and Erica have good chemistry, especially when they’re holding guns for some reason, but I can’t for the life of me understand why they decide to taunt James’ girlfriend after they make her instead of, say, taking her out right away.
  • Ryan’s feelings for Valerie are only skin-deep. Ba-dum-tish.

Quotes

As usual, I found the dialogue about as subtle as a rusty lawnmower:

Anna: “If we’ve learned anything is that emotion is weakness. Love is the greatest flaw of humans and our best tool to break them.”
I suppose I should be grateful they digitally erased Marcus’ “I’m with Evil” shirt.

John: “You never took a drive in the middle of the night just to feel the wind in your face or had a cold pint on a warm day or saw a woman who literally took your breath away?”
Or tried to pass a series of clichéd platitudes as some sort of romantic enlightenment?

Ryan: “This fight will be brutal beyond anything you’ve ever seen, and you too, and John May is our greatest weapon in it.”
Yes, kids, it’s going to be so totally intense, the Internet is, like, going to break in half, so keep watching, okay? Please?

I want to give it a higher grade because I’m finally getting a sense of purpose here, but the truth is I spent most of the episode wanting them kids to get off my lawn.

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Category: V, Verdict: 2.0 | Tags:

          
Editor in Chief / Movie Critic: When he started this site, Dimitri never thought he'd be writing blurbs about himself in the third person. In his other life, he works as a writer, translator, and editor for various publications in print and online. His motto is, "Have pen, will travel."