Broadcast Date: 4 January 2011
Director: Bryan Spicer
Writers: Gregg Hurwitz and Scott Rosenbaum
Cast: Morena Baccarin, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch, Mark Hildreth, Logan Huffman, Charles Mesure, Elizabeth Mitchell, Christopher Shyer, Laura Vandervoort, and Scott Wolf
Kyle: “So first they want to invade us, then they want to shag us?”
As the title indicates, “Red Rain” picks up from last year’s finale, “Red Sky” (stay tuned next week for “Red Condensation”), which ended with a grief-stricken Anna unleashing her Mario Paint of doom and turning the heavens crimson. The cliff-hanger was meant more as a symbol of V’s intense new direction than as a workable plot point, so I knew to brace myself for a fair bit of nonsense as the writers dug themselves out of their own hole and built a new season arc. I got what I expected: no more, no less. However, it occurs to me I might have set the bar too low for my own good.
V Is for Verbal Assault for No Apparent Reason
The episode begins with a graphic dream sequence that made me spit out my Cocoa Krispies in both horror and delight. Unfortunately, Tyler turns out alive and well, though the genius does get knocked around a bit for trying to sneak into an anti-Visitor riot while wearing a V jacket. This somehow leads to Erica scolding Anna on her own ship, thus alienating the evil queen and reminding us our heroine is a no-nonsense woman who speaks her mind even when it completely hinders her agenda.
Maybe all that fertility phosphorous in the air is making people hormonal, which might explain Father Jack’s cattiness with Chad. I’m just saying: the padre might consider rereading that Bible passage about throwing the first stone. At any rate, the revelation that the Visitors are turning Earth into some kind of breeding ground is consistent with the hints introduced after the break last year, and I like the offhand manner in which the mystery behind Tyler’s conception is resolved.
V Is for Veiled Attempt to Push the Reset Button
I wish I could say the same about Ryan’s subplot, in which a year’s worth of build-up gets the royal womp-womp-womp treatment. Remember when Valerie, Ryan, and Andromeda fought through thick and thin to prevent the Visitors from getting their hands on the miracle hybrid baby? Well, it turns out nobody cares, and the alien queen even releases Ryan instead of pumping him for information because torturing an amnesic prisoner apparently strikes her as a more viable option.
V Is for Villainy in the Style of Bond
I’m getting déjà vu. How many times now has Anna lulled her crew into a false sense of security only to subject them to unspeakable violence? Stay tuned next week as she gives her chief engineer a fluffy bunny and then beats him senseless with it! Striking your people in anger seems to me the worst possible way to prove your objectivity, but maybe that’s the point, as Marcus’ subtle smile seems to suggest. The alien queen’s slow descent into “Coo coo for Cocoa Puffs” Town is rather promising. I mean, how cool is that scene in which she hides her tears after killing the soldier babies?
On a related note, Anna watching her daughter have sex and congratulating her on a good performance feels like a Jerry Springer episode waiting to happen. Come to think of it, the whole sequence strikes me as a bit off. Tyler confesses some random teen insecurity, so Lisa removes her clothing and they start boinking. Call me old-fashioned, but wouldn’t it have made more sense for them to make out first or something? I’m going to give the writers the benefit of the doubt and assume the creepy artificiality of it all is intentional. It certainly fits the story.
V is for Veterinarian While We’re at It
“Red Rain” also introduces a new character portrayed by Bret Harrison, whom I quite like, though I wonder whether la Résistance needs two wiseacres. If you ask me, Kyle was doing fine all on his lonesome. Besides, the more people join our gang of rebels, the more secret conversations the idiots are likely to have with civilians and sworn enemies standing right next to them. Seriously, at this point, you might as well post, “I am in contact with a Fifth Column spy aboard the mother ship” on your Facebook profile.
Anyway, la Résistance now has in its ranks Dr Sidney Miller, a brilliant scientist in the field of, uh… He discovered an ancient V skeleton, which makes him either an archaeologist or an anthropologist, but then he prattles on about extraterrestrial compounds, which would indicate a background in chemistry or biology. Given his in-depth knowledge of DNA and reproductive science, I suppose he could also work as a geneticist or even a fertility doctor. Of course, none of these professions would explain how he managed to erase everyone’s memory at the dig and move the skeleton to his private underground lab… Wait. The man has an underground lab? I got it: he’s Batman.
Bits and Pieces
- Anna’s mother, Diana, is played by Jane Balder, the alien queen in the original V series. I love that she’s wearing high heels in her organic pod thingy.
- La Résistance takes security very seriously. Every time the door to their secret lair opens, our heroes all point their guns at it. One would have thought locking the darn thing a worthwhile addition to their safety measures, but that cocking sound is just so cool!
- I hope the writers have a strong arc in store for Joshua, what with the amnesia. It seems to me the character’s appeal lies in his ties to the Fifth Column, and we don’t know enough about him for an effective rebirth story. Again, I reserve judgment until further development.
- Erica cutting her hand to have her blood tested had me laughing out loud. She’s so hardcore she don’t need no syringe!
Oh, this was not a good batch:
Ryan: “She was born out of something you’ll never understand: love!”
Jack: “You’re not just asking for another chance, Chad. You’re asking for forgiveness. Only God can offer you that.”
Uhm, actually, Father, as a Catholic priest, it’s your duty and vocation to speak for God and offer guidance in such matters. Was someone too busy playing with his iPhone apps in seminary class?
Ryan: “I’ve got to go. Can you help me out?”
I realise it’s an excuse to have Sidney exit the scene, but help with what? Turning the knob?
Jack: “We throw our first punch, it needs to be a knockout blow.”
Wouldn’t that make it also the last punch?
Sidney: “Anna’s a lizard? That sucks! She’s so hot…”
Hey, that was funny!
Sidney: “Sorry, I joke when I’m nervous.”
Aw, you’ve ruined it.
Please understand: I don’t hate the episode. I just got bored, and when that happens, the goofy tends to pop out at me.