V 2.04: Unholy Alliance

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Broadcast Date: 1 February 2011
Director: Dean White
Writer: Rockne S. O’Bannon
Cast: Morena Baccarin, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch, Mark Hildreth, Logan Huffman, Charles Mesure, Elizabeth Mitchell, Christopher Shyer, Laura Vandervoort, and Scott Wolf


© Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures

© Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures

Anna: “You want to see your queen? She’s in hell like the other souls of the damned.

Wow, they’re really going all the way with that “space anti-Christ” thing, aren’t they? This week, Anna visits the Vatican to manipulate the Catholic Church, a plot point that might have resonated more if the topic of religious authority hadn’t been addressed less than fifteen episodes ago. Meanwhile, la Résistance hooks up with the more violent faction of the Fifth Column, the one that knows war trades in death and suffering. To paraphrase Red Foreman from That 70’s Show, if it didn’t, they’d call it super wonderful crazy fun time.

As the title suggests, “Unholy Alliance” links these two independent threads thematically, comparing and contrasting how the two camps enlist the support of their enemies: the alien queen coerces whereas Erica compromises. I like this new format of presenting parallel stories with a unifying concept, allowing the writers to ramp up the tension between the humans and the Visitors without resorting to an evil scheme of the week. Also, I find a certain degree of poetry in the idea Anna would have only needed to sit still and wait for our heroes to compromise their souls into oblivion.

V Is for Vatican Field Trip

Fortunately for la Résistance, the alien queen isn’t known for her patience. Mind you, Anna’s original proposition to the Church strikes me as particularly inspired, especially given how reasonable her conditions for welcoming missionaries aboard the V ships should have seemed. I mean, declining to cease all hate speeches against the Visitors would be like a Jehovah witness knocking at your door to spread the word of God but refusing to stop calling your gay daughter the whore of Babylon… Oh, wait. Cardinal Wollichek does exactly that.

I suppose the writers needed an excuse for the alien queen to dish out her gloriously over-the-top plan B, which involves, get this, blue energy stigmata. Yes, the same technology can power a rocket ship and make religious sculptures drip blue goo from their hands and eyes. The V scientists are geniuses. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood at a gas station and thought to myself, “Hey, you know what’d be great? If on top of a full tank, I had the plastic figurine on my dashboard bleeding the same liquid they use in tampon commercials.”

In all seriousness, it saddens me to see the V Powers That Be resort to cheap theatrics again when Anna’s initial cunning was proving more compelling. Besides, streamlining the middle act would have left more space for the coolest bit in the thread: Diana acting as benevolent queen to Father Piers. I suspect she might turn out the true founder of the Fifth Column. This would add interesting dimensions to the V internal politics, which would see two matriarchs fighting over the best way to avoid their species’ extinction: Anna wants to keep her culture pure, bending others to its needs; Diana wants to adapt, embracing the strengths of the world surrounding her. Obviously, lots of real-life parallels can be made.

V Is for V Column Expansion (the Second “V” Is a Roman Numeral)

Meanwhile, at the Justice Hall, la Résistance tracks down Eli Cohn, the mind behind the recent anti-V terrorist attacks, and strikes a deal with the devil they don’t know. While I understand their apprehension, our heroes don’t have the firmest understanding of what makes this alliance unsavoury: “So that’s your answer, to kill your own kind? There are some things you just don’t do, even in war.” Actually, for obvious reasons, collaborators are often executed in times of war. What makes acts of terrorism a crime against humanity is that they target civilian lives (in this case, three teenagers acting as junior peace ambassadors of all things). The fact Father Jack and, I suspect, the writers don’t understand this offends me to no end.

Yes, I realise I may be asking too much of a series about the space devil. La Résistance taking out Cohn’s men got pretty exciting, and I like the notion of using Father Jack as a decoy figurehead, since he’s ill equipped to do anything else. By the same token, I find Tyler’s vandalism subplot shows unexpected promise. Sure, he’s behaving like a twit again, but, for once, he’s a believable twit. From a parental perspective, his actions put Erica in a tight spot, and I’m interested to see whether Lisa can still love the guy after this.

However, I question some of the internal logic. First off, the idea Erica’s boss would tell her to work with a “hotshot from DC” but not tell her his name, especially when she knows him, had me rolling on the floor. Second, why exactly does la Résistance need to destroy Malik’s body and hide the fact she’s an alien? It seems to me physical proof of the Visitors spying on humanity would go a long way to help our heroes’ cause. Also, they had Malik’s body lying in their lair this whole time? Eew! Think of the smell!

© Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures

© Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures


Bits and Pieces

  • Mega super cute baby!
  • I’m a big believer in the rule of three, but the opening scene with Erica unmasking the victims one by one proved a bit much. I kept thinking about all the evidence she was destroying.
  • Hey, here’s another television rule to add to the list: beat cops cannot enforce a crime scene perimeter to save their lives.

Quotes

This week’s Alanis Morissette Award for Outstanding Misuse of a Thesaurus or Dictionary goes to Anna’s speech at the Vatican:

Anna: “Their faith in your institution is born from proof, countless moments, large and small, over the centuries that fuel their faith. You call them miracles.”
Faith cannot be born from proof because it is literally defined as belief without proof. That’s what makes it so unique and powerful by the way. One cannot prove the existence of God because God created existence and therefore must stand outside of it, yet over seventy percent of Earth’s population believes in the divine. To say man’s faith is fuelled by proof isn’t just historically inaccurate. It also misses the point on both a spiritual and anthropological level.

Erica: “With Malik still missing and this morning’s triple homicide, they’re sticking me with some new hotshot partner from DC.”
Riggs, I’m getting too old for this sheep.

Jack: “Great, another set of eyes. That’s just what we need!”
Well, at least he’s not an alien spy, you whiner!

Anna: “I find it curious that you believe the soul can survive the death of the body.”
That’s seriously the first she hears of this? Anna needs to eat her researchers. They are complete nincompoops.

Ryan: “With Cohn in the picture, we are fighting two enemies here.”
Jack: “Yeah, him and Anna.”
No sheep. Thank you for your contribution, Father Jack.

Ryan: “You want Cohn so bad, why don’t you just kill him yourself?”
A valid question, but something about Morris Chestnut’s tone gave me the impression the sentence would end with, “why don’t you marry him?”

Kyle: “Lock and load!”
Erica: “Let’s do this!”
Duke and Scarlet from G.I. Joe called. They want their dialogue back.

I definitely didn’t hate the episode, but nothing about it compelled me either.

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Category: V, Verdict: 1.5 | 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."