Monday, April 5, 2010

V: Welcome to the War

Saw V's return episode, Welcome to the War, only a few days late.

And I was underwhelmed.

It was an ok filler episode, but they've been gone for months; I was expecting more bang. Instead, that fleet we'd seen ominously hovering in space at the end of the 4-episode premier arc was still a long way off, we're no closer to finding out what the Visitors want Tyler for, and very little else has advanced.

It was entertaining enough while it lasted but annoying about five minutes later. That's better than most TV shows do--several shows are annoying five minutes in--but not good enough.

One change I noticed was in Erica. During the pre-season four, she was worried about Tyler, but she also seemed to be aware that there was an entire world in this war. This episode, she spent talking about Tyler, Tyler, and only Tyler. Both Father Jack and Ryan responded to her in terms of Tyler only, as though that were her sole stake in the war. She is entitled to be a worried mother, of course; I just hope it doesn't end up being the full definition of her character.

And a big, big irritant was the "I've got a secret" theme running through the show. Let's count the secrets that people are keeping, apparently only for the sake of drama:

1)Ryan: "Honey, I love you, but I won't tell you I'm an alien." This was entirely believable when he was incognito on Earth and could pretend that the Visitors weren't coming back. It was barely believable after they did come back, though it stretched credulity that he still refused to tell her after he rejoined the Fifth Column. Now, she's pregnant and panicking, and he still won't tell her because he's "afraid of what it would do to us." It's not just unlikeable, it's downright unbelievable. The only thing it does is give him an excuse to give us anguished looks over her shoulder. Oh, and it allows for Valerie's secret:

2)"Honey! I've been going to the Visitor Healing Center!" Only she hasn't told him because . . . because if she did, then he would have to tell her what he knows and secret 1 wouldn't be a secret any more. Really--this is the sort of thing that would come up in conversation. And, speaking of the healing center, there's Father Jack:

3)"Hey, guys? While I was at the Visitor's Center, they injected me with R6!" Only he's not telling because, um, he's afraid he'll get kicked out of the club, I guess. Oh, and he doesn't realize just how important it is because, there is Ryan:

4) "Guess what? I know what R6 does!" but he's not telling because, um...the sexy Visitor doctor told him he shouldn't until they know more. Say what? Yeah, this is going to lead to lots of "Jack can be tracked and doesn't know it" plots plus, probably a "Which of us is the traitor?" thread, and it is completely illogical. And then there is Erica:

5)"Tyler, hon, the Visitors are nasty, evil, lizard people. Your lady friend? You wouldn't like what she looks like under that skin." But she's not telling because she can't get out of range of the jacket? I'll grant she has some reason not to entirely trust him just at the moment, but she does have some proof, and it's hard to believe that the Tyler-centric woman of this episode wouldn't use it; after all, she let Ryan do the eye-peel thing for a mercenary who was openly uninterested in joining them. And, speaking of Ryan (again) there is:

6)"Guys? I know a bunch of Fifth Column members, but I'm not telling who they are, where they are, or how many there might be. I'm not even going to arrange for some alternate means of contacting them. That way, if I die, you'll be completely on your own." And neither Erica nor Father Jack have asked about this. Granted, it really isn't a good idea for everyone to know everyone else, but only one Visitor-human liaison? When they are desperate? I don't think so.

So I'm not quitting: This is only one episode, and as a filler episode, it almost, kind of works, but I do hope the next one is better.

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