Thursday, 10 February 2011

'V' 2.5 - "Concordia"

Thursday, 10 February 2011

There's no point restating my same points every week. You know where I stand on season 2 by now: improved pace, clearer motivations, more answers, awkward dialogue, and mostly weak characters. "Concordia" was the best episode of the sophomore season, acting as the halfway marker of this ten-part run. I wonder if showrunner Scott Rosenbaum went into this year expecting cancellation (which it still very likely), because V's storyline is moving so quickly it could feasibly conclude in another five weeks. That said, it's already been revealed V's finale will involve a huge cliffhanger, so maybe not.

This week, Anna (Morena Baccarin) presented the world with another gift for humanity: a worldwide network of revolutionary cities populated by humans and V's, living together in harmony, full of healing centres and technological training services. Of course, the real plan is to use the cities as landing platforms for cloaked V ships, which will secretly perch themselves on the four-pronged skyscrapers of each city to harvest crossbred children from the inhabitants. An audacious plan, although I'm not sure how exactly it would work without arousing suspicions in the city folk. Maybe Concordia's part of the final phase, where the V's will reveal their true intentions and enslave the populace as baby-makers -- but what about all the billions who won't be living in Concordia cities? Still, I'm enjoying how this show is embracing the pulp sci-fi craziness of space-lizards aiming to become our overlords.

The struggle over the heart and mind of Tyler (Logan Huffman) continued apace, with Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell) deciding to bring ex-husband Joe (Nicholas Lea) into her circle of trust and break Anna's influence on their son now he's turned 18 and can legally do whatever he likes. Tyler's given the chance to ride his father's bike on a two-month cross-country trip of self-discovery, which appears to do the trick and will give their son a chance to clear his head of the V's, until Anna heard of the Evans' plan and countered it with an offer to make Tyler the first ever human pilot of a V shuttle, to undergo immediate training.

What was interesting about this storyline is how it seemed to be working towards making Tyler less prominent and important in the show, probably because the writers realize that Tyler and Huffman's performance is a big weakness. I'm hopeful that Tyler will disappear on his cross-country bike ride for awhile, and Anna mentions that Tyler isn't even crucial to her plan -- he's just one of many human babies they've made genetically compatible with future queen Lisa (Laura Vandervoort), and Tyler was only "important" because she chose him as her mate. If V does indeed nudge Tyler out of the picture, it's unfortunate because the purpose of his character is a big part of V (the human face of the struggle between Erica and Anna), but it may be a necessary because Tyler's such an irritating drain whenever he's around. It would have helped if Tyler wasn't oblivious to what's going on, as he consequently comes across as an incredibly naïve idiot, whose loyalty can be won with impressive birthday presents.

The real meat of "Concordia" revolved around the Fifth Column's most daring attack yet, with Ryan (Morris Chestnut) getting the support of terrorist leader Eli Cohn (Oded Fehr) to assassinate Anna at a gala, using Erica's position as the FBI's head of security to give them access to the event. Father Jack (Joel Gretsch) distracted the FBI with an organized mob of anti-V protesters, allowing Hobbes (Charles Mesure) and Eli into the building to setup snipers, only for Ryan to again turn traitor and warn Anna's aide Marcus (Christopher Shyer) of the looming danger, in order to keep his daughter safe. Although you have to wonder why Ryan wouldn't want the hit to go ahead, as eliminating Anna surely solves his problem -- or would heir Lisa be unable to "bliss" Ryan's daughter? Is that a queenly skill that comes with maturity?

"Concordia" leaves us with some sizeable developments to chew on: Marcus took the bullet that was meant for Anna and may not recover, which means a minion called Thomas will replace him; Tyler could soon be taken out of play for awhile, meaning Lisa will assumedly have to start dating someone else at her mother's behest; it looks like Joe may be sticking around, in an attempt to revitalize Erica's character (are they hoping for some chemistry, a la Mitchell and Josh Holloway in Lost?); Ryan seems to have decided to stay loyal to Anna from now on; the FBI are finally beginning to realize their woes revolve around Erica, who's about to be investigated; and Hobbes realized the only person who could have sabotaged the night's assassination was Ryan.

Overall, "Concordia" still suffered from maladroit scenes and dialogue where the characters explain what's going on to each other, but it also delivered appreciable explanation about Anna's plan for mankind, and the final assassination sequence contained moments of genuine drama and suspense. I really enjoyed this episode and hope the final five hours keep things rolling.


  • It's a superficial thing, I know, but it was nice to see macho Erica in an elegant evening gown for a change, and Anna finally decided to change her blue-grey dress for something red and revealing.
  • Lisa hasn't really been given much to do this season, which is a shame. Her character unfortunately tends to rely on what Tyler's up to, but I hope his potential absence will free her up.
written by David Rambo / directed by Jesse Warn / 8 February 2011 / ABC