The penultimate episode of V's second season (which most will agree has been an improvement), was a decent stride towards the finish line. V's the kind of show where there's nothing much to discuss about the characters or subtext, but it's good fun if you lower expectations and go along for the ride.
This week, Anna (Morena Baccarin) started to build her first Blue Energy reactor in New York City, to eventually power her Concordia city project. Sidney (Bret Harrison) noted how the reactor produces too much wattage for its stated purpose, leading the Fifth Column to correctly theorize the reactors are going to power landing platforms for hundreds of V ships. A plan to sabotage the NYC reactor was therefore set in motion by Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell), with Sidney undertaking his first mission. Elsewhere, Marcus (Christopher Shyer) visited erstwhile queen Diana (Jane Badler), where he was told Anna's been exhibiting human emotions for years; Anna realized she has the ability to "bliss" humans, although it's a painful process and only works on an individual basis; Joshua's (Mark Hildreth) memories of being a Fifth Columnist finally returned; Chad (Scott Wolf) was told by Anna to have his critical co-anchor removed; and Ryan (Morris Chestnut) was ordered by Lisa (Laura Vandervoort) to prevent the sabotage of the NYC reactor, as Erica's unaware their actions will destroy everything in a 100-mile radius.
There was a slight feeling of events being rushed, though -- which is perhaps a residual of ABC cutting the season order by two episodes at the last-minute. It wasn't distracting, but I think certain developments this season deserved more time to build -- such as baby Amy's rapid ageing and affection for her "mother" Anna, who now seems to reciprocate her love, to Marcus's horror.
Elizabeth Mitchell was better than usual (is it because her character got laid?) and it's certainly more interesting to see principled Erica lose sight of her morality because her mind's clouded by a desire to avenge her ex-husband's death. She was only seconds away from causing a 9/11-scale atrocity! This episode actually painted the Fifth Column in a very poor light: ready and willing sabotage alien technology they don't fully understand. It's like children trying to extinguish a fire by dousing it with gasoline because.. well, that's wet like water, right?
Overall, "Devil In A Blue Dress" was a decent setup for next week's season (series?) finale, which should be crammed full of confrontation, but I'm bracing myself for exasperating cliffhangers that will never be resolved. The show's ratings aren't good and ABC could be itching to replace V with something new after two flop years. The only hope is that ABC don't have many hits, so maybe they'll keep V around as familiar continuity? It kind of happened with Chuck on NBC. V's expensive to make, but could they cut the budget and still make it work on-screen? Perhaps by reducing the amount of mothership scenes with its virtual sets, or pruning the cast?
- If Tyler wasn't irritating enough, now he's been "blissed" and will be making spaced-out happy faces all the time? Oh joy. Maybe Lisa can quietly suggest he swallows one of those suicide pills.
- I do like how Anna's every parent's worst nightmare: their replacement. She has Erica's son brainwashed, but also Ryan's daughter has bonded with her.