V: A Bright New Day

After last week’s premiere double-bill, it was time for the third episode of the V remake last night on Syfy. If you’ve not been watching so far, it’s definitely worth a look.

At the end of last week’s episode, the Visitors were granted diplomatic relations with the United States and now they are starting to be allowed to leave their ships and embassies, with Anna among the first to get a visa.

Ryan tells Georgie that there are many other Vs like him who want to fight back. They need to set up a fifth column again, mentioning the name John May as an important person in the resistance. Ryan goes to Cyrus, another member of the original resistance movement, but Cyrus attacks him, saying that he’s given up on the movement on the promise from the Visitors’ command that they would “reconnect” him if he turned in enough fifth columnists. Ryan refers to this as being like a junkie, it seems that all of the Vs are in some way “connected” to each other, or perhaps to Anna, something that makes them feel good but ultimately under control. The ones who have broken free, like Ryan, are the ones that have somehow managed to no longer be connected. Ryan points a gun at Cyrus, we don’t see what happens next, but later some Vs turn up to find that where Cyrus once was is now a pile of carbon. Written on the door is the name John May.

The face of the protest movement in the media is Mary Falkener, who is the widow of the F16 pilot who was killed in the first episode. That shot, so early in the first episode, of the pilots parachuting down before lifelessly flopping onto the floor, was a chilling first signal that the Visitors might not be as friendly as the first seemed. Falkener has been speaking to crowds of anti-V protestors, mentioning that hundreds of people were killed around the world due to the arrival of the spacecraft. Anna realises that this is a public relations issue they have to manage. As she puts it, “that kind of hatred is contagious, we have to make an example of her so that she doesn’t infect others.” After carefully rehearsing her abilities to look remorseful and sorrowful, she speaks to Falkener, offering her condolences and reassuring her about the Visitors. Mary Falkener speaks to the crowds and the world’s press, telling everyone how the Vs aren’t that bad after all. It’s been a fantastic day for the Visitors in the news, with not only the leading light in the protest movement changing her mind, but also a swelling of support following the attempted assassination attempt. Of course, the assassin wasn’t really a human. He was a V, doing his job perfectly and helping to win the PR war.

Father Jack Landry, going through the list of people who contacted the FBI about the Visitors, finds information about Georgie, who he saw at the meeting in the warehouse. He finds an address, and when he gets there he sees old newspaper cuttings on the wall about a family being murdered on Staten Island. A woman comes in and tells him that Georgie no longer lives there, nobody does anymore. He was the only survivor of the murders, which he’s always blamed on aliens. Later, Georgie ambushes the priest, but then notices the V-shaped scar behind his ear, which shows that he was at the meeting. At first he is skeptical and defeatist about forming a resistance together, saying that all their efforts so far have been crushed. But later, as Jack and Erica talk in the church, he appears with Ryan, seemingly ready to begin the fight back.

Erica learns of a threat to the Visitors and goes to protect them. Despite what she knows about them, she realises that if a human was to murder a V, the public would be even more sympathetic towards them and their power would grow. She goes to the embassy where she spots a suspicious man who fits the description given. Just in time, she spots the gun he’s holding, and prevents him from shooting one of the Visitors. She doesn’t like it, but the Vs take the prisoner in to their own custody. While she’s in their building, she sneaks into an odd room she spotted earlier, containing what first appear to be closed-circuit pictures from various locations. She spots that one of the images is of herself in the room, and searches for the camera, which she eventually finds is a grey patch of material on a jacket hanging on the door. It seems that every V wearing uniform, as well as every human enlisted in the Peace Ambassador Program, is a walking spy camera for the Visitors.

One of those jackets belongs to her son, Tyler. He bumps into Lisa at the pizza place he mentioned to her previously and she tells him that he’s back in the Program after being kicked out last week for beating up a protestor. He takes her back to his room but before things can get too heated, his mum is back home. Knowing how much Erica disapproves of the Visitors, rather than be seen wearing the uniform, Lisa has stripped down to her underwear when she bursts into the room. Instead of a major problem, it’s simply an awkward situation for Tyler, though he’ll face some stern words after he’s taken Lisa home. Back on the mothership, Lisa tells Anna that Tyler is “the one” they should use. Anna praises her fine work, and Lisa thanks her mother.

Dale wakes up on the mothership and doesn’t remember much about the attack or who attacked him. While he would have been stabbed in the heart and killed if he were human, V physiology is of course completely different, so he survived. A Visitor named Joshua tries to help him to remember what happened, by recreating the FBI office to help bring back memories. Dale starts to remember how smelly he thought humans were and what an ordeal it was to sleep next to one each night. His wife was called… Erica, was it? No, replies Joshua, that’s the name of your FBI partner. Dale suddenly remembers that Erica was the one who attacked him and saw through the gaping wound in his head to his real face below. But then Dale finds himself to be still strapped down, with Joshua injecting him with something. By the time he realises that Joshua is a fifth columnist, it’s too late and he dies, apparently for real this time.

This was, like both of last week’s, a really entertaining and well-made episode. A lot of story was crammed into the hour, which was belting along very quickly with at least three major revelations which in some shows would be a twist ending. But at the same time, many main elements of the story such as the resistance movement are still at the stage of being set up, so it’s not easy yet what the normal pace will be once the show settles down later in the season. Elizabeth Mitchell once again proved to be a great choice in the lead role and Joel Gretch just about manages to be both a convincing priest and rebel. Very good stuff, and a good sign for the rest of the series.

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