V: “Heretic’s Fork”

V is starting to get a little more action, just a little. What’s interesting is that the Vs still don’t know any of the Fifth Column members, while in the old V, Mike Donovan was known and wanted early on. Erica is still going to work at the FBI, after all.

We start the episode on the heels of last week, with the sniper saying that the Vs threatened his family if he wouldn’t kill the Fifth Column group, and he doesn’t know where the missing hard drive is. Hobbes says he’s lying, and moves to beat him more, but Father Jack stops him. Later, Hobbes shows the prisoner a little torture device called the Heretic’s Fork which wedges under the chin, but Father Jack interrupts. Erica goes to find the sniper’s wife to find out if she knows where the hard drive is. Turns out the Vs hadn’t threatened the family, but had healed their daughter’s paralysis. Erica snoops and finds the missing hard drive and pockets it. The hard drive has been wiped of most of the names, and the sniper refuses to help, totally loyal to the Vs who healed his daughter. Erica threatens the sniper with Hobbes, and he still refuses to talk. She and Jack leave the room, and shortly Hobbes joins them with the information they need.

On the mother ship, Anna finds out about the baby. She tells the doctors it is a mongrel and they must accelerate the Live Aboard program. She orders Joshua to catch the parents, dissect them to figure out how it happened, and destroy the baby. Later she tells Lisa that Tyler is to join the Live Aboard program, where he’ll remain on the ship until “he’s no longer needed.” Lisa is not terribly pleased at this statement. Then Anna tells Marcus to release a soldier to hunt Ryan and Valerie.

Finally we get some Ryan/Valerie action, and Valerie is as appropriately OMGWTFisinsideofme as I’d hoped. Ryan takes her to the V doctor and Valerie demands an abortion, but her doctor says she’s too far along. They discover she’s been injected with R6. The doc gives her a counter agent, but says it can take twenty-four hours to work. She also offers to go on the run with them. Ryan tells Erica he’s not coming back and they go off the grid to the Adirondacks for safety. Too bad the solider has already found them.

Chad prepares to head up the mother ship for his surgery, taking his camera crew with him. When he wakes up, Anna is there. We learn Chad has no family. Anna sets Chad to hunt the Fifth Column with the media as his weapon. Chad then approaches Father Jack and tells him he thinks Anna is keeping secrets from them and he wants to know more about the Fifth Column. Father Jack shrugs and says he knows nothing. But he’s a very bad liar.

The soldier nearly kills Ryan, but Erica and Jack show up and shoot it so it runs off. Hobbes buries an axe in its chest, which doesn’t kill it but brings it down. After they get away, Valerie goes off with her doctor, but tells Ryan she doesn’t want to see him again and leaves him behind.

Lisa comes to tell Erica that Tyler is coming to Live Aboard, and it’s awesome, but Erica confides in her that she’s losing her son. Lisa tells Tyler that he shouldn’t live aboard the ship. This makes Tyler more determined to do so than ever. But then Lisa tells Anna she thinks it’s best if she has Erica’s cooperation before Tyler joins them on the ship. Anna looks suspicious.

Lastly we see Hobbes bluntly telling the sniper that he will tell Hobbes everything he knows about the Vs, and then he will beg Hobbes to kill him.

Commentary: I am somewhat bummed about the death of the Hollywood makeup artist. Just because you can CGI a split-open cheek with lizard skin underneath doesn’t mean you should. Remember, Hollywood, when your only tool is a hammer….

I did love Valerie in this episode. She had an excellent balance of anger, fear, defiance, and grudging trust because she had no other choice. Her strength at the end as she dumped Ryan was cold and necessary, and I pitied her more than him.

Why is Anna so worried about the hybrid baby? Sure, the Fifth Column could breed an army against them. If they a) can find enough women willing to carry half-lizard babies, or b) trick enough women into carrying half-lizard babies, which doesn’t make them much better than the Vs. And apparently Anna forgets that Valerie is carrying one baby, while she just laid a whole mess of eggs. For Anna, “create an army” means “boink and then devour a sexy captain and then lay a thousand eggs,” while in human terms, it’s “get at least a thousand fertile women and call us back in nineteen years.”

This also makes me wonder again about Lisa, because if Anna is so rabidly against a hybrid baby, she must not be attempting to breed Lisa with Tyler. So what is her goal of getting her daughter involved with a human? And speaking of Lisa, I don’t know about you guys, but I forgot Erica has no idea that Lisa is a V (much less Anna’s daughter). I also figured Lisa was doing a grand manipulation of Erica and Tyler, but she seemed at the end to really have pity on Erica’s anguish at losing her son.

I love Anna’s manipulation of Chad. She shows just enough kindness to make him soften toward her, then when she needs something (exposure of the Fifth Column) he’s only too eager to pay her back. And Chad then begins manipulation of Father Jack, but there’s just enough truth in his words that he could be looking to betray either side. I’m not sure he’s smart enough to do that, though.

Lastly I was wrong about the imagined sexual tension. What this episode showed me, instead, was that Erica is the perfect balance between Father Jack and Hobbes. She has empathy that Hobbes doesn’t have, but not so much she can’t do what’s necessary, which is what sometimes strangles Father Jack. Jack would never set Hobbes on a prisoner, no matter how little he was cooperating. What I look forward to now is an expected blow up between Jack and Hobbes.

Questions: Did Anna plumb Chad’s memories while he was out, finding the right button to push for his allegiance? And did the soldier really need to look so much like Robert Patrick from Terminator 2?


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