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Richard: V #2.5 – Concordia

Mike and I often openly wonder how certain shows get written and produced and out the door to the public without detailed scrutiny.  I’ve said on more than one occasion that these network execs need to get their heads out of their asses and hire the 2 of us to just look over their shows before they waste too much money and embarass themselves.  We wouldn’t charge that much, really.  Seriously, shows like The Cape, Heroes, No Ordinary Family, V – you have to wonder if there’s a room full of retarded monkeys churning out scripts at random.  Now I’m the kind of guy who’s happy to check his brain at the door when I sit down to relax and watch some TV, but please don’t insult my intelligence and then spit on me to boot.   It’s unfortunate for the networks these days that audiences are much more sophisticated (and jaded) than they were 20 years ago.  It’s going to take a little more than hot chicks running around in spandex and swallowing fake chocolate covered mice to keep us interested.

But enough ranting, this week’s V involves Anna’s latest plot advancement, or as I call it, whatever the monkeys came up with while sitting on the toilet a day before shooting begins.  The aliens are apparently going to build some giant palace structure called Concordia to hide (or house?) their plans to breed with human females.  There’s no real indication just what type of breeding is planned but either way, Anna’s brought in her top engineer to oversee this awesome feat of awesomeness.  Why do they need these giant buildings?  Who knows?  Maybe there will be a ton of eggs.  Or a ton of women.  Or they read the reports and think the population is really *that* obese.  Or maybe the buildings weren’t really that big, and I misunderstood.  The thing is, and it’s not hard to wonder, why these aliens with such vastly superior technology are willing to waste all their time with the pretense of being “of peace” in the middle of their invasion plans.   I mean, seriously, what are the major threats to their spaceships?   Did they watch Will Smith in Independence Day and mistake that for a documentary?  Or maybe they thought Jeff Goldblum had some new viruses he could infect them with.

Then again, given how dense Anna seems to be, maybe they should be afraid.  She spends her energy cultivating her daughter, who wants to betray her, Bailey, who wants to betray her, Juliette, who wants to betray her, Ryan, who wants to betray her – well, you get the idea.  The only one who’s on her side is Doofus, who by the way in this episode is turning 18, and we all know just how useful he is.  Speaking of which, the writers seem loathe to tell us exactly what is so “special” about Doofus, aside from him being a total tool.  OK I guess he’s a pretty boy tool, but still.  In one scene, Anna says its because he was “chosen” by Supergirl.  But all the work they’ve been doing down on Earth seems to indicate there’s actually something special about him genetically.  Who knows?  Of course just when you think they established he is critical to their plot, they do a 180 and Anna goes Yoda on us and tells us “there are others.”  OK, whatever.  So half the storyline is devoted to Juliette and Anna trying to one up each other on who can give Tyler/Doofus the better birthday gift and thus keep him in their clutches.   Juliette enlists Krycheck (Doofus’ dad) who is looking old and haggard and not nearly as cool as he did on X-Files.  Anna enlists The Engineer on her side.  Seriously, this is what they think audiences are into, the battle for who gives the best presents to claim Doofus’ soul?  I would have bought him an iPad, which I’m pretty sure would have won.

Meanwhile, Eli Cohn and the “Big 4” decide enough is enough – they need to take Anna down now and “win the war.”  Eli wants to go with his favorite method: human bombs during the celebration announcement of Anna’s Concordia contraption.  Apparently he has a whole army of martyrs who can’t wait to blow themselves up for the cause.  Ryan and Terrorist are good to go, but Juliette and Evil Tom resist.  They are unwilling to sacrifice some innocents to save the entire freaking planet.  Clearly these people have not watched 24 or Aliens, because otherwise they’d be a little more willing to do what it takes to get the job done.  The FBI, though just a tad suspicious of Juliette, naturally decide she’s the best person to oversee Anna’s security for the function.  Of course she’s the best choice, it’s not like she’s lost 2 partners in a couple weeks and/or been seen with a suspected/known Fifth column member.  I’d hire her 9 times out of ten!

When Anna wins the war for best bday gift, Juliette goes berserk and decides to throw down.  No one’s stealin my baby, she cries!  So she comes up with a better assassination plot, she’s gonna set it up so the Terrorist can snipe Anna from afar.  We then get an award-winning juxtaposition sequence where Juliette simultaneously plans out the sniper attack AND the defense against it.   Brilliant!!  I can just see the writers patting themselves on the backs and doing a smug Anna smile of their own when they wrote this.  Oh, we’re soooooo clever!  Could we *be* any more clever?  Anyway, the “master plan” basically boils down to something a 2 year old could come up with.   Evil Tom causes a distraction while Juliette lets the sniper and Eli in.  And really that’s it.  Oh yeah, Eli Cohn, leader of the Free Peoples and Humanity’s Last Hope, is going to be used as a spotter.  Oded Fehr, why?

Now I’m all for using my imagination, but this show makes it painful.  Aliens, really powerful aliens, are here – and our best defense is a rogue FBI agent, an ex-priest, an ex-terrorist, a turncoat alien, and a stupid reporter past his prime.  I weep for all of us.   When Joshua was still on our side, it kind of evened the odds a bit, but this season there has been no mention of alien supporters, so our heroes are on their own.  I guess we have Supergirl too, but unless she brings her Supergirl powers it’s looking pretty thin.

At the last second, Ryan flips and warns Marcus about the attack.   Marcus tells Anna and she has him go up the podium instead.  At which point, the terrorist dude, forgetting about his plotlines/deal with Marcus from last season (it was just a dream I guess), decides to just take him out instead.  After much drama, they take the shot and he’s left in critical condition.  Anna is pissed and glares at Juliette for failing.   Juliette’s boss and co-worker both turn on her as well, and now she’s under investigation.

There are so many interesting ways they could have worked the plotlines for V, but sadly none of them are being used and in their place is left shoddy writing and mediocre acting from a lot of pretty people.  I’m guessing no renewal for this show.

This was a fitting title for the episode, because everything about it was unholy.  I admit I fell asleep somewhere midway through the show, but woke up in time to rewatch and experience the unholiness of Morena Baccharin’s brilliant performance as Anna.  Each week she defies all logic with her “acting” and trust me, years from now this will define “camp” in the 2000 era moreso than Jane Badler did as Diana in the 80s.   In fact, watching Jane Badler now playing against Morena, she seems like a pretty high quality actress. Go figure.

Anyway, I told Mike I was going to patent a new drinking game where you take a drink every time she does her own patented “devious alien smile.”  Of course in this ep if you did that you’d likely be drunk within the first 10 minutes.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Morena but what the heck is she doing on screen?  It’s like someone told her to act like an alien and she interpreted that as making devious smiles at everything and everyone at the drop of a dime.  Her daughter, her mother, her enemies, her subordinates, the pope, the baby, the camera – pretty much whatever she can smile at, she will.   I guess she is trying to convey that she knows something you don’t, but unfortunately more often than not her character is oblivious to everything around her.  Is there anyone that *isn’t* planning something behind her back?

This week somehow everyone has convinced themselves that Evil Tom (the priest dude, see reference page for details) is a major threat to the aliens.  These are aliens who can harness blue energy, kill with their tails, fly spaceships across the universe, turn the entire sky blood red, yada yada, but they are afraid of a single priest talking trash about them in a run down church.  Yeah, OK.  Now we do get the reveal that Tom is a “warrior priest,” i.e. he killed some peeps back in the day.  So of course he is a massive threat to the Alien Empire and must be brought down.  By the Pope.  Errrrr.  A few evil smiles and magic tricks later, Anna gets her way and all Catholics are ordered to stay away from Evil Tom and his 5th Column ways.

Even Doofus gets in on the act, trashing the church with his buddies while making sure to film it on his iPhone so everyone can see it.  Oh yeah, of course he loses his iPhone so that his mom can conveniently pick it up later.  Supergirl, fly away!  You can do so much better!!! 

In the mean time, Juliette is saddled with another new partner, who turns out to be an ex-friend or something that knew her before.  Is this a budding love triangle or just a nuisance?  Looks like the latter as he shares info with her boss that she’s been slumming it with Evil Tom on the side and lying about it.  How is it that all these uber aliens with their super technology plus all the people who seem constantly suspicious cannot figure out that Juliette is leading the 5th Column?  I’m betting if she wore a T-shirt with a 5th Column logo on it they still wouldn’t get it.  Anna would smile at her and make some comment about the shirt like she knew something, then turn around and let us know she was completely oblivious.

I don’t remember much else about the episode, except a brief appearance by Oded Fehr as a terrorist version of the 5th column.  Say what you want, but he gets stuff done.  And he’s not limited by being stuck with a bunch of goofballs.  Also more annoying scenes with the hybrid baby, Anna and Morris Chestnut.  All meaningless and filler.  No sign of Diana or Reaper this week and the terrorist dude had no lines.

I give this one a B for entertainment, C for plot.