V episode 9 review

V, Ron concludes, is in trouble, as the latest episode fails to arrest the show's slump...

1.9 Heretic’s Fork

So, you want to hear a real-life testament to the drop in quality of V? Well, while I’m still fulfilling my obligation to review the series for Den Of Geek (unlike other shows I dropped early, like Reaper, or shows I flaked out on due to awful time slot, like TSSC), it’s no longer appointment television for me. I was still there on Tuesday night at 10pm, but I wasn’t awake. That’s right, I fell asleep about 20 minutes into Heretic’s Fork and remained unconscious until well past midnight.

In retrospect, the show had some of the better moments of the entire series this week, and generally all of them belonged to Kyle Hobbes. If anything is going to save this show from being a boring melodrama, it’s Hobbes’ sharp tongue and adept ability to dole out violence. He’s willing to do the dirty work that the others are too holy or distracted by melodrama to do, like torture captive snipers for information about V plots and whack a V super-soldier with an ax.

He gives the show some much-needed attitude. He’s Bad Cop, and everyone else from Ryan to Father Jack Action Priest is Good Cop. He’s Jack Bauer with a beard and without the pesky moral code.

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However, to get to all the fun stuff with Hobbes, we have to wade through our weekly half hour of baby mama drama, baby/mama drama, and Mello Yello drama. Okay, there’s no Mello Yello product placement, or any notable product placement for any other Coca-Cola products or any Donovan songs.

In the area of baby/mama drama, Tyler and Lisa are still being a boring version of Romeo and Juliet. Tyler’s all gung-ho about joining the Live Aboard problem, especially since he still believes that his mother’s sleeping around is the reason for his parents’ separation. As such, he now wants to get as far away from his mother as he can, which is understandable. Since he can’t go to his father (because Krycek is off the show), that leaves his new lizard mom Anna and his cute lizard girlfriend Lisa.

Fortunately for Tyler, Lisa’s gotten a case of those pesky human emotions. Now that she actually cares about Tyler as something other than a food product, she doesn’t really want him to get involved with the Live Aboard program. So, when she talks to Erica about it, then talks to Tyler about how it might not be the best idea to live together so soon (in a sense), he does the stereotypical teenager thing and blames his mother. Lisa does the stereotypical thing and storms off, and Erica does the standard V thing and broods while sad music plays in the background.

Of the episode’s good qualities, besides Hobbes and the former-soldier-turned-V-mercenary guy (who is a great actor in spite of some dumb dialog), Pregnant Girlfriend actually did something! And it was something that was the exact opposite of the lazy writing that mostly bogs this show down.

Last week, Ryan broke a guy’s neck in front of Pregnant Girlfriend and rescued her from an attempted V-bortion, and now, guess what? They’re on the run! For at least ten minutes, they’re running and Ryan is separated from the rest of the group.

It’s not to last, as Ryan gives Valerie the lowdown on what he is and what the Visitors are as the two are about to board a train to make a big escape. Shockingly, she tells him to go komodo himself in the dragon and she and Dr. Lexa Doig board the train to go to safety without Ryan.

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Still, as good a moment as it was, and as good as it was for Valerie to kind of get out of the show for awhile while developing a personality other than ‘pregnant’ and ‘Ryan’s girlfriend’, it was kind of ruined by Morris Chestnut’s reaction, or lack thereof. He just kind of stares off at her with some kind of blank/dumbfounded look on his face. I’m sure that’s the choice he was looking to make with it, but it was still a little weird, especially since Ryan is supposed to be one of the Visitors with emotion.

Maybe I’m just looking for more that’s there and Ryan was just legitimately shocked. However, you’re dealing with a show with a character whose motivation seems to change on a day to day basis (depending on which side of the issue will get him more ratings) in the form of Chad Decker, a self-serving mercenary for hire in the form of Hobbes, and that’s even before you realize this is a show with some pretty lousy writing that takes some gigantic leaps in logic (e.g. when asked what the Visitors have done wrong, Erica and Father Jack Action Priest don’t really say anything when there’s ample evidence of Visitor wrongdoing in the forms of huge piles of Fifth Column bodies), so I really have no idea what’s going on with that subplot, and I don’t mean in the “oh wow, this is so awesome and unpredictable!” way.

Either way, I guess we’ll find out next week. The show promises to blow some stuff up, which is great. Maybe the explosions will keep me awake!

Read our review of episode 8 here.

US correspondent Ron Hogan will be doing his best not to sleep through next week’s V. The show does not always make this easy. Find more by Ron at his blog, Subtle Bluntness, and daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.