V season 2 episode 2 review: Serpent’s Tooth

V continues to impress, as Ron checks out the second episode of its new season...

This review contains spoilers.

2.2 Serpent’s Tooth

Our topic this week is the soul. Specifically, do Visitors have a soul, or is that just a human thing? When human emotions infect the visitors from spending too much time in their human skins, does that mean the skin contains elements of the soul, or that the soul is some kind of infection to our scaly green frenemies?

It’s an interesting question for a show about space monsters who want to interbreed with us, but fortunately, the latest episode of V, Serpent’s Tooth, also has a massive explosion to make up for all that deep thinking.

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The Fifth Column is back and active once more. I don’t mean the Fifth Column we know and follow weekly. I mean the other anonymous guys who also make up the anti-V resistance in other places throughout the world. Whoever they are, they’re good at what they do. Twenty-nine suicide bombings at V healing centers happen all at the same time, sending Vs scattering and human authorities into a panic. Just what they wanted.

However, not just the authorities are having problems. Ryan, the Visitor turned human turned Visitor again, is finding himself in the age-old dilemma: what’s good for himself, or what’s good for his newfound people? Anna’s got his baby, and she’s even spray-painted some human skin on it in an attempt to further twist the knife in Ryan’s belly. She’s got him by the short hairs, and they both know it.

However, using the baby against Ryan is also reminding Anna of the soldiers she lost and her apparent inability to churn out any more eggs. I guess she used all her eggs in the swoop to create the soldiers? I’m not really sure I understand this one, but apparently she’s out of baby juice, which means Lisa has suddenly gotten much more important, and the Visitor’s nascent breeding program is picking up steam.

Since Lisa is entering her reproductive cycle and Anna is exiting hers, apparently there can be only one breeding queen at a time, which explains why Anna is having some trouble maintaining her control over herself (and possibly why Anna overthrew her own mother 15 years ago while Diana was on planet Earth).

Meanwhile, her beloved mother has complete control over herself after a long, long time alone with only her human skin and memories for comfort.

This week’s episode has proven difficult to sum up in a few hundred words, if only because there was a whole lot of stuff going on. Anna and Diana, a nod to the original series’ most famous moment, Ryan and Father Jack having some serious metaphysical discussions, Erica, Hobbes, and V traitor Agent Malik (Rekha Sharma) engaging in some cat and mouse in the hunt for the larger elements of the Fifth Column, and all kinds of other goodies involving the revived V doctor Joel and Lisa (who seems to hold up much better away from Tyler than with him). They’re pulling out all the stops to save the show, it appears.

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That said, even with all the different things going on, the show never felt rushed. It felt energetic, but it didn’t feel frantic. Once again the show fails to have a director credit listed on its IMDB page and I don’t remember who it said in the title crawl, but whoever did the work behind the camera really nailed the pacing for this episode bang on.

Last week might have been the best episode in recent memory, but this week was the most action-packed since the show’s first episode. There was so much stuff going on that, for the first time in a long time, the show didn’t drag in the slightest.

I have to say, I really like what the show has been doing lately. In the first season, the storylines were mostly singular, but now there are a lot of interesting dualities at play. Ryan and Father Jack Action Priest will be having a discussion about the soul, and at the same time Anna and Diana will be having a similar discussion about the soul from a different perspective.

The dual traitor FBI agents, Erica and her new V partner Malik, are also providing a lot of fun for the show, giving the two many near misses and one serious confrontation in this episode. It’ll be interesting to see how this particular incident wraps up, especially considering how Anna deals with failure versus how the Fifth Column deal with Visitors. The fact that there are two different Fifth Columns will prove to be of crucial importance to the Fifth Column that we care about, as I imagine it’ll keep the Visitors chasing a lot of guest stars and bit players rather than the mains.

Gregg Hurwitz is back behind the keyboard for Serpent’s Tooth, and while last week’s episode was good, this week’s episode was much better. There’s one thing you can say for Hurwitz. He likes to get things rolling and he doesn’t like a lot of meetings around the Fifth Column coffee pot.

Everyone in this week’s episode had something to do, and there was the barest minimum of Tyler and Lisa. They’ll be more important in future episodes, I’m sure, but I actually like where Hurwitz and company are going with them. They should just promote Gregg Hurwitz to head writer and be done with it. He deserves it for the yeoman’s work he’s done in saving this show from itself.

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I really like how the show has actually doubled back and made Father Jack Action Priest’s job, being a priest, actually important. He’s stopped being the Action Priest and has settled into being just a normal priest, and I really like what they’re doing with him. He’s conflicted, as any man of God would be, between his urge to fight the V and save humanity and to save humanity from its violent impulses. The fact that he spent most of the episode counseling Ryan was a wonderful use of his skills as a counselor and a great way to help play up Ryan’s ‘torn between two worlds’ status.

It’s nice to see characters finding their appropriate niche within the Fifth Column without the show straying too far from the characters that should be central, Anna and Erica, the two mom-batants, with special guest referee, Diana.

Read our review of the season 2 opener, Red Rain, here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan is in the mood for a good rat puree, possibly on toast. Yum! Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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