V 2009 Season 2, Episode 1 (S2E1) – Red Rain

Well, the long awaited continuation of the 2009 incarnation of the television series V aired two nights ago. The episode continues from last season, when Anna (in an uncontrollable fit of rage for the murder of her offspring children) prematurely unleashes red sky (episode “Red Sky”) from which red rain comes forth –a process with which to modify human beings, advancing the V agenda against that of humanity.

Perhaps it’s entirely subjective or maybe the release delay is to blame, but the start of the new season failed to captivate me, not so with the earlier season.

Contributing this lukewarm reception*, the episode introduced Bret Harrison (from the relatively short lived Reaper series) a comedic show on how a teenager comes to have demonic powers and potentially is the son of Satan. I think it was Harrison’s tone but (in V), I found myself expecting an ironic punch line after each sentence or two. The writers seemed to have assumed as much and attempted to incorporate a comedic element giving Harrison the following line, “Anna’s a lizard? That sucks! She’s so hot.”.

Further adding to the incredibility and despite Harrison’s youthfulness, he plays an associate Doctor Sidney Miller –not to mention Sidney sounds like Cindy, as in Dr. Cindy Miller the way Harrison pronounces it. Anyway, Dr. Sidney or Dr. Cindy (however you want to pronounce it) is forced into the resistance movement because of his 50 years of research into an old V skeleton excavated from New Mexico.

Now, the V are after Dr. Miller’s boss (Dr. Watts) for coming close to understanding the red rain, only they have it wrong because it’s Dr. Miller’s research that rang the alarm bells. The mix up occurs because Dr. Miller uses Dr. Watts’ computer to run experiments (yet, MIller has a private laboratory). I find it hard to believe that a researcher that has his own laboratory doesn’t have a computer to run experiments –let alone have a secret lab unknown to his boss or other university staff (as mentioned in the episode).

There are other signs of sloppy writing and editing, such as when the assistant parish priest is approached by a repentant V conspirator seeking redemption (news reporter Chad Decker). The setting (and the fact that Decker shows highly confidential footage demonstrating the Vs are experimenting on humans) would make one believe that the premises are secure. Yet, if this were the case, why does a person walk behind the priest at one point during this secure conversation? –[Upon later evaluation I thought maybe it’s a crew member getting in the way of the shot.] If there is no privacy in the church, why are they talking so loud? And why don’t they find a private room elsewhere on the premises or at some other location (especially, considering that the head priest seemed to be a V conspirator –judging from last season). The latter suggests a problem of continuity, which leads to my next point.

One of the highlights of last season is when we find out that Nichols’ girlfriend is pregnant with his hybrid child. Anna’s reaction is one suggesting that she considers the pregnancy an anathema. The audience is made to believe that the child might be killed off, soon, after studying it. Yet. at the start of this season, we’re made to believe she holds it in high esteem, almost as a miracle –wanting to preserve (and study) it. Nichols’ comments about the sulphuric compound in the red rain suggests Anna’s interest is related to future reproduction of the V, perhaps using humans as surrogates for alien children –although details are unknown.

The action scenes with a tracker were adequate but barely, using parkour/free running and building jumping. The scenes might have benefited from variety or more interaction between the characters. The preceding scene might have benefited from realism, too, in that (once spotted) the V tracker was confronted head on by Evans and Nichols, spooking the tracker and almost enabling his getaway. Surely, having him flanked –by having either Nichols or Evans double back around– might have cured the above scenario of its lack of reality and still allowed for urban acrobatics. Lastly, before being apprehended, the tracker decides to turn left and make a run in the direction of the third resistance member waiting by the parked vehicle. The audience is not shown or told why he changes his direction. His forward momentum would have propelled him to run forward, not left, after his jump and landing.

The special effects were top notch, all quite realistic and thus nothing to critique there. Although, Damian Holbrook –writing for TV Guide– states that “Charles Measure remains a terrible actor“, I thought he was believable. My big problem with the season premiere is with Harrison in the role of Miller. In my opinion he simply isn’t cut out to be a serious actor –at least not at this stage in his career or on this show. The attempt at mixing in his comedic style was an unsuccessful experiment.

Let it not be said that Harrison was specifically targeted by this article; I have to bring attention to Michell’s waddle. I think I first noticed it on Lost, but it’s still visible! Her bad posture also is a detriment as it gives the impression she has a ponch –unsightly on a beautiful woman such as her. Let’s hope she works on these details.

Despite the first season show feeling as if it was rushed out the door, I still recommend V. I assume it’ll get better fast, if critics (such as I) have any say in this. What the show needs is attention to detail as far as writing, casting, and editing goes. Obviously, if I can make out so many problems with just one viewing, these are serious.

Allowing ample time to develop the show will be harder than thought as the season has been cut back from 13 to 10 episodes. Let’s just hope they get it together before getting canned, as first impressions are of prime importance in America.

Main “V” Season 2 actors consist of the following.

New recurring actors for this season follow.

* I wasn’t alone in giving a “lukewarm” reception as it got third place in Tuesday over-night ratings. TVByTheNumbers reported 6.58 million viewed the premiere, receiving a 2.1/5 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Unfortunately, it came behind the premieres of The Biggest Loser (which had a little over 9 million) and Live To Dance (with 10 million viewers).

Maurice Cepeda

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One thought on “V 2009 Season 2, Episode 1 (S2E1) – Red Rain

  1. Well, it got cancelled this month. The cutback in episodes was a sign of the times, and of lost faith. I can’t help thinking this would have been avoided, if only a little attention to detail had been observed and there hadn’t been so much time between miniseries and regular series production (a period in which interest in the story line was lost). They never seem to learn.

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