Review: V (2009) 2.10: Mothers Day

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The season finale of V was a riveting hour of intrigue and action. Oh, wait. That was the show in the other universe. You know, the parallel Earth where they hired writers instead of minions of Dagon meant to torture me with an hour of what could only be described as a mess.

The last episode of the season was a rushed, contrived affair, with all the expository dialogue – of the variety of “Finally! My breeding plan is almost complete!” –  we’ve grown accustomed to. It will come as no surprise that, in this last episode, the good guys fail. I mean, why change things up at the last minute? Incompetence and misery have been the modus operandi of the show until its final twitches.

It all opens up with Erica feeling she is becoming an unfeeling biatch like Anna. No, Erica. You are nothing like Anna. Anna is actually smarter and things work out for her. You, Erica, are a loser. Plain and simple.

Erica and the others contrive an idiot plot to kill Anna: they will pretend to kidnap Lisa, Lisa will kill Anna and Diana will take over. They wear alien masks while doing this. Tee hee.

I think we all know where this ends: catastrophe. Lisa does not kill her mother; it all serves to only make Anna more popular and, just when Jane Badler is in her nice white dress (where did she find it? Or is it ordered off eBay?), addressing her people, in walks Anna and stabs her through the back with her tail.

What follows after this point are twenty minutes of everything-and-the-kitchen-sink. The writers (I use that term loosely) quickly realize that, when you throw two dozen things at the wall, at least a few are bound to stick. And, yes, a few do stick, but the result is like a five-year-old’s macaroni collage: messy and unfocused.

Here is a list of events that take place:

  • Ryan goes to rescue his daughter. She strangles him. Are you getting the Electra Complex theme of the episode?
  • Anna hatches her egg and orders Joshua to give her new daughter skin that mimics Lisa’s. This allows us to see what the aliens really look like: not so hot.
  • Tyler discovers the truth about the aliens when the Lisa lookalike has sex with him and kills him. Though many people will be glad to see the character go, it seemed rather stupid of the series to dispose of him. Lisa’s lookalike has sex with him once and gets pregnant? Wouldn’t it be better to keep him on stud duty, controlled with bliss? You know, just in case the pregnancy fails.
  • The real Lisa gets to watch the sex scene on high-definition TV and is thrown into her grandmother’s old dungeon.
  • Anna figures out that Chad Decker is a traitor. Sadly, we get no gory death scene of his.
  • Erica is captured by some dudes and led to a secret underground facility. Marc Singer appears, revealing he is the head of a secret military project which is humanity’s last, last hope to survive the alien onslaught.
  • It is also revealed that Anna’s co-workers are part of Project Ares. Which kind of explains why they let her get away with so much, but not really.
  • Anna tries to bliss all of humanity and fails. But Amy, in all her Starchild glory, succeeds. By the way, they wear matching dresses. Bleah.

Yes. Kitchen-and-sink. It’s no surprise there are some bits that made me laugh and entertained, but damn it. What. A. Hot. Mess. This show needs to learn the three Aristotelian principles and have the lameness extracted with those alien needles.

Anyway, what did I think of the deaths? So sad to see Jane Badler go. If there is a third season, I suppose she could come back (like Martin did in the original show) as Diana’s missing twin sister, or something. But it was still depressing.

Ryan getting killed? Ha! Did not like the character. I also did not like Tyler. His death is, to most fans, cathartic, but comes at the wrong moment. Tyler remained a stupid patsy through the whole season and was never deployed properly. Rather than giving us another Daniel, we got a ninny who wasted our time. Which is not what a fan wants.

Lisa is probably going to be fine and her dungeon status paves the way for an escape plan hatched with Joshua and a romantic development (if they’re not related. I still don’t understand the reproductive mechanics and connections of this show). Which, of course, thumbs up.

As for Erica, with Marc Singer around, we have a new cowboy in town, which might actually move the focus from our insufferable heroine to someone else. Humanity getting zombified by the Bliss? I don’t really care, though Evil Amy versus Evil Lisa might turn into a big catfight.

How would I have ended it?

  • Forget the kidnapping plot. Anna discovers that Lisa is a traitor. With her new egg hatching, she doesn’t need her anymore. Just before Anna’s minions can swoop down and grab the girl, Joshua spirits Lisa off the ship. Why? Because the kidnapping plan on the show was useless. This way, we speed things up.
  • Lisa joins the Fifth Column on Earth. They must all act now and destroy Anna before she comes after them. They hatch a plan with Diana to overthrow Anna. This basically involves breaking Diana out and having her speak to her ‘children’, much like we saw in the finale that aired. But with more explosions, gunshots and bam-bam. Maybe some sneaking through the ventilation system. Remember when they did that in the original? Anyway, this would have allowed the resisting humans a victory.
  • Diana manages to spark a rebellion aboard the ship, but sneaky little Anna escapes with Amy and Tyler, who is now mind-controlled by Amy. When she discovers that Amy can bliss humans, Anna realizes she has an ace up her sleeve which her mother does not possess. Diana may have regained control of a few motherships,  but there are still those who remain loyal to Anna. And there are other ships. And she has some key players with her.
  • Diana, for her part, is not quick to side with the humans. It becomes obvious she is not as pleasant as Lisa thought and, now that she has the newly hatched queen with her, she is the boss. This leaves us with three rival queen factions: Lisa, Diana and Anna. Why? Because it’s more fun this way. The humans get their victory (See above), but unknowingly unleash what might be a greater enemy than they intended (Diana).
  • Towards the end of episode, a group of goons descend on the Fifth Column hideout. Erica and company think these are Anna’s men, but it turns out they are the members of Project Ares led by Marc Singer. They’ve been biding their time and have decided to take a side. It’s with Lisa’s faction. And Singer probably has an agenda of his own. And nifty military gadgets!

I’m not saying my ending is the bomb, but almost anything else would have had more coherence. How would you have ended the show? Do you think it’ll come back? Do you want it to return?

I might be reviewing another show after this: Alien Nation, for a retro vibe. Or, I might finish off the first season of War of the Worlds, which I recapped during the hiatus. Cast your vote. I will return in April, my children.

About Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Silvia Moreno-Garcia lives in beautiful, rainy British Columbia with her family and two cats. She writes fantasy, magic realism and science fiction. You can read her stories in Imaginarium 2012: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing, The Book of Cthulhu, Evolve 2 and Tesseracts 13. She is the co-editor of Candle in the Attic Window, Future Lovecraft and Historical Lovecraft.

Silvia Moreno-GarciaReview: V (2009) 2.10: Mothers Day