Episode Title: "Laid Bare"
Writer: Gwendolyn M. Parker
Director: David Barrett
Previously on "V":
A real resistance movement against the alien Visitors made themselves known by simultaneously launching suicide bombers around the world. While Kyle Hobbes (Charles Mesure) strongly advocated joining this new arm of the Fifth Column, Father Jack (Joel Gretsch) was devastated to learn that his calls for action against the Visitors were met by violence. Even the Fifth Column’s newfound ally, Chad Decker (Scott Wolf) was targeted for death before being saved by FBI Agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell).
Elsewhere, the alien leader Anna (Morena Baccarin) exerted her control over Ryan Nichols (Morris Chestnut) by holding his daughter captive and ordering him to hunt down his fellow Fifth Column members. Anna also sent Sarita Malik (Rekha Sharma) — Erica’s partner and a Visitor sleeper agent — to track down the new resistance movement. But in the process, she encountered Hobbes and learned that Erica was a Fifth Columnist as well. Malik and Erica were sent by the FBI to track down a new lead, but they both attempted to draw a gun on each other in a car before Erica flipped the vehicle to save her life.
Immediately after the accident, Malik recovers first and drags Erica out of the car to kill her. Erica fights for her life and actually manages to knock out Malik just in time for Hobbes and Father Jack to arrive in a car following a warning about Malik’s true nature from Chad Decker. Hobbes shoots out the tires of Erica’s car to give her a cover story while the rest of her team abducts Malik. When the FBI arrives to investigate, Erica claims that the radical Fifth Column attacked their vehicle and took Malik.
Up on the mothership, Lisa (Laura Vandervoort) is awakened by her real skin suddenly changing beneath her human skin. Anna tells her that this means she will be able to breed soon and later gloats about this to her captive mother, Diana (Jane Badler). But Diana warns her that Lisa may still betray her the way Anna betrayed Diana years ago. When Anna learns that Malik has been taken, she orders Ryan to find her. Back on Earth, the barely out his teens scientist, Sidney Miller (Bret Harrison) gives Erica the results of her son Tyler Evans’ (Logan Huffman) blood work, which indicate several gaps in his DNA that the Visitors must have arranged while Erica was still pregnant.
When Ryan arrives at the team’s hideout, he suggests that they skin Malik to make her talk about the Visitors’ true plans. At Malik’s apartment, Erica and Ryan find evidence that the Visitors are targeting runaways. Up on the ship we see why the Visitors need the runaways as test subjects: Joshua (Mark Hildreth) claims to have built a machine that can locate and destroy the human soul. Later, Anna meets with Chad and tells him to interview Father Jack about his anti-Visitor stance. That night, Jack breaks up a violent encounter in his church, but the footage is manipulated by Anna and quickly spread online to tarnish his message. More surprisingly, Tyler was the one who recorded the incident.
Erica, Hobbes and Ryan are only able to save one of the runaways, while the rest are taken to the mothership. Once on board, Anna forces Lisa to personally experiment on one of the victims despite her obvious misgivings. Later, Lisa seeks comfort from Erica as a way to come to terms with what she did to survive. At the church, Chad apologizes to Father Jack for letting Anna manipulate his message. But Father Jack isn’t worried and introduces him to the rest of his resistance cell. They also show him Malik’s dead, partially skinned body. While Erica’s group seems to have new hope, it’s undercut by Ryan’s secret visit to Anna. While watching his daughter in her arms, Ryan tells Anna that he knows who took Malik and where she can find them.
I have to admit that I’m enjoying the second season of "V" a lot more than I expected to. But then again, every show on TV seems better when "The Cape" is out there dragging the entertainment curve down beneath the pavement.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lot of insanely ridiculous things happening in "V." This week, it’s the Visitors’ sudden mastery of Youtube which stands out as particularly funny… in an unintentional way. To put it succinctly, Father Jack actually took personal responsibility for the way that his words inspired the suicide bomber and renounced the violence against innocent people. But after a poorly edited clip of Jack seemingly challenging a parishioner to a fight… the Visitors think that’s going to kill his message? Crazy people love s*** like that and if anything, it would probably make Jack even more popular among the fringe resistance movement.
As much as I hate Chad Decker’s character, it was entertaining to see him finally meet the entire resistance cell for the first time. Especially since Hobbes called him out for stabbing them in the back last season. Personally, I think it’s a huge mistake on Father Jack’s part to trust him so openly because we all know Chad’s going to betray them at some point. That’s just who he is. And although I’ve chided Erica’s Fifth Column cell for their constant incompetence, I actually liked the way they failed in this episode. If they had managed to save all of the runaways, then the Visitors would have really looked inept by comparison.
The dual parent role switch between Anna and Erica is also interesting. Lisa in particular has been fun to watch, even if her confession to Erica at the end of the episode was too over the top. It’s really ludicrous that Tyler’s mom AND his girlfriend are both on the same side and neither one of them has clued him in on Anna’s true motivations. Anna’s scene with Tyler was also suitably creepy. She said that he was like a son to her and I’m not sure that was a euphemism. That would make his relationship with Lisa even more awkward than it already is.
At the very least, the show seems to be moving towards a grander scale of resistance, as opposed to the five or six characters who have basically stood in the viewpoint position for the entire freakin’ planet! It’s almost as if the show’s producers have actually learned from the mistakes they made in the first season… but we’ll see if that’s the case or not soon enough.
Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.