V Episode 1: "Liberation Day" - Recap

In the series premiere of V, it's finally happened. The Visitors have arrived. Now, I have to be honest with you, I was a fan of the original V television series when it aired back in 1984. It may have been my yearning for a "Star Wars" type of show (Return of the Jedi was released in 1983) or because quite frankly there just wasn't anything else on at the time for a young lad like myself to enjoy. Who knows? I guess the point I'm trying to make is that I've had extremely high expectations for this "re-imagining" since it was first announced. With that being said...the show started out with a bang! Well a rumble anyway. The Visitors came with a trusted and true message: We come in peace. But by the end, it's quite clear...peace is not what they came for.

14 minutes in...

We pretty much know everything we need to know. Anna (strange name for an alien) introduces herself to the world on a giant monitor that makes the ones in Cowboys Stadium look like mobile phone screens. It's hard to be skeptical about her intentions when she seems so darn nice. (And attractive too as our good friend Chad Decker (played by Scott Wolf) points out in the alien's first public appearance with the press.) We also learn that they are here for water and some unnamed "abundant source" they need to sustain life. Which reminds me, didn't anybody watch "War of the Worlds?" Lastly, we find out that religion is going to play a big part in the grand scheme of things. And why not? After all, how CAN God and aliens exist in the same world, right? It will be interesting to see how the show addresses the issue.

P.S. Not crazy about the kid who plays the son. Am I the only one who feels that way?

28 minutes in...

The miracles - they keep a-comin'. In what seems less than an earth day we find out that the V's can cure 65 diseases (and apparently paraplegics) AND a failing global economy with the sale of their V merchandise. Hallelujah! Fitting right in, they've also set up flying tram rides through Ticketmaster (I can't confirm that) to transport earthlings to the ultimate Disney World experience aboard the mother ships. Tyler and his buddy, of course, score tickets and make the journey to the one that hovers above New York. Mom is going to be PO'd when she finds out. And right on cue, yet another shows up. She welcomes the two boys aboard and catches the eye of Logan, which you know something's up when she starts flirting with him. Meanwhile, Erica (Logan's mother) and her FBI partner Dylan find a dead guy tied to a chair next to a pallet of C4 in some silo granary place on Long Island. They seem to be one step behind, but let's face it, they're the FBI. And not to look like the complete psycho mom, Erica has dug up some video of her son tagging walls with spray paint and spreading the word of Visitors. You just don't post that stuff on your Facebook page people. Anyway, my guess is that he's already got one foot out the door. If it were up to me, I would have kicked him out long ago anyway. Oh...and Ryan Nichols (played by Morris Chestnut) keeps getting calls from some mysterious man. But Morris doesn't do "that" anymore. My...sounds scandalous.

37 minutes in...

Decker gets picked to do the first interview with Anna. Obviously Mr. "Just Read The News" is going to take it. The Tom Cruise look-a-like needs the gig after all to prove he's a real reporter. And after seeing his news-casting skills, I'm not so sure that's possible. Ryan Nichols, meanwhile, is finally confronted by the mystery man who's been constantly calling him. We find out that he has a checkered past of some sort. My guess is either an underground resistance from a previous Visitor confrontation way back when, or some covert military operation gone array. Or even better, both. Meanwhile Erica and her partner Dale are still on the hunt for some strange terrorist cell activity. Not sure what or who exactly, but I AM sure that she and Dale are going to hook up at some point. They just don't know it yet. Back at the church, a mortally wounded man confides in Father Jack. He tells him that the Visitors tried to kill him and that he knows the real reason the aliens are there: to exterminate the human race. He hands Father Jack an envelope and tells him it's important to give it to some people at some undisclosed address. The man of course dies and we're left hanging. Father Jack is about to get knee-deep into some big trouble.

47 minutes in...

Decker finally gets his big break as a real reporter, only when he sits down to do the interview, Anna warns him that he can't ask her anything that would "paint them in a negative light." "Excuse me?" he asks. In the end, however, he concedes to her wishes and asks only nice generic questions. His career is, after all, on the line. His curiosity about the Visitors' intentions, however, is aroused. Meanwhile, Father Jack and Erica show up at the same "secret" meeting (pretty easy to get in though) and discover the true intentions of what the Visitors are really doing there on earth. As the story goes, they've been there for years positioning themselves in different arenas - business owners, politicians, etc. They even have their own sleeper cell. Yes, the one that Erica and the FBI have been tracking this entire time. They've also learned to clone human skin to cover their reptilian bodies. On a personal note, let me just say that their bone structure is exquisite. The dead giveaway that the visitors have bad intentions though comes in the form of universal health care. Yes...universal health care. Oh touche' aliens. Touché.

59 minutes in...

Are you kidding me? Now we're getting somewhere. During the "secret" meeting a bright blue orb flies in and eliminates half of the people by shooting a 360 degree spray of bullets. Then a swarm of Visitors storm the compound. Cue fight sequence. Then we get our first big twist! Dylan, Erica's partner, comes in and fights Erica. He's a Visitor! So much for my "they're getting together theory." After a brief struggle between the two of them, Erica smashes Dylan's head open exposing his reptilian skin. If she wanted proof about who the Visitors really are, my guess is she just got it. Adding to the crazy suspense, Ryan Nichols runs in and helps fend off the Visitors attack. But after the fight, we come to find out that he TOO is a Visitor! What?! I love it! He vows to help the humans and says there are others like him. The rest is icing on the cake. We see the battle lines being drawn and the skewing of who is fighting for what side. Tyler joins the ambassador club with the Visitors behind Erica's back while she's making plans with Father Jack to start a resistance. The Visitors seem to have the biggest advantage though. A secret weapon: devotion.

Parting shots...

Overall, I thought it was a good episode. It seemed to move pretty fast. I can't imagine people catching rides to the mother ship in what seemed like a day, however, I know the writers had to work fast to set up the story, so I give them a pass.

My rating for this episode: 8 of 10.

What did you think of the episode? A hit? A miss? In for the long haul?

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