V Episode 1 Recap: We Are of Peace, Always
The remake of V had its Episode 1 premiere last night. Yeah, I watched it. I'm a huge fan of the original series, and the promo posters showed those big-ass motherships hovering over Vancouver, so how could I not watch V Episode 1?
Basically, the show opens on present-day New York (which is obviously Vancouver), as an earthquake strikes the city. But wait! It's not an earthquake! It's a giant alien spacecraft! McCool from GI Jane is really classy and buying a ring for his girlfriend, and some weirdo keeps calling him. Juliet from Lost freaks out, and wants to find her son. What, did she have him when she was 12? Anyway, she races downtown and gets all up in a soldier's grille because she's a badass FBI agent who works with Wash from Firefly. Well, it's a good thing Wash is around, because the alien mothership flips down this huge screen, and dang- they're led by Inara, who looks great with short hair. She assures the people of Earth (in several languages at once, including her native Portuguese), that she and her Visitor pals come in peace, and that humanity has nothing to fear from the floating monoliths looming over our major cities. Whew. She says "We are of peace. Always," because "All your base are belong to us" is played out.
A few weeks later, things are looking pretty good. Church attendance is up (thanks to Frank, who was an extra in the church scenes), the economy is improving, and terrorist activity is somehow down... except for the cell that Juliet and Wash (who have other names in the show) are following. Juliet and Wash end up finding a huge cache of C4 plastic explosives and the dead body of a forger who's making fake ids, including one for a guy who looks like the Boris the Blade, but it's not Boris the Blade, just some guy with no prior police record.
A guy comes to the Downtown Eastside church that's supposed to be in NYC and is bleeding to death. He gives an envelope to the priest and tells him to go to the address written down inside. The priest promises that he will, and then the bleeding guy dies, which isn't that surprising, since he was bleeding pretty badly.
Juliet's annoying son and his friend visit the big-ass spaceship and he gets all hot for a Visitor chick. She seems to like him, too. Funny how flirty all the Visitors are, huh? Yeah. So Juliet's kid joins the Visitors' don't-call-them-Hitler-Youth "ambassador program". Check it out: Inara is using that same tactic on the guy from Party of Five, getting him to jettison his journalistic integrity for a juicy one-on-one interview aboard the Visitor vessel.
Juliet and Wash find the forger's apartment, which is trashed, but then they find out about a super-secret meeting. The meeting is run by some scruffy guy who says that the Visitors have been among humans for ages, taking over governments, businesses, and all walks of life to drive the economy into the ground, stir up terror and war, and leave humanity ripe for takeover by aliens, whom we humans would then worship for their superior technologies and society. He also says that the Visitors are lizards underneath fake human skin, which Juliet thinks is just crazy talk. Then the priest busts out a photo of the guy who isn't Boris the Blade, and she's like, "Zuh?!"
Then a bunch of Visitors rock up and start killing people, and some of the people start killing the visitors, and then it turns out Wash is a Visitor, so Juliet kills him because she's a ninja. Turns out that McCool is also a Visitor. He's a good guy, though, or so he'd have us believe, but now he's back into the resistance, so he has to break up with his fiancé. At the end of the episode, though, he just can't bring himself to do it. Poor classy alien. We've all been there.
Overall, it was... okay. I thought the writing was way too on-the-nose, and I didn't believe that the characters were really in New York. Also the show suffers from a total lack of Michael Ironside, who was in the original V. Even though I wasn't that into it overall, I'll probably give V Episode 2 a go.