This review may contain spoilers
After the end of the first season, viewers of the show questioned why the return of the V’s, or for the matter the show itself, mattered.
More questions were uncovered than were answered. In this season’s second episode “Serpent’s Tooth,” they finally decided to give viewers some answers in order to entice them.
The answers were entwined with two major themes. The first centered on humanity, or more exactly what makes humans strong. Anna (Morena Baccarin) is consumed by this question in her quest. The second dealt with taking action, which Erica (Elizabeth Mitchell) and her Fifth Column cohorts dealt with on Earth. Both themes may be underlining the trajectory of the entire season.
The question of whether or not the soul exists is an incredibly human question. Due to the diverse nature of the characters, the show got to explore how each one sees it. However, the best explanation came not from Father Jack (Joel Gretsch) or any other human. It came from Diana (Jane Badler) hidden in the belly of the ship betrayed by her daughter Anna.
Diana was overthrown because of her human emotions. Of course Anna would look to her for an explanation for her own. At least the credit was given that for all of mankind’s faults that there is a strength that maybe baffles aliens.
In their talks, it was finally revealed why Anna was taking over Earth. It will be turned into a breeding ground because it is the last resort for the V’s. Finally, the explanation of Ryan’s (Morris Chestnut) baby, the new information about Erica and Tyler (Logan Huffman), and the reason for the red rain has been given.
On Earth, humans finally stood up and took action. That action against the V’s was violent, and yet it satisfied those who could not be passive anymore. Perhaps the focus on this theme was in answer to critics who panned the show, and specifically the Fifth Column, as doing nothing but talking instead of taking action.
Different characters wanted to take action for different reason. Perhaps Chad (Scott Wolf) had the most reason to want to do something, but he was told to stay with the status quo for connections. But it was his own connections to the V that threatened his own life.
In the middle of both themes was Ryan. His struggle between being a V and rejecting Anna spoke to both humanity with souls and taking action. While he had the most reason to take action, his own emotions eventually drove his actions and decisions.
In the end, “Serpent’s Tooth” revealed many characters who are double agents to be watched. While it answered many questions, the episode may have also outlined what will drive the action of the show from now until the end of the season.
Points of Interest
1. The long awaited mouse-eating scene was finally revealed in “Serpent’s Tooth”. For those who may have thought that the special effects were slightly cheesy, you should check out the original scene from “V” where Diana does the same thing. It was very reminiscent of both.
2. Speaking of being reminiscent, the big scene stealer award goes to Jane Badler for her return as Diana. Sometimes bringing back old cast members to a reboot of a show is a publicity stunt that fails. This time, Diana is an integral part of revealing Anna’s intentions as well as serving as a perfect foil and example of what will happen in the end.
3. More of the actual look of the V’s was revealed in the special effects. The CGI effects integrated with the actors looks more sophisticated than in the original series. It does allow for a better blend of both when the V is revealed underneath the human skin.
Giving answers is something the show should have done before the end of the first season. Giving them in the first couple of episodes of the second season may prove to be a risky hail mary in saving the show from cancellation.
Either way, at least the viewers have a better understanding of Anna and her reasons. In some ways, it makes her an even better villain as it shows how truly vulnerable she is.
What Didn’t Work
Did anyone else notice how many coals Anna has in the fire? Between talking to her mother, dealing with Lisa and Tyler, trying to win back Ryan, rebooting Joshua (Mark Hildreth), and trying to isolate and kill the soul, she has a lot on her plate.
With a large ensemble cast, the show needs to be careful of how many side roads of plot they send the viewers on. If the writers handle things well, the more complicated plot could pay off huge in the end. Or it could lead the show to its end. Time and ratings will tell.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
“Serpent’s Tooth” was written by Steve Shill. It was directed by Gregg Hurwitz.