This review may contain spoilers.
If you had to summarize the return of “V” in one word it would be this: gruesome.
“Red Rain” takes on a level of gore normally reserved to event programming, or shows with a more horror-centric tone; scenes of Tyler’s (Logan Huffman) face melting, Anna (Morena Baccarin) using one of her captains as a piñata and Visitors in a half completed human suit all underline how different this season will be from the last one.
Despite this harsher tone, “Red Rain” comes of as something of a rushed job and a scrambling effort to tackle everything viewers disliked about the first season; the Visitors agenda is revealed, the Visitors themselves are showcased in several forms, hybrid baby is finally seen, and the real reason behind the red sky is paraded around early on, quashing any hopes of mystery and intrigue.
Even with the changes to the series, it is interesting how similar “Red Rain” is to the pilot episode for the new “V” series, almost as if the season two premiere is a Pilot 2.0. Both episodes deal with a global event and the people of Earth reacting to the incident.
The problem with this is that we’re led to believe there are only three factions at work: the V’s, Fifth Column and the FBI. In the event of a global crisis the series would have benefited from taking a larger view of what is unfolding on a worldwide scale.
Points Of Interest
1. The new “V” series has always been incredibly similar to “EARTH: Final Conflict,” which was based on a single script written by Gene Roddenberry. “Red Rain” is reminiscent of EFC’s “Wrath Of Achilles” episode.
2. Blooper alert: did you notice that as Ryan chases the tracker, he jumps from a building engraved with “Vancouver Art Gallery” and then runs past a sign that reads “New York State University”?
3. Did anyone else get a “Jurassic Park” vibe from the V skeleton?
The opening teaser was gruesome, almost like something from a George Romero movie. The only downside being that it was just a dream sequence.
Anna is a fascinating character; with her every line of dialogue offering twisted insights to what makes her tick. The character is slowly becoming more and more unhinged through her inability to control her human emotions and it is ironic that her own humanity will become her undoing.
With that in mind, the series has already shown Visitors becoming more human thanks to their feelings of love and joy, Anna is now a perfect example of a being experiencing loss, hate and sadness for the first time and the impact of those emotions will no doubt be a central part shaping the character in the coming season.
What Didn’t Work
The introduction of the ship captains was disappointingly uneventful, with the entire group marching onto the New York mothership and standing around like every other V that has been introduced into the series. What makes characters like Marcus and Joshua so different compared to the rest of the drones?
The episode also feature some dialogue that borders on ludicrousness, like Malik’s (Rekha Sharma) exclamation that “There’s still no proof that the Visitors are behind this,” referring to the red sky. These are aliens from another planet who have created healing centers to combat pretty much every ailment known to mankind, offered a new clean energy source, and have a giant television on the bottom of their ship … yet they may not be behind this radical transformation?
It was also a tremendous disappointment that Jane Badler was introduced at the very end of the episode, as her secret dwellings in the belly of the Mothership is an interesting concept.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
“Red Rain” was written by Gregg Andrew Hurwitz and Scott Rosenbaum. The episode was directed by Bryan Spicer.
“V” airs Tuesdays at 9p.m. ET on ABC.