V Review: "Welcome to the War"
"Welcome to the War", while overall an enjoyable episode, was a perfect example of what rubs us the wrong way about V.
Remember the first episode, not when “They returned”, but when “They arrived”? We, the viewer, knew nothing about the Visitors, why they had come to Earth, whether they were benevolent or evil. The episode kept us on our toes the entire time, waiting to see if one of the Visitors would slip and reveal their plans.
If that episode kept us on our toes, this episode tried too hard to knock our socks off.
We’ve contended that the series divulged the true evil intent of the Visitors far too quickly – granted, we like that the majority of humans in the show do not know what to make of the Vs, but we do, and we feel we found out too quickly. And instead of being treated to a well-written, smoothly developed arrival hour, we are given a return hour steeped in cheesy dialogue, even cheesier scenes, and too much repetition about a war that we feel is starting too early.
Some of the choice lines included Erica telling Hobbs that she is “your only chance for a future.” Then, following her enlisting of Hobbs, she states “I just made a deal with the devil and broke every oath I have sworn to protect.” And she could not go five minutes without bellowing “They have my son.” What cliché will she throw out next, “He was two days away from retirement”?
Elizabeth Mitchell is an excellent actress, and in an episode where she seamlessly transitioned from warring rebel to loving and concerned mother, she should have been given some better dialogue. Not that the dialogue was the cheesiest part. When Anna bedded her selected soldier, the set looked straight out of a low-budget softcore porn. We thought our TV had switched over to Cinemax. Luckily, Anna went all praying mantis and ate her mate right after the deed, somewhat saving the scene.
There was still a lot to like about the episode. Kyle Hobbs is an interesting new fold. If the war is coming, at least the humans have a pretty good hired gun on their side. We also liked the Valerie Stevens pregnancy angle, especially when we learned that Vs were supposed to not be able to impregnate humans. The elevated pace of her pregnancy is scary, but also humorous given the amount of food she’s eating and that delicious mouse snack she considered eating. Who knows what the importance of this miraculous half V, half human child will be.
We also liked the conflict within Father Jack, who has been injected with the R6 serum. He tells Erica that he feels changed inside. We wonder if this change will put the resistance at risk.
The return was a fast-paced episode that did a good job of setting up the coming war, even if we believe it is a war that has started too soon. But whether it’s too soon or just on time, it’s a war we cannot wait to watch. And one we hope we win.