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Review/Recap: V 1.05 “Welcome To The War”

Written by Cory Barker
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Man, it’s been too long. Thanks to the new – and awful trend – among television networks that makes them think it’s smart to give series extended hiatus while expecting fans to return in droves, we haven’t seen Erica, Anna and company since the tail end of November.

Making matters worse, the final episode in that early four-effort pod was mostly forgettable aside from the cliffhanger – more Visitors are out there in space and on their way. Throw in a slew of production stoppages and new showrunner Scott Rosenbaum coming aboard, “Welcome To The War” had a lot to prove to convince me that V could be a legitimate television series.

Thankfully, hour five went a long way to do just that. It had to serve two masters by both reintroducing the cast and world to the audience and set up the intrigue moving forward. By focusing more on the latter, “Welcome To The War” is probably the best episode since the pilot.

Some of the biggest gripes with the early episodes were squashed throughout:

- Put Erica/Elizabeth Mitchell in more action-oriented scenes. Check.

- Spend less time with the mostly lame Tyler (no offense to Logan Huffman, rebellious high schoolers never work in series like this). Check.

- Give the Visitors more intent and solidify their plans for earth. Check.

- Spend more time developing character. Check.

- Make the resistance movement a little bit more believable. And check.

For me, doing those five things would have been enough to convince me that V had a future, but aside from all that, this was a thoroughly enjoyable hour of television that did not bore me at all, which is something I couldn’t say for a few of the first four.

Perhaps my favorite part of this episode was that the writers made the choice to bring Ryan more to the forefront. His character is obviously unique for a number of reasons, but the scenes with him and his V contact were well done and with Father Jack recovering from injury – and still kind of useless – Erica needed someone to have her back. Ryan is that guy. The writers would be smart to continue down this path with him, and hopefully we’ll eventually discover why Ryan – and other Vs – have chosen to rebel. It would be even smarter to see Ryan be emotionally conflicted over his choices.

Another great aspect of “Welcome To The War” was how it solidified that this a story about two mothers both positioning to save not only their children but their race. While Erica’s pursuit of Tyler is more apparent, Anna is still a mother and I’d be willing to bet we will see more of her relationship with Lisa in coming episodes. Plus, both of them are serving as makeshift mothers for their entire race as they try to protect them from opposing forces.

In terms of plot, it was nice to see the resistance movement pick up someone else, someone with lots of mercenary/killing/blowing up stuff experience. The sequence with the Vs trying to pin the bombing in episode four on him and then Erica and Ryan flipping him for the resistance fight was both smart from a writing and entertainment value standpoint. I thought that it was a little ridiculous in the early episodes that the resistance was seemingly composed of four people, however trained they may have been, so any progress that expands it makes a lot of sense. Because though I have not been part of anti-alien resistance, I’d be willing to bet that you need more than four people to carry out much of a fight.

On the other end of things, it seems that the compound found in the warehouse that Erica and company blew up at the end of episode four is being used to definitely track humans and their vitals. I get the feeling that they are using it for more, something related to super-soldier movement. It wasn’t clear to me what exactly that means, perhaps the Visitors want human sleeper agents once things so south, of which now Father Jack is a part of.

Speaking of people being “healed” by the Visitors, Chad spent the episode wondering about their diagnosis of the brain aneurism that he may or may not get in the future. After a bunch of waffling, Chad gave in to Anna’s persuasion. Not only does he run the story about the Vs’ healing center, but he features his own treatment in the story. So smart of the Visitors to mess with him like that. There’s no way he ever had an aneurism.

With the resistance building, Anna decides that it’s time to build her own army, or at least some sort of V army. I’m not sure why the current Visitors don’t really cut it as soldiers, but they don’t, so she has to birth some new ones. Thus, Anna is going to serve as the mother to a new group of Visitor warriors, I think. Aren’t there enough Vs already around to fight?

But that’s where we are. The resistance is growing and so is the V army. Two mothers, two races, one war. After five episodes, it seems like V is finally going somewhere.

Rating: 4/5

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