All right. If you read my mini-recap of this week’s episode, you already know it’s full of insane plot developments, and not the good kind of insane, like, say, a mind-blowing roller coaster ride. I mean the bad kind of insane, like, a debilitating mental illness.
So: this episode is like schizophrenia. It’s not like a trip to Six Flags.
We start out with some more news updates from our non-favorite anchorman, Chad, and his new co-anchor Kerry. There is no update on Marcus’s condition from last week, which is to say he’s still in an alien coma, because aliens can get comas also. As for Anna, she’s remained silent on the issue.
Kerry doesn’t have anything to add, so she just starts speculating on-air about who’s responsible for the assassination attempt. She goes right ahead and blames the Fifth Column, while Chad tries to keep her from rushing to judgment, and asks everyone to hope for the alien’s recovery. And they go on to argue unproductively a little longer, thus successfully killing airtime.
I actually loved this. It’s the kind of network adjustment that would lead to a real news show being canceled after two episodes–like could you imagine if CNN had someone interrupt Anderson Cooper every three minutes to argue with whatever he says?–but on V nobody will care and Chad will probably win a Pulitzer in Speech and Debate.
THE V MOTHERSHIP
Speaking of Anna, up on the ship she’s looking over an unconscious Marcus. She states that she will have her revenge, that his sacrifice will not be in vain, etc. etc.
“Oh, don’t mind me. I wasn’t saying this for your benefit, I was just filling in the audience on what I’m going to do for the rest of the episode. Toodle-loo!”
FIFTH COLUMN HEADQUARTERS
Now then, last week I made a huge stink about how Erica was the head of the gala security team that let Marcus get shot, yet right after the events she’s allowed to go home and eat birthday cake with her husband and son.
Turns out I was wrong. Somewhere between last week’s episode and now, the FBI has been “raking Erica over the coals” for fucking up, and this went on for six hours. Maybe it would have been cool to actually see this scene, because we’d get to see Erica in a tense situation, but oh well, we don’t.
All this unseen interrogation has resulted in Erica being benched. No more FBI work for her.
If only there was a tidy way to remove suspicion from Erica! (There is. Keep reading. You’ll see. It gets wrapped up entirely this week. I just want to mark time now so we can keep in mind that Erica gets Bolling to do a complete 180 in a period of 38 minutes).
Erica figures it would be a good idea if the rest of her Fifth Column friends also took a breather, as suspicion is high in general right now, but Hobbes has other ideas: he’s still focused on the mole within Fifth Column: Morris Chestnut. Let’s kill him.
Even Erica, normally pretty violence-averse, is responsive to the idea. But she has to look Morris Chestnut in the eye before they whack him.
BACK TO THE V MOTHERSHIP
At the moment Morris Chestnut is up on the ship visiting Baby Belushi. Anna is STILL keeping the manbaby sick so she can have leverage on Morris Chestnut, and sure enough, she has a new task for him this week.
She wants him to find and kill Eli Cohn. Morris Chestnut warns her this is a terrible idea, because Cohn and the rest of the Fifth Column surely know by now that he betrayed them. Anna doesn’t care. Morris Chestnut is about as valuable to her now as a used Kleenex.
There isn’t much in terms of subplot this week, thankfully. That crotchety old man priest delivers a letter to Jack, from the Vatican, regarding Jack’s status within the church. He’s been fired. Time to pay for all his monkey business. The old priest asks him for his collar right there on the spot, the same way a weary police captain would ask a detective for his badge on a shitty cop show.
“Bible. Holy water. On my desk by Monday morning! I used to thick, wavy hair, damn you!”
Oh, also, before we go, the old man lectures Jack on his misbehavior, since apparently it cost Jack his faith. Even though Jack already went over this last week, the old man still equates belief in God with having a job. Bluhhhh.
Is it OK if I just make noises rather than say shit from time to time? I’m very tired.
ELI COHN’S HIDEOUT
Morris Chestnut arrives outside Eli Cohn’s secret headquarters, which we haven’t seen until now, and takes down the sentry.
Once again, murdering someone he probably didn’t have to
He grabs the sentry’s gun and sneaks inside. Upstairs, he finds Cohn alone, looking over some papers, and pulls the gun on him.
But Cohn knew he was coming. He spins around with his own gun, and about twenty of his guys emerge from the shadows.
“Looks like you didn’t notice my security system. (It was those jingle bells hanging on the front doorknob).”
They taser him, and he goes down.
Meanwhile, Erica is hanging out with Joe and Tyler. To indicate they’re getting close to each other as a family, the show has them all shout awkward banter in unison, about riding a motorcycle or something, until Joe finally crows, “IT’S BEEN SO LONG SINCE WE SPENT TIME TOGETHER.”
“We are going on a motorcycle trip and you think you can ride faster than me but I don’t son.”
This gets interrupted by a phone call from Cohn. He’s giving her the courtesy of letting her know they caught Morris Chestnut, but she’d better hurry over to the hideout if she wants that face-to-face with him, because Cohn is itching to get his kill on.
We’re back to that parking lot where Morris Chestnut killed the guy. A V tracker springs over the wall and pauses to investigate. He has some kind of dolphin sonar that can penetrate buildings, because somehow he determines instantly that Morris Chestnut has been captured.
Evolution has been way too nice to the V’s, I’d say.
THE V MOTHERSHIP
The news gets relayed back up to Anna. What to do?
Thomas suggests they send in a strike team to wipe everyone out, but Anna has a better idea. Let the humans do the dirty work for them! They will call in an anonymous tip to the FBI. The FBI is so embarrassed they let Marcus get almost assassinated, (seriously, I HATE when I do that), that they won’t hesitate to use lethal force on Fifth Column. Thomas gets cracking.
THE FBI BUILDING
Kendrick and Bolling receive the anonymous tip and also get cracking. It’s time to mobilize the troops and take Cohn down.
For a moment, though, Bolling has the presence of mind to question whether they should send a hundred FBI SWAT guys to a random building in Manhattan based solely on an anonymous tip, and hilariously, Kendrick says they can’t afford NOT to.
“I believe my track record speaks for itself. For example, I joined the al Qaeda task force in August 2001.”
Bolling also wonders whether they should keep Erica in the loop on this, since they still suspect her of being a dirty agent. Kendrick and Bolling both don’t think so.
Which is going to be tricky, because Erica has just showed up at the exact location the FBI is heading to now. Awwwwwwwkward.
Cohn has Morris Chestnut strapped to a chair and is smacking him around, which he’s probably been doing for like two hours now.
Erica wants to know why Morris Chestnut betrayed her, and he freely tells her about Baby Belushi, how Anna made the kid sick and used him, etc. Then he urges Erica to get the hell out of the building, because he know the V’s were tailing him, and by now have probably sent a mop-up crew. Everyone’s in danger. So at least they’re letting Morris Chestnut have SOME honor.
And wouldn’t you know it, but at this exact moment one of Cohn’s men comes running in with some bad news: surveillance has picked up “multiple units” converging on their location.
Erica and Cohn run to the surveillance monitors and discover it’s not a team of V’s like they thought, but the entire goddamn FBI.
Cohn, being Cohn, immediately pulls out his gun and gets ready for a firefight, because if you’re an anti-alien terrorist, the first thing you do is start killing human FBI agents. Maybe he actually WANTS the chair.
Erica stops him, since, boo hoo, those are her friends out there. So she has to come up with a plan B.
While she thinks, a shitload of cops get armed for battle and get into position. As do Cohn’s guys.
And then, she has a plan. Here goes:
Cohn won’t try to sneak her out of the building. She isn’t going anywhere. She’s going to PRETEND SHE’S A HOSTAGE.
That’s right folks. Basically she’s pulling the Sheriff Bart trick from Blazing Saddles.
“Stay back, or I’ll blow this sheriff’s head off!”
To sell the ruse she has Cohn rough her up a little. And you know what? The FBI fucking buys it. Unquestioningly.
And this is maybe only the third or fourth most ridiculous thing that happens this week. Hang tight, people.
The show comes back with Chad giving an update of what we’ve just seen…the FBI has surrounded Cohn and taken Erica hostage…in case those two minutes of ads made you forget everything you just saw.
“But I got distracted thinking about that Kia Sorrento!”
THE FBI COMMAND POST (this is where Bolling and Kendrick are fucking up things)
Bolling and Kendrick are busy setting up shop, when Erica emerges on a balcony. A man in a ski mask holds her at gunpoint.
Again, she could have done this without the gunman
She waves her phone in the air, to indicate she wants them to call her.
THE V MOTHERSHIP
Chad’s Exposition Tonight cameras catch this shot, too, and Anna and her cohorts get the news as Bolling and Kendrick do. Astoundingly, the V’s too do not suspect a thing, and accept Erica’s ruse at face value.
Oh my god, I just re-read my notes for this scene. I forgot this part happens now. You will not fucking believe this…
Erica being held hostage is a curveball for Queen Anna. What to do?
Before we get into that, do you remember the end of last week’s episode, when the V’s realized Tyler was firmly committed to his family and wouldn’t join their pilot program? Anna said it wasn’t the end of the world because there are other humans she experimented on twenty years ago. The Concordia plan can go on without Tyler.
OK, now, piss in your own eye.
Then, forget what I just said.
Because Tyler is back to being THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE CONCORDIA PLAN.
That’s right. Everything they said last week has been entirely negated, once again.
No, I’m not kidding. Here are motherfucking direct quotes:
ANNA LAST WEEK: “Tyler is important to us. He’s the one Lisa has chosen. But he’s not our only option. There are others. (She says this at 00:34:32. Check for yourself).
ANNA THIS WEEK: “Tyler is critical to the future of our plans!!!!”
(00:14:18…exclamation points added because I am going fucking nuts)
Multiple choice. Was this episode directed by:
1. A German toddler
2. An Amazonian tribesman who has never before had contact with modern people
3. Tommy Wiseau, or
4. No director; budget cuts
OK, I need to let this go. Partly for my health, partly because we are nowhere near done with the ridiculous.
So: being that the show just dick-slapped us AGAIN and Tyler is crucial to the fucking Concordia plans, the only thing standing in Anna’s way is Tyler’s emotional connection to his parents. If they can sever that, he will come spinning back into the arms of the V’s.
And how will Anna sever those ties? By making sure Erica is killed in the standoff. At the hands of the Fifth Column. Surely that will piss him off, right?
Getting Erica killed should be easy enough, but Anna wants more. She must also make sure Tyler’s father Joe dies,
Wait for it.
dies, that is, at the hands of the Fifth Column,
and, dies in THE SAME HOSTAGE STANDOFF AS ERICA.
You read that right! Anna wants her minions to sneak Joe into the building where the HOSTAGE CRISIS is going down, and then kill them both.
I can’t fucking comment on this shit any more. Let’s check in on Joe and see what he’s doing.
Joe and Tyler are watching a football game. I guess ABC blew its entire budget on those FBI extras earlier, because this is generic stock footage of football, the kind you’d see on the box your TV came in.
Tyler get a call from Lisa telling him to switch over to the news, and they flip over to Exposition Tonight where Scott Wolf brings them up to speed on Erica’s predicament.
This is exactly what’s needed to get Joe up off the couch and away from his football game, and head down to a hostage crisis in New York City, rather than, say, staying with his son. You know, where the bullets and bombs AREN’T.
Joe leaves. Tyler, alone, starts to freak out.
Jack is in the middle of boxing up his priest shit and moving out. He comes across a laptop that’s conveniently just sitting there on a desk, with a browser window displaying a news story on Erica’s situation. He, too, rushes down to the scene.
THE FBI COMMAND POST
Back at the standoff, Erica calls Bolling to give him Cohn’s fake demands, which are all standard hostage movie stuff—no snipers, no assault teams, no air cover, etc.
She hangs up and tells Cohn that even if Bolling goes along with it, Cohn still won’t escape. He only has two ways out: in handcuffs or a body bag.
Or is there a third way? Cohn pulls out his phone and starts texting.
THE FBI COMMAND POST
Let’s throw some bugfuck crazy V technology into the mix while we’re at it.
This machine, conveniently, makes a 3D hologram of any building and displays both where the terrorists, and their bombs, are located.
Version 2.0 lets you kill the terrorists and disarm the bombs with your mind
Want a bad joke while we’re at it?
“Maybe the V’s should invent something that’ll patch up all these plot holes!”
OK, let’s get back on target.
Then they get word from a low-level agent that Joe has arrived on the scene. Kendrick tells the agent to give Joe an update, just to keep him calm.
OUTSIDE THE COMMAND POST
The agent goes outside and meets Joe inside an SUV. He introduces himself as “Agent Rick Caldwell.” He discerns that Joe is Erica’s ex. On a week that’s light on ridiculous I’d make a bigger issue of this, but since this week’s so packed, I’ll just post the dialogue and let you make fun of it yourself.
CALDWELL: Are you Joe Evans?
CALDWELL: You must be Erica’s ex.
JOE: How did you know?!
CALDWELL: I’m a friend of Erica’s.
Have at it.
Caldwell gives Joe an update, but strangely, it’s full of new information we haven’t heard before. Apparently, the FBI has found a secret tunnel inside Cohn’s hideout. The FBI hasn’t exploited it yet because, well, they’re scared of those terrorists. But Caldwell is happy to “forget” the blueprints for this tunnel in the SUV as he gets called off on other business.
And thus ends stage two of the totally plausible plan to sneak Joe inside the hideout.
To be fair, it’s not like Caldwell didn’t warn him:
CALDWELL: I gotta say, you’d have to be a pretty big fucktard to you try to rescue Erica alone, unarmed, and with no military training.
Erica has a moment alone, so she pulls out a family photo of herself, Joe, and Tyler, because she apparently has time to do that. Cohn catches her, pulls out his own family photo, and they commiserate on the toll this life takes on you personally.
And then, Cohn’s men arrive with a surprise. They caught someone trying to sneak through a tunnel in the basement.
“Well you’re looking at that fucktard. Out of my way!”
Erica takes Joe aside to figure out just what the fuck he thinks he’s doing, but first, seeing Erica is bloody and bruised, he wants to make sure she’s OK. She tells him it’s all an act and that she’s secretly working for the Fifth Column. This happens every week, Erica dropping a huge bombshell on Joe like that.
Then, Erica quickly figures two things out. One: the name “Ray Caldwell” is new to her, so he must be a V and not a real FBI guy. (But apparently Ray was convincing enough to trick Kendrick and Bolling. Whatever)
And two, because a V so obviously tricked Joe into sneaking inside the hostage situation…that must mean the V’s want to kill both Erica and Joe at once. Good thing Erica is so smart.
Let’s check in with Tyler, shall we? He’s waiting around the house, on edge, calling Joe’s cell repeatedly to get an update. Lisa is with him. She can’t calm him down.
Tyler gets fed up with the uncertainty. He has to do something. He grabs his jacket and heads out.
Really Anna is having the best week of anyone so far. She’s pulling the FBI’s strings, and she got Joe inside Cohn’s HQ in less than one motherfucking act.
There’s just one hitch: Thomas figures that with Erica inside the building, the FBI won’t go all Putin and mow everyone down. So what next?
I hope you’ve processed everything that’s happened so far, because here comes another dose of insanity.
Anna can use, of all people, Hobbes—i.e., the guy who’s been the most vocal on the entire show about eradicating the space lizard threat.
I had to watch this a couple times to realize what the fuck is going on. To be fair, last season Hobbes did an assignment for Marcus, one that wasn’t totally related to the Fifth Column activities. This was before Hobbes was totally committed to hating the V’s. Anna figures Hobbes is a mercenary, and they can just buy him off again. Or something. I have no idea.
Inside, Cohn notices something strange on the security monitors. The FBI snipers are locking onto his men—and his men are supposed to be hidden. How could the FBI possibly know where they are?
Erica figures Anna must be helping the FBI along. They realize the FBI is about to storm the building. (Wait…didn’t Thomas just tell Anna the FBI wouldn’t be doing exactly this? I don’t know any more…)
This might spell doom, but Cohn has one more trick to pull. Remember that third escape option he mentioned? He pulls out his phone and texts again, and…
OUTSIDE COHN’S HIDEOUT
Hidden agents appear, wearing suicide vests. They grab random people from the crowd and run into the hideout.
The FBI is forced to back off again.
INSIDE THE HIDEOUT
Erica confronts Cohn about taking hostages, and there’s yet another moral relativism argument about putting innocent people at risk, boo hoo.
For Cohn, hostages are a necessity. He knows he’ll die himself, but the hostages will provide an opportunity for Erica and Joe to escape—she’ll lead everyone out of the building to safety. And Erica has to escape, because Cohn has selected her to be the new worldwide CEO of the Fifth Column. Erica’s survival is paramount.
So, too, is this guy’s survival. His name is John Fierro. We’ve never met him before, but apparently he runs all of Cohn’s operations:
I love when shows introduce a major character and don’t even give him a closeup. “The future rests on that guy. The one over my shoulder and a little out of focus.”
It’s a tricky call for Erica, because who knows whether the Fifth Column rank-and-file are as brutal in their methods as Cohn is? Cohn selected her for a different reason, though: even though she differs in her methods, she and Cohn are similar in one important way—they are fighting to protect their families.
Two more acts to go. When we come back, main characters start dying!
OUTSIDE COHN’S HIDEOUT
Jack finally arrives at the police barricade outside the standoff, but isn’t allowed through. He frantically calls Hobbes to come down to Cohn’s place to help out.
AN ALLEY SOMEWHERE
Hobbes is hanging out in a random New York alley, trying to look inconspicuous. He figures showing his face anywhere near the hostage standoff is a bad idea. He won’t join Jack.
And then, suddenly, Thomas appears out of nowhere—I guess Hobbes is really hard to find except for right now. He has a job for Hobbes. Or rather, an assignment from Anna. Hobbes scoffs.
Thomas pulls out a photo of some woman. They mentioned this woman once back in the first season…she’s some lady from Hobbes’s past, conveniently the one thing the V’s have over him. Who knows where she is, who knows what their relationship is.
Remember this chick? I barely do. Let’s call her Anita Leverage.
Hobbes actually thought she was dead, but turns out the V’s have found her and are holding her hostage. To prove it, Thomas holds a phone up to Hobbes’s ear and gives him two seconds of a woman’s voice saying, “Kyle—!” That’s enough proof for anybody.
Hobbes flies into a rage, pulls out his gun and shoves it into Thomas’s face, but really he can’t do anything about this or Anita is dead. He will do their bidding. And today, that bidding is to blow up all the bomber vests in Cohn’s headquarters.
I got nothing. Let’s keep moving.
OUTSIDE COHN’S HIDEOUT
The show throws in a quick scene at this point, where Bolling spies Jack hanging around outside the police barricade and confronts him over all the harm he’s caused with his anti-V sermons. And then just walks away.
I don’t think it means anything. I’m just trying to be thorough with my recaps here
INSIDE COHN’S HIDEOUT
Did you forget Morris Chestnut has been tied to a chair inside the building that’s about to blow up? I wonder what he’s been doing for the six or however many hours he’s been stuck there. He’s probably peed and pooped himself.
Erica pays Morris Chestnut one last visit before skedaddling. She’s come to tell him he’s going to burn in hell. She’ll look after Baby John Belushi, but as far as he’s concerned, he’s dead to her.
And then it’s time to leave. Erica and Cohn go over the plan one more time—she’ll lead the hostages out. Guy Fieri or whatever his name is will blend in and escape himself.
Erica next heads upstairs to collect Joe. They share a moment. Joe apologizes for not trusting her earlier. But they have so much time to make up for it…
Uh-oh. Somebody’s fucking dead. You never say that on a TV show and then kiss a woman, brah
THE FBI COMMAND POST
One last preparation before leaving Cohn. Erica calls Bolling, to let him know Cohn is releasing the hostages, but also to get him to promise the FBI won’t just start shooting once the hostages come out. She needs assurance that everyone will be safe. Bolling gives it.
OK, time for some shit to hit the fan. Get ready for some action!
THE V MOTHERSHIP
Thomas reports to Anna that Hobbes is in position to blow up Cohn’s building. He just needs her signal.
OUTSIDE COHN’S HIDEOUT
Erica leads the hostages out into the open. The FBI holds their fire.
I didn’t feel like getting a picture of the hostages, so here’s one of an extra pointing at them
Nearby, Hobbes pulls out his beeping detonator thing. Seeing Erica emerge from the building, he’s figured he can stall just long enough to let her get to safety. But he does his duty. Cohn, and Morris Chestnut, are no more:
And Chad. And Jack. Kidding! I can dream.
One other thing: this kindly old man-hostage gets hit with a huge block of concrete. I laughed.
That enrages Cohn’s surviving men and they open fire on the FBI. There’s a huge firefight, people get hit on both sides, etc.
Cohn’s men then turn their fire onto the fleeing hostages. Joe gets hit six or seven times trying to help one, who sprained her ankle.
Erica rushes over to his lifeless body and yowls in anguish.
And Anna, seeing all this on Chad’s show, pops some lizard wood.
OUTSIDE COHN’S BLOWED UP HEADQUARTERS
After the final commercial, we’re at the aftermath of the explosion. Erica is still cradling Joe’s corpse. Tyler shows up now, and the actor playing him tries to make it look like he’s crying.
Jack looks on as well.
“I’m not a priest any more, and Erica’s husband is out of the way…looks like I got the green light!”
And so do Bolling and Kendrick. Seeing all that Erica has gone through, including the death of her ex, has convinced them she isn’t a dirty agent. Proving once and for all that the FBI sucks nard in V-land.
DIANA’S DANK DUNGEON PLACE
Anna has come to gloat to her mother. She has succeeded where Diana failed—she has devastated the Fifth Column, like Diana never could. Also, her breeding program and her destroy-the-soul program are progression, so, nyah.
Diana, mercifully, asks Anna how much longer this bullshit is going to continue—i.e., Anna constantly coming down here under the auspices of tormenting her mother, but really just to get Diana’s approval.
Anna doesn’t have a response, so she just backpedals and says she has no weaknesses. Diana doesn’t buy it. Why else would Anna come down here so much? Anna clearly needs something out of her.
And suddenly, Anna figures it all out…Diana has been deliberately provoking her. Trying to inject human emotions like anger into her psyche, so she’ll make errors in judgment and ultimately fail.
And she nailed it! Diana cops to it.
I think this is my favorite part of the show now. Why can’t we have more of this?
ELSEWHERE ON THE V SHIP
Anna leaves her mother to rot, teleporting back to the main concourse. Lisa rounds the corner and sees Anna walking away from the last wisps of the teleportation rings. She’s curious. Where was her mother coming from?
Lisa steps into Diana’s dungeon. It’s time to meet her mee-maw.
Lisa is stunned. She thought Diana was dead. Diana, still crafty, immediately sees what a huge opportunity has dropped into her lap, and reassures her granddaughter. In seconds, Diana has bought Lisa’s trust. She knew Lisa would visit her one day, she says. And now they have to stick together, since they have a common enemy: Anna.
Back on Earth. Erica returns to a dark, empty kitchen to grieve over Joe.
Worse, Tyler comes downstairs, a bag over his shoulder. He’s going back to the flight program.
She pleads with him not to leave, to stay for the sake of the family. But Tyler feels his family has been destroyed. He even blames Erica for Joe’s death.
Jesus Christ will you die in a fire already?
Erica, like any reasonable person, slaps him for being a dickwad. And of course, he takes this as justification to leave his grief-stricken mother alone.
FIFTH COLUMN HEADQUARTERS
Hobbes, Jack, and now Chad have regrouped, and the mood is grim. Especially for Hobbes, since, you know, he betrayed everyone else.
But knowing V it’ll probably never come up again.
And Erica, having nowhere else to go, joins her comrades. Jack tries to console her, but can’t. Everything in her life is gone.
It’s time for a good, old-fashioned alien butt-whippin’
That’s all for me. But before we go, let’s review. Most ridiculous moments of the week, descending order:
1. Anna’s plan to get Joe and Erica killed in one fell swoop
2. Whoops! Turns out Tyler actually is crucial to the V’s plans
3. Anna’s plan to get Joe and Erica killed in one fell swoop actually fucking works
4. Anna’s convenient leverage over Hobbes
5. The FBI believes Erica is a hostage mere minutes after agreeing she’s too suspicious to trust
See you next week. I need to sleep this off.