V:The First Time Around (Part 2)

More Spoilers follow…

The second half opens with Mike trying to get to his ex-wife and his son Sean.  He finds a neighborhood in ruins.  Apparently the locals rebelled and the Visitors wiped them out, Sean’s friend Josh was in hiding and witnessed the whole thing.

Daniel announces his engagement to Robin to his family.  They do not realize he knows Robin’s Family is hiding in the pool house.  When asked if she was aware of the engagement, Daniel says know, but he will own her.  He threatens to turn the family in, which so angers his grandfather Abraham, he splashes water in Daniel’s face.  Daniel tries to take Robin by force, prompting his father Stanley to interfere, throwing Daniel into the pull.  Daniel instinctively pulls his gun on his father, only kept in place when his mother calls out his name.

Meanwhile, Willie shows up at Ben’s funeral, to offer his sincere condolences to Ben’s Father (the late Jason Bernard) and Elias.  They are not receptive, and Willie is at a loss.  This is one of the early indicators that some Visitors are unaware of their own people’s actions.

Daniel brings in his Visitor pals to take away Robin and her family, expecting his family to be granted exemption.  Of course, they arrest everyone, but do not find Robin’s family.  The local Mexican Gardener is smuggling them out of town.  He is successful initially, thanks to a police officer who pretends to have seen nothing.  Unfortunately for Sancho (Rafael Campos), Mike’s mother saw them leaving the neighborhood and called it in.  He is caught after dropping the family off.

Michael and Tony sneak into the refinery and see people being marched into shuttles.  After a firefight, they get caught and dragged off by the Visitors.  When he awakens, he is brought before Diana.  Here we meet Martin (Frank Ashmore).  Diana plans to have Mike killed, but Martin argues for Diana to try and convert him.  He manages to talk her into giving it thought.  As he walks Mike through the halls, Martin suddenly reveals an unexpected agenda.  He is part of a faction of Visitors who oppose the Supreme Commander and Diana.  A Visitor named Barbara (Jenny Nueman) gives Mike her uniform and tells him to shoot her.  After doing so, Mike shows an interesting moment, as he kisses the unconscious Barbara on the forehead.

Mike gets off the ship and ends up getting captured by the rebels (who mistake him for a Visitor until he speaks).  After a bit of arguing, Mike is accepted and starts to share his information.  Robert Maxwell notices his daughter Robin is missing and begins to look for her.  He steps outside only to be caught by Visitors.  He learns they have Robin already, and they use this as leverage.  The lead guard is nicely seductive he.  He promises to give Robert a chance to get his family from a secret camp before they invade-if Robert will tell him where the camp is hidden.  He appeals to Robert as a fellow father.  The scene is beautiful.  Meanwhile, Diana wants Brian to seduce Robin.

While attempting to sabotage the refinery, Mike stows away on a Visitor Shuttle.  Here, a human woman who is falling in love with Willie discovers a bomb attached to her food truck.  Rather than telling anyone, she slips away until she sees Willie walk up to the truck, she runs to him and manages to save his life.  The resistance members break into a compound and start to steal weapons, but also take heavy losses.  Robert realizes he cannot put his family above the lives of others and tries to warn the Camp.

Up on the ship, Mike discovers the Visitors are hoarding water in giant tanks.  But that is not the worst of it.  Martin shows Mike thousands of humans, stored in a deep freeze.  Some to be foot soldiers and others-future meals.  Mike also finds out that Diana is conducting medical experiments.  Martin helps Mike save Robin and Sancho.  Initially, Martin wants to leave with them, but Mike argues they need Martin on the mother ship.  Mike assures Martin he is proud to have him as a friend, to which Martin replies he hopes they get to become old friends.

This results in a rather nifty shuttle chase that clearly is meant to evoke memories of Star Wars.  At the same time, Robert learns that the Visitors are not to be trusted, they hit the camp hours before they said they would.  The effects shots of this chase are surprisingly good.  It’s clearly models, but it still looks pretty good.  The rebels show up at the camp to fight back with their new cache of weapons.  This begins a battle of wills between Juliet and Diana that will be an undercurrent of the next mini-series.  Mike swoops in to save the camp, forcing Diana into retreat.

We learn that Robin is pregnant, and well, she only had sex with one person.  So, the Visitors are…compatible.  Mike tries to appeal to his mother, but she is corrupted by the power and influence the Visitors have afforded her.

Stanley and his wife Lynn are returned to their home, and Stanley seems distant, due to the torture he suffered on the mother ship.  Robert asks that the resistance might be able to hide people in Stanley’s home.  Lynn is not willing, until Stanley gives her a message from his father, who was never returned to them.  It becomes clear to to her that Stanley has chosen a side, and is not willing to stand by idle.

The series hints that there is an alien race that opposed the supreme leader, and Juliet sends a message into space to try and contact them.  This concept never is addressed in the next mini-series or the TV series that followed.

The mini series ends on an uncertain note.  The war has begun.  Sides are chosen.  Roll credits. To a certain extent, it feels anti-climactic.  In retrospect, this seems obvious, as they probably were at work planning the follow up before the first series aired.

The series credits end with a tribute to Dominique Dunne (Daughter of writer Dominic Dunne).  She was originally cast as Robin.  One night, while practicing her lines with David Packer, her estranged boyfriend burst in, attacked her and leaving her comatose.  She died a few days later.

One of the interesting things about the original series, is a pretty serious lack of religion.  It’s almost completely absent from the original mini-series.  There is not even clergy present.  There is a brief prayer and that is it.  In this area, the new series seems more believable, with people moving towards religion, the Church issuing reactions, skeptical people of faith.

There have been claims that the show is a classic television show, and while I have joked that I don’t think the people making the claim have actually seen the show,  I do think it is pretty good. But it really hits you over the head with the Nazi analogy, and honestly, I think it would be better if they had kept that much more subtle.

Random question I had, when the Visitors are by themselves on their ships, they lounge around dressed fully as humans, even when they go to sleep.  In the new series, it is revealed that the Visitors cloned human skin to make their appearance human.  It makes sense that you would not remove that.  But these costumes do not appear to be biological, they are apparently synthetic.  The actors have natural skin, but the minute their masks ripped they had a rubbery texture.  It is never really clarified what their fake flesh was supposed to be made of.

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