A few plotholes can ruin an otherwise great series. Maybe there’s that one scene in which there’s just no way our hero would have left that bastard alive. Or maybe there’s the scene when the super-tight security conveniently has a blind spot just where the protagonists go. But while there were a few of these scenes in the first season of ABC’s alien adventure series “V,” every scene from season two is full of gaping holes. Every last one.
Season Two Premiere
Tuesdays at 9 p.m.
That devious character from last season — he’s a good guy now. That security the aliens have monitoring every science lab — well, it doesn’t cover the one science lab that contains an alien skeleton in it. That incredibly dangerous alien traitor with intimate knowledge of the alien’s culture and infrastructure — yeah, let’s let him go free. And that dead guy — yeah, he’s alive now. Seriously. All that’s in one episode, along with too many others to mention.
And then there’s the greatest plot inconsistency of all. An alien is said to be traitorous, or at least untrustworthy, if it has human emotion. And which emotions specifically are human? Whichever one seems convenient at the time. Minor bouts of anger, joy, disappointment and worry are all perfectly fine for an alien, but the extremes are taboo. It’s nonsensical that the strength of an emotion should determine whether it’s human or not. The one consistently human emotion appears to be love. And as quaint as that is, if love is what the writers mean by “human emotion” then they should just say “love” instead.
But not everything in this season is a worsening of the old flaws. A couple new characters appear to be stepping into the mix. First is Dr. Sidney Miller (Bret Harrison, “Reaper”), the bumbling young scientist unwittingly forced into intergalactic war. A caricature of the techno-savvy, nerdy young adult, Miller adds nothing to the series, except that five people taking down an entire alien race is way more believable than four. Then there’s Anna’s mother, played by Jane Badler of the original “V.” She has yet to utter a line, but based on how unbelievable it is that the aliens haven’t already gotten whatever they want from us, her diabolical input is unlikely to speed things up.
With its second season, “V” needs to accelerate. Week after week, the aliens offer some blessing that turns out to be a curse, and the season two premiere was no different. A battle between a vastly technologically superior alien race and a band of four misfits who spend all their time doing research should not last more than a day. Even if they need the humans alive, there is no reason the aliens couldn’t take the planet by force, enslaving the human race for whatever nefarious purposes the writers still don’t want viewers to know about.
But just when it gets unwatchable, one of the few strong characters takes center stage to give “V” a tiny hint of potential. Anna’s daughter Lisa (Laura Vandervoort, “Smallville”) is the most dynamic of the lot by far, stuck between an angry lizard matriarch and a hard place. And lead actress Elizabeth Mitchell (“Lost”) does an admirable job at staying grounded as protagonist Erica Evans, even when everyone around her is absolutely ridiculous.
But a few strong women do not a strong series make. If “V” doesn’t quit it with all the plotholes and make the alien agenda clear, the human race may just die of boredom and frustration.