‘V’ Episode 1.03: ‘A Bright New Day’

Episode Title: “A Bright New Day”

Written By: Diego Gutierrez & Christine Roum

Synopsis: Certain Visitors — including apparent leader and spokesperson Anna (Morena Baccarin) — are allowed access to United States soil, thanks in large to positive publicity on the part of newsman Chad Decker (Scott Wolf). But a potential assassination plot requires FBI agent Erica Evans (Elizabeth Mitchell) to protect the Visitors on their first visit, despite knowing their true intentions. To make matters worse, Erica’s son Tyler (Logan Huffman) is getting closer to the Visitor known as Lisa (Laura Vandervoort), who winds up having surprising secrets of her own. Elsewhere, renegade alien Ryan Nichols (Morris Chestnut) attempts to reassemble a group of like-minded Visitors known as the Fifth Column.

Security Breach: There were so many double-crosses and back-stabbings in this episode that it’s hard to keep track — from the would-be assassin secretly working for the Visitors to the shady Cyrus nearly handing Ryan over to the V’s — but the best of these twists was the duplicitous Joshua, a Visitor that helped Dale Maddox (Alan Tudyk) repair his lost memories before cold-bloodedly murdering him and declaring his loyalty for the Fifth Column. It seems that Joshua and his organization have a keen interest in Erica, but will our heroine reciprocate their interest?

The Fifth Column Says Hello: As for the Fifth Column itself, we still don’t know too much. Ryan explained that the group consists of renegade Visitors such as himself seeking to thwart the dominant V’s led by Anna and her cronies. Clearly, this group is fairly far-reaching — not only are they supplanted in sleeper cells around the planet, they’re also in the deepest portions of the Visitors’ empire.

John May Lives: We also apparently have a name for the group’s leader: John May, a fabled figure that we’re sure to meet before too long — if May isn’t Ryan himself, that is. I’m not certain that the two are mutually exclusive. Either way, May’s very name seemed to strike fear into the heart of Marcus, a commanding Visitor. It looks like May is something of an urban legend for the Visitors, which is a pretty cool concept.

Just Visitors: It kind of irks me that Ryan keeps referring to the Visitors as… well, Visitors. Try as he might, he is one of them, and it feels a little surprising that he’d refer to his own species with that name. Humans don’t call themselves residents, after all, they call themselves humans. I want an official name for this alien race — in addition to a whole slew of other cultural and historical specifics about the Visitors — but with only one more episode to go before a massive hiatus, it’s unlikely we’ll have that answer anytime soon.

Mama’s Girl: Last week, I speculated that Erica has some serious significance when it comes to the Visitors’s overarching plans. Why else would they have Dale partner up with her at the FBI? Why else would Lisa have such an interest in young Tyler? As it turns out, it might be Tyler that’s the important one to the Visitors’ plan, and that revelation yields yet another revelation — Lisa is actually the daughter of Anna. Am I the only one smelling a confrontation between the two mother-offspring pairings?

V Is For Verdict: “A Bright New Day” was better than last week’s installment, but still not as strong as the pilot episode. Some interesting mythological pieces are moving into place — the Anna-Lisa connection, the idea of the Fifth Column, the mystery of John May — but don’t expect resolution anytime soon, as next week’s fourth outing is the last until 2010.

Further Invasions: The final episode of the before the break brings Erica into conflict with Ryan, the secret Visitor that has aligned himself with the human resistance. Meanwhile, Fifth Column supporter Joshua is tasked with uncovering the identity of Dale’s murderer — who, as we know, is none other than himself.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!