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V: ‘Space Girls Are Funny’

Any fight against alien invaders with extensive sleeper cells and holographic wardrobes is bound to be a long, hard slog. Let’s just say that the second episode of V’s four-show test run didn’t gloss over that fact: By the end of it, we were almost thinking of Elizabeth Mitchell’s heroine as “Erica Evans” and not “Juliette.”

After last week’s gung-ho start, Erica and Father Jack suddenly get gun-shy: They call 911 on the V clean-up crew sent to dispatch with the bodies in last week’s warehouse (they’re showing immodest amounts of lizard skin, remember), and instead of getting colorfully human law-enforcement officers, a weaponized orb chases them from the scene. The pressure, meanwhile, starts in from other sources: Erica quickly becomes a person of interest in the FBI’s search for her missing partner, agent (and V-mole) Dale; Father Jack must oversee a large canned-food drive (“I’m busy,” he tells Erica, moving a box of cans across the room). Erica, naturally, wants to cover her ass and avoid giving anything away to possible spies. Jack wants to outsource the investigation. The tension totally gives us unclean thoughts.

Which brings us, of course, to little Tyler, Erica’s emo-hunk son, who’s clearly fascinated with a race whose sexual practices have yet to be frankly portrayed online. Erica, who understands teens about as well as she does lizards in man-suits, thinks Tyler’s out of harm’s way as long as he goes to bed early and does not become a V “peace ambassador.” Mmmkay, good night, honey! Like any red-blooded, non-alien American boy, he asks V-teen Lisa out for pizza (pending her release from that cage), and is ecstatic to have her tease him about it — see the hilarious video clip below. Deep down, Tyler knows this chick will eat him alive, and naturally, he likes it.

TV journalist Chad Decker, meanwhile, is looking to bring a little tension to his relationship with Anna, helping tip the scales for official U.S. relations with the Visitors on his news show, then demanding that ... she call him next time? Clearly he doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “neg.” And then there’s V-rebel Ryan Nichols, who has already put a ring on it with his (presumably) human love interest Val. Someone is turning photos of them together upside down, probably as a warning about not screwing up the invasion. Val’s calm about it for now, but Ryan, we would not take her to see Paranormal Activity.

More Recaps:
Jeff Jensen has LOTS to say about this one over at EW, although you get the sense that it’s all background to how gratifying he finds Elizabeth Mitchell (she “can make me believe in anything”).
Sci Fi Cool: “The fourth and last episode is titled ‘It’s only the Beginning,’ which gives me hope the producers have something big planned before the hiatus.”
Television Without Pity quotes Pee Wee Herman in considering Ryan’s plight.

Photo: Jeff Petry/ABC