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March 15 2011

Morena Baccarin previews the bloody season finale of 'V'. TV Squad's Maureen Ryan gets all the gory details... Possible light spoilers for the episode in question.

And might I just add that that is one awesome photo.

I like that the cable TV-sized seasons (12 episodes) force the show to keep the pace up (it's a little bit 24, though not that frantic most weeks. The threat's a lot more dire though, heh). That said, with Season 2, certain developments/events have felt a bit rushed when--to me--they felt like they deserved more room to breath. Killing off , but are they gonna deal with the emotional fallout at some point ? In Season 3 maybe ? Or is V just not that kind of show ? It has been, at times. It felt like it'd found a balance during its first season, after it came back from the break (four eps aired, then a 3 month break, then the remaining 8, which couldn't have helped this series' momentum with a lot of viewers and its overall chances of completing its planned three mini-seasons).

Will ABC renew it for its proposed third and final year ? I know it's done crap in the ratings (apparently only 1.7 for the penultimate ep of Season 2 last week). Love that, giving media and viewers the planned out life of a show ahead of time. More of that, and I'll still watch the odd network drama, otherwise once V is over, that's it, HBO/AMC/Showtime/FX/TMN-only (okay, I'll keep watching NBC for The Office--I know there're a ton of other great half-hours on network TV, but I can't keep up with/don't have the time to invest in 'em any time soon).

Another major criticism this year, wish the show would better explore what the population at large thinks of the Vs. The show also seems reluctant to dip its toe into the waters of religion vs. science, despite having a priest as a main character ! Loved Anna's trip to the Vatican, thought they were gonna go further with Visitor-love/trust replacing, or at least supplementing, human-made faiths, but no luck.

Also, Anna's whole obsession with eradicating the human soul makes no sense. First, why would she even buy into it ? The Visitors don't seem to have a belief/concept of the soul, so why wouldn't they write it off as a silly human fairy tale (since most seem to regard themselves as way above us, behind closed doors, anyway). She trusted her mother's word on it/conviction of it as well, another scene that made no sense.

The show not tackling the science vs. faith thing in any substantial way and potentiall going all Disney with all this soul-talk (well, it is ABC), has me fearing another cop-out Lost-like ending. If they go magic/supernatural with all this, it's gonna suck (and Anna's bliss already might be dangerously close to that, since it hasn't been explained yet--in Season 1 I suspected that it was a sort of queen bee-like ability, only using telepathy instead of pheromones. Season 2 it was barely shown, except when used to heal Ryan's daughter, until last week when it came up as a major plot point agqin).

I guess, as much as I'm enjoying the ride, I just wish the show would feel smarter more often. There've been some well-executed twists, most of the acting is quality (when the writing's up to snuff), there're some great ideas and themes playing out or sometimes just being touched's not quite there, at times, it doesn't quite make it. Regardless, bet tonight's season finale (hopefully not series) will be a great ride and here's hoping Season 3 delivers on all the promise/potential. I noticed that Rockne S. O'Bannon is a writer on the series this season. Haven't checked out Farscape yet/missed it when it was on, but took it as a promising sign that a well-respected showrunner had been brought on. Still don't know what happened with the reorganization of the showrunning and writing teams in the first season.

Some of the effects and green screening this season have been less impressive than in Season 1. Budgest slash ?
I'm really dubious that we'll see a season 3. I agree with Kris that the show wasn't as smart as often as we expect in top flight shows these days. I blame the writing more than anything, even though there are some very good writers on the payroll.

All in all I wish this had been a better show. It isn't the out and out disappointment that NO ORDINARY FAMILY and THE CAPE and THE EVENT were. I entered this year with such high expectations for so many shows, and enjoyed almost none of the new ones apart from THE WALKING DEAD and BOARDWALK EMPIRE. I'm already getting excited about next fall with shows like 17TH PRECINCT, but after having been disappointed so many times in the past couple of years, I am trying to keep my expectations down.

Kris, FARSCAPE is a really great SF series. I think FIREFLY and especially BSG changed what you could do with TV SF, by killing off aliens and "magic science" and the like, and giving it a more realistic air, but FARSCAPE is the best of the SF series with aliens, IMO. If you were to ever watch it, Season One is fairly weak, only getting good when they add three new characters near the end of the first season who remain either main or significant recurring characters. Season Two is much better, but Season Three is the big pay off. Season Three of FARSCAPE is one of the greatest seasons of any show in the history of TV. I've seen several lists of the greatest seasons in TV history and I've been delighted how often Season Three is included. The romance in that season is like something out of grand opera. Season Four is pretty good, but no show can follow up a season like the one before.
Thanks, Njal. And what about the Peacekeeper Wars mini (movie?) and the comics that O'Bannon has continued the story with ? Are they any good ?

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