Visitors from the star Sirius arrive on Earth and ask for assistance in manufacturing a chemical needed to save their home planet in exchange for medical knowledge and technology. But not all is as it seems.
This is a show with an ensemble cast which I categorized into five groups: Journalists, Scientists, Civilians, Factory Workers, and Youths. For this recap, I will review the main plot and then go into more detail one group at a time. Let’s get started!
Around the world, 50 disc-shaped ships arrived to hover over 50 major cities. Once in place, they broadcast a greeting and sign of peace and ask to meet with the head of the United Nations. During the meeting, the Visitors reveal themselves to be human but sensitive to the light of Earth which is why they wear sunglasses. A small group of journalists and ambassadors are invited onto the mothership over New York City and report back to their news outlets who broadcast to the public. The Visitors ask for help manufacturing a chemical vital to saving their planet which orbits the star Sirius. Factories close to the coast are chosen to manufacture the chemical. Meanwhile, the Visitors start a Youth Program which gives young adults between the ages of 12 and 20 a chance to get to know the Visitors and their culture.
Everything appears to be fine until a malfunction in the LA factory threatens the life of several workers. Around the same time, the Visitors report an attempted shuttle theft by a team of unknown scientists. Since it’s supposedly impossible to tell which scientists are aligned against the Visitors, anyone aligned with scientists are treated badly by their friends and neighbors.
Left ostracized and confused, the scientists and some journalists do what they do best: work together to solve a mystery despite being hunted by the most powerful beings on the planet.
Mike – a video journalist who was in El Salvador when the Visitors first arrived. He gets first access to the Visitors mothership and later sneaks on board when the scientist conspiracy starts to take hold. Mike discovers the true nature of the Visitors but is caught. He is a fugitive of the law and on the run with nowhere to report his findings.
Tony – Mike’s audiologist and sidekick. Tony was in El Salvador with Mike at the beginning and the inspiration to sneak on board the mothership after pointing out that the Visitors were first right-handed, then left-handed. He was meant to sneak on board the mothership with Mike but didn’t have time to get on the shuttle. Tony informs Mike that he’s being tracked and followed.
Christine Walsh – a journalist working with Mike to cover the arrival of the Visitors. The Visitors ask her to be their spokesperson early on and she aligns herself with the Visitors.
As a whole, the journalists of the world appear to be on the side of the Visitors. Who can blame them? It’s the story of the century and the Visitors are willing to share knowledge and information . . . so long as the journalists don’t try to cross a line. Although Mike and Tony are the only journalists to suspect the Visitors of having ulterior motives, I find it hard to believe they are the only ones. I enjoy how the journalists are portrayed in V, however: with curiosity and charisma and charm and and eye out for the advancement of their own career.
What really warms my heart is a brief moment between Mike and his ex-wife. Mike’s ex complained about boredom and Mike encouraged her to go back to school and take control of her own life. She refused, but I like that Mike didn’t want her to be a bored housewife.
Dr. Julie – A medical student and biochemist in Los Angeles. Julie asked the important questions when the Visitors first landed. After realizing her position as a scientist is affecting her husband’s career, she decides to join a team of scientists organizing to solve the riddle of what the Visitors really want and why they are against scientists.
Dr. Metz – Julie’s boss at the biochemistry lab who is arrested for conspiring against the Visitors halfway through the opening episode.
Phyllis – An assistant to Dr. Metz who admitted her feelings for him to Julie. Julie encouraged her to speak up to Dr. Metz but Phyllis disappeared under mysterious circumstances (read: was either captured or killed by the Visitors) before she could return to the lab.
Dr. Ben – A biochemist and colleague of Julie. Ben helps organize the scientists and assists with robbing the biochem lab for equipment. During the escape, he is fatally wounded and dies in his brother’s garage.
The scientists are the most interesting part of V, if only because they’re the driving force behind the resistance. I loved Julie’s pep talk in what looked like the back of a dry cleaner’s to rally the other scientists to find more scientists and create a headquarters for an organized resistance. She drew a metaphor to evolution with single cell organisms eventually becoming bigger and more complex with time and effort. After all, they are scientists! What else do they do than solve the mysteries of the universe?
There are a total of three black men in this show and Ben is one of them. Naturally, he is related to the other two black men of the show–older brother to Elias and son of Caleb. I’ll talk about them individually later. While I like that there is at least one casualty in the first episode, I don’t like that it’s the black man that dies. And I don’t like how his death will be used to inspire his younger brother to join the scientific resistance.
Caleb – A factory worker assigned to help the Visitor named William. Caleb’s attitude is that he’s fought for his job against other people who want it, and now aliens from another planet want his job! He does not take kindly to William but, after nearly freezing to death in a tank of liquid nitrogen and being rescued by William, I am sure his attitude will warm up.
Duprey – The owner of the Los Angeles factory that welcomed the Visitors. Duprey’s wife saw the opportunity to help the Visitors and got the deal with her assistance.
William – a Visitor who originally planned to work in Saudi Arabia but was transferred to Los Angeles last minute. Therefore, his English isn’t very good but his Arabic is awesome. William gets lost on his first day at work and finds help from Harmony. He is humble in the face of Caleb’s scrutiny and risks himself to safe Caleb from the tank of nitrogen, earning Caleb’s trust.
Harmony – a factory worker who helped William find his way. Harmony and William develop a bit of a crush of each other.
The factory does not offer much of a driving force with the plot other than background noise and to show that the Visitors are integrating into human society. The budding relationship between William and Harmony is cute. It will be interesting to see if William will side with the humans once the resistance gets going officially.
Daniel – Also called Dan or Danny. Daniel is a bit of a ruffian who can’t hold down a job and doesn’t know how to direct himself. Until the Visitors start their Youth Program which gets the youth of America up close and personal with the Visitors (to share information about scientists and other rebels). Dan becomes a neighborhood informant for the Visitors and relishes in his new role and power.
Robin – A teenager who gets a crush on a Visitor youth. Her father is an anthropologist so her family is eventually hunted by the Visitors. Unlike her younger sister, Robin is uninterested in science and is naive to the events unfolding around her. Therefore, she is most vocal against her parents hiding in Abraham’s poolhouse. Without knowing what she was doing, she reveals her family’s location to Daniel late one night when she sneaks outside.
Brian – A Visitor who also leads the local Youth Program in Los Angeles. He is the source of Robin’s crush and returns the feelings until he hears about Robin’s father’s occupation.
I love love love how teenagers are brought into play in V. Using them as informants, like how Daniel is being used, is brilliant. And then there’s flying hormones and crushes and desires to have sex before death. For a while, Robin was only seen on screen with activated sprinkler systems. On the one hand, go Robin for owning her sexual agency. On the other hand, all but one female character has romantic entanglements that define their characters. My hope for Robin is that she realizes life is not all about her hormones and joins the fight against the Visitors.
Elias – A thief and younger brother to Benjamin the scientist. Elias has always felt alone since Ben wasn’t always there for him. Elias’s expertise as a thief would have saved his older brother, but instead his brother’s death will drive him to join the resistance and offer advice and guidance on avoiding the law.
Abraham – A Holocaust survivor and grandfather to Daniel. Abraham hears about the turmoil surrounding the scientists and decides to hide Robin’s family in the pool house which is mostly used for storage anyway. He was wary of the Visitors from the beginning and encouraged a group of kids to spray paint the Visitor propoganda on a wall.
Stanley – Abraham’s son and Daniel’s father. Stanley allows Robin’s family to hide in the pool house after hearing the story of how he was hidden in a suitcase at 8 months old when his mother was taken into the shower room at a concentration camp.
The most interest of the civilians are Abraham and Elias. Abraham’s experience as a Holocaust survivor influence everything he does in relation to the Visitors. He is that one guy who lived through that and went “no more.” Which is why I am looking forward to him becoming the strongest influence against the Visitors.
Elias has the potential to be an awesome character. My only disappointment is that the only black character of renown in this show is a black criminal. Not a good image to present, y’all. Not good at all.