Following what many consider to be a poor execution of its second season, V finally attempted to breathe new life into this problematic series with a surprisingly shocking second season finale. Unfortunately, this move towards episodic redemption falls within the familiar bounds of too little, too late.
For all intents and purposes, the V season 2 finale was captivating, suspenseful and, at times, enjoyable. If separated from the contrived storylines that made up the series' sophomore year, the second season finale may have been the refreshing change that fans were hoping for earlier in the series.
While still riddled with many of the problems that have been cited as to V's downfall, the finale provided on some level, a new aggressive methodology that allowed fans to see that there was in fact, intentions by the producers to remedy much of V’s weak storylines, poor performances and awkward dialogue. One cannot simply place a proverbial bubble around the second season finale and not reflect upon its contradictory nature in regard to the episodes that came before it.
For most of its second season, V was focused on progressing the illogical sub-plot of extracting the human soul. Even within the world of sci-fi, this elemental absurdity proved itself to be the red herring to those watching that something was amiss with the execution of the series.
Taking an alien race that is more advanced than humans and exploring their ignorance in relation to humanity as a whole is an intriguing notion, but when one decides to follow a plotline that has no logical conclusion, it proves to alienate your core audience.
When it was revealed that Anna could use her “bliss” on humans, the poorly realized soul-extraction plot was effectively dead. For the purpose of attempting to progress the overall series storyline forward, this move was a success. For those who invested hours in watching such a meaningless addition, there’s no other way to describe their time commitment than to say it was a waste.
To the credit of those behind the series, one could see that their attempt with the V season 2 finale was to make one last attempt at saving their struggling series. With the deaths and disappearances of a majority of the show's cast in the episode's final moments, they not only emphasized to the audience that they can deliver dramatic storylines , but they also showed ABC that if V were to continue for another season, the production budget of the series would be dramatically cut. (Fewer main cast members = lower production costs.)
While it will be a few months before we find out whether or not this last-ditched effort was a success, one must admit that they would be surprised to see V return next year. Unlike many other series on television, V had its chance to shine - and with the second season, they were given a second chance.
Acknowledging that V will most likely not return, the producers were able to scrape together a somewhat appropriate conclusion to the overall series. With a twist ending similar to many favorite Twilight Zone episodes, viewers were left with a shocking revelation: humanity is doomed; the Vs have won.
Even though it may not be a popular result among the cult fanbase, the fact that a series - which convoluted their many sub-plots - had enough foresight to admit the inevitable has to be applauded. While these type of endings are often seen in many theatrical releases, the world of television has yet to embrace such honest, yet frustrating, storytelling.
Like BBC’s Life on Mars or Ashes to Ashes, the fate of the protagonist was inevitable. Despite spending hours championing their story, the sheer magnitude of the situation was too much to overcome. Of course, with any story told within the medium of television, there’s always one more chapter waiting to be told.
That being said, I don’t think it could have ended any better.
Expect to hear the fate of V season 3 in the coming months.