Hearts and Minds is a fairly transparent title for an episode which sees the Visitors using their malign influence to scare the humans into wanting them to stay.
This episode of V opens with Ryan, Father Jack and Hobbes using a sophisticated rocket-launcher to shoot a V craft out of the sky. All would have been well, except for Jack discovering human remains among the wreckage. How did our brothers in the Fifth Column screw up so badly? Well, the viewer finds out in full HD flashback.
Ryan’s mole aboard the mothership feeds him information about a craft full of trackers that’s being sent down to investigate how they escaped the soldier that was sent to kill them. If the trackers discover the Fifth Column cell behind the attacks, it won’t be long until a V soldier is sent down to kill Ryan and his chums.
However, slimy newsguy Chad Decker relays information to Anna about the proposed attack, and she sets up a ship to fly to the same location, setting up the Fifth Column. It’s loaded with the remains of dead humans and skeletons, but nobody knows that. Father Jack and the rest of the human population are outraged at the loss of human life. Except Jack was party to the disaster and decides to quit the freedom fighting game.
The Nitty Gritty
Hmm…let’s scrub the recapping and get to the meat of the episode: the seeming schism between Jack and Erica/Hobbes and Ryan. Hobbes advances the theory that they’re common terrorists now and they have to suck it up and get on with the fight. On the other side of the argument, the Priest and the FBI agent protest against collateral damage and the deaths of innocent humans.
The thing is, the Fifth Column are fighting a dirty war with aliens who are placed across the globe and who are ready to commit genocide on a planetary scale. Agent Erica and Father McBroody can bellyache all they like about the human cost and not becoming like the Vs, but this is war. I’m afraid I have to side with the intelligent, pragmatic Hobbes, and not with these two bleeding hearts.
In the end, none of it matter, because Erica discovers the whole bodies-on-a-V-ship thing was just a canny set-up after all. Phew. Father Jack can breathe easy after all.
In the world’s most boring sub-plot, Tyler and Lisa head for a spot of trouble. Lisa’s becoming prone to human emotion, which makes her want to protect the fragile teen. So she breaks up with him to prevent him getting anally probed on the mothership.
However, Anna’s discovers her new weakness and gives Lisa a vicious punch to the face. Then, inexplicably, she asks Joshua the flunkie to break Lisa’s legs. Why not do it yourself, Anna? Maybe she likes to spread the viciousness around….
Erica gets assigned to head up a task force to hunt down the Fifth Column. How convenient. Especially when the line used to approach her was the boss “wants to ask you about your involvement with the Fifth Column”. Erica’s track record is sketchy at best, considering she’s forever disappearing to have secret Fifth Column meetings.
Also very convenient: Erica’s colleague turns out to be a Visitor in disguise. Didn’t see that one coming, did we?
- Why did Anna fake a crime scene rather than just use real humans? I mean, if she went to the trouble of scavenging human remains, wouldn’t it have been easier to load up a ship full of live humans? Live humans would also have grieving relatives to cry on TV and advance the theory that the Fifth Column are evil.
- And are we seriously expected to believe that pictures of remains found at the crash site were the only evidence remaining of the bones? Even without the digital copies, there would have been physical evidence that Erica could’ve pointed to.
- Great FBI system, by the way: you delete a file from the server and it’ll whisk that file off the screen of anybody else who’d opened it. Fantastic work.
- Despite V’s version of the FBI being the equivalent of the Keystone Cops, Anna is happy to leave the apprehension of the Fifth Column to “human law enforcement” rather than send down her far more deadly trackers and soldiers. And even if she had to put the tracker strike off by a day or two, she didn’t have to withdraw them entirely.
- If Lisa’s starting to become a human sympathiser, why hang around on the ship? She knows what happens on the V ship, she’s all hot and scaly for Tyler, so why not warn him off, join the Fifth Column (they’ve got a great dental plan) and live on Earth?
Only one quote of the episode
…but it’s a good one!
- A little bit of sexual tension between Erica and Father Jack? Hobbes: “It’s like the Thorn Birds in here.”