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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: It's Only the Beginning V
"It's Only the Beginning"
Written by Cameron Litvack and Angela Russo Otstot
Directed by Yves Simoneau

 

Chad does a segment on the Visitor Healing Centers; Lisa invites Tyler to meet her mother; the resistance makes its first move against the Visitors.

 

Read the detailed episode recap at the V Wiki.

 

Didja Notice?

 

After their meeting with Erica And Jack, Ryan is upset with Georgie about his suggestion to skin a V to show the world who they really are. Ryan's angry reaction is probably related to a larger concept of skinning as a torturous punishment inflicted on Visitors by Anna, and possibly other authority figures. Later in the episode, Anna orders Joshua to skin his unnamed medical assistant after the assistant confesses to being a member of the fifth column and killing Maddox (in "A Bright New Day"). We see only the beginning of the skinning session that Joshua reluctantly performs; at first I thought skinning meant killing...but it may be more like how it sounds, removing the cloned human skin, without pain-killers, from the Visitor body with a knife. If the human flesh covering them has nerve endings which connect down into the reptilian flesh of the individual, it would be an excruciatingly painful procedure, but probably survivable. So, is the medical assistant actually still alive? If so, what would Anna do with a traitor like him next? Later in the episode we are introduced to the Visitor concept of Bliss; would he be forgiven by taking Bliss, as Anna's words about leaving past actions behind would imply? (Note: In the second season episode "Laid Bare", it is revealed that skinning is killing.)

At 3:25 in the episode, a holoscreen with details of Maddox's death has Visitor writing. If you translate the characters of the word below Maddox's head from the chart presented below, it literally spells out "DECEASED". At 3:28, we get a rearview shot of the holoscreen and, unlike in the rearview holoscreen shot I pointed out in "A Bright New Day", the symbols are reversed as they should be.
V writing V writing reversed
Visitor alphabet and numerals

According to the birth certificate Erica pulls up from the FBI database, Ryan's cover indicates he was born in the city of Hawaiian Gardens, CA. This is a real city in Los Angeles County. Since Ryan, as an undercover Visitor, was presumably not born on Earth at all, I wonder if this fake birth certificate is a bit of a joke by the producers about the real world "birthers" and their claim that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, despite his Hawaiian birth certificate.

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles gives some other information about Ryan:
Ryan's DMV record

During her interview with Chad, Anna says that even the V's haven't cured the common cold. I am reminded of Dr. McCoy's comment in the "Plato's Stepchildren" episode of Star Trek that modern (23rd Century) science had still not cured the common cold!

Throughout the scenes at the Visitor Healing Center, there is a large sign with the same Visitor symbols as seen in the Peace Ambassador Center in the previous episode. From the chart it translates as "WE ARE OF PEACE". WE ARE OF PEACE

In this episode, we see that the Visitors on Earth all carry a suicide pill to take in the event their identities are compromised. When taken, the pill causes their bodies to glow brightly and disintegrate into a pile of ash, including clothing and any items on their person. This is not so different from the death of the aliens in the 1960s series The Invaders (which I discussed in "A Bright New Day").

In this episode, we learn that Father Jack has something in common with Father Andrew of the original V series besides their occupation: they both had military experience in the past in their role as priest.

Joshua's unnamed assistant says that Anna must be suspicious that Joshua is also a fifth columnist, that's why she's made him do the skinning.

At 26:54 in the episode, there is some Visitor writing on the drug vial of R6. The characters, as printed, are:

PG
RE
ON

Possibly spelling "progen". The name of the R6 solution?
R6 vial

John May Lives John May Lives At 30:49 in the episode, there is some V writing on the holoscreen as Ryan programs a destruct sequence for the warehouse and a message for Anna. If you translate the characters from the chart presented earlier in the study, it literally spells out "John May Lives".
There is a better view of the message on Marcus' image flimsy at 34:27. John May Lives

In the scene at 30:54-31:47 in the episode, we see a countdown of what must be Visitor numbers.

As Anna is preparing to broadcast her Bliss, she touches the floor with her hands, and it seems to ripple like liquid and a faint whispering voice that may be Anna's is heard at 35:37 in the episode. The whisper sounds something like "Everything is wonderful." There is more whispering throughout Anna's actual sermon during the Bliss, but I can't make out most of it. Many times it sounds like the whisper is presaging or repeating phrases from Anna's sermon. Anna's sermon is: "No need for regrets for mistakes made yesterday. The past is gone. No looming fate, no uncontrollable destiny. No hunger, no sickness, no fear, no death. Nothing ahead. Nothing behind. Just stillness. Light. Warmth. The pain you felt, the pain you may have caused others...it's behind you. No looking back. No fear of what will come. Just the pulse of time. Invigorating, soothing. Bask in my light. Take comfort knowing I am here. You will never be alone." It sounds like a slightly more benevolent version of the conversion process of the original V series! Could it be that Anna has "converted" virtually her entirely species to embrace her point of view?

At 36:01 in the episode, during Anna's broadcast of Bliss on the New York mothership, a Chinese monk even seems to be receiving the Bliss (though we do not hear Anna's voiceover during this shot). Is the monk actually a V himself? Or just somehow spiritually attuned to what was happening? A few seconds later, we see a woman on a city street react to it as well. Is she a V?

Near the end of the episode, Valerie announces she's pregnant. Since her fiancé is, unknown to her, a Visitor, what does that portend for the pregnancy? Will it be a starchild like Elizabeth from the original series? Will it look human? Reptilian? Twins again?

It can just barely be made out that the instant message on Erica's computer, intended for Tyler, asking about his invitation to come to the mothership, is from Tyler's friend, Brandon (seen in previous episodes).

The end of the episode, as the "camera" view pulls back from Earth, moving further and further away through interstellar space, is reminiscent of the opening scene of the 1997 movie Contact.

At the very end of the episode, an enormous armada of Visitor ships is now moving through space in the direction of Earth.
  • As we pan over the lead ship, the lines and contours on it seem to have a pattern reminiscent of ancient Mayan "mirror" glyphs. Some people believe that many Mayan glyphs are meant to convey extraterrestrial knowledge.
mothership contour mothership contour (negative version)
There are mirror-contour images like this all along the top of the flagship. Negative color.
  • Notice that the armada is divided into squadrons of five ships, each squadron flying in the form of a "V". Also, there appears to be a brown-hued planet in the background which they are leaving. Is the brown coloration meant to suggest a dry, desert world? Is it a world the Visitors have previously subjugated, exploited and depleted? Or is it the homeworld of the Visitors?
Visitor armada

Memorable Dialog

never said I wasn't.wav
long live the fifth column.wav
skin him.wav
everything is wonderful.wav
you will never be alone.wav
we're gonna have a baby.wav

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