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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: John May V
"John May"
Written by Gregg Hurwitz
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

 

Ryan, Erica, and Jack try to find the legendary founder of the Fifth Column, John May.

 

Read the detailed episode recap at IMDB.

 

Didja Know?

 

This episode was directed by Jonathan Frakes, better known as Commander William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

 

Didja Notice?

 

The episode opens 10 years previous with John May's TV telling us it is 2 days after the close of the Florida polls in the Presidential election. That would make it November 2000.

Well, last episode I wondered where Reedsville was. Here, we learn it is in New York. There is no Reedsville, NY in the real world.

John May must be a fishing fanatic. In the flashback we observe that he is making a homemade fly-fishing lure and there is assorted fish paraphernalia visible throughout the room. In the original V, Mike Donovan's bedroom was decorated with pictures of fish in the episode "The Deception".

The coffee mug that holds John's fly-making tools appears to have been made by a child and has the words "World's Best Step Dad" painted on it.

During the flashback, the news on the TV set is from station WYBS. This is a fictional station.

The Visitors apparently have cloaking technology. At 1:21 in the episode, we see Ryan's ship de-cloak in the night sky.

At 1:44 in the episode, Ryan pulls out a V switchblade that appears identical to the one used by the alien assassin in "Welcome to the War".

The tall building visible outside Anna's window appears to be the Empire State Building.
Anna's quarters
Having so far failed to break Georgie, Marcus reveals he has sent for the human pain expert from the Tokyo ship (Dr. Maieta).

Dr. Maieta inflicts the burrowing, insect-like "scours" on Georgie. He refers to them as "curious little creatures", implying they are living, but they appear shiny and almost robotic.

At 11:13 in the episode, mercenary Kyle Hobbes refers to Ryan as Godzilla, a reference to his reptilian nature. It's a bit reminiscent of mercenary Ham Tyler from V80, who frequently used lizardy nicknames for the Visitors.

In another John May flashback, John's wife says his stepson, James, won a ribbon at the school science fair for his Cartesian diver. The Cartesian diver is a classic science experiment demonstrating principles of buoyancy. John also mentions another classic experiment, the salt volcano.

When Ryan and Jack try to explain to James that his stepfather was a V and the founder of the resistance against the aliens and that they are searching for his comm device to make contact with Fifth Columnists on the motherships, James sarcastically says, "Okay. Maybe we can raise Mork and Kal-El on the Kree Omni-Wave Projector." Mork is a reference to the goofy alien character portrayed by Robin Williams on the 1978-1982 sitcom Mork & Mindy. Kal-El is the real Kryptonian name of Superman. The Omni-Wave Projector is a hyperspatial communications device used by the alien Kree in comic books set in the Marvel Universe and published by Marvel Comics.

Erica tricks James' girlfriend into revealing she is lying about her past when she doesn't know that UCLA's football team is the Bruins, not the Trojans. In case you were wondering, the Trojans belong to USC. UCLA is the University of California Los Angeles and USC is the University of Southern California.

James' girlfriend turns out to be a Visitor and during her fight with Erica and Hobbes, her true fingers rip out through the human skin of her hand, revealing long, sharp claws at the tips. This may be why the V's seem to prefer cutting weapons like their switchblades over guns. Remember also, my speculation in the study of "Pilot" that the Vs may be descendents of Earth's own dinosaurs, perhaps the taloned Velociraptor. And, gee, did you notice the first letter of that word?

Hobbes refers to James' girlfriend as the "girl with the Freddy Krueger claw". Freddy Krueger is the disfigured nightmare man with the taloned glove in the Nightmare on Elm Street films. In the original series of films, Freddy was played by actor Robert England who also played Willie in the original V series.

At 25:21 in the episode, the news crawl returns to Prime Focus! Unfortunately the first words we see are merely ones borrowed from "There is No Normal Anymore", "...answers tough questions from reporters at U.N. Building in New York..." But some new stuff then follows: "U.N. expected to announce further meetings with The Visitors and world leaders in the coming weeks".

The flashback of the memorial service for John May gives the impression that Ryan first met Valerie there. We know why Ryan was there, but why was Valerie? Did she know John May too?

As Valerie goes through Ryan's possessions which she has found in the hidden wall safe, at 38:05 in the episode we see that he has a French passport under the identity of David St. Pierre among many other passports. The top of this passport says "République Française", which is French for "French Republic".
passport
The medical folder Valerie finds in the safe is related to her pregnancy. We see from the cover that the doctor (secretly a V fifth columnist) is named Dr. Leah Pearlman, M.D. The folder contains the real sonogram photo of her baby which shows the tail indicated by the fetus's movement at the end of the previous episode ("Pound of Flesh").

Sonogram photo of Valerie's baby
At the end of the episode, Anna lays hundreds (or thousands) of tiny eggs in a pool of water or other fluid. Is this how all Visitor females go through the process of bearing children? Or, as the "queen", is she the only one capable of reproducing?

Memorable Dialog

no such thing as UFOs.wav
he started the resistance.wav
the scours.wav
Kree Omni-Wave Projector.wav
that was the day.wav
a dagger in her eye.wav
can we keep helping each other.wav
John May Lives.wav
to Georgie.wav
a thousand defeats.wav

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