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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: Pound of Flesh V
"Pound of Flesh"
Written by Charles Murray and Natalie Chaidez
Directed by Dean White

Erica takes Tyler to see his father; Valerie's pregnancy takes a serious turn; the resistance takes action to stir up further resistance.

 

Read the detailed episode recap at the V Wiki.

 

Didja Notice?

 

Anna believes that the Fifth Columnists are made up of Visitors who have grown empathetic due to proximity or interaction with humans. She orders everyone on the ships to be subjected to an emotion test that shows horrifying and unpleasant images such as battlefields, hooks piercing human skin, and nuclear mushroom clouds. We also hear a baby crying, presumably accompanied by an image of a baby in pain.

Do all the Visitors have first and last human names? At 11:30 in the episode, Erica looks up the names of V diplomats in the FBI database and we see that they all have surnames. Do Anna, Marcus, and the rest all have surnames as well? As an in-joke, the diplomat names we see all seem to be those belonging to members of the V production crew in various capacities. Some of them are listed in the closing credits, others I was able to look up on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) as working on V. A few I wasn't able to confirm as being members of the V crew, but they are all listed as working in showbiz on IMDB. The names we see on the screen are Clark Candy (production coordinator), Moni El Batrik (art department assistant), John Gallagher (production coordinator), Nerissa McCormack, Peter Ochotta (assistant art director), Josephine Ochej (assistant), Phil Pacaud, Norman Spence, Jeff Singer, Dennis Swartman (production manager), Tiara Motem.

Ryan reveals that Visitors returning to the motherships must pass through a scanner that reads the individual's core temperature and fingerprints to prevent infiltration.

Hobbes meets a woman in a cemetery and pays her for dossiers on his four new resistance cohorts. Is this merely an example of his mercenary paranoia? Or is there something more sinister to his information gathering? Could he himself be a V? We haven't seen him prove his skin is more than skin deep like we did with Erica and Father Jack at the first resistance meeting in "Pilot". And he seemed awfully determined to go aboard the mothership until Ryan insisted on going instead.

The information received by Hobbes reveals that Georgie was a chemical engineer when his family was killed.

When Ryan comes aboard the mothership and goes through the scan process, there is a woman still in line holding a baby. Why would anyone, Visitor or human, be bringing a baby on board? The crying of the child causes Ryan to look back towards it in concern, which tips off Samuel that he may be compromised by emotion. Why was Ryan seemingly concerned about the baby? Was it a Visitor woman bringing a human baby aboard? Or is he just more conscious of a baby being around since learning that Valerie is pregnant with his?

At 17:39 in the episode, one of Marcus' advisors, Phillip, fails the emotion test. On the original V series, Phillip was the Visitor Inspector General and twin brother of Martin; he eventually began to become sympathetic to the cause of the human resistance.

The mystery of why Erica and her husband Joe split up and of who Tyler really is suggests that perhaps Erica had an affair with another man and this man is Tyler's true father. Could the Visitor holoscreen that had Tyler labeled as "Corey Ryan" instead of Tyler Evans (as I pointed out in my study of "Welcome to the War") be another clue to this possibility of his identity?

Visitor writing appears on the canister from which Ryan obtains a vial of phosphorus. The characters in the circle translate as "PHOSPHORUSP". Not sure why there's an extra "P" at the end!
V writing

At 21:02 in the episode, we see a Visitor tag on the back of Samuel's uniform. It translates to OVER CENTER. OPER CENTER would seem to make more sense, but the second letter does not look like the V character for "P". OVER CENTER

While looking for Ryan, Georgie visits Valerie in her apartment and spots the book Baby Before Birth by Lukasz Madziag on the coffee table, clueing him in that she and Ryan are expecting a baby. This is just a prop book, not available in the real world, and the author's name is the name of the assistant to producer Kathy Gilroy on the series.

In speaking of truth, it's ironic, considering he's a priest and they're speaking in a church, that Father Jack tells Chad, regarding his questions about the V healing centers, "You have access to the ships, to Anna. You want the truth? That's the place to look, not here."

Joshua tells Ryan that John May had an outdated, untraceable communication device in Reedsville. He doesn't say what state Reedsville is in. Are we (and Ryan) to assume it's in New York? Or is there some reason that Reedsville would already be known to Ryan? (Note: In the following episode, "John May", we learn that Reedsville is in New York.)

Joshua warns Ryan that once he gives the phosphorus to Valerie, "...there's no going back. Ever." What does this cryptic warning signify? Since the phosphorus is intended to benefit the baby during the pregnancy, will Valerie be partially transformed by the hybrid child's growth in her body?

Meeting Jack and Erica at the church, Hobbes refers to the mothership as "the UFO". Technically it's not a UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) because it's identified!

As he heads for the boarding area to leave the mothership, Ryan discards his V uniform jacket on the floor. I suppose it's intended by the writers to symbolically show him leaving behind his Visitor past, but 1) isn't it possible the resistance will need V uniforms on occasion for infiltration purposes? 2) It seems dumb to intentionally leave a clue like that behind. In fact, a few minutes later, we see Marcus has the discarded item of clothing in his hand when he tells Anna they'll find the traitor. Stupid, stupid Ryan.

On the TV screens seen during the news broadcast of Anna's announcement about the Live Aboard program, we see the network identification in the bottom right corner is WNT, World News Television. This is a network made up for the program, it does not exist in the real world.

Visitor writing appears on the holoscreen at 34:04 in the episode as Joshua prepares to embed the resistance message in Anna's speech. The characters translate as ACCESS DENIED, just as the English words state below it. But why would there be English words showing at all??
ACCESS DENIED

As we observe Anna's message playing in cities throughout the world, at 34:11 in the episode we see the Madrid mothership. It is hovering over the Puerta del Sol, one of the main ancient gateways to the city. The Tio Pepe sign seen there is a famous landmark, referring to Tio Pepe Sherry, the best-selling brand of sherry in the world.

Starting at 34:29 we see several screens of V writing as Joshua attempts to break into Anna's broadcast.
V writing V writing
The words on this screen translate as (from top to bottom): SAVE TEMPLATE, EDIT PROFILE, SAVE MACRO, CUE ACCESS, RUN OUT BOUND, PARSE INCOMING, DOCS USER DOC This is the same screen as previous, but with a new line at the bottom: LOG STATUS
V writing V writing
ACCESS GRANTED RESET PARAMETER, COM* CONNECTION, DATE LOCATION, RUN PROGRAM ED, FILES SYSTEM LOG, ID UAV CONTROLS

As Ryan is walking down the corridor to board the shuttle off the mothership, the same security guard who initially scanned him in sees him and seemingly becomes suspicious of him for no reason. Is it because he notices that Ryan is no longer wearing his uniform jacket? Then he calls out Ryan's undercover name, Jeff Singer, and knows something's wrong when he doesn't respond to it.

Georgie's not too smart at the end of the episode. By screaming "long live the fifth column" as the shuttle is taking off, isn't he essentially telling the Visitors that there was a fifth columnist aboard it? All the Visitors would have to do is review their video files of the individuals who boarded the shuttle to narrow down the suspects of who it is.
As Ryan fixes the phosphorus-spiked tea for Valerie at 37:28 in the episode, we see the V label on the phosphorus vial. It translates as PHOS. PHOS

Ryan isn't very generous with the hot water in Val's tea! At 37:37 in the episode, we see that the freshly brewed cup is only half full!
Tea, Earl Grey, with phosphorus

Lisa shows up at Tyler's father's house. How did she know he was there? Erica took him there in secret when he wasn't wearing the spy-camera Peace Ambassador jacket. I suppose he must have called her to let her know he was staying there so she wouldn't worry.

As we see the baby move around under Val's skin while she sleeps, the impression it leaves is that it has a tail. Do the Visitors normally have tails? We've never seen any evidence of this previously in either V2000 or V80. (Note: Later episodes reveal that the females do have tails.)

Memorable Dialog

long live the fifth column

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