Written by David Braff
Directed by Ray Austin
Donovan and Tyler head into
Visitor-controlled territory to find Donovan’s son; Diana
enlists Nathan Bates’ help in finding
Notes from the V chronology
This episode, as a whole, does not fit well into
the V continuity. In
fact, during the first run of the V
weekly series in 1984-85, this episode was not aired! It showed
only after the series went into reruns at the end of the season.
Instead, the original airings went from
"Dreadnought" to "The Deception", with
seemingly written to ignore the events of this episode. The most
glaring problem when trying to include this episode in
continuity is that the resistance members are
first introduced to Nathan Bates' son, Kyle, here, but then are
introduced to him again in "The Deception" as if for the first
time! Although I do agree that "The Deception" is a better
introduction to Kyle than the one here, why was it changed?
A second continuity problem is that Donovan
informs Robin in the Visitor work camp that Elizabeth has "grown
up" and her father sacrificed his life on the captured
mothership. But she seems to forget this in later episodes!
On the other hand, this episode does show Donovan
making an attempt to regain his son from the State Academy he
mentioned in "Liberation Day"
and it suggests that young Sean was picked up with the other
boys at the school by the Visitors, thus explaining his presence
with them in
"The Deception". So, for continuity freaks (like
me), it is suggested to pretend Robin never appeared here and to
imagine some change of dialog in
"The Deception" depicting
Donovan and Tyler saying "You again?!" instead of "Who are you?"
when Kyle shows up at the Club Creole.
PopApostle reader A. Garland points out that he
read in one of the V-Files
books from the 1980s that this episode was initially rejected by
the network (NBC) as too violent to show in the 8:00 time slot.
When the show went into reruns after the end of the season, it
had been moved to 9:00, so the episode was reinserted into the
playlist. As to what was too violent for 8 p.m., it's not clear.
Mr. Garland speculates possibly the dog attack or crivit attack.
As the episode begins, we get a news update by Howard K. Smith
from the Freedom Network. Smith provided his newscaster presence
on the original V
mini-series as well.
During the Freedom Network segment we are told that a combined
force of Arab and Israeli commandos briefly liberated the
Wailing Wall before being driven back by counter-attacking
Visitor troops. I'm sure it was intended as an ironic comment by
the writers that it would take a third party threat to both
sides to unite the Arabs and Israelis in common cause. The
Wailing Wall is, of course, a real place, built as a retaining
wall on the Temple Mount of Jerusalem in 19 B.C., with
successive layers added in the following centuries. The Wailing
Wall is but one of many names applied to it, in this case for
the Jewish practice of coming to the wall to mourn the
destruction of the ancient Temple that was there. It is also
sacred to the Arabs as the place where Muhammad tethered the
legendary winged horse Buraq as described in the Koran.
During the Freedom Network segment, Smith compares the new open
city agreement in Los Angeles to Lisbon, Portugal during WWII.
Lisbon was a neutral city during the war, with citizens of both
Allied and Axis nations passing through it.
The story opens in Visitor-controlled Ojai, CA, with Donovan
attempting to track down his son in the State Academy there.
Donovan had mentioned him attending school there in
At 3:06 on the DVD, before the boy rides his bike through the
town courtyard, a few sets of bicycle tracks can already be seen
in the sand right along his path from rehearsal or previous
takes of the scene.
At 3:28 on the DVD, the Visitor shock troopers on patrol walk
right past several people sitting on benches, yet they pause to
look at Tyler sitting there pretending to read a newspaper until
he looks up and smiles at them. Then they walk away without
incident. Why did they pause to look at him at all? If they
recognized him as a wanted resistance member why didn't they arrest
him or least ask him some questions? It seems like the typical
Hollywood cheat of building some false tension for no reason and
which has no pay-off.
At 3:54 on the DVD, we can see that the newspaper Tyler and
Donovan are reading is the Ojai Herald. This is just a
printed prop, there is no real such newspaper.
In this episode there is suddenly a photo of Kyle on Bates' desk
that was not there in previous episodes. Conveniently, it allows
the viewer to be introduced to him by proxy before meeting him
in the work camp near Ojai.
After Diana asks for Bates' help in locating Elizabeth, he says
he'll think about it and she leaves. Then he calls in his head
of security and during the discussion it is clear that Bates
already had his men looking for the girl. Why would Bates have
been interested in finding her before Diana's request? Is he
hoping that a replacement for the red dust can be found by
examining the Star Child's unique hybrid chemistry as he later
Elizabeth demonstrates an ability to play classical piano.
At 9:09 on the DVD, as Donovan and Tyler leave Annie's house,
the house next door is the Stephens' house from the 1964-1972 TV
sitcom Bewitched! (Thanks to A. Garland for pointing
As they are brought into the
Visitor work camp as prisoners,
Donovan and Tyler note that
there is no fence around the
place, just a mote of sand.
Turns out the mote is inhabited
by crivits, dangerous
presumably from the Visitor
homeworld (though possibly some
other planet) that live under
the sand and consume any
creature that walks upon the
mote's surface. The screen grab
below is the best glimpse we get
of a crivit as it races after a
would-be escapee. Notice in the
second image part of a mouth or
fin pulling the victim down
under the sand.
There are several pieces of
Visitor signage in the work
camp, with both Visitor and
English words printed on them.
It turns out that Robin is already a prisoner in the work camp
(as is Kyle Bates) when Donovan and Tyler are brought in. It's
not difficult to imagine that she was picked up by the Visitors
sometime after she fled her vehicle at the check point at the
end of the previous episode, "Dreadnought". However, for continuity's sake it
is best to ignore her scenes in this episode since here she is
told of recent events by Donovan (like her father's death and
her daughter's transformation) but she seems to forget it all in
following episodes. Since she escapes but disappears at the end
of this episode, it is easy to imagine that she was simply on
the run on foot for an entire day or two without meeting anyone
until she sees Kyle (for the first time!) at the beginning of
the next episode,
Diana tells Lydia that their troops have entered Marseille,
France, Jerusalem, Israel and Ho-Chih Minh City, Vietnam. Lydia
comments that they are still meeting stiff resistance from the
World Liberation Front in Houston. The mention of Jerusalem is a
nice synchronicity with the Freedom Network report at the top of
|From 17:01-17:50 on the DVD,
we see several monitor shots
with Visitor writing. The
topographical map in the second
and third screenshots appears
while Diana and Lydia are
talking about the fighting in
Houston, but it looks more like
a chain of Pacific islands,
possibly near Vietnam since they
earlier mentioned Ho-Chin Minh
City. Also notice that the map
on the third screenshot appears to
be simply a reverse image of the
one on the second!
Reviewing her research on Kyle Bates, Lydia tells us that Kyle
was expelled from
Stanford University late last year (no reason
given) and since then has devoted most of his time to racing
motorcycles, mostly in Arizona and Nevada.
When Diana checks the computer records on the mothership for
indications that Kyle may have been placed in one of the
Visitors' internment camps, the information comes up on the
screen in English! Shouldn't it be in the Visitors' language?
Bates asks Julie to head up the new project at Science Frontiers
to develop a new form of red dust to use against the Visitors.
The mark of Zon seen on
Elizabeth's hand at 22:30 on the
DVD is different than what was
it looked like two moles, here
it just looks like a birthmark
in the shape of an infinity
"The Dissident", it goes back to
looking like two moles, though smaller than the ones seen in
Mark of Zon in
Mark of Zon in this episode
When two Visitors at Club Creole seemingly recognize Elizabeth
and attempt to take her into custody, the Star Child
demonstrates a previously unknown ability to control or
influence the actions of animals, as two German Shepherds tear
the Visitors apart to protect her. The other strange thing is
that the dogs initially appear to be leashed into the back of a
pickup truck, yet they manage to jump out to attack the aliens!
I guess Elizabeth used a telekinetic power as well to free them!
When Julie learns that Elias let Elizabeth play the piano in
public at the Club Creole, she is angry at him. As she walks
away she even seems to mumble, "Stupid!"
As the boy, Billy, sneaks around behind a tent to bring some
materials for escape to Donovan at 28:09 on the DVD, a close
viewing will reveal Tyler as he approaches in the far
background, leading to his sudden appearance through a flap in
the back of the tent, startling Donovan and the boy.
After the dog attack scene, Elizabeth apparently went into a
withdrawn, unresponsive state and slept for a while. When she
awakens, Julie and Elias seem surprised that she is speaking.
It's true that when she emerged from the chrysalis in
did not seem able to speak for a while, but she did when her
grandfather, Robert, was shot aboard the mothership. Apparently
she has not spoken again until this moment.
This episode gives us our first look at Julie's house.
When Nathan Bates shows up at Julie's house unexpectedly, she
introduces Elizabeth as her cousin Betty. She uses the excuse
that Betty has just arrived from Tucson where things are really
bad. Tucson is a city in Arizona.
After Donovan and Tyler have managed to escape the work camp
with Robin and Billy, they somehow get separated from Robin. The
next morning Tyler comments there's no sign of her.
The girl, Annie, who helped Donovan and Tyler by letting them
into her and her mom's house to hide from the Visitors at
the beginning of the episode, shows up
again at the end to take in Billy at a refugee camp in the
nearby mountains where the red dust is still effective. Does
this mean that she has left her mother behind at the house after
realizing that she betrayed the two resistance fighters to the
Near the end of the episode, it's a nice touch that Billy calls
Donovan "Gooder", having heard Tyler refer to him that way the
Donovan and Tyler steal yet another Visitor skyfighter! You'd
think the Visitors would learn to take the keys out of the
ignition! During the ensuing chase we get yet more recycled
skyfighter footage from the mini-series. It's fun seeing that,
seated behind the piloting Donovan during the chase, Tyler looks like he's
about to lose his lunch!
Earlier we saw Kyle knock out a guard at the work camp, but how
did he get past the sand mote? The Visitors had already stopped
the stream of prisoners who were working with Donovan and Tyler
on their escape. Yet, somehow Kyle shows up in Los Angeles in his
father's office near the end of the episode.
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