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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: The Hero V
TV episode
"The Hero"
Written by Carleton Eastlake
Directed by Kevin Hook
Original air date January 11, 1985

While Nathan Bates lies in a coma, Chaing deals with the Visitors to maintain order in the city and end the resistance.

Read the summary of this episode at V: The Series Interactive Website

Didja Notice?

The Freedom Network report reveals that Córdoba is the last free city in Spain and Juan Palacios is the leader of the Spanish resistance; the wounded Nathan Bates has declared martial law in Los Angeles (though we learn in the course of the episode that Bates has remained in a coma since the shooting and it is really Mr. Chaing running things); 34-year old insurance man Benny Scallini from Atlanta, GA received the Freedom Network Medal of Valor for his efforts in derailing a train carrying over 600 prisoners to a labor camp in Savannah, with more than half the prisoners able to escape.

In the lab at Science Frontiers, one researcher brings another a refreshing beverage. But after she takes a drink he says, "What you need is a thermal nebulon rassafrass." I guess that's supposed be his idea of a comical cocktail name.

This episode marks the first appearance of Lt. James, one of Diana's longer-lasting subordinates, played by Judson Scott. Scott is also known for his sci-fi roles as Joachim in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and as Bennu on the short-lived TV series The Phoenix.

The three Visitors posing as Resistance fighters who launch an attack at Science Frontiers carry an M16 rifle and two Uzis.

After the "Resistiance" assualt, at 4:56 on the Blu-ray, the black researcher's gaze lingers to a point offscreen for a few seconds. He must have notice some green blood on the floor, as he mentions seeing green blood while being interrogated by the Resistance later in the episode.

The car in the Club Creole alleyway has CA license plate 714 SAT.

While practicing the use of her psionic powers, Elizabeth turns on the clock radio, which has a news bulletin about the latest attempt on the life of Nathan Bates. We hear the news reporter in the background while Elizabeth levitates Kyle's bed and then drops it, awakening him. As he asks what's going on, we suddenly no longer hear the radio at 6:02 on the DVD. Did Elizabeth turn it off with her mind as well just then?

At 6:56 on the Blu-ray, the headline of the Los Angeles Tribune is "Resistance Attacks Science Frontiers!". As mentioned in the study of "The Deception", there have been newspapers called the Los Angeles Tribune in the past, but not since 1960; it is also the name of the newspaper Ed Asner's character is employed at in the 1977-1982 TV series Lou Grant.

Donovan assigns Robin to get in touch with George Caniff at an underground newspaper to set the record straight on the supposed Resistance attack at Science Frontiers.

At 7:16 on the DVD, we hear an 8-second snippet of dialog between Diana and a subordinate. This small bit is a clue that the Visitors have planted a spy near the resistance, as revealed at the end of the episode.

At 7:40 on the DVD, a couple of jagged holes are seen in the interior walls of the Visitor consulate. Why are they there? It is not explained.

At 14:09, Diana tells Mr. Chiang he has a chance "to avenge those who tried to kill" Nathan Bates. But "avenge" mean to take vengeance on behalf of others; her statement would mean to get vengeance for the Resistance members who tried to kill Bates (instead of vengeance for Bates himself as Diana intends). It might be argued that Diana simply made an error in proper English word usage, acceptable considering English is not her native language. In other words, she pulled a Willie!

George Caniff's printing operation is called Caniff Printing. This is a fictious business in L.A.

John Langley jokes that he is a "roving tiger expert in from Rajasthan." Rajasthan is the geographically largest state in India and hosts the Ranthambore and Sariska tiger reserves. George says John is actually a reporter from the Phoenix Post; this is a fictitious newspaper. Phoenix is a city in Arizona.

George tells Robin that John just wrote a very interesting article on what's going on in occupied territory and John says, "Mucho gusto." This is Spanish for "very good".

The police car seen at 19:21 on the DVD has the same license plate (21772) as the squad car Donovan and Tyler drove in "The Overlord".

Tyler calls the informant cop he and Chris meet up with Glen.

At 24:29 on the DVD, Elias and Willie walk a past a street poster advertising a violin recital by Paul Boray. Paul Boray is the violinist character portrayed by John Garfield in the 1946 film Humoresque.

The car Elias and Willie hide behind at 24:47 on the DVD has CA license plate EMB510.

The weapon that kills Elias at 25:07 on the DVD is called a disintegrator by the Visitors and this is the first time we've seen it.
Disintegrator Disintegrator

After witnessing Elias' death, John says he's seen the disintegrator in action before in Prescott. Presumably this is a reference to the real city of Prescott, AZ to bolster his cover story of being a reporter from Phoenix.

At 30:23 on the DVD, there is a bowl of obvious gummy worms for Lydia to eat. But it is cool that some actual living, squirming worms were put at the bottom of the pile to give the impression of a bowlful of living nightcrawlers. There's also a ring of crackers around the bowl...they look like Ritz! I guess the old slogan is true, "Everything tastes better when it sits on a Ritz."
A nightcrawler tastes better when it sits on a Ritz

Diana tells Charles that Robin's DNA is very unusual, very susceptible to recombination which is why she was able to cross-breed her with Brian to create Elizabeth. Diana goes on to say that she has not been able to find any other humans with the same genetic compatibility. And yet other Visitor scientists have apparently done so (see the novels The Florida Project and The Texas Run and seemingly the pregnancy of Tomoko at the end of Symphony of Terror).

Charles says that he considers Napoleon to be one of humanity's rare geniuses. Diana then retorts, "And look what happened to him? He was left on a scab of rock to die." To which Charles replies, "Something to ponder, Diana." Perhaps an ironic commentary on her lover, the Leader's, choice of sending her to Earth (similar to Pamela's comment in "The Masterpiece"). (Napoleon was held under arrest by the British for 6 years until he died on the small south Atlantic island of Saint Helena.)

Notice that, at 38:20 on the DVD, just before he is led out the door for execution, John pulls out his sunglasses and puts them on...a hint at his Visitor origin that is revealed at the end of the episode.

At 40:34 on the DVD and again at 41:21, Diana appears to be about to say something as she sees that John is about to be executed as a resistor.

A shipping barrel from Stavros Shipping is seen at 41:33 on the DVD. There are a few international shipping companies with variations on this name.

At 41:58 on the DVD, Elizabeth uses her powers to push one of the human guards at the Caniff Printing standoff into a wall. It can be seen that a cable is attached to him that yanks him back!

As Ham, Julie, and Elizabeth storm Caniff Printing to free the hostages, at 42:39 on the DVD, we can see in the background, through the window, that Donovan is being led up the steps of the disintegrator platform. But then, back outside at 42:47, Donovan is still in the street trading verbal jabs with Charles!

At 43:10 on the DVD, after Donovan shoves him down into the bed of the pick-up truck, John's hand lands on the open box of smoke grenades. This would explain how his hand got cut at the end of the episode, revealing his green blood.

For the rescue at Caniff Printing, Kyle uses the same truck he had in "The Deception".

The Visitor limousine at Caniff Printing is a stretch Cadillac. It is missing the front license plate.

Memorable Dialog

thermal nebulon rassafrass.wav
familiar, Lydia, not intimate.wav
a true paranoid.wav
friends like you.wav
I will try to be as short as possible.wav
they killed Elias.wav
something to ponder.wav
if only I had not failed Elias.wav
all sisters go.wav

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