Stars: Elizabeth Mitchell, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch, Logan Huffman, Laura Vandervoort, Morena Baccarin, Scott Wolf, Charles Mesure
Writer: Cathyrn Humphris
Director: David Barrett
Network: ABC, airs Tuesday nights
Original Telecast: February 22, 2011

It’s taken one and a half seasons, but it looks like V is finally on a roll and heading into the right direction.

At the end of last week’s episode, Fifth Column leader Eli Cohn (Oded Fehr) was killed and FBI Agent Erica Evans was named as his replacement.

With her ex-husband dead and Anna stealing her son Tyler (Logan Huffman) away from her, “Birth Pangs” showcases she’s out for revenge – and she refuses to have any more unwanted human casualties in the war against the V’s.

So, what do they do? First Evans has to prove her loyalty to other Fifth Column lieutenants, and once she does that, everyone is on board. She also gets down to business, rallying all the allies she has to finally figure out why the V’s want humans. It has something to do with harvesting the best DNA we have to make them a master extraterrestrial race.

Shifting loyalties are a major part of this episode as we see Lisa (Laura Vandervoort) completely going in the opposite direction of her mom Anna (Morena Baccarin). Anna has a back-up plan, now that she realizes her daughter is more “emotional” than intended. Plus, Lisa has been visiting grandma Diana (Jane Badler) in the basement, but by the end of the episode, we sense she may be playing Lisa for a bigger plan (likely to oust Diana as leader of the V’s).

There is a ton of exposition sprinkled throughout the episode. Some of it makes sense, some of it doesn’t (but I’ll settle with way too much information, than nothing at all, which has often way too often during the last two seasons).

Most importantly, we see that the V’s have been perfecting rapid age growth, which is something that’s now happened to the daughter of Ryan (Morris Chestnut) who is no longer a baby, but a toddler and who is now calling Anna “Momma!” Oh, and Ryan survived the blast like wee. Duh! He’s a regular cast member, of course he was gong to survive.

V definitely feels different than it has in the past. With “Siege” and now “Birth Pangs” the show gets down to business. There’s some super cool high-tech weapons, some clever action, a clear focus and FINALLY Erica Evans driving the show instead of being a passerby to the proceedings. This is her journey for the taking, and the writers of V have finally acknowledged this too.

With three episodes to go, and the show now on creatively solid footing, maybe V will be able to eke out a third season after all.

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