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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: We Can't Win V
"We Can't Win"
Written by Christine Roum and Cameron Litvack
Directed by David Barrett
Original air date: April 20, 2010

Anna volunteers a clean power source for Earth; an assassin begins killing members of the Fifth Column.

Read the detailed episode recap at IMDB

Didja Notice?

At the beginning of the episode, Chad has a dream about Anna in which she asks, "Can I trust you?" At the end of the episode, the real Anna asks him, "Do you trust me?" Doesn't it seem like Chad had one of those almost precognitive dreams you have sometimes (I've had them)? Was this just the typical Hollywood use of dream as foreshadowing (and metaphor for Anna's seduction and still-to-come betrayal of Chad) or is there a telepathic aspect of the Visitors' presence developing? Remember in the original V series, Diana seemed to have a bit of telepathic control over Julie after she'd been through the conversion process (in the episode "The Final Battle" and the novel "The Pursuit of Diana").

Anna and Chad are in Geneva for the annual World Progress Forum. This meeting of the world's leaders and thinkers is a fictional institution, it is not a forum held in the real world.

At 2:16 in the episode, Chad is wearing a t-shirt with what appears to be a pair of crossed tennis rackets on the left breast. I don't know if it was intentional, but they look a lot like a pair eyes from the infamous gray Reticulans of alien abduction lore! Notice the shirt is gray.
tennis racket t-shirt

The water jet seen outside Chad's hotel room window in Geneva is the Jet d'Eau, one of the largest water fountains in the world, first installed at Geneva in 1886.

At 2:40 in the episode, a Zabar's bag is sitting on Erica's kitchen counter. Zabar's is a well-known specialty food store in Manhattan. When Tyler walks in, Erica tells him the bagel she offers him is from Zabar's.

Agent Malik tells us this episode opens 2 days after the appearance of the "John May Lives" message during Anna's Live Aboard broadcast in the previous episode ("John May").

The enlarged driver license image at 8:55 in the episode reveals that the Fifth Columnist Alex Caruso lives at 21133 Hicks St., Brooklyn Heights, NY. There is no such address in New York.

Alex Caruso's father is at the River Heights Veterans Hospital. This is a fictional hospital made up for the episode.

After the deaths of Georgie and the three Fifth Columnists in New York, Erica says of the Visitors, "The next blood that spills is going to be theirs." But later in the episode she's proven wrong when Alex Caruso is killed.

The Visitors seem to spend a lot of time standing around in the corridors of the mothership. Don't they have quarters or recreation rooms? We see Lisa standing in the corridor watching a video of Tyler giving her a flower.

When Lisa takes and fails her empathy test, the Visitor writing on Josh's holoscreen at 10:30 in the episode reads, TEST FAILED. The horizontal string of characters to the left appear to be mostly made up of the extraneous characters of the V alphabet that signify long and short vowel sounds and sibilants, rolls, etc.
TEST FAILED Visitor alphabet and numerals

Father Jack sees a tattoo on the elder Caruso's arm that tells him he was a member of the 1st Ranger Battalion. The 1st Ranger Battalion is an elite special ops unit of the U.S. Army created during WWII, based on the British Commandos, and has existed in various forms ever since.

Anna takes advantage when a massive monsoon strikes the tiny island nation of Timbal. As far as I can tell, Timbal does not exist in the real world.

The song playing while Tyler and Lisa begin to make love is "Cosmic Love" (2009) by Florence + the Machine.

At 24:03 in the episode, why are there a bunch of flowers sitting on a table in the Visitor shuttle? (Although this may be a personal shuttle of Lisa's or Anna's since we see a couch-type piece of furniture as well.)
Lisa and Tyler

When they are about to make love, Tyler asks Lisa if she is okay with it and she answers "no". But she continues anyway. Is the "no" meant to suggest it's because the act is what her mother, Anna, wants?

In previous episode studies of V2000, I've speculated whether the V's prefer to use knives as personal weapons because they have an instinct for killing with their own claws. In this episode, Ryan says that their guns would draw attention and cause people to start asking questions. So, their assassins use knives (at least here on Earth). Still, what's to stop them from using Earth guns?

Erica receives word that Fifth Column members have recently been murdered in London, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Sydney.

Alex reveals that his Fifth Column cell hid information in photo files online, using a website called PhotoPhyles. This is a fictional site. The photos that contain information are all encoded in ones that contain the number five; five fingers, five dogs, etc. The five must stand for Fifth Column.

At 33:41 in the episode, the sniper has taken position at the amusement park ride called Hellevator. Hellevator is a ride at the Playland amusement park in Vancouver, Canada where the series was shot.

At 37:36 in the episode the words painted on a piece of debris on the background image of survivors in Timbal says, "ANNA LIGHT OF THE WORLD".

Anna explains to Chad that if the tragic hurricane in Timbal had not struck then she would have been able to use "Myanmar, Darfur, Sri Lanka." Myanmar (Burma) is known for its repressive and abusive military regime; Darfur is known for the extreme humanitarian crisis created by the armed conflict among many different militias in the region; and the government of Sri Lanka is suspected of human rights violations by the United Nations.

Notice that the "vitamin" shot Valerie receives at 40:22 in the episode is actually a dose of solution R6.
A dose of R6

There is V writing on the medical holoscreen at 40:39 in the episode during Valerie's medical examination. The horizontal letters are partially obscured by the edge of the televised image but seem to be: LNEL GHM. Doesn't seem to mean anything. The vertical letters to the left spell HUMAN.
Valerie's baby
Memorable Dialog

the Fifth Column.wav
swift and exacting punishment.wav
closer and closer.wav
baby lizard.wav
this is a war.wav
the next blood that spills.wav
trust nobody.wav
why does she need that clout.wav
you're not just visitors.wav
we can turn it off.wav
we can't win.wav

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