For the Adherent of Pop Culture
Adventures of Jack Burton ] Battlestar Galactica ] Buckaroo Banzai ] Cliffhangers! ] Earth 2 ] The Expendables ] Firefly/Serenity ] The Fly ] Galaxy Quest ] Indiana Jones ] Jurassic Park ] Land of the Lost ] Lost in Space ] The Matrix ] The Mummy/The Scorpion King ] The Prisoner ] Sapphire & Steel ] Snake Plissken Chronicles ] Star Trek ] Terminator ] The Thing ] Total Recall ] Tron ] Twin Peaks ] UFO ] V the series ] Valley of the Dinosaurs ] Waterworld ] PopApostle Home ] Links ] Privacy ]

Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
V: Betrayal and Reward "Betrayal and Reward"
V (the mini-series, part 2, hour 1)
0:00-48:16 on Side 2 of the DVD
Written and Directed by Kenneth Johnson

Loyalties are tested as a resistance to the Visitors takes form.

(This episode begins with Donovan driving into the battle-scarred town where is son and ex-wife live and ends with Diana observing Brian and Robin's liaison.)

Read the story summary of the mini-series at the V Wiki

Didja Know?

I slightly modified chapter title 6 on the DVD, "Betrayals and Rewards" as the title for this hour. Daniel's betrayal of his family to the Visitors plays a prominent part in the episode as well the revelation of a fifth column resistance among the Visitors. And some smaller betrayals as well. And, of course, the rewards for these betrayals must be weighed on the conscience of the betrayers; did they do it for altruistic reasons or self-serving ones?

Didja Notice?

When Donovan finds young Josh on the blasted out streets of his home town (the novelization reveals the town to be San Pedro), the boy tells the story of Visitor shock troops decimating the town after the death of the Visitor's area supervisor. He comments that one of the shock troops lifts his black visor to reveal his alien eyes. This may suggest, as I speculated earlier in the notes on "Visitors, Victims, and Victory", that the aliens see better without the humanoid contact lenses in place and that, at times, the soldiers are allowed to go without during battle. (Donovan is still driving the same car that the novelization says is a rental. But, also according to the novel, a couple of weeks have now passed with Donovan a fugitive, wanted by the Visitors. So how has he managed to keep his rental car? Even if he kept it, it would be risky to keep driving it around.)

During his conversation with Josh, in which the boy describes how he survived the Visitor onslaught, Donovan quotes, "I only have escaped alone to tell thee." This is from the Book of Job in the Bible.

Donovan tells Josh that the Visitor key is going to get him into "the belly of the whale". This is a reference to Jonah being swallowed by a whale in the Biblical Book of Jonah.

At 6:39 on the DVD, as Daniel is pouring champagne, you can see the reflection of the boom mike pole in the glass of the picture frame behind him.

At 7:00 on the DVD, Stanley Bernstein is reading the Daily News at the breakfast table. This is a fictitious newspaper also seen in "Arrival".

The hearse seen at Ben's funeral is a 1964 Cadillac Funeral Coach.

Ben's funeral service takes place at St. Joseph's Church on the corner of Los Angeles and 12th Streets. This is a real church, though the one seen here burned down shortly after filming and a new St. Joseph's built in its place.

At 10:07 on the DVD, Abraham says "Shalom" to the Visitors who break in on him. Shalom means peace in Hebrew.

Sancho's pick-up truck is seen to be a 1964 Ford F-100 Styleside with CA license plate P78576 at 10:11 on the DVD.

As Sancho smuggles the Maxwell family out of the city in his pickup, little Katie Maxwell starts crying and Sancho gives Robert a bag of candy to help keep her quiet. Impressed, Robert says, "You come prepared," to which Sancho replies, "I have some experience at this!" Obviously this is a reference to the problem of Mexicans who are legally in the United States also smuggling in family members and friends who do not have documentation to enter the country legally.

The cop who allows Sancho to pass through the checkpoint despite having heard the whimperings of little Katie from the back of the pickup is the same cop who was dismayed at his partner's eagerness to embrace the Visitors' orders in the previous episode when a fleeing human was shot and injured and taken into custody in front of the Maxwells.

After helping Julie and the Resistance find a headquarters in the L.A. area, Elias goes off to talk to the Angels, the local gang that controls the turf of the area. He thinks he can get them to help, saying he is the Henry Kissinger of East L.A. Former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was well-known at the time for his pragmatic foreign policy influence between the U.S. and other nations. The Angels appears to be a fictitious street gang.

After Daniel Bernstein turns in the Maxwell family (who were living in the Bernsteins' pool house) and the Visitor troops find they are no longer there, they take Daniel's family into custody instead. Missing them, Daniel checks with his Visitor Youth superiors and is assured by Brian that they will be released soon. But he is told that his grandfather (Abraham) is not well and is with Visitor doctors who hope to have him feeling better soon. However, we do not see Abraham again.

The cop at the roadblock who stops Sancho on his way back from "El Tepeyac" has the name badge "B. Briggs". He points a Smith & Wesson Model 19 pistol at Sancho's truck as it approaches.

Vitello's Italian Restaurant is seen at 15:54 on the DVD. This is a real restaurant on Tujunga Blvd. in Studio City. It later became known as the place where actor Robert Blake and his wife Bonnie Lee dined the night she was murdered, with Blake arrested, though later acquitted, for the crime.

Tony's wife is named Fran and Donovan leaves young Josh with her. She takes him to the mountain resistance camp.

At 25:10 on the DVD, Robin helps a resistance member stack a flat of canned Hormel Chili.

Daniel gets a promotion to Brian's second-in-command and gets a special ring said to be from Diana herself. He can be seen wearing it for the rest of this mini-series (though he's not wearing it during V: The Final Battle).

Before making their attempt to sneak aboard a Visitor transport, Donovan shows Tony how to use the Visitor rifle he has, pointing out how to set the laser's intensity, how to prime it and that he thinks it is rechargeable. Tony quips, "Clever, those Japanese." Japan is still known for inventive technology, but particularly so in the 1980s when V was filmed.

At 29:06 on the DVD, there is some Visitor writing on the door panel. V writing

At 29:11 on the DVD, as Martin is leading the captured Donovan into the corridor, they hear the sounds of a man's screams behind them. Presumably these are the screams of Stanley Bernstein (seen briefly in the previous scene) as Diana begins her interrogation of him. Seconds later, they see Donovan's old flame Kristine Walsh (now the Visitors' press secretary) chatting with some crewmembers; you'd think that the Visitors would be careful to keep Kristine well away from areas where torture was occurring. It seems like she could well have heard the screams also.

At 30:32 on the DVD, there is some Visitor writing on the outer door panel of Donovan's cell. V writing
As Donovan makes his way across the hangar deck to escape, there are a couple examples of Visitor symbols on walls and pillars. V writing V writing

At 34:15 on the DVD, the clear edges of the decal of the Visitor symbol are just barely visible on the front of the shuttle.
V symbol

At 34:34 on the DVD, Donovan hijacks a Ford LN-Series truck from J.T. McKinney Truck Rentals. This appears to have been a real company in Pico Rivera, near L.A.

At 35:05 on the DVD, an awning of the Hotel Rosslyn can be seen along the sidewalk behind the gang members. This is a real historic hotel on 5th Street in L.A., now housing apartments. It is seen again in "Unity".

In the scene 35:07-35:19 on the DVD, one of the extras playing an Angels gang member keeps looking at the camera!

At 35:42 on the DVD, some of the boxes from the Stamos Pharmaceuticals heist in "Visitors, Victims, and Victory" are seen stacked at the Resistance base.

Brad brandishes a Remington 870 shotgun when Donovan is brought into the Resistance base under the mistaken belief he is a Visitor.

At 36:22 on the DVD, we see that the makeshift medical room that the Resistance has set up has been labeled with a crudely painted sign that says M.A.S.H. This stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, a term used by the U.S. Army for it's mobile medical units in theaters of war. In this case, it may be intended as more of a joke by the resistance members in recognition of the popular TV series called M*A*S*H which ran from 1972-1983 about the dedicated, but zany, doctors of just such an army medical unit during the Korean War.

As she treats Donovan's minor head injury, she tells him she is "more-or-less" a doctor. Julie was an advanced medical student when the Visitors arrived on Earth in "Arrival".

Julie remarks that it was "three nights ago" that Donovan met with Kristine Walsh (as she witnessed in "Visitors, Victims, and Victory").

At 47:29 on the DVD there is some Visitor writing on the inner door panel of Robin's cell. V writing

When Brian is kissing Robin, wouldn't she notice that his tongue and other parts of his mouth are not like a human's? In later episodes she denies believing that the Visitors are reptilian.

Notes From the Audio Commentary by Kenneth Johnson

The town that Sean Donovan and his mother lived in and which was wiped out by the Visitors was shot in Monrovia, CA. (According to the novelization the town was San Pedro.)

The miniatures were built by Greg Jean, who also built the original U.S.S. Enterprise model for Star Trek.

The El Tepeyac restaurant mentioned by Sancho at the roadblock is a real Mexican restaurant in East L.A. Michael Swan, the actor playing the "bad cop" at the roadblock was particularly known for frequenting the place, so Johnson threw the name in as a joke to him.

V's on the walls of the Resistance headquarters were painted by Johnson himself.

For the scene where Fifth Columnist Barbara removes her uniform to give to Donovan, actress Jenny Neumann had to practice removing it quickly without her underwear peeling off in the process!

Johnson reveals that if the series had continued under his guidance, a relationship would have developed between Donovan and the Visitor, Barbara.

V novel Notes from the V mini-series novelization by A.C. Crispin

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published May 1984)

Pages 136-180 cover the events of "Betrayal and Reward"

On page 146, it is vaguely implied that the "good cop", Randy, who allowed Sancho to pass through the checkpoint while smuggling the Maxwell family out of the city may now be in some trouble for that. Upon Sancho's return trip through the checkpoint, and thanks to Eleanor's tip, the "bad cop", Bob, discovers the now empty hidden space in the bed of the pickup and chides Randy, "You sure missed it this time, Randy!"

On page 147, referring to the Visitors, Donovan says, "They must have some Achilles heel...some chink--" and Tony interrupts, "Watch it there, pal..." Tony (who is of Chinese descent) is making a joke about the fact that the word "chink" is also a derogatory word for a Chinese person.

On page 151, Donovan and Tony climb from the beach rocks up the Richland refinery seawall and knock out the Visitor guard, leaving him laying on the ground. A few minutes later an alarm goes out and they realize that the guard has been discovered. Donovan says, "We should have heaved him over the wall," and Tony responds, "somehow I'd hate to think we'd sunk to the level of cold-blooded murder. Even if they are a bunch of lizards under those pretty faces." But in the mini-series itself, they instead climb up a bridge over a waterway, knock out the guard and throw him over. Even in this situation, the guard would likely either be dead from drowning while unconscious or the water would revive him and he would let out the alarm.

The scene of Robert Maxwell and his daughter, Robin, arriving at the resistance headquarters is expanded in the book. When they first arrive at the door, they are asked for the password. It is "Jabba the Hutt eats Visitors." Jabba, of course, is the giant, slug-like crime lord seen in several of the Star Wars movies.

Page 178 reveals that Diana must have Brian in the laboratory in preparation for his "liaison" with Robin, now in custody. Page 179 also reveals that shortly after she was apprehended, Robin was made to spend some time in a lab with Diana as well and the young girl is not sure exactly what was done to her there. These two incidents suggest that Diana made alterations, perhaps on a genetic level, to both individuals in order to make them compatible as a breeding pair.

V: East Coast Crisis Notes from the novel V: East Coast Crisis by Howard Weinstein and A.C. Crispin

The events of V: East Coast Crisis take place concurrently with the two mini-series
V and V: The Final Battle and details the goings-on in the area around New York City.

(The page numbers come from the 1st printing, paperback edition, published September 1984)

Pages 155-203 take place concurrently with the events of "Betrayal and Reward"

Lisa is one of the Visitors who has not been told the full plan for Earth and on page 178 she reveals to Joey that despite her being a sociologist assigned to learn about human behavior, she (and other sociologists) are given less and less time to be with humans and being told such contact could be dangerous to their mission.

On page 182, Jennifer comments that the New York mothership is still far from meeting their quota of 5,000 humans in food-pod storage. Presumably all the motherships have the same quota.

Page 198 reveals that Jennifer has a medal for "Uncommon Courage and Unselfish Valor in Peaceful Alien Contact--Kisszizk Mission". She muses that the Kisszizk are extinct now. This also puts the lie to John's statement at the U.N. that humans are the first intelligent life they have encountered.

Memorable Dialog

that's a good one.wav
you sure don't look like an iguana.wav
they had a sale.wav
Kentucky Fried Horny Toad.wav

Back to Episode Studies