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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: The Deception V
"The Deception"
TV episode
Written by Garner Simmons
Directed by Victor Lobl
Original air date: November 9, 1984

Diana uses Donovan’s son against him while trying to coerce Elizabeth’s whereabouts from him.

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

Notes from the V chronology

   As mentioned in the notes of "Breakout", that episode does not entirely fit well into the V continuity. In fact, this episode is seemingly written to ignore the events of "Breakout". The most glaring problem when trying to include "Breakout" in continuity is that the resistance members are first introduced to Nathan Bates' son Kyle there, but then are introduced to him again here as if for the first time! A second continuity problem is that in "Breakout", Donovan informs Robin at 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 here and in later episodes!
   On the other hand, "Breakout" 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 son's presence with the Visitors here. So, for continuity freaks (like me), it is suggested to pretend Robin never appeared in "Breakout" and this is her first appearance since the end of "Dreadnought" (notice also that at the beginning of this episode, Robin is wearing the same shirt she was wearing at the end of "Dreadnought") and to imagine some change of dialog in this episode depicting Donovan and Tyler saying "You again?!" instead of "Who are you?" when Kyle shows up at the Club Creole.

Didja Notice?

Robin says that her father's ranch is right outside Mt. Wilson, which is in the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California.

For some reason Kyle just happens to have a second helmet strapped to the back of his motorcycle, so he is able to provide Robin a safe ride when he meets her on that lonely stretch of road. At 3:48 on the DVD, the helmet can be seen as an Arai brand helmet.

The scene of a jet fighter plummeting from the sky at 4:36 on the DVD is obviously from stock footage judging by the graininess of the image.

At 5:44 on the DVD, we see that Kyle's motorcycle is a Yamaha IT series. IT stood for "International Trial" and models in this series were made from 1977-1983. They are motocross designed for offroad use only and could not be ridden on U.S. streets legally. Yet, we see him riding it in L.A. later in this episode! Perhaps some road laws a more lax in L.A. under Bates' open-city agreement with the Visitors.

Just before he dies, the fighter pilot tells Kyle to take a pouch to the Fireman at Club Creole on Main Street. In "Dreadnought", Tyler says that the Club Creole is on 4th Street. And who is the Fireman? We never find out. Is it a code name for Tyler?

When the motorcycle-mounted Visitors start chasing Kyle, there are four of them. At 6:25 on the DVD, we see one of them skid down the hillside and fall over. It doesn't look like a serious fall and it even looks like he starts to get up and back on his bike again, but we see only three Visitors for the remainder of the chase.

Starting with this episode, Lydia is wearing a slightly modified version of the uniform we've seen up until now. Notice that the '80s-style puffy shoulder decorations are gone, replaced by a flat, gold flair.
Lydia's old uniform Lydia's new uniform
Old design New design

Lydia mentions that they are monitoring all transmissions between the resistance in L.A. and the World Liberation Front in New York.

Sean Donovan is inexplicably several years older here than he has been depicted in the mini-series and novels. Previously he appeared to be in the 10-12 years range, now he appears about 15 (and played by a different actor, Nick Katt).

Diana mentions they are using a drug called procorb to keep Sean in line as one of their Visitor youth. Has this drug always been used in conjunction with the conversion process? Regardless, perhaps this explains how Sean was seemingly mostly deconverted during the events of the novel The Pursuit of Diana, but is able to be used by the Visitors in the course of the weekly series; it may be that continuous dosages of procorb can bring a deconverted person's submerged conversion programming back to the surface.

At 8:39 on the DVD, as Kyle and Robin pull into Kyle's driveway on the motorcycle, a man can be seen standing to the left of frame!
Kyle and Robin

When they arrive at Kyle's house, Robin impetuously gives him a quick kiss on the lips in thanks for saving her. This is an early indication of her attraction to him, which will factor into future stories.

Apparently Kyle doesn't lock the door to his house because he drops Robin off there in the driveway and then heads off (to Club Creole) without going in first!

While going over the bills for his restaurant, Elias shakes his head, commenting, "I don't believe it. The eggs cost more than the soufflé." This may be a reference back to a scene from the original mini-series (specifically the episode "Visitors, Victims and Victory") in which Elias is sorting eggs in his garage, commenting that with the food rationing he can make more money selling eggs on the black market than he can selling weed. Note also that, since soufflés are made from eggs, if the eggs are costing him more than he's selling the Club Creole's soufflés for, he's losing money on the deal!

At 10:49 on the DVD, Willie's bag of groceries contains a bag of Doritos tortilla chips sticking out the top of the bag.

The symbol on the front of the pouch delivered by Kyle is the seal of the World Liberation Front.
Seal of the World Liberation Front

Diana thanks Bates for giving back to the Visitors their embassy. Actually the building they have been given back is the one that was their former Security Headquarters for Los Angeles as seen in the mini-series. Apparently it is now acting as the Visitor embassy in Los Angeles.

When Diana brings up the possibility that Kyle may be aiding the resistance, Bates says, "I've told you before that I can not be held responsible for my son's actions." He must be referring to the previous conversation he had with her about Kyle in "Breakout", which gives us an indication that that episode is at least partially canon.

Diana mentions an animal on the homeworld called a bracall, a creature so mesmerized by fire that the fire eventually consumes it.

At 13:00 on the DVD, the digital vector map on Bates' wall has changed from what was seen in "Dreadnought". Instead of depicting the L.A. area coastline, it now looks like it may be a map of the L.A. freeway system from the Burbank/La Cañada-Flintridge area in the north to approximately Garden Grove in the south (obviously there have been more stretches of freeway added since V was filmed).
Bates' freeway system map Google maps L.A. freeways

The message from the WLF about transferring Elizabeth from L.A. to the safety of Visitor-free New York designates China Flats as the pick-up point. China Flats is a flat, oak-studded portion of Simi Peak in Ventura county, just north of L.A.

Willie frequently mangles his English words and phrases, but at 15:00 on the DVD is the first time he's made two mistakes in as many consecutive sentences. Kyle sees him eating fruit and says he thought the Visitors only ate live meat. Willie responds, "Right is correct. But I am a veterinarian."

Donovan must like Mustangs. In the first mini-series he is seen driving a 70's model Mustang convertible and here, at 18:06 on the DVD, we see him driving a red, 80's model Mustang convertible.

We get our first and only look at Donovan's house in this episode. In the novelization of the mini-series it is said that he did not have a real home due to his constant travelling as a television journalist; he was always living out of hotels or temporary apartments. I suppose that after the initial defeat of the Visitors at the end of V: The Final Battle, he decided to make a more permanent home in L.A. to be near Julie and to care for his recuperating son; we do see in "Liberation Day" that he has a job with a local TV station which would keep him mostly in the L.A. area.

As Sean enters Donovan's room at 18:41 on the DVD, the boom mike appears briefly in the reflection in the mirror.

Even though the bedroom that Donovan is seen in is a simulation at the Visitor embassy, it is made to look like Donovan's own bedroom at his house, so must be an accurate representation of how it looks. At 18:54 on the DVD, a picture on Donovan's bedroom wall appears to be a framed chart of different species of fish. Another painting of a fish is visible above "Julie's" (actually Diana's) shoulder at 18:58. Is Donovan a fishing geek when he's not acting as a leader of a guerrilla war? There is also a strange looking object sitting on a looks like a model Hobbit house or something! fish picture   fish picture   Model Hobbit house?

During Donovan's captivity in which he is told it is one year later with the Visitors defeated, he is also told the defeat was due to Elizabeth aiding the WLF in designing and building a weapon called the neutron oscillator. Performing a web search on it, I was surprised to find there really are such things as neutron oscillators, but they would seem to be merely devices for taking certain scientific measurements.

As part of the deception, Diana-as-Julie tells Donovan that Ham Tyler is getting married tomorrow. Incredulously, Donovan asks, "Wedding? Tyler? Who'd marry him?" Ironically, we learn later learn in "Reflections in Terror" that Tyler was once married to a Vietnamese woman.

During "the deception" Julie/Diana tells Sean to call Dr. Harmon in regards to Donovan's alleged spell of amnesia. Is Dr. Harmon the name of Donovan's regular doctor or just made up as part of the deception script by Diana?

Diana tells Lydia that Donovan's deception is carried out via holographic projectors plus 200 CC's of contramine. Contramine is actually a real drug...used to treat Herpes!

Julie hands Elizabeth an envelope which she says contains a fake birth certificate and driver's license under her traveling name of Elizabeth Dunne. Is it wise to give her a driver's license as opposed to just a plain state ID card? I doubt Elizabeth knows how to drive yet!

At 24:06 on the DVD, Tyler is working on what appears to be a 1970 Ford Econoline van in the alley next to Club Creole.

For the transport of Elisabeth to the helicopter pick-up site, Tyler tells Julie they'll need to make at least two changes, one in Griffith Park and one in the Hollywood Hills and Julie remarks that means they'll have to get past a checkpoint that's set up in Cahuenga Pass. Griffith Park is the largest park in Los Angeles and is to the city what Central Park is to New York. But Griffith is basically in the Hollywood Hills, so it seems odd that Tyler would say they need to make a change in both. The Cahuenga Pass is a pass through the Santa Monica Mountains connecting Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley.

When Kyle pays a return trip to Club Creole to offer his help, Tyler asks him if he can "find up a couple more like that", referring to the dirt bike he's riding, and meet him tomorrow at the Mulholland Cutoff. Kyle says "you're on." But he shows up with only two total dirt bikes (which seems to fit the bill). But doesn't "a couple more" mean "in addition to" the one he was riding, so it should have been three? I'm not sure what Tyler means by "Mullholland cutoff", but it is probably meant to be part of Mullholland Drive in the Santa Monica Mountains and Hollywood Hills.

At 26:21 on the DVD, as Tyler drives away in the van, the reflection of a couple members of the production crew can be seen in the side of the van.
production crew's reflection

At one point in the deception, Diana brings in a tray full of live rodents that are cast as pastries in the holograph room and tries to get Donovan to eat one! That seems to be stretching the premise a bit thin; that even drugged and seeing illusions, Donovan wouldn't notice the "pastries" moving around on the tray and squirming in his fingers! Of course, he does say, "Maybe later," so perhaps he subconsciously did know that something was wrong with them!

I like Lydia's reaction of "Disgusting!" while observing Diana kissing Donovan.

At 29:08 on the DVD, some books are seen on a shelf in the bedroom at Donovan's real house. Book titles seen are: Stanley: The Don Juan of Second Avenue (1974) by Rick Allmen (a book about a young boy's sexual fantasies!); Europe: The Grand Tour (1967) by by Lawrence and Sylvia Martin; Doorways to Discovery (1960), a childrens basic reader book

At 30:44 on the DVD, Donovan sets down what appears to be the crust of some toast he's been eating. Was it really toast or..?

The cop at the checkpoint who stops Tyler is identified by his nametag as Officer Hernandez.

At 32:46 on the DVD, Tyler's checkpoint pass has Visitors characters on it. V writing

Nathan Bates' chauffer-driven sedan has the Science Frontiers symbol on the rear doors and a license plate of Bates 1.

During his conversation with his father on the driveway, Kyle says, "Nice tie. Kind of matches Diana's eyes." The tie is the Visitors' real eyes.

Kyle's truck appears to be a Chevy model. It has CA license plate 2J01630.

As in "Dreadnought", we again see the obvious magnetic sticker on the LAPD cruiser with the slogan "to protect and to serve."
magnetic slogan

What is that to Sean's right in Diana's office at 37:16 on the DVD? A copier? Sure looks like one! I guess Diana runs a Kinko's on the side.
Diana's copier

When Donovan opens the (fake) newspaper the Visitors have given him at 38:24 on the DVD, we see that it is the Los Angeles Tribune. 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.

Once he realizes he's been had, Donovan sure does come out of his drug-induced weariness quickly, swinging a chair against the wall and beating up a couple of Visitors.

At 39:59 on the DVD, Kyle's truck is seen to have Uniroyal tires.

The road Kyle and Tyler take off on with the ladies on the motorcycles looks like a different stretch of the same road Kyle picked up Robin on at the beginning of the episode!

The Visitor limousine Donovan steals from the legation is a Cadillac with CA license plate 252 MWM.

I've been unable to identify the helicopter model that is meant to take Elizabeth to New York.
Elizabeth's helicopter

At 43:32 on the DVD, it looks as if the Visitors may be riding Honda CR motocross cycles.

As he makes good his escape from his Visitor pursuers, Kyle pops a wheelie on his motorcycle as he zooms in to the distance at 44:54 on the DVD.

After escaping from Diana at the China Flats rendezvous, Kyle is forced to leave one of his dirt bikes behind there. Did he lose it completely or did he return for it later? If the Visitors took possession of it, I'd think they could have it's license or VIN number traced to see that it belonged to him and get him in real hot water with his father's government!

Notice that in the speakeasy of the Club Creole where the resistance members meet, there are a bunch of maps of the L.A. area on the walls, much like Nathan Bates' vector maps in his office at Science Frontiers!

Notice also in the last scene that as glasses of champagne are passed around to all the resistance members, Elizabeth does not get one. Maybe because she's technically less than 2 years old?

At the beginning of most of the episodes of the "open city" phase of V, Howard K. Smith presents his reports from the Freedom Network. During the closing credits of these episodes, he gets a special appearance credit. On the series DVD set, he gets a credit for this episode even though he did not appear and does not get a credit during "Breakout" where he does appear! I believe that during the original run of the series on NBC in 1984, this episode had the Freedom Network report that now appears on "Breakout". This may be further evidence that this episode was filmed as sort of a replacement for "Breakout" during the original run, but "Breakout" is restored here in the set for completion's sake.

Memorable Dialog

strangler at the door.wav
what's he to you.wav
I'm a veterinarian.wav
I won't even recommend the food.wav
Ham Tyler's wedding.wav
fun is all in the knowing how.wav
fight for peace.wav
human love.wav
goodbye, Willie.wav
chow down on the rest of the planet.wav
two-faced woman.wav
my tastes don't run to reptile.wav

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