Although “Cold, Cold Ground” was a major step back (or three) for V-Wars, the sixth installment of the series valiantly pushes the series in a positive direction, regaining some of the momentum lost by its immediate predecessor.
A big question raised after “Cold, Cold Ground” was the idea that despite the Bloods seemingly unifying under the aegis of Michael Fayne, would belligerent factions exist that would shun his vision of unity. This is answered when a group of vampires massacres a crowd during a funeral, in direct conflict to Blood Nation’s tenant not to kill children. Mike pays them a visit and when the leader of the upstarts arrogantly dismisses Mike’s request of abiding by the Blood Nation rules, he tasks Ava and others to slaughter the entire brood. In an attempt to gain a measure of trust from humanity, he records it as proof to the human population that Blood Nation will police its own outlaws.
I’m not sure if that proclamation eases humanity, considering that there’s still a large portion of people that will be fair game to end up on a Blood’s buffet. Everything about Mike’s journey to strengthen his people is an attention-grabber, a much-needed salve for a series that has struggled to maintain multiple perspectives of interest. There is a chance that the inclusion of Danika and the melodrama that it may induce (Ava is visibly jealous of Dani’s arrival and the attention Mike gives the newcomer) could lessen the strength of this arc, but as it stands, it remains V-Wars’ biggest bright spot.
Luther’s story, on the other hand, continues its downward trend. Niklos and his machinations have been much too stagnant these last few episodes while General May continues to widen his lead as the worst character of the series. The lone positive is his character’s discussion with a senator about the potential epidemic. This is the first real attempt to examine the ramifications this type of sweeping infection would have on the general population and the subsequent government response. Unfortunately, it’s a single conversation and another example of abbreviated plot points in need of expansion.
As predicted, Dez’s illness was due to his exposure to the prion and it’s only a matter of time before he transforms. Knowing what the news spells for his son, Luther has Theresa take Dez to a former colleague of his, a Dr. Paul Permucci (Raoul Bhaneja, Titans, Miss Sloane). Putting aside the incredulous nature of Dez and Theresa escaping the compound, business does pick up when Dr. Paul, already transformed by the prion, attacks Dez and Theresa. She distracts him long enough for Dez to escape but she’s not as lucky.
As with Director O’Hagan’s untimely demise, Theresa is written out of the series just as she was becoming an effective asset to the story. This all happens unbeknownst to Luther who, in a bit of desperation, allies himself with Niklos who successfully convinces Luther he’s fighting the good fight and that there’s a better way to deal with things than the General’s idea of mass internment. Luther’s trust may prove costly. After Niklos drops him off on a country road, the doctor sends an assassin to remove Luther from the board because now that they know the gene responsible for a person turning, Luther’s services are no longer required.
Had “It’s Not Enough to Have Lived” continued down the same road as “Cold, Cold Ground”, it would have firebombed the positive ticks V-Wars made early on. Instead, it was a culling of sorts, trimming the fat by lessening the impact of certain storylines (the MC is pointless in light of Bobby’s death, Niklos puts the General in his place, Jergen is killed after Kaylee tries blackmailing Niklos) while adding some much-needed conflict to our main cast (Luther must deal with Dez’s eventual turning, Mike’s falling into his role as Blood Nation’s figurehead). It’s far from perfect and there are still too many holes in the narrative — some of which are still glaring — but it does help recover at least some of the lost momentum; a major step, considering where the series seemed destined to fall.