Last night’s episode of “V” continued the theme of human identity and human emotion, with a more directly religious angle. The first hint of this aspect is when we see Ryan, a visitor in human skin, looking thoughtfully at the crucifix on the wall in Father Jack’s church. Soon after we get to watch parallel discussions between Jack and Ryan, and Anna and her mother (played by Jane Badler, the actress who played Diana in the original TV series “V”), about the soul.
The soul is not treated as a “spiritual substance” but as those intangible yet real aspects of human existence that are so distinctive and powerful – appreciation of beauty in music, sorrow at loss of a loved one, anger at those who harm those we love.
As Ryan seeks to explore his soul and pray with Jack, he also finds himself open to Anna’s offer of bliss and comfort. And so he stops trying to pray, and when Jack says that the soul is a blessing, Ryan responds by saying that it is also a curse.
I think the show is really on to something here. These essential components of human existence are the things that make life living. They also make us vulnerable to pain and manipulation. Vulnerability – is that the essence of the soul?
Whether the idea that this aspect of humanity is found in our skin will work even on a symbolic level remains to be seen. But if nothing else, seeing Diana again and watching a visitor eating a rat certainly brings nostalgia to the human soul that grew up on 80s television.