Elizabeth Mitchell (formerly of Lost) plays Erica, an FBI agent and single mother who is also secretly a member of the Fifth Column, the insurgent movement fighting the aliens. She is a completely rounded-out character, allowed to be the hero while still having
traditionally feminine characteristics. She is (a) kickass - taking out aliens and a skilled boxer (b) in a position of authority in her job, which she is great at (c) a mother who worries - incessantly - about her teenage son (d) still smarting from her divorce and (e) dead sexy. So basically, a complicated character with lots of motivations. Unlike some shows (ahem, Lost), where the ladies are only interested in men and babies.
Anna, played by Morena Baccarin, is the baddie for the series, and complicated in her own right.
She is the leader of the Visitors - in command of the entire species! Because she's an alien, I was a bit confused as to her female status, but since she's portrayed by a woman and is able to have alien children, I think she counts. Anna is extremely intelligent, driven, and authoritative. Anna also has a daughter, and seems to serve as a sort of mother / protector figure to her entire race. Additionally she is completely evil, but as an incredibly competent villain (in heels!) I think we can say she is a great example of gender equality. If you are planning an invasion of an alien planet, this is unequivocally the woman you want in charge.
Finally we have Lisa, Anna's daughter tasked with seducing Erica's son Tyler. Clearly this plot line is primarily intended to pit Erica and Anna directly against one another, but Lisa's portrayal is interesting unto itself. The V's differ from humans in that they don't experience emotion, but are at risk of developing feelings if they spend too much time in human company. Lisa, marked as a potential successor to her mother, finds herself in this awkward situation. While this storyline has only just begun to develop, and is nothing new (girl forced to choose between family and love!) I am interested to see how it plays out. It is refreshing to see a young woman pursuing romance without a boatload of insecurities (I'm looking at you, Grey's Anatomy), and the traditional hookup narrative is smoothly subverted in a recent episode.
As an action junkie, I am hooked on V, and LOVE that women are getting in on the actual action. I'd like to hear others' perspectives on V's feminist credentials - I know one Sady Doyle is not a fan. Do you agree that these characters are complicated and progressive, or are they reinforcing negative stereotypes about powerful women? Maybe a little bit of both?