THE EVENT 1:11 & 1:12

The aliens begin an invasion and a civil war, as Sean leaves Leila behind. Meanwhile, a snoopy senator makes trouble for the President.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

THE EVENT 1:11 & 1:12

Episode Titles: "And Then There Were More" & "Inostranka"

Writers: Leyani Diaz & Vanessa Rojas (Teleplay by David H. Goodman)

David Schulner (Teleplay by: Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie)
 
Director: Jeffrey Reiner

Previously on "The Event":

Thomas (Clifton Collins Jr.) and his lover Isabel (Necar Zadegan) rebelled against his mother, Sophia (Laura Innes) and launched a satellite which sent a message to their alien brethren. President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood) and CIA Director Blake Sterling (Zeljko Ivanek) watched helplessly as the satellite was launched and they initially believed it was the first strike against their nation. Meanwhile, Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) and Leila Buchanan (Sarah Roemer) attempted to find her kidnapped sister, Samantha.

But what they found instead was evidence that Leila’s father, Michael Buchanan (Scott Patterson) was seemingly ageless and a member of the non-terrestrial humans. Which would make Leila and her sister half-aliens themselves.

Story:

The President and his men see the satellite explode, but they decode its message which indicates that an invasion is immanent: "Preparations are being made for your arrival." Blake immediately heads back to Inostranka to re-interrogate the prisoners about this new information. Simon (Ian Anthony Dale) goes to Sophia and makes a radical suggestion to find Thomas: break Michael Buchanan out of federal custody. Meanwhile, Sean and Leila struggle with the newfound info about her heritage, but they also learn that Samantha and the other kidnapped girls are being driven away only a few minutes ahead of them.

Simon leads a daring raid which springs Michael, who later apologizes to Sophia for having daughters. She tries to strong arm him into aiding her, but he refuses to help them unless they find his daughters. At the White House, the President takes a meeting with Senator Catherine Lewis (Virginia Madsen), who has accidentally uncovered evidence of the Inostranka facility and senses that the President is lying to her about it. Elsewhere, Sean and Leila find the van carrying Samantha and force it off the road. They make sure that the other girls are okay before running off with Samantha.

Sean’s FBI contact then calls him with a message from Michael, which Sean reluctantly accepts as real. In Washington, Lewis finds that her office is being raided for information about Inostranka by order of the President, but she smuggles out a file with a sob story. Elsewhere, Michael and Simon meet up with Sean and the girls before taking them to Sophia; who makes a point of thanking Sean for what he did. At Inostranka, Thomas begins executing a major assault to free his trapped brethren shortly before Blake’s arrival. 

Corporal Bell (Lee Thompson Young) escorts Blake to see Maya (Clea DuVall), who expresses shock that Thomas would instigate an invasion against their moral code. At the same time, Thomas’ men take the facility with inside help and free the other prisoners. Thomas tells them that Sophia left them to rot, but he will let them go if they agree to renounce her leadership and follow him. He also discovers that Blake is present and sends a team to kill him. In the ensuing shootout, Bell helps Blake survive with only one gunshot wound and Maya makes her escape.

Back in Washington, Lewis continues to make trouble for the President until he has to call her on live TV to make a deal with her. Elsewhere, Leila finally gets some straight answers from her father about who she is and where they came from. He also gives her an ultimatum. She can either come with them or stay with Sean. But not both. At Inostranka, Blake and Bell manage to lockdown the base and trap all of the aliens. They also learn that Thomas executed those who wouldn’t renounce Sophia. Although Maya wisely kept her mouth shut to spy on Thomas from within.

Thomas’ men eventually find and capture Blake and Bell and begin torturing Blake for the code to open the base. Blake doesn’t give him anything, but Bell breaks really easily and gives them the way out. On the transport plane, Maya frees Blake and tells him to run for it. Thomas shoots him as he gets away from the plane, prompting Maya to take a bullet to save Blake’s life at the cost of her own. Back at the safehouse, Michael and Leila spend one last night together before he leaves in the morning, for parts unknown.

And finally, Dempsey (Hal Holbrook) learns that Sean escaped and freed his test subject girls and he vows revenge on him in a very bizarrely written speech.

Breakdown:

After suffering through weeks of the worst superhero show of all time (which to be kind, we’ll call it "The Crap"), I want to greet "The Event" like its an old friend. And the first episode back was actually a large improvement for the series. For one of the few times since the pilot, it felt like things were actually happening. The second hour got a little sluggish. But the overall direction of the series is more promising.

I just had a brief conversation with my boss about the ending of the second episode and I wasn’t alone in getting the David Banner vibe as Sean walked away from the house. You could practically hear the "Lonely Man" piano theme from "Incredible Hulk." In fact, Sean’s very presence continues to be one of the main things that is holding this series back. Aside from rescuing Leila and Samantha, he has no reason to be involved in this storyline! Frankly, the way he left Leila seemed a little unbelievable after going through so much to get her back. I could accept it if they were writing him out of the series, but I know that’s not happening.

One more side note for Sean: has anyone noticed that they never explained how he went from fleeing the cruise ship to sneaking a gun onto a plane days later to stop Michael? There’s a major gap in the story that is very curiously unexplained. My theory is that Sean must have had some help to do that, but it has literally not come up at all for some reason. But I do appreciate that the flashback structure has basically disappeared from the show. It flows a lot better when it’s not jumping around in time.

Dempsey’s return also underscored a major issue with this show. Who the hell is this old man? He’s supposed to be one of the main villains, but he’s so undefined and rarely seen that even regular viewers of this series probably didn’t recognize him! As for Thomas and his oddly bird-like lady, their turn into rebel aliens is hard to buy after watching them be thoroughly emasculated by Sophia just three or four episodes ago!

I’ll say this though, the exposition between Michael and Leila was actually well done and more or less spelled out that their people are aliens instead of tap dancing around it with the "non-terrestrial humans" tag. Less clear is how exactly Michael could help them find Thomas, when it seemed like he was removed from Thomas’ followers already and forced to help Dempsey.

When Virgina Madsen came onscreen, I really thought that her character might bring something to the story. But her arc quickly became annoying and frankly, a large waste of time. Just as things began to get interesting, we kept cutting back to Senator Lewis and her new crusade against the President. Also, Chris Matthews’ appearance was totally gratuitous. But at least this show does make an attempt to create a convincing sense of media, unlike some other shows we know *cough*V*cough.*

The siege of Inostranka was compelling and Thomas may finally step up as a major villain. However, it seems that the show’s writers have forgotten that we already saw Thomas break down when the President threatened to kill all of the prisoners in exchange for the zombie virus cure. So his abrupt willingness to murder the ones who wouldn’t follow him came completely out of left field and seemed out of character. I was just beginning to enjoy Clea DuVall’s appearances as Maya when she was killed off, which seems like a waste. The only way that can be salvaged is if her death actually changes Blake’s mind about Sophia’s followers.
  
"The Event" is far from perfect, but I’m more optimistic about it now than I was before. If just a few more corrections can be made before the end of the season, this could turn into a consistently good show.

Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.