The Event returned to British TV this week after a break that was definitely more than two weeks and less than nine months. And how was it? Significantly better than before. This is all relative of course, it wasn’t that good to begin with.
But this double bill had more promise than anything previously. We’re shown an enormous landing site being prepared by the aliens. This was the first scene to effectively convey the global scale of The Event’s story, as so far the show has felt local and narrow in scope.
Before the show’s break, the aliens had launched a satellite into space, which self-destructed seconds later. In it’s brief life-span, it sent a message which the US military had been frantically trying to decode since. Sure enough, they cracked it. And sure enough, it was what we expected, a message to bring more of their ‘people’ to earth. This was played as a surprise, but what else could it conceivably be? I couldn’t see the message being anything but:
- A request for more aliens to come to Earth
- A plea to be rescued
And if it was 2, then either the rescue attempt would have to fail, or the show would finish. And given all that Sophia and Thomas have said throughout the season, leaving never seemed like an option. So the reveal was an unsurprising surprise.
Sean and Leila’s adventure remains uninteresting, although her nose does look nice in HD. They found photos of Leila’s dad from years ago, looking the same as he does nowadays. Yet she still doesn’t believe that he’s an alien. I get that the writers want her to struggle with the notion, but it just frustrated me that she wouldn’t consider it.
Thomas and his chick go to Alaska, planning to raid the base where the aliens are held captive. His wench flirts with an off-duty Lieutenant. Then, while he is engorged, Thomas appears and sticks a gun in dude’s face. They tell the poor man that they’ve taken his family hostage, and he better let them all into the base.
I believe that this is the third time that a character’s family have been used as collateral. In, what, ten episodes? I hope this trend doesn’t continue, because it loses effect every time. The more we see it, the more powerful the group using it seem, the more we wonder why they don’t always use it. If memory serves, the aliens got access to the Vice-President’s family quite easily. So why not the President’s? He’s the one causing the most trouble. I hope that family kidnap doesn’t become the go-to plot mechanic of choice, like the hijacked transport in Alias. That also happened in The Event, but I can’t be bothered writing about it.
Hard-ass Sterling is visiting the base when Thomas and co appear. They capture everybody in the base except Sterling and one soldier, who manage to lock down the base, stopping the aliens leaving, but shutting themselves in also. And it’s right here where this episode had promise. Two good guys, locked in and hunted by enemies vastly greater in number and arms. This was a great set-up for some Newt (from Aliens) style stealth. I had visions of hiding in vents and tunnels, Sterling using guerrilla tactics to outwit and outfox the aliens, biding his time until he could escape. Sadly none of this happened, and they were captured minutes later. So, instead of having the aliens leave right away, we got a brief interlude so they could torture Sterling, then they were on their merry way.
Leila is reunited with her pops. She accepts that his ass is an alien ass. Meanwhile, Sean meets Sophia. There was zero drama to this. Sean doesn’t seem bothered about meeting a spacewoman at all. It’s boring, but at least it’s brief.
A new character is introduced. I don’t know her name. She’s a Senator, who took over her husband’s role when he died. Whoever he was, he had high-level security clearance, and had a file on the alien prison. So her ass ends up with the file, and her ass gets a meeting with the President. He lies his ass off about it. Which leads to a great example of the kind of unwieldy dialogue that The Event writers spurt out. To paraphrase:
“You ever play poker? Well I do. My father taught me it when I was growing up, so I’m, like, really good at reading tells and all that. And that man was bluffing”.
Just bad dialogue, so much so that it took me out of the show. Turned out I was on my couch.
Another low point centred around this broad. The President, understandably, has her office searched for documents. She speaks to the man in charge of the search and gives him a thoroughly stupid story. Her husband was having an affair, she claims, and has letters from the tart still in his desk. If only she could take them out before the rest of the papers are claimed, it would spare her family such embarrassment. And what does he do, this important security man? He goes and lets her into the office, making his staff leave, and even shutting the bloody doors behind her for some privacy. Of course out comes the secret base file, into the handbag it goes and she’s off. Just stupid writing, I nearly punched myself in the legs, such was the awfulness.
By far the most intriguing scene was the ending of the second episode. We see an old chap who’s name I don’t know. He was shown a while back, possibly to do with Leila’s little sister’s kidnap. His assistant tells him of Sean’s recent activities. The old man leans over a bizarre-looking unit. It’s covered with strange symbols and interconnecting lines. On these lines lay a number of blocks, like player pieces from a board game. The man is curious about Sean, making allusions to fate. While doing this he picks up a piece, as if it represents Sean, moving it onto a different line. He then mentions him and Sean crossing paths. And then it ends.
This scene played out like something from Lost. A character possibly changing the destiny of others, someone emerging from the sidelines to be incredibly important to the story. As far as I’ve seen, there was nothing in the show which hinted at this. The show has been aliens versus (cowboys) government, and sci-fi all the way. And then to throw something mystical in right at the end? I doubt that the writers will manage to make this into something entertaining and fun, in a show that takes itself too seriously. And I’m not convinced that this was planned from the beginning. But then I don’t really care either. If The Event goes from what it is right now into aliens changing the course of human destiny, I’m all for it. If that is what the event relates to (note lower case), then good on them. Let’s just hope that they do it well.