Finally The Event has ended. It went, running full speed into a wall, gurgling, screaming “whoo!”. It smashed through and around my house for what seemed like forever, caring not for subtlety or small details. It just banged its head on my walls, slabbering as it went, juiced up on torture and threats of violence. And yet, three weeks from now, I will have forgotten all about it.
The Event finale was consistent with the rest of the season, it that it presented remarkable things in an unremarkable way. The only good, fun bit of the finale was the reveal that the First Lady is an alien. A scene that only felt like a twist because I’d forgotten about the discussion of her origin some 400 episodes ago. The finale dealt with a number of things that would’ve been fun in someone else’s capable hands. A ray (made with science) beaming an entire planet’s population down to (near) Earth. The release of a deadly virus across America*. Shootouts with aliens. Yet my heart sped no quicker. The action scenes were handled in such a formulaic way, and the characters involved so dull, that all the potential tension was gone before the ink on the script dried. Oh noes, Sophia is going to release a deadly virus in an airport. Bothered. No, Simon got shot! Oh look, he’s got Kevlar on. Caring.
*Sophia referred to how the Spanish flu was killing people too quickly, not giving it time to spread. How did it kill millions of people originally then, in a time when transport was slower are cities were less populated? I didn’t hear them mention any mutation. I don’t need scientific accuracy in my shows, but this was something else ignored because the writers don’t care about the small points. All The Event cared about was getting from A to B. Forget the details, ignore the plot holes, no need for any nuance of character. We’ve got a good concept and we’re going to concentrate on getting this story told, we’ve no time for crafting a coherent, believable world. So The Event stands up and starts to run around.
Sophia’s virus-unleashing scene, much like Leila’s sweaty-dying scene, could’ve been quite involving. But both suffered from the same problem. Sophia/Leila launch into some emotional monologue. Then we cut to what’s staring back at them:
Sean’s bland face. He’s the most forgettable action hero in recent memory. Okay he was a hacker, a geek forced into this world. But at least find someone with charisma or charm if he’s not going to have an action presence. I liked that The Event was bold enough to have an IT guy survive attacks and take down trained assassins, and only later reveal that he’s more than just a hacker. The delay in revealing that he’s a sentinel is commendable. What isn’t is failing to cast someone with a commanding presence. Neither Leila nor Sean were engaging. I sighed any time the show cut to a scene with them, and I could hear the other 150 viewers in Britain do the same.
The ending was anti-climactic, raised more questions than it answered, and now feels a bit like V. So the aliens are really close now. But they’re still on their planet. They can’t jump off onto Earth. Sophia said that they would eliminate humans in a less-humane way than the agonising flu-death way. So what would that be? Also, Sophia’s comments were right out of the blue. Given how much alien conversation we saw during the planning of the flu release, I thought that this contingency would have at least been hinted at.
[Lost comparison warning]
Lost may have dragged out on giving us answers, but at least they dropped hints first. There was no comment of the event (note lower case) until Simon explained it to Sean, outside of a brief mention in the first episode or two. Ignoring the Dempsey side-plot, there was no mention
of it, of the aliens being on Earth first, rebirth, until Simon saw the scroll. The Lost writers would’ve teased the hell out of us with it. I believe that details of what the event would be were understood at the beginning of the show. So why not give us some little tit-bit to chew on ages ago, instead of one quick mention of it, and then practically nothing? We were starving for nourishment throughout the season’s run, we couldv’e done with the intellectual…snack (metaphor ruined).
There seems to be the slight chance that The Event could run for further seasons on other networks, including Netflix (?). So, speculating on what happens next could be more than just urinating on the breeze, so to speak. Now what do the new visitors do? Their planet is safe from their failing sun, but they’re coming to Earth anyway. Their planet looked in the midst of a lava-frenzy, so presumably they’ll be wanting off soon. Do they get teleported down? How does that work? Do they assemble 2.5 billion people into smaller groups and beam them down? Can they fly down? What is the inhumane way that humans will die? Dying from earthquakes right now doesn’t seem like the cheeriest way to go. Does the alien planet’s arrival affect our gravity? Its own? Does it affect our sunlight?
There’ll be some character questions for season two. What powers exactly does a sentinel have? Will it be Sean’s job to vanquish billions of aliens? Will he do so with a sword-shaped computer? Will we even care? Will there be a place for Vicky? Her wrap-up with Sean was disappointing. Will she come back, insanely jealous, and kick Leila’s baby? And what of Jarvis? Sterling will be reinstated, but will Simon, as Martinez knows he’s an alien? Why has everyone forgotten about Leila’s sister?
Sean was bland, Leila unconvincing, Michael over-acted, Martinez was badly-written for most of the show, Simon was cheesy, Peel was an afterthought, Sophia was fine until she became Dr Evil, Dempsey was frustratingly brief. Sterling might’ve been the best character, though he mostly just whispered and tried to look concerned.
Consider everything that happened in The Event. Go on. That’s a lot of stuff, right? A lot of cool sounding ideas; aliens, shootouts, teleportation, White House backstabbing, sleeper cells, earthquakes, more torture and interrogation than any show should need. And what are the enduring images of the show? The planet appearing in the finale. And that’s all. For all its faults, the one thing The Event could have, should have managed, is some great action scenes and awesome imagery. And that’s all we’re left with.
Sadly, further thoughts on The Event to come.