NBC’s The Event returned last night with a special-two hour episode. The hours had different titles, but it felt like they were always intended to run together. I was worried about forgetting how the series left things when it disappeared months ago, but it was pretty easy to catch up. That is a sure sign we do not have another Lost on our hands, unfortunately. While I do not have a lot to say about the show, (this will be a pretty short review for two full hours of television), as the story can easily be broken into a mere three plots, it was pretty good. Not great.
First, let’s talk about the weakest story. Leila (Sarah Roemer) and Sean (Jason Ritter) quickly discover that Leila’s father Michael (Scott Patterson) is an alien. Then they rescue Leila’s sister, Samantha (Anna Clark), with very little effort. Michael is with Sophia (Laura Innes), who doesn’t want to help him find hisdaughters. But Michael stands up to her, much to her chagrin, and before you know it, Michael is able to get a message to Sean, and they meet up.
It is all far too easy. Sean and Leila have almost no trouble finding both Samantha and Michael. While Sophia seems majorly perturbed that Michael stands up to her, he gets what he wants, and then she exhibits no ill-will about it. Even the major decision Leila has to make when choosing between Sean and Michael is easily solved by Sean walking away while she sleeps. And, really, who didn’t see that coming? This arc was predictable, and doesn’t seem very realistic if you spend much time thinking about it.
Far better is the standoff between Blake Sterling (the brilliant Zeljko Ivanek) and Thomas (Clifton Collins Jr.). Thomas takes over Inostranka prison in Alaska relatively easily, only to discover that Sterling is within the walls. While Thomas and his men have no problems dispatching the guards in the facility, Sterling proves quite the challenge, as one expect from a Ivanek character. As the two struggle for control within Inostranka, we are treated to a supreme battle of wills between two powerful leaders. From Blake changing the door codes to Thomas torturing poor Blake, some of the finest moments of the episode were between these two.
Special mention also goes to Maya (Clea DuVall), the shifty alien who kills her own husband to protect Sophia’s secrets, but balks at following Thomas. She goes along with him when he takes over Inostranka to bide time, but soon learns her friends who did not want to follow the new leader have been executed. Maya makes a (stupid) heroic sacrifice running for Blake after he is shot, only to be gunned down herself by Thomas, and die. It’s too bad, because she is pretty interesting, and I like the idea of Sophia having a mole within Thomas’s group. Instead, she exposes herself without any benefit to anyone. Blake survives, not owing to anything she does, and she breathes her last breath.
Also neat is the new Senator for Alaska, Catherine Lewis, played by the award winning actress Virginia Madsen. Lewis goes through her dead husband’s office and discovers secrets about Inostranka. She takes what she finds to President Martinez (Blair Underwood), who not only lies to her face, but has her office ransacked. Talk about underestimation. Martinez’s logic may be solid, not expecting a brand new Congresswoman with no experience or credentials to challenge him, but on the flip side, she has nothing to lose by doing so. Lewis proves herself a tough cookie right away, going on Hardball to force Martinez to spill his secrets.
My only complaint here is that not only does Lewis back off once Martinez promises to talk, but she goes back on Hardball and makes herself look like a fool, burying the major cover up she previously promised to reveal. There is no good reason for Lewis to back down. Martinez doesn’t actually tell her anything yet, only says he will in the future. Sure, Hardball is live and coming back from commercial, but I expect her to stand her ground until Martinez actually tells her what is going on. Perhaps she does the politically intelligent thing, but she doesn’t display that same learned intelligence earlier in the episode. Plus, she may have just hurt her credibility, and considering she is trying to expose something big, she needs her credibility right now.
Either way, Martinez looks to be developing a worthy foe in Lewis. Since Martinez is trying to sweep state secrets under the rug, no matter how good his intentions, I am pleased by this development. Martinez is not being open as he should, and needs to be confronted. I can even see Lewis being a possible second president, should the show continue, once she disgraces Martinez by exposing his lies. Of course, that is only one possible avenue the writers may pursue. More likely, Martinez will sadly defeat her.
The Event airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.