Entertainment Magazine

Review #2411: The Event 1.14: “A Message Back”

Posted on the 23 March 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Henry T.

Written by David Goodman and Nick Wauters
Directed by Norberto Barba

At this point, it is pretty well known that “The Event” is unlikely to get a second season. So I guess the idea for viewing this show with that fact around its neck is to let loose. I’ve been (maybe unnecessarily) harsh on the series because I believe it has squandered the potential it built in the fall and hoping in vain that it would recover. That said, this was the first episode in a while that didn’t cause me to roll my eyes at what was happening. Sure, the story had its ridiculous moments (mainly surrounding what was happening with Vice President Jarvis), but it built suspense in both the President’s chase of Sophia and Sean’s mission for information. I would feel more secure about it if I knew the writers were sure in where they were taking the audience, so more of this is necessary before I can pass judgment. For now, I hope this is the start the show has been looking for since it came back.

Review #2411: The Event 1.14: “A Message Back”

Continuing the “proactive” stance that President Martinez pushed in the previous episode, he was prepared to launch an all-out raid on Sophia and whoever was with her. It’s alternately fun and a little alarming to see the President of the United States act so irrationally, probably because his frustration over the Inostranka aliens is starting to boil over. But it’s a nice change because he has spent so much of the season being an unemotional automaton sitting behind a desk. So I can’t imagine stopping so short of the goal in sight at the church is sitting too well with President Martinez. Yes, it’s a bit of a leap for the President to somehow decipher a location out of an uncrpyted text message without much leading information, but that was what needed to occur in order to get the plot moving towards the church meeting.

I had briefly thought that with Thomas’ announcement that their planet was dying at a faster rate than was initially projected, this was a mass version of the Superman mythos. A sun went supernova there too, destroying Krypton and sending Superman to Earth. Here, it looks like the aliens are doing the same thing: colonizing Earth instead of doing a hostile takeover. Surprising that one shift in happenstance could move Sophia from one side (going against her son) to the other. Of course, if the police and government raid the church and take Sophia and Thomas into custody again, those plans could change. It’s a convenient story to try and get President Martinez’s sympathy. With the President’s new gung-ho attitude, sympathy seems unlikely. This injects stakes into what has been occurring on the series and is a welcome development. Is the coming colonization of the planet the titular “event” that the show’s been touting since the start?

There is promise that Sean’s new one-man mission to find out what’s going on with the conspiracy will connect to the larger events of the series. He’s begun by touching the fringes of the conspiracy in his haphazard plan to infiltrate the political fundraiser to pump the Vice President of information. The nature of the characters in power on this show demand that the Vice President not be forthcoming with that information so for now, that’s not the best road for Sean to take. I have to wonder how long it takes for Vicky and Sean to find Dempsey now, even as he’s in France and looking for “special” children. The roadblocks they have to go through for that to happen are pretty big, especially given that he’s a fugitive. Dempsey has said that he and Sean will cross paths again so he has the luxury of waiting for Sean to come to him. Up until now, there has been nothing to indicate Sean will be stopped from doing that so we have to wait until that comes up in the future.

Again, all of this is viewed with the very real possibility that the series will be yanked from the air at any time by the network. I guess that sense of urgency has finally permeated to the events on the show. President Martinez has made his move in this final showdown with the raid. It’s up to Thomas and his now flip-flopping mother as well as their large group to make the counter-move. There are other pieces out there, like Vice President Jarvis and his puppeteer Dempsey or Sean and Leila, that have to be considered major players in this game as the rest of the aliens converge upon Earth. The question is whether the writers know what that endgame will be and how they execute it as the season ends.

Grade: 7/10

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