Written by Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie
Directed by Michael Waxman
“The Event” has really become a very goofy show in its revamping and relaunch. It hasn’t gotten better. Some characters have completely changed from what they were in the beginning and others have gone into some kind of strange mystical tangent. That mysticism does not mesh well with the overall tone of the show. A plot thread probably sounded good when the writers were discussing it, but the execution was off. The aliens now resort to mass genocide? Sean torturing someone for information? These happenings would have more credibility if the characters started at this point rather than adjusting to meet the plot’s needs.
When I said earlier that the show was going to be a showdown between Sophia and President Martinez, I didn’t think this would come to mind. After Thomas’ sacrifice for his mother to live, they have apparently gone through separate paths that don’t seem connected to each other. Sophia has resolved to bring her entire civilization to this planet: A deluge of two billion aliens. Instead of subtly integrating them into the current human society, she jumps to the decision of mass genocide. Wipe out a portion of humanity and just assume that aliens who look just like humans would take over.
It’s ambitious, but amazingly short-sighted on Sophia’s part. For example, what happens with the humans who remain? Does Sophia really think that humanity is just going to sit by idly while the rest of her race replaces those killed? Simon, after having escaped the slippery clutches of top-level members of the US government, is the only alien who has a problem with this plan. I find that hard to believe.
As for President Martinez and the government, they somehow lose Simon despite he being in one of the most secure buildings in the country, then embark on a plan to weed out sleeper aliens with a fake disease outbreak. I had to really wonder which plan for humanity, the President’s or Sophia’s, was more full of holes. President Martinez was a man of action in the previous episode. Now, he’s just another part of a foolish and weak government, one that is sinking deeper and deeper into a hole by the minute.
I guess that’s what you would get if aliens were penetrating into the highest levels of the government. That last fact would be very sinister if it weren’t treated with such odd non-chalance here. The whole plot feels like an unsatisfying consolation prize for not capturing or killing Sophia or Thomas when they had the chance, and certainly plays that way.
Compared to what’s going on in the United States, France gets a relatively normal plot. Sean continues to seek out Dempsey. He relies on questionable intelligence from Vicky and her French friend, which predictably lead them to an ambush. Sean manages to escape and go back to torture the French guy for the correct information. Here’s the thing: If we are to buy that Sean is just an ordinary man caught in extraordinary circumstances, that makes him the hero of the story. The one to root for, essentially.
So the good guy almost never kills anyone, let alone torture people. Sean is not supposed to be in that gray area where torture and murder are acceptable. Nothing presented in the series so far would indicate he leans toward murdering anyone. He and Vicky also have to take heed of the question as to what killing Dempsey will do. By all accounts, the man seemingly cannot die. He is apparently a part of a long line of “guardians” specifically against aliens like Sophia. This plot development comes out of nowhere and is so disconnected from the other narrative that it is hard to digest at this point.
The inevitable fact is that the Dempsey/Sean plot and the showdown between Martinez and Sophia will come back together by the end of the season. The series is a mess right now and it’s difficult to say how it can be cleaned up at this point. Preventing the mass genocide of the human race is a laudable goal. How it got to this when the series should have begun there is arguable. I just wish there was something tangible at stake so I could actively root for these characters, any of them. Alas, that seems impossible right now.