Contributor: Henry T.
Story by Leyani Diaz and Vanessa Rojas
Teleplay by Nick Wauters
Directed by Jonas Pate
I have tried to understand “The Event” from the beginning. I really have tried. The series has just run out of second and third and fourth chances to try and get it right. Every time I think they do something correct to make anything seem intriguing, it’s undermined with mind-numbingly dumb. It becomes an amazing feat just to finally start the mass genocide of the human race and make it seem so boring and rote. I have given up even cheering for the heroes of show to stop the aliens or first humans or whatever they are now. “The Event” is going to somehow make it to a full season of 22 episodes, something that many shows this season cannot claim, and yet it will struggle to finish with a whimper instead of a bang.
The teaser for the episode bothered me. Sophia is walking in a random street with bodies strewn all over it. Your usual post-apocalyptic scene. I know it’s not reality because the show has done this before. It’s an old misdirection ploy that has been so overused by “The Event”. So Sophia then wakes up from her dream. This dream, oddly like President Martinez’s dream in a previous episode, springs her into action. She’ll go through with the genocide, but is still somehow harboring second thoughts.
Don’t you think it’s a little late in the game for that, Sophia? She even has the gall to ask if there was anything else the humans could have done to save themselves. Various human characters have tried to negotiate a peace with Sophia to no avail. She went to the use of force only because the plot dictated it, not by her own volition. Commit to something, Sophia! She literally spends about a minute telling herself and another minion of these doubts, then goes ahead with the original plan. If that was some kind of character development, it came and went awful fast.
The three-pronged plan is ambitious, if riddled full of holes. They will spread the new form of the flu virus through the food supply, newly printed money bills, and on international flights through Dulles airport. Sleeper agents are activated in order to ensure that these three methods are secure. The food supply is, I think, the best method. It makes little sense that an airborne virus could be spread through contaminated food, but the virus will reach a majority population there. The money seems less likely to affect the major US population. The airport and international flights, well, I actually had the thought that that scenario might not work. They would have to spread it to flyers on international flights and then allow them to get onboard to go back to the cities that would be infected. What if perhaps the pilots were to get infected and crash the planes somewhere?
Anyway, it’s best to move on to other things. President Martinez wakes up from his coma. This subplot had less confusion than the others. The First Lady attacks and accuses Acting President Jarvis of poisoning her husband and vows to bring him down. People have been saying the same things to Jarvis for the past two episodes. He’s still, amazingly, sitting in the President’s chair. President Martinez walks into the Oval Office, against the advice of his doctor, and gets into a verbal shouting match with Jarvis. The guy is a weakling who is enabling the extermination of the species and somehow, he doesn’t want to give up power to Martinez. This struck me as odd since Jarvis has looked overwhelmed by the duties and responsibilities of the Presidency and I would think that he would give it up the first chance he was given. I was wrong. It makes little sense now.
The show did something that should’ve been done long ago: it put Sean and Vicky and Simon and Sterling together as a super-team to try and stop Sophia. An incredible amount of contrivances had to occur for that to happen, but at least they’re moving somewhere with this plot. The team finds a bunch of gas station receipts that lead straight to where Sophia’s lab was. Our four heroes may be good, but it seems they’re always one step behind Sophia. They get to the lab too late, only to find a dying Leila.
I had thought the show moved past the Sean-Leila pairing, but it decided to go for yet another round. I didn’t understand the rekindled romance, especially since Sean and Leila have spent a half season apart. It did spare us from dealing with the unresolved (and at times, non-existent) sexual tension between Sean and Vicky, though. This subplot also managed to throw in another wrinkle that added to the overall incoherence of the series: apparently, Sophia’s people had been Earth’s original inhabitants before humanity. There has been no indication of this in any episode presented before this so it’s yet another element that will likely be discarded by the finale.
I can’t even bring myself to cheer for either side. Heroes or villains, it seems no one really wins this fight. The titular “event” of the show is going to be humanity’s extraterrestrial contact with Sophia’s people. Count me as one viewer who is sorely disappointed that a show that started out with so much promise ended up being so ordinary. The virus will be stopped somehow, and that will mark the end of the series. There’s no investment here, and we’re left to watch a show that is going through the motions, saddled with a cast going through the motions. There is no sense of excitement or suspense going into the finale. “The Event” might as well have become a form of television zombie, slowly staggering towards its inevitable death. It’s sad, really, when you think about it.
While I would agree with the overall grade, I disagree with the point that the writers have never indicated that the aliens were the original inhabitants of Earth. They have hinted at this several times, including a few moments where Sophia and others have stated point blank that coming to Earth was returning “home”. How well they might explain this with respect to all that stuff with Dempsey earlier in the season, however, is another story.