Last night on The Event, internet memes were super scary and all the conspiracies turned out to be muddled plans that made no sense. On the bright side, though, the mushy liberal president learned to kill to stop terrorism. Spoilers!
The scene I excerpted above is my favorite scene ever, in any medium, that deals with internet memes. Sean and the Fed have zoomed to the police station where Layla is bait for Vickie's trap. But just in time Sean's old hacking friend traces Vickie's phone and they figure out she's in the police station so IT'S A TRAP. Luckily, Sean has a trick up his phone's sleeve. He's got Vickie's son's photo, which he messages over to her while the camera lovingly shows us the mobile UI. Then, instead of threatening to kill her son like a normal person would - or lying and saying he has her in the back of his big black van - he tells her (oh noes!) he'll make the picture and her address GO VIRAL. What, is this the Star Wars kid or Numa Numa guy? He really thinks that dumb picture of her kid, even with an address, will be even vaguely interesting to /b/ or the video-tonguing masses on YouTube? Good luck with that one, buddy.
I especially love the "oh my god NOT VIRAL" look on Vickie's face. Because the scariest thing you can do with a kid these days is make him or her an internet meme. It's worse than kidnapping.
The president also delivered an ultimatum that was even scarier than memes.
One of the truly awful parts of this episode, as opposed to the merely head-clutchingly silly, was the whole subplot where the president learns to threaten violence response to Thomas' threats that he'll kill the teleported passengers with a weird alien space virus. Thomas tells high-level alien spy Lee that President Martinez is so "idealistic and indecisive" that he'll just cave and let all the detained aliens go rather than let the passengers die.
But Sterling gets the president to do what we're supposed to think is the right thing, which is tell Thomas that he'll kill all the detainees if the passengers die. WTF? Seriously he's going to murder a prison and a plane full of innocent people just to show that he's Mega Tough On Aliens? I mean, it's not like Thomas' demands are unreasonable here - he wants innocent detainees released. Their only crime as far as I can tell is being of the same species as a guy (Thomas) who uses terrorist tactics.
Anyway the whole smug "we'll win if we don't back down" thing here felt all wrong. Eventually Martinez bargains Thomas down to "we'll give you Sophia if you give us the antidote," and nobody dies. Plus Sophia is free!
Cheapo repeat flashback leads to bizarre nuclear revelation.
So let's just flash back to 1945 again, shall we. In fact, let's watch the same exact flashback from two episodes ago, where Sophia and Thomas split up in the snow after a plane crash. Then we watch as Lee and Thomas try to find shelter and blend into human society. We learn that the aliens had a ship that was so damaged that they need to build a new one "to get home." They're worried about "getting caught," but apparently not by humans.
Also Thomas was appointed leader by Sophia but instantly gave up on that job and took a gig working on the Manhattan Project, teaching humans nuclear fission (why not fusion?) so that he can get started on that spaceship tech he needs. If Thomas is so brilliant that he can train the folks at Los Alamos National Labs to make atomic bombs, why does he need to push humans to advance their technology at all? Why doesn't he just go out and make the tech he needs himself? I AM SO CONFUSED.
There is a terrible feeling of WHUT floating over the entire proceeding.
So all this stuff is supposed to be leading us closer to a revelation of what this planned, conspiracy-approved "event" is supposed to be. And yet the more we know about the aliens, the less it seems possible that they could do anything more complicated than yelling into phones (which is all Thomas does other than carry briefcases). They can't get out of jail, even though they have mega-technology. They can't even hold together as a group: There are at least 4 alien factions so far: Sophia and her jail gang; Lee the assimilationist; Thomas who is going all Magneto; and that dude who was going to sing to the Feds but got murdered by his alien girlfriend. Not to mention all those other aliens who escaped with Thomas and Lee.
This is not an alien conspiracy. This is a hot alien mess.
Which leaves these lingering questions:
Why does Thomas have access to a megavirus from space? Don't any of the other aliens have stuff like that, or knowledge of science? If Thomas knew so little about Earth that he's shocked to discover they use vacuum tubes, how did he and his buddies know to fly a plane that looks like an Earth plane and wear period clothing and speak English? Where are all the other goddamn aliens if Thomas is working alone? And if he's working alone, who are these toadies he has who can just whip up and deliver a bunch of antidote to the CBC?
In addition I would like to know how Lee and Sophia have all these big, revealing conversations about their alienness right there in the middle of the super secret detainee facility. Nobody has them under surveillance or thinks it's weird that this super agent who hangs out with the president is always having these intense meetings with Sophia the alien terrorist person?
Moreover, what the hell kind of plan is it that Vickie and her buddies have, anyway? Kill Sean? Actually I think that's a good idea because we could stop having long, tearful reunion scenes full of icky kissing with Layla and the mobile phone.
As Sean and the Fed speed off into the night with Kayla, we see that they've also kidnapped Vickie's pal. So there's a hostage! Wow, Sean is just as tough as the President with those meme threats and his willingness to engage in violence to get what he wants! This show has taught me so much about everything.
Tune in next week when you won't believe it but the aliens are blowing up a building JUST LIKE TERRORISTS. Did you get that? Terrorists! Aliens are like terrorists! Let's hope Obama can be as manly as Martinez when the terrorists come knocking with their teleporters and space viruses.