Two-hour "The Event" event is a mind-asploding mess

If you want to know what it felt like to watch the two-part episode of The Event last night, just watch this video. It was an infinite loop of non-conversations. Plus an inexplicable celebration of lying to the American people.


Spoilers ahead!

You will know nothing!

I loved that scene I looped for your viewing frustration above because it completely summed up the plot aspirations for The Event, whose ratings were abysmal last night. Basically, we got two hours of people promising to tell other people stuff - often stuff we already knew - and then not telling them. For example, Did you know that Layla's dad Michael is an alien? Yes, you did. But it took Layla almost an hour an a half to find out, and even then she only got the wall of "I'll tell you later."

Did you know that Inostranka is a scary prison in Alaska where the aliens are being kept? Oh, you found that out twelve episodes ago? Well, new character Sen. Lewis didn't know, and she spends two hours finding out. And then confronting the President about it, who sneers that her state has the highest unemployment and obesity rates in the country so she shouldn't be throwing stones at him for secretly detaining people for 66 years without trial. Oh yeah, that makes sense. Secret detention centers and obesity are pretty much the same kind of problem.

Did you know that the aliens age differently than humans? Well, you get to find out again in this episode, when Sean sticks a gun in the nose of a nice lady who is injecting little human-alien hybrid girls with evil medicine. Did you know that Thomas has a secret plan to open a door between his world and Earth? Yep, you'll find out about that again. Also, and you may only have known this for a few episodes, but Thomas has broken with his mother Sophia. Wow. So many re-revelations! I feel like I re-learned a lot.

Also, did you know that every single conversation between Sean and Layla goes like this:

Layla: [eyes bulging] I'm freaked out about something! What are we going to do!
Sean: We'll figure something out.
Layla: [eyes bulging] But I'm freaked out! I might scream or cry! DO YOU BELIEVE ME????
Sean: I believe you. It's going to be alright.
Sean: [patting her arm] It's going to be alright.


Though last night, there was one new twist to the dialogue, where Layla accused Sean of not wanting to have sex with her since he found out she was an alien. So instead of telling her it was going to be alright he had sex with her. Because you know the best kind of sex is when you've been guilted and intimidated into it by a weepy, clingy alien who has only one facial expression.

So an alien walks into a detention facility . . .

So basically the whole Sophia vs. Thomas plot has devolved into Sophia making tea for people and having tense conversations with Simon. And Thomas using a shiny silver dildo to create some kind of gateway between his world and Earth. What will happen if his people come to Earth? Well, one day I will tell you. But for now let's just say that it would be like what happens if you cross the streams in Ghostbusters. Really bad. For reasons we will not define in any way. Suffice to say You Wouldn't Like It.


But before we can open the shiny gates, Thomas needs to liberate all his friends who are still in Inostranka. Which leads to the inevitable boring action scene full of killing and striding around purposefully in fatigues. It just so happens that Sterling is at Inostranka too, interrogating Maya (the Sophia loyalist who killed her boyfriend).

After seeing this incredibly un-inspiring "I'm the beloved leader" speech from Thomas, Sterling finally connects the dot and realizes that Thomas is staging a coup and that the aliens aren't an ideologically unified group. Yet another non-revelation! Wow! Also, seriously, could Thomas possibly have made his liberation of the people who have been jailed for 66 years more boring? Most monotone delivery ever.


The Event is the most cynical TV series since 24, except without the good part

The whole subplot with Lewis discovering Inostranka is yet another example of how cynical this show is about American politics. The two episodes begin with the President and his aides talking about how they're wiping out a news cycle about the satellite message the aliens sent into space - you know, the one where they said, "We are preparing for your arrival with cupcakes - please let us know if you'd like the salted caramel or the rocky road flavor." It's as if the executive branch's job is to control the media.


And then, later, the whole idea of transparency in government is held up as this giant ideal, when Lewis dresses the President down for his secret prison. She's all "you're destroying national security" and blah blah blah - the whole spiel. But then when he offers to tell her the truth about the facility, Lewis drops the "I love transparency" pretense and lies on TV about how Inostranka is just a misappropriation of funds and not a secret detention facility. So basically the only character who seemed to want the government to be accountable to the people turns out to be using the idea of transparency just as a way to manipulate her way into the secret security club.

It reminds me of 24 in terms of a government whose intelligence agents are basically unconstrained by law and at odds with democracy - except let's face it, 24 was an awesome show with tight plotting that worked really well. Hell, 24 made me love authoritarianism during those hours when I was watching it! Yeah, go torture and the American Way! But The Event doesn't make me sympathize with our anti-transparency, pro-spying leaders with their secret prisons. Nope. In fact, I sympathize with pretty much nobody except the awesome FBI agent who had like ONE line in the whole episode.


What's left for us to learn "everything" about?

Well I guess we're supposed to be on the edge of our seats waiting to find out if Maya will have sex with Sterling now that she's saved his life. Then she can turn out to be a secret spy of Thomas' and he can relive his original trauma with the spy he loved.


We're also supposed to be wondering how different Sam and Layla are due to their dad's alien origins, and we're supposed to care about Sophia, Michael and Simon trying to stop Thomas from bringing more aliens over to Earth.

And for some reason we're supposed to be wondering why the mad doctor who did all those experiments on Sam is playing with alien dominoes in his study.


Maybe we're supposed wonder a little bit about what Lewis will say when she finally learns the thing we all knew 13 episodes ago.

Unfortunately, all I'm wondering right now is when something will actually happen on this show. Or when I can watch the alien buddy cop show starring Simon and Sterling.




I noticed last night that all the various segments seem almost totally encapsulated to the point where you could take any three concurrent episodes, remix the segments and get something just as, if not more than, coherent as the two episodes shown last night.

Still, I enjoyed most of it, more so now that Shawn's whole never ending, magic-FTL-car driving, spontaneous commando training, ridiculously overly altruistic quest to save his girlfriend/girlfriends sister/girlfriends father etc is FINALLY over (although now it seems he has transferred his quest to the whole revenge/save the planet thing, but at least he's walking instead of driving that infernal car).