The Event came back, after its long winter hiatus, on Monday, March 7, 2011, with two back-to-back episodes – And Then There Were More and Inostranka – that got the new season off to an exciting start.
(Note: Spoilers below. If you haven’t seen the episodes yet, there’s still time to back away now.)
It’s hard to say why I enjoy this show so much. Some of the acting would make a middle-school drama teacher weep in anguish, and the plot has holes big enough to drive an intergalactic spaceship through. Yet, the show, at least during this past Monday’s episodes, was gripping, suspenseful, and all-around good escapist fun. Not sure how long that will continue, as the show has dragged painfully in spots before, but at least for their spring debut, the producers gave it all that they’ve got.
This is what we learned on Monday:
Leila Buchanan (Sarah Roemer) found out that her Daddy, pilot Michael Buchanan (Scott Patterson), was an alien, which made her a half-alien, news that she greeted with one of her two facial expressions. That also meant that her fiance Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) was boffing a non-human – ewww.
Leila’s Daddy, implausibly, told her that she had to choose between going away with him or staying with Sean. Leila chose her alien Daddy (after Sean, chivalrously, made the choice easy for her by sneaking off in the middle of the night, after a last human/alien boff for old time’s sake.)
Also accompanying Leila and her Daddy was Leila’s little sister, Samantha (Anna Clark). Leila and Sean had found Samantha by following a trail from the hospital where Samantha and a bunch of other half human/half alien girls were being held captive and prematurely aged by evil experimenters who were making a youth serum.
Leila and Sean caught up to the girls on the highway, where they were being whisked away in a white van. Our dynamic duo grabbed Samantha, but left the other little girls, most of whom had old-lady faces, behind. Not very considerate!
Meanwhile, in Inostranka, the secret Alaskan prison where the aliens have been detained for what would be a lifetime on our planet, Thomas staged a break-out. Thomas has serious Mommy issues, and killed all the detainees who wanted to stay behind because they were loyal to his mother. He’s planning an elaborate coup, with reinforcements from the home planet arriving soon, with the apparent aim of taking over Earth because he likes it here so much.
Speaking of the home planet, on Monday we learned that the aliens definitely were aliens – they even named the star system they were from – and not time travelers from Earth’s future. I liked the time-travel theory, which I had read about on the Televsion Without Pity forums, so I was sorry to see it laid permanently to rest.
While at the prison, Thomas had a show-down with his arch-enemy, Director of National Intelligence Blake Sterling (Zeljko Ivanek), who happened to be, conveniently for the plot, in the prison at the time of the breakout. Sterling survived, making a nifty escape considering he had been shot in the back a few times.
A new character, Senator Catherine Lewis from Alaska (Virginia Madsen), showed up, full of questions about what was going on in Inostranka. Just as she was about to spill the beans about her suspicions on national TV to Chris Matthews (playing himself!), President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood) saved the day by calling her during a commercial break and promising he would tell her everything if she kept her suspicions to herself. She agreed.
The second episode ended with James Dempsey (Hol Holbrook), the mastermind behind much of what has been going on, moving some pieces around a board in his study and proclaiming that his path will soon cross Sean’s.
So far, so good. If the producers can keep up the same level of energy, I’ll be glad to watch this show till the end – as long as the end is not too far away. It’s hard to imagine this dragging on for more than another year. Thomas will either win or lose his battle; the earth will or will not be destroyed; and Sean and Leila will or will not finally get married and bore each other to death. After that, there won’t be much left to say, so I hope they don’t try to draw it out with stories of the cute antics of Sean and Leila’s future part-alien children.
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