Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review: The Event "To Keep Us Safe"

Non Spoiler Review:
The Event begins just where it left off—the jetliner reappears over the desert and we're treated to a spectacular crash landing. The rest of the episode follows the disappearance of the jet, and the president and his staff struggling to make sense of what happened in Miami.

This was a much more satisfying episode that provided some surprising revelations I wouldn't have anticipated so early in the series. The twists were coming fast and furious by the conclusion. It was getting a bit tough to keep track of all the plot information. Despite the confusing delivery methods, I'm much more optimistic about the prospects for this series. Like last episode, the writers need to show some restraint in these overwhelming (and, at times, mundane) flashbacks.

Spoilers Now!
The airliner appears and crashes in the Arizona desert, and super-hero Sean manages to save everyone with the help of the air marshall before flames consume the plane. How important is this air marshal's character? Not very, as he ends up dead later.

Luckily, Michael stumbles out too, and manages to tell his not-so-son-in-law that he was blackmailed to pilot the plane because some girl named Vicky (the tourist friend from the cruise) has Leila. Oh, and he'd better  run, as a bunch of black helicopters appear over the horizon, and they're not good guys.

Meanwhile, the president is taken to a secure location while Sophia is escorted back into detention. He meets with Sterling and the vice-president and...

...We get a flashback to thirteen months ago where Martinez is given some big spoilers. A UFO crashed in 1944 Alaska and 97 survivors were recovered, among them Sophia (was that also Michael I saw in the photos?). Tests concluded they were extra-terrestrial, but there is only one percent difference in their DNA and ours, which doesn't sound like much, but chimpanzees are only two percent different. For the last 66 years they've been held at Inostranka because they won't reveal who or why they are here—according to paranoid Blake Sterling (who knows they have a hidden agenda because he feels it in his bones). Oh, and part of that one percent difference? They age very, very slowly.

Sean, meanwhile, has decided to walk into the desert by himself (apparently abandoning the passengers to the black helicopters). He collapses from heat exhaustion, which makes this the perfect moment for a flashback of him and Leila talking about eating squid on their cruise. Sigh. Vicky shows up to go with Nick, as Leila's a big drunk so she's hungover and can't go. Greg then shows up while she's alone, and kidnaps her with the help of DB Sweeney who then kills him (!). Sweeney then takes Leila away.

Problem. Until now the flashbacks seem to be related to the person having them, but here we get one that is not from Sean's perspective, given it contains information he's not privy too. Are we to assume that the flashbacks are unrelated to the characters they usually bookend?

Shawn wakes up in a hospital after being found by a dog and learns he's in Arizona, but of course no one has heard about the crashed airliner. He goes on and on about finding Leila and her kidnapping, so the nurse calls the cops, who inform her he's wanted for Greg's murder. The cops come for Shawn so he runs. Hospital chase!

To kill some time, we get a five years earlier flashback where he's swimming. Aw, this is where he meets Leila! He helps her to learn how to swim, as she's hopeless. And they hit it off swimmingly. Back in the present, Shawn can't outrun the law and is arrested by FBI agents Mulder and Scully.

Martinez goes to talk to Sophia about what happened to the plane, given they detected an enormous electro-magnetic burst when it disappeared. We then get a flashback way back to 1944 during the UFO crash. As a search plane flies overhead Sofia makes the decision to stay with the injured while instructing the able-bodied to get away while they can. Here we're introduced to a character named Thomas.

Martinez was going to use the press conference to announce the existence of the extra-terrestrials. Sophia will only say that she means them no harm. Her people saved his life with the plane. She tells him her people's patience has run out and sending her back to Inostranka would be a mistake. He is not impressed.

Remember Agent Lee? Paranoid Sterling puts him on a special project to flush out the alien infiltrators he believes were responsible for the plane vanishing. Mr. Lee has his own five year flashback back when he first signs up for clandestine services. We see him go into the bathroom after a blood test and rip out a fake vein because he's a cylon—er...alien!

Back in the present he goes to meet a man who turns out to be Thomas from Sophia's flashback (and he hasn't aged a day!). Thomas isn't very helpful as he seems to figure they have waited long enough to act. Lee was the one who suggested they take the plane to save it and gets the coordinates, though Thomas says they're going to use the plane for their own purposes.

Shawn is trying to explain the situation to the Mulder and Scully as they drive him out of the boonies, but they will not believe a word of his crazy. In fact they won't even bother to google Leila or check with the airport on maybe a flight record for him, or even Leila's Facebook page, because that would just be too much work.

They come upon a road block for a chemical spill but Sean realizes things aren't what they seem and it's a ruse to hide the crashed plane.

This was a much more exciting episode, but I must complain again that the show is jumping around too much. The brief bits of back story with President Martinez and Sophia were the most interesting parts, and yet we get such boring filler with Sean. I'm hoping his storyline gets more interesting really fast.

There had also better be a logical resolution to this plane disappearance given no one seems to care that it's missing and the FBI can't be bothered to even remotely check on Sean's facts. I don't care how much power the conspirators wield, in this day and age its a stretch to expect anyone to believe they can completely erase the existence of someone from all kinds of records and social media.

We get a double conspiracy here—the extra-terrestrial side of things, plus another shadowy group that is operating to cover up everything and prevent the exposure of the aliens. There is the question of the alien infiltrators and whether they're working for or against humanity, and the question of what brought them to crash in Alaska in the first place.

There is talk of time travellers rather than aliens to explain the close genetic match. I'm going to throw down on the ancient astronaut theory—Sofia and her people are either ancestors or cousins of humanity—a lost colony perhaps, returning to warn Earth about this upcoming event. That's my theory for this week, anyway. But the second episode succeeded in making me want to find out.

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