Thursday, March 31, 2011

Review: The Event "Face Off"

Non Spoiler Review:
After weeks of flatlining, the status quo gets a big kick in the junk. As expected, a standoff begins at the cathedral as Sophia attempts to use her leverage to secure everyone's release, but Martinez has turned into George W. Bush. Unfortunately, Sophia is Osama Bin Ladin. As a result, a landmark falls victim to their mutual pissing contest. More Sean and Vicky is endured, though it's a level more tolerable than Leila, and it's a matter of just an episode before they fall into bed together. They're off to France in pursuit of Dempsey, who is off on some bizarre archaeological shenanigans.

This is probably one of the more pivotal episodes for the overall plot as several key characters are advanced—Simon's constant cell phone usage is coming back to haunt him. The detainees get a thorough shakeup. And even the war room might be shut down for a week! However, any sense of drama is bogged down by endless conversations and debates, and a hell of a lot of footage of marines running, climbing, sniping, jumping, etc, around the cathedral. 

Spoilers Now!
Sean and Vicky escape the fundraiser by running really fast. As she changes in front of him Vicky announces she's done now that she helped him with Jarvis. But Sean is all "You're done when I say you're done." Remember the Internet? And his hacking powers? Get him to France and he'll worry about the rest. Or her kid goes viral.

Lee decides to make an appearance and catch up with Sterling. As they join the president in the war room, Martinez calls Sophia and tells her to surrender peacefully. And no sass this time! But she won't give up. 

Sophia wants Thomas to give her access to the portal to get everyone out, but it takes time (oddly enough) to get through the security protocols with Gerard in the Himalayas. Buchanan suspects there are special forces outside (he was in Korea), just as Leila walks up and says "Hi, remember me?". He's surprisingly not that upset to see her in mortal danger (like us).  Or even care who's looking after Sam.

Sophia calls Simon to see what options she has. He and Sterling are hoping to ensure they can interrogate the prisoners, but Martinez is a hawk now. Sophia tells Lee their planet is dying, and they can't surrender now. Earth has become their last hope.

Thomas calls Gerard and needs the portal activated for 188 people, but Gerard pulls a Montgomery Scott and says "I canna do it!" That uses way too much fuel and it will take hours for him to load enough uranium rods to transport them. Sofia suggests they use what fuel he has for something else.

One of Thomas' men shoots a recon man, prompting Martinez to order them to go in. Sophia phones him to tell him not to engage his men, but he hangs up. She gives the order to Gerard to take it down.

The war room begins shaking and the president is rushed out. The Washington Monument abruptly topples (apparently bringing down a large building takes less power than one person). Martinez orders the men to stand down. He gets ready to announce to the country the city is under a terrorist attack. Sophia phones him all bad ass, threatening to destroy Washington if he doesn't deliver three buses to get her people out in one hour.

Vicky managed to secure a private jet after calling in a lot of favors. She wants to talk to her son so Sean sets up a video link on his laptop. Her mom tells her terrorists blew up the Washington Monument. Sean has used his Google skills to learn Dempsey has a company that does archaeological digs, and has one now in the French mountains. 

Dempsey arrives in the Jura Mountain Range and is brought to see a recent discovery—a dozen containers made in 2000 BC. Dempsey seems to think they're older than that (as if he has firsthand experience, perhaps?). They're inscribed in an unknown language and there are more inside the cave but Dempsey is furious his archaeologist entered the chamber without his approval. That's unfortunate, he says, and shoots him.

Dempsey enters the cave and looks upon the wall, which shows drawings of white guardian angels, surrounding a really big figure. He says guardian angels are real, because Oprah says so. He's got a tattoo on his wrist that matches one of the hieroglyphs, too.

Sophia and Thomas have an argument about the untrustworthyness of humans but they eventually make up and have a hug. Which thoroughly pisses off Thomas' girlfriend who continues to limp around holding a grudge about the whole shooting herself in the knee thing.

Sterling asks to speak to Martinez alone—he's remembered where he saw Thomas before. He was the lab tech at the hospital when they gave Simon his blood test. Sterling has been monitoring Simon's encrypted phone calls and is close to breaking them. Busted!

Simon is making one of those calls to Sophia and is pretty angry she's threatening the president. Sterling is monitoring it and is close to breaking the code. Sophia tells him they used all their fuel on the monument, but the rest is all a bluff. They're defenseless.

Driving in the French mountains, Sean is wakened by his alarm to enter his code. Vicky takes particular notice (perhaps she's annoyed he could have overslept and her mother and son would be killed). Their contact in France is named Henry. He has an outrageous French accent, and over a lot of wine, reveals he and Vicky were both CIA and she got the blame for one of her superior's mistakes. He tells Sean that Vicky doesn't do anything she doesn't want to do. And Sean shares a puppy dog sex look with her. 

Leila's upset with her dad about the terrorist attack. She thinks they're all monsters, but Buchanan says humans will always hunt them. And now they'll treat her the same way, so she has to come with them.

Sophia gives her people a pep talk before everyone loads onto the buses. Thomas has pretty much relinquished power back to her. Meanwhile, the phone message is decrypted just as the buses pull out, and Martinez learns that the threat is a bluff. He orders the military to take them out now. 

An Apache helicopter heads off the convoy and blows up the first bus. Sophia is all WTF? Luckily the major cast is inside the second and third buses. Gerard has fuel enough for one vehicle now, he tells Thomas (so we go from no fuel to teleport even one person, to a whole bus in an hour!). Thomas and Sophia remain in separate buses. Sophia advises they surrender, but Thomas orders Gerard to lock coordinates on Sophia, and tells his mother he's willing to sacrifice himself. 

Martinez gives the go-ahead to blow up Sophia's bus, but Thomas' pulls ahead. They share a brief look before the helicopter fires. Luckily for Leila, she's on Sophia's bus, and the portal opens and swallows it up.

The Event needed a good massacre, but the pacing is still tedious, and did we really need to go through all the infighting to get to a place where Sophia is back in charge? Collapsing the Washington Monument was likely not the best thought out decision on her part.

Dempsey's crazy storyline feels really out of place, unless he turns out to be some immortal Atlantean or something. Have the aliens been on Earth in the distant past? Given the lack of any science whatsoever, it's questionable if the writers would explain the human appearance of the extra-terrestrials at all.

Again there was way too much talk, talk, talk this week, without actually saying anything useful—like Sophia being honest with the president and maybe avoiding all the bloodshed in the first place?

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