Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: The Event "Cut Off the Head"

Non Spoiler Review:
Cut Off the Head gave a hint of what might have been, had the writers been on their game about a dozen episodes ago. Plot wise, things moved along at a relatively brisk pace without the usual taunts and teases we're used to.

Sophia opts to continue her space queen villainy and search for a super-weapon that will help winnow the human population down to a manageable level for her people. Martinez isn't having the best week—dealing with his wife's refusal to be DNA tested, Jarvis trying to make himself useful, and Sophia opting to have him killed. Finally, Dempsey's story arc comes to a climax and sends Sean and Vicky on the next leg of their world tour.

Character remains a problem. Sophia's behaviour has become so egregious that it's just not believable that she could have ever been genuinely sincere about wanting to live in peace. There are too many secret plans and weapons lying about to be overlooked. So that leaves the question if the writers have decided to make everything black and white and paint the aliens as completely villainous now (aside from a likable few like Lee). If so, what was the point of everything?

Spoilers Now!
The FBI storms a lab where a man is extracting ice samples. He's one of Sophia's agents and he sends all his research off to her before he's caught. She tells him he can't leave any sign of what he was working on, so he destroys the lab and jumps out a window to his death.

Sophia has a confab with her followers about efficiently making room for their 2.5 billion people. She's been working on a super-weapon (during all those off hours, I guess, when she was either being detained for 60 years or when Thomas was in charge and she had no power...) She also wants to disrupt the government so that they stop pestering them. Cut off the head...meaning the president.

Sterling briefs the president on the dead man at the lab who was studying ice core samples, which is all they can determine. Martinez thinks Sophia is going to go on the offensive. Jarvis suggests they not fight this war alone, and consult other world leaders for help. Martinez doesn't really want his opinion (as he shoots knives out of his eyes at him), which makes for an awkward moment in the war room, broken only by Senator Lewis needing to see him. 

Lewis has the results for the White House staff and everyone who took the tests came back negative, but his wife is still a hold out. She's not prepared to allow her task to be compromised, so she dug into the First Lady's past and found inconsistencies—people who don't exist and dates that don't add up. Lewis loves conspiracies and suggests Sophia could have seen some promise in him and placed Mrs. Martinez close to him to encourage his rise to the presidency. Pish posh, says Martinez. Lewis leaves, but comments the First Lady doesn't seem to have aged a day since a photo taken several years before.

Jarvis gets a phone call from Sophia. She tries to convince him that it was Martinez who escalated the situation, so she suggests they avoid more bloodshed by working together. She wants to meet in person. Oh, and make him president.

Sean breaks in to the fiery chateau as Dempsey and his entourage depart, and manages to find Vicky in the burniest part of the house and gets her out. He resuscitates her, and Dempsey walks up, pleased he met yet another challenge and suggesting they have a talk.

Leila cuts herself so she can get taken to the community's hospital and gets to stay there awhile to rest and lurk around. She sneaks in to see Simon (keeper of important plot points), who's tied to a bed. She tells him she had nothing to do with what her father did and wants to know what he was going to tell the government. He gives her the genocide story, says they're looking for some kind of weapon in Siberia and gives her the name of a Russian woman she needs to find to stop them. "Warn them!" he commands, and sends her away.

Jarvis meets with Sophia but he pulls a gun on her instead. Go ahead, make me a martyr, she says. She says her people are coming and human population will have to be reduced. The destruction they've wrought is only the beginning—some countries will be destroyed, but those who cooperate will be spared. She wants him to take an active role in the new order. She can negotiate terms of their coexistence with him, but not with Martinez. Food for thought.

Martinez seems to trick up his wife on some of their past vacations, which makes him start to believe Lewis' accusations. So he goes to the senator to confide in her and keep this news between the two of them.

Jarvis then goes to Sterling suggesting the VP would be a good choice to talk with Sophia and negotiate a treaty of coexistence. Sterling is outraged.

Sophia's people have analyzed the ice core data to pinpoint the weapon's location. Then Sophia gets a phone call from Jarvis, and he's ready to accept her proposal to save his country.

Leila manages to sneak a phone call to 911 saying she's being held by the Washington Monument terrorists. But her guard kicks the door down and the phone's GPS isn't working so it can't be traced. They get into a big fight and she lamps him (with a lamp) across the face and runs out with the phone.

Dempsey tells Sean to forget all that creepy little girl aging juice—he had the best intentions at heart—the aliens have been coming to Earth for thousands of years, and he's part of a tribe of sentinels who have been trying to protect them. And Sophia is their greatest threat. His sentinels can see the tapestry of history (?) and it's shown that someone outside their group might be able to stop her...that being Sean. 

Sean thinks he's an evil crazy old man. Dempsey isn't offended, but has to point him in the right direction. Sean has the best chance to stop Sophia, Dempsey says, and then shoots himself in the head. Sean and Vicky run off with Dempsey's bag of tricks.

Then, guess who calls Sean but Leila! Sean's like "" And she's all "Sean! Sean! Sophia's going to destroy the world find a Russian woman who's name I'm about to give you I can't talk long!..." She gives him a big infodump on all the nasty Sophia's up to then she's conveniently cut off by her dad, who's so not impressed right now.

Martinez confronts his wife with a file on her and her family. But he didn't read it, because he needs her to tell him. She starts to break down and admits she always wanted to tell him as the years went by. Her parents are not from Cuba—they're illegal aliens, but not the extra-terrestrial kind...Dominican. She's sorry for creating such a scandal if it comes out. He's quite elated, but she gives a creepy look when they hug.

Meanwhile, in Russia, Sophia's people have found the weapon and pull out what looks to be a frozen corpse.

Jarvis is in the hospital for a checkup that allows the alien doctors to slip him a poisonous bag of sugar for the president's coffee (kind of an overly complex way of getting him a sugar packet). Prior to the debriefing, Jarvis drops the packet next to the president's coffee and then the meeting gets underway.

Next week—What's Sophia's super-weapon? I'm guessing a super-virus!

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