Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: The Event "Strain"

Non Spoiler Review:
Jarvis' second assassination attempt is much more fruitful, and as the president is rushed to the hospital, Sterling struggles to prevent the VP from ascending to the top job. Meanwhile, the super-weapon is in Murmansk, but we see even Sophia's lackeys make mistakes. And Sean and Vicky get to Russia in five seconds.

This episode felt overly long given we had to sit through meetings and hospital bedsides while characters reviewed surveillance video and watched heart monitors. Sophia did nothing, in fact, aside from make some phone calls, pay a visit to Buchanan and look at maps. All of this could easily have been absorbed into earlier episodes. This season is too damn long.

Spoilers Now!
Jarvis nervously watches Martinez take sugar in his coffee while the staff discusses the water samples from the ice cores. The water appears to be from Northern Siberia. Then Martinez suddenly collapses (spilling coffee everywhere). He's suffered a stroke and is in dire straits—they need to control the bleeding or perform brain surgery. He's still semi-conscious, though, and tells Sterling he thinks Jarvis was behind it all. He can't become president.

Sterling tells Peel they can't let Jarvis take over, and fills him in on all that's happened with the assassination. To take him down they need proof he's responsible for the stroke. Sterling just needs time.

Sophia watches reports on the president's condition. She feels bittersweet about it all. Once Jarvis is in power, she'll be able to get help in delivering their weapon on a large-scale. Buchanan hasn't reported in, though.

When it looks like Leila is going to be taken in to Sophia, Buchanan kills the guard and the two head home to catch up on father/daughter time by hiding the body. He tells her no more phone calls and gets her to clean up the blood. It might have been nice to have a conversation about his other daughter whom both seem to have forgotten, but unfortunately Sophia decides to pop in. Leila tries to brush her off, but she wants to see her father. Buchanan cleans up and comes out to see her. All she wanted to ask was that they can't find Louis (the guard). Totally pointless scene.

In France, Vicky and Sean are on the train as he tries to convince her to go to Siberia. He bats his puppy dog eyes and convinces her immediately. Then he uses his Internets to find Corina Bogdonov—which is the name of a ship in Murmansk.

In Murmansk, the super-weapon frozen body is cut open to expose the organs. It's over ninety years old. The lungs are filled with some kind of liquid. Unfortunately, the scientist has a convenient accident and cuts himself with the scalpel. They won't let him out of the chamber, though. That is, maybe they might...

Sterling and Peel review the surveillance footage and watch Jarvis spike the coffee (amateur!). But Jarvis arrives saying he is reluctantly going to assume the presidency after speaking with the cabinet. Peel buys them a couple of hours delay and then continues reviewing the footage where they see Jarvis take the empty sugar packet (the only evidence.)

Jarvis goes into his office and gets a call from Sophia. She assures him Martinez will die very soon after lapsing into a coma, and it will be undetectable. Jarvis realizes (as Sterling and Peel do at the same time) that the president's coffee was spilled on the carpet. But the room is already being cleaned and those samples are contaminated by the cleanser anyway.

Vicky and Sean arrive in Murmansk within a few scenes and find the ship, waiting for an opportunity to sneak aboard, which shouldn't be a problem. Sean still wants to know why she's helping him. Why do you think, she counters. He doesn't understand her. Sigh.

They get on the boat and find it apparently deserted, until they look inside and see dead bodies. There are two convenient bio hazard suits so they go inside and investigate, where they find the old corpse and Sean notices the lungs are missing.

They do find someone alive so Vicky interrogates him. He says it was the Spanish flu they extracted and so Encyclopedia Sean explains it killed 15 million people in World War I. The guy doesn't know where the lungs are, so they must be on the way to the airport with the courier. The flight is going to the U.S.

The cabinet meets, but Sterling wants to present the security footage as evidence, but Peel disagrees that it will be convincing enough to get rid of Jarvis. For now they'll have to play along. So they do, and Jarvis is made president.

Sterling then goes off alone to sulk when he notices he has a coffee stain on his cuff. And at that moment Martinez decides he's had enough with this damn show and goes into a seizure.

I don't really view the Spanish flu as a super weapon, unless Sophia plans on weaponizing it further. Of course, The Event's version of the Spanish flu seems to kill people instantly if the ship's crew are any indication.

This episode was a Strain—to watch.

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