Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review: The Event "Arrival"

Non Spoiler Review:
The end. The Event ends on what was a rather exciting episode, if it wasn't dragging along the dead body of its overly long season behind it. Sterling and crew fight to stop the virus from being released. Martinez engages Jarvis in a struggle for the presidency. And Sophia tries to keep control of the situation as her people prepare to arrive. 

As far as plot, the finale does bring some good stuff—we see what's coming through the portal, a few characters sort of get closure, and we find out what The Event is (!). So if the we can ignore the ridiculous behaviour of everyone—Jarvis, Leila, Sean and Sophia, to name a few—it can be endured.

Unfortunately, we can't. The way Sophia manipulates Jarvis is so outrageously unbelievable (even for this show) it was painful to watch. Leila and Sean's scenes deliver a customary groaner at the conclusion. The threads of what's hinted at in the final scene would have made a great second season had the show not suffered from poor writing, irreparably damaged characters and total disregard for any plot cohesion. Hopefully someone somewhere learns you can't build a show around one thing.

Spoilers Now!
Leila hasn't died yet. So we get some more of Sean saying things like "You can't think like that," and Leila saying "Make sure Sam is okay." Some disease people show up to help, so he tells her everything is going to be okay and leaves.

Sophia and Carlos pull off the road just as a weird atmospheric disturbance and earthquake happens. The effects of the portal opening are beginning to manifest around the world. Between the Earth and the moon a blue light appears.

Sterling's done wonders with the computer and has pulled up a model of how the disease will spread, with the three distribution points Sophia is using. He fills in Martinez, but unfortunately he can't issue any orders until he forces a vote on the cabinet to put him back into office. But Peel can send in some teams himself without advising Jarvis, except for shutting down the airport. That leaves super-team Sean, Sterling, Vicky and Simon to handle that.

Martinez takes Jarvis aside to attempt to convince him to shut down the airport because the virus is being released there. He refuses to believe that Sophia's been lying to him (!?) and thinks Martinez just wants him to look like a fool. Martinez offers a deal to let him finish his term if he does it. If not, he'll tell the cabinet he was poisoned. No deal. But Jarvis immediately calls Sophia and fills her in on the accusations about the virus. 

Sophia denies it, of course. Jarvis just wants her assurance (sigh), and agrees not to let anyone get in their way. Sophia steps up her plan to release the virus immediately as soon as their canisters are in place. Everyone's at the airport by now, and as Sophia goes through security she gets an emergency call that the food and money distribution sites were attacked by the government and stopped in time. She's pissed.

Martinez is filled in on their success by Peel as they head to the cabinet meeting. They have nothing yet from the airport. Unfortunately as Martinez goes to sit down at the meeting he collapses (bad!).

Simon and Sterling tell airport security about the impending threat, but refuse to show any ID whatsoever, so when security balks at believing them, they pull a gun, and learn someone did happen to go through with some viral canister-looking stuff. Simon and Sterling find the guy in the baggage loading area and start shooting. Simon gets shot a couple of times and Sterling loses the guy. Simon's wearing a vest, though he also got hit in the leg. They phone Sean and Vicky to take up the chase. She immediately mugs another security guard so they can get into the secured areas. 

Sophia, Carlos and their man meet up and grab the canisters just as Sean and Vicky arrive. Sophia runs off to get on the plane and Sterling shows up to shoot Carlos. With all the extraneous characters dead, they take off after Sophia.

Martinez wakes up and addresses the cabinet. Jarvis notes the medical records that didn't clear him for discharge. Martinez admits he's right, but he has no choice because Jarvis has sold out the country and is responsible for his stroke. He reveals Jarvis is working with Sophia and is about to unleash a virus. Martinez says he can prove it and pulls out a tape recorder he has from their earlier conversation. Busted! 

Martinez is, of course, reinstated. Sophia has taken to running through the airport with Sean in pursuit and locks herself in the lounge. The feds show up and rush into the terminal as all the flights are cancelled. All the exits are locked down but Sophia is going to try to release the virus anyway. Sean pleads with her not to do this and she comments (through the wall) that she admires his tenacity. He says she'll only succeed in killing the people in the terminal and that's not what she wants, but she's all "You don't know me!" Sean says she wasn't like this when they first met. Remember the tea they shared? Sophia says that's changed. After that tedious conversation he gets through to her and she stops, then comes out and gives herself up.

Simon tells Sean that Sophia is still bringing their people over and begins an info-dump—Earth was their home before it was Sean's. His people believed if they stayed something would happen to all of them—they call it The Event (oh my god, that's the name of the show!). It's the next stage in their people's evolution, but humanity won't survive it. But that's about all he feels like talking about and says all the rest of the answers are in the scroll, including how it all ends. Thanks, Simon. 

Sterling and Simon get back to the White House. Simon assumes the portal is how they're bringing them through, but doesn't know where it might be. He thinks it might be in Asia. Peel tells them that Jarvis redirected a satellite that covers Tibet. Oddly enough they're picking up anomalous readings on the Tibetan plateau and soon have a satellite (?) image of the portal.

Sean and Vicky get to the hospital where Leila is. Vicky decides it's time to show some emotion and tells him she's no longer afraid to face her family because of him and gives him a big hug. Then she says good-bye and he gives her one of his dumb looks before going in to see Leila, who is not only not dead yet, but  tells him she's pregnant. (Sigh).

Sean's all "Wha." But she's still dying, though he tells her everything's going to be okay now, so that will apparently mean everything will turn out okay—because having a deadly strain of Spanish Flu is no problem for a fetus whatsoever.

As disasters continue, Sophia is brought in to see the president. He's like, you have some explainin' to do! He wants the portal shut down, but she says they can't, and she won't answer his questions. She admits she ordered the spread of the virus as an act of mercy, but now the only choice left to remove the excess humans will be inhumane (in lieu of a plague).

Then there's another earthquake. The portal opens up and everyone runs outside. And then the alien planet appears in the sky (somewhere in the general vicinity of the moon, which might be problematic). The First Lady and her son run out on the lawn and look up at the crazy new planet. "What is it?" he asks. "Home ," she says. She's not Dominican at all!

The end.

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