'The Event' Season 1 Episode 7 Recap
by Ryan McGee, posted Nov 9th 2010 1:15AM
['The Event' – 'I Know Who You Are']
'The Event' returned tonight, picking up moments after the climatic events of last episode. In addition, it carried over all the strengths and weaknesses of that previous hour. 'I Know Who You Are' continued to actually strengthen some of the show's core elements, even while its worst parts keep dragging the whole endeavor down. There's a potentially good show in here, buried under an unnecessarily tangled narrative. Streamlining the show's focus should yield increasingly stronger results, but for now, it's saddled with about one story line too many.
There were a lot of moving pieces in tonight's episode, with the three facets of the overall conspiracy in play. But on a fundamental level, the problems tonight were all the same. Each story, at its core, lay around themes of trust and family. While 'The Event' has often succeeded at telling a fairly interesting story with fairly bland characters, the protagonists tonight all made decisions in relatable fashion. Let's break things down by the type of familial problem at stake.
Sure, Sophia is now free from prison. But she's not exactly happy with Thomas' methods. Not only did she not approve of his little building implosion at the end of last episode, but she's not entirely stoked by his methods of outwitting the stock market in order to bankroll their trip back "home." Wherever said "home" is, it apparently has a much more stable financial system than ours. (So, no Bear Stearns on that world. Got it.)
But riches only got Thomas so far: The problems surrounding their return concern raw materials, not raw wealth. Thomas' aide in Los Alamos got nuclear power rolling ahead of historical schedule, but the majority of said fuel lies in closely guarded facilities. Without access to that massive supply, their portals can only send people one way from Florida to Arizona, not from Earth to Planet-Without-Water-to-Be-Named-Later. Liberating Sophia is a moral coup for these people, but is only one cog in the endgame.
More intriguing than the mechanics of electromagnetic portal creation? Sophia's title of "Mother," bestowed upon her by Thomas. Is that title honorary? Does it refer to a godlike status on whatever plane of existence from which she comes? Do people on that plane breed like rabbits, making her the literal, not figurative, mother to those that crashed in 1944? In any case, the force of will exhibited in making Thomas back down coupled with his near worship of her in the aftermath gives an intriguing new twist to the social stratification of this group.
One of the strongest aspects of 'Loyalty' lay in its focused flashbacks. Rather than careening the audience through a series of times, places and characters, 'Loyalty' focused on one character (Simon Lee) and made those flashbacks mean something in the context of the present-day action. 'I Know Who You Are' employed a similar technique, and while Sterling's back story helped explain his current behavior, it didn't quite have the emotional resonance of Lee's star-crossed romance.
Sterling earned his present-day paranoia. After all, if you married a Russian spy who sneaked documents out of the house while you slept off the effects of a bottle of Spanish red wine, you'd be pretty paranoid too. While having the ear of the president now, he nearly lost his entire career 14 years ago thanks to his misguided relationship. As such, his current anger over a mole in his midst has less to do with national security than personal certainty: in lieu of Svetlana's betrayal/murder, he developed what can only be described as mole-dar. But the investigation of Sophia's escape rattled that sense of self.
Sterling's blind spot allowed Thomas and another of Sophia's acolytes (Aaron) to eventually switch DNA samples, plant fingerprints, and take the heat off Lee. His inability to always be perfect might relieve Martinez (who for some reason was apparently afraid Sterling was TOO good at protecting the country) but also gives Lee carte blanche at this point, free from Sterling's mole-dar. What Lee does with that new freedom remains to be seen. He didn't seem terribly anxious to follow Thomas and Sophia last time out; perhaps he'll use his second chance to pay some penance from the inside.
If you have stuck with 'The Event' this long, then that final shot either made you cackle with glee or made you throw your remote at the television. Neither reaction is wrong, per se; it's just a matter of taste. But it's not hard to see how old wrinkly toddlers can produce a divisive reaction in a diverse fan base. (Then again, the Sean/Leila story line is pretty divisive in and of itself. The weakest narrative link thus far, its shortcomings have only become accentuated as the rest of the show steadily increases in confidence and execution.)
While the end reveal may have been slightly shaky, the idea behind this particular part of the plot shows more promise than that surrounding Michael Buchanan's suicide mission aboard Avias 514. Up until now, the Carter/Vicky faction has been relatively aimless, doing things for reasons that were apparently not even clear to themselves. Tonight, we saw the ostensible leader of this group, Dempsey (played by legendary actor Hal Holbrook, recently seen this year on 'Sons of Anarchy'), and with his arrival came a touch of clarity as to their actions. Dempsey is a successful businessman with a taste for experimental botany as well as experimental biology. Think the two are related?
The flower in Dempsey's office seems key to understanding what Creepy Supernanny is doing with Samantha and the Geriatric Daycare Center. Dempsey somehow engineered flowers that normally sprout every two years to regrow every four weeks. How does this apply to the girls? One has to think that Dempsey's group learned about Sophia's people and sought to recreate that 1percent DNA difference themselves through scientific endeavor. The allure of eternal youth is worth killing for, no?
In any case, the search for Leila's sister is approximately 4,000 times more compelling than the search for her father, so the shift in focus is appreciated. Scenes involving conspiracy theorists swapping exposition with Sean Walker about Michael's Conspiracy Journal just aren't the stuff of compelling television. But a race to save Samantha from looking like she spent a few months in a swimming pool? Exploitative, to be sure, but far more engaging. 'The Event' isn't aspiring to high art; it's escapist entertainment, and given the show's brief track record, it won't draw out Samantha's scenario beyond Thanksgiving. And who knows; maybe this plot will yield a reaction other than ''slightly dazed'' from Leila's face.
What did you think of the return of 'The Event'? Which story line worked best for you? Leave your thoughts below!
'The Event' airs Mondays at 9PM ET on NBC.