'The Event' Season 1, Episode 9 Recap
by Ryan McGee, posted Nov 23rd 2010 2:00AM
['The Event' – 'Your World to Take']
As you may have heard, NBC has scheduled a roughly three-month hiatus for 'The Event' after next week's Fall finale. Such a plan didn't exactly work out for shows like 'Flash Forward' or 'V' last year, although 'V' did manage to stay alive for another season. Will 'The Event' suffer the fate of the former, or get a stay of execution like the latter? It's hard to say right now, but then again, it's hard to say anything about the show as this point. While its characters seem to have a vague sense of what they want, the audience was probably left largely scratching its collective head after tonight's episode, 'Your World to Take.'
The initial run of this show has been hobbled by its title: at first, 'The Event' seemed to refer to the disappearance of a plane over Miami. Then, it seemed to refer to the crash landing of a plane full of MaybeAliens. Now, it involves something to do with little girls that are eight going on 80. Add in some White House incompetence, a bland love interest, and lots of things that go BOOM, and you've certainly got no lack of things going on. But what those events lack is anything resembling coherence and/or importance.
Let's break things down storyline by story line.
Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Alien Usurpers
Ah, Thomas. Once upon a time, you were a semi-formidable foe, able to yank planes from the sky, have the U.S. government completely frustrated, and even managed to pluck your fearless leader from her decades-long imprisonment. Now? You're just a mama's boy who can't finish what you start. In a way, this was foreshadowed earlier in the season, when Thomas blinked when Martinez called his bluff on the infected passengers of Avias 514. But tonight effectively and efficiently crippled his character, turning him into a spineless wimp that crumbles around Mother. He's an intergalactic Norman Bates without the capacity to close the deal.
All of this is rote psychologically but perfectly fine ... if the audience had a semblance of understanding how mother/son dynamics work in whatever world from which they come. We know that the MaybeAliens only vary 1percent from humans in terms of DNA, but the show has implied that their world varies far more from that. Throw in the fact that we don't know their true ages, and we have a contextless relationship that was the foundation of tonight's tension.
More solid? Confirmation that Agent Lee wasn't alone in his unexpected and unexpectedly strong attachment to his new home. The MaybeAliens looked at least 1,000 strong in that hotel conference room (attending the "We're Not Aliens, We're Totally Real Estate Agents" Conference in Salon C), and they inhabit every facet of modern life. They didn't insinuate themselves as sleeper agents, as Sterling believes, ready to subvert society. They simply sought cover in broad daylight, and found they liked the feel of sun on their skin.
For whatever reason, Sophia takes a butterfly effect policy in terms of their dealings with humans, citing "directives" that ensure they don't damage what she calls "benevolent civilizations." Notice the plural there on civilizations: How many other civilizations have the MaybeAliens encountered before landing in Alaska in 1944? Was this simply an accident-laden first leg of a longer journey? And how many of them can phase through solid matter to grab salvaged bits from that wreckage inside a secret bank vault? All valid questions. And ones that will hopefully be answered in 90 days.
Prematurely Aged Children of the Corn
'The Event' made a severe miscalculation by revealing the nursery/retirement home at the end of 'I Know Who You Are.' By showing the wrinkled young girls inside that room, they robbed the Abby reveal in tonight's episode of every ounce of its drama. Imagine if the show had simply shown Samantha's look of horror upon seeing the girls' faces, leaving what she saw offscreen until tonight? That would have either added a creepy layer to Sean/Leila's investigation or provided one heck of a sucker punch when deployed in the gas station bathroom. It's one thing to give answers on a timely basis. But it's entirely possible to give too much away too early in an attempt to please an audience.
Not only did 'The Event' blow that particular piece of narrative, but could Leila have been any less shocked to expect to see Dakota Fanning and instead see Betty White? Leila reacted more like Abby had gotten a slightly bad haircut as opposed to having horribly wrinkled skin. It's too bad, since this particular story line is finally connecting to another one in a semi-meaningful way by episode's end, with Dempsey officially after Leila. Why does he want her? (It can't be for the part of the brain that expresses human emotions, as doctors apparently removed that from her when she was a child.) As for why Dempsey wants her alive when he wanted her dead during the kidnapping plot ... yeah, best to not think too much about that turnaround. Maybe getting her to emote is actually what 'The Event' is.
Ticket to Ride the Exploding Van
Not much advancement on the Jarvis plot, except that while he's still alive (thus avoiding the clichéd "death just before imparting important information" plot line), he still may not give Dempsey up to Martinez. Seems Dempsey has information on Jarvis' wife, kids and any agents that might be able to get him work during the three months that 'The Event' will be off the air. Given that members of the writing staff came from '24,' it's a downright shame that the political aspects of this show are so dull. Give us 'Sophia and The Surprisingly Permeable Cube' on a weekly basis and this show could potentially take off.
Will you stick around for next week's final 2010 episode, or do you see the writing on the wall? When the show returns next spring, which story line should receive the most focus? Leave your thoughts below!
'The Event' airs Mondays at 9PM ET on NBC.