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‘The Event’ – Protect Them From The Truth

From out of the chaos, everybody begins to choose their role.

This review may contain spoilers.

Fresh upon the discovery that all of the plane survivors were killed seemingly by the sleeper aliens living among the general population, the search for answers begin.

President Martinez pleads with Sophia for information, and says that he will release any of them who volunteer information. It almost seems that things begin to unfold for her as one detainee, William, comes forward with the promise of answering questions if they release his girlfriend, Maya, to him. Not wanting that information out, Sophia apparently arranges for Maya to meet up with William, only to kill him after learning he has not said anything yet.

We catch up with Sean Walker right where left off with him in the custody of the FBI. Sean evades the agents and saves one from a exploding car, but raises plenty of questions that begin to show cracks in the tightly-wound conspiracy. The female agent Collier begins to realize Sean is on to something as he was telling her about the plane before it was reported to be lost over South America. A shootout forces Sean and Collier to escape and track down Vicky, who has taken Sean’s girlfriend Leila. Vicky is keeping her trapped in a shipping container while working with the forces who tried to kill Sean and Agent Collier.

The biggest reveal played well into the reveal we saw at the end of the last episode. The government took all the bodies of the plane survivors that apparently were killed mysteriously. They were then seen in a temporary morgue when one-by-one, all of the “deceased” began to wake up.

What Worked

Even though we are only three episodes into the show, there have been some absolute standout performances in character acting. The character of President Elias Martinez — played by the amazing Blair Underwood — continues to be one of the most subtle and yet powerful portrayal of a President since Dennis Haysbert in 24.” He has certainly filled the shoes well even if he still does not come off as a Cuban expatriate. In all fairness, that is my only gripe about that character and the actor that portrays him.

It will always stick with me, but Underwood’s excellent performance is quickly sweeping that under the rug. Another great character is the despicable Secretary Blake Sterling played by the well-rounded Zeljko Ivanek. It is too early in the story to know what Sterling’s true motives may be, but he is quickly becoming a person all good shows must have: someone that you love to hate.

I also like the fact that there are no clear cut sides in this tale. Almost everybody involved thinks they are doing the greater good for themselves. To reach their “greater good,” actions are taken that could make one question which side they are on; the ambiguity of who is good and who is bad in very intriguing. I have a feeling that as the whole story unfolds, we the viewers will be switching who we support.

What Didn’t Work

At this point, the saving grace of this show is also the Achilles Heel. The extremely complicated and multi-layered plot has made things very difficult to keep straight. There are conspiracies within conspiracies, and that can prove to turn away many people. I understand the desire to placate the wishes for answers to be told, but it seems that everything is coming too fast for any real cohesion. To me at least, they are trying to tell a season’s worth of story in only a couple of episodes. In order for the answers to come out, a dozen key points need to be shown before. If this show wants to continue telling the story that was brilliantly laid out in the pilot, it needs to slow down the information. There have been some genius serialized shows that have popped up over the years. But even the most confusing and convoluted plots took more time to tell the same amount of story.

One plot device that has always frustrated me is when people share information that they have no business in knowing. Shining a light on this is Agent Collier who, while handcuffed to bed in a hotel, explains the procedure necessary for Sean to get in and access the FBI’s network. She gives him the information on how to break into the agency without any coercion. They even have an amusing back-and-forth about passwords and how easy they are to break. I understand the need as it gives the characters a chance to meet up and join forces, albeit reluctantly. However every time this move is shown, it tells the viewer what is to happen later. It adds a layer of predictability to a production that is striving to think outside the box.

Killing the passengers in one episode only to resurrect them in the following episode is a weak move. The concept is good to show that the aliens wield an ability that is mysterious as it is powerful. It probably have had a more dramatic flair to bring them back to life another couple of episodes later, but this furthers my statement that things are moving too fast and that if this show wants to go for the long run, the writers need to stick an episode to one aspect of the story at a time.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due:

“Protect Them From the Truth” was written by Nick Wauters and directed by Jeffrey Reiner. “The Event” stars Jason Ritter, Lisa Vidal, Bill Smitrovich, Wesley A. Ramsey, Taylor Cole, Scott Patterson, Sarah Roemer, Laura Innes, Blair Underwood, Ian Anthony Dale and Zeljko Ivanek.

“The Event” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Could they be a Rut-ro! Shaggy
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