This article may contain spoilers.
With aliens, a real life dollhouse with living dolls and wormholes, “The Event” has entered the Twilight Zone. When lovers Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) and Leila Buchanan (Sarah Roemer) heard that there were aliens walking amongst us, they were incredulous to the point of flat-out disbelief. Looking through their lens, it sounded impossible. Yet, in the world of “The Event,” all bets are off and anything goes.
There are aliens amongst us. They may look like us and are nearly identical in DNA, but they are still not of this Earth. With the masterful escape of Sophia (Laura Innes), aided by Thomas (Clifton Collins, Jr.), they join the other EBE’s (extraterrestrial biological entities) hiding in plain sight. The only hiccup in their escape plan was Simon’s (Ian Anthony Dale) refusal to escape with them. With the CIA searching to locate the mole, Simon becomes suspect after Agent Murphy (Scott Michael Campbell) is found and released from the trunk of the car where Simon left him. It then became a race to find another scapegoat in order to protect Simon’s cover.
But with Blake Sterling (Zeljko Ivanek) itching to get his hands on someone to blame for the loss of Sophia, the price for treason was going to be death — particularly seeing how devastated Sterling was at finding out that his one true love was a Russian spy who ran the first chance she got when her cover was blown. Her betrayal and death haunts him and he is unforgiving to those that he discovers are working for the other side. His unflinching pursuit of the EBE’s may be understandable, but somehow it still feels like we should be rooting for Simon, Sophia and Thomas.
The big reveal of the night was not that Thomas was Sophia’s son, but rather that someone was collecting 7 year old girls and keeping them in an underground bunker that looked like a twisted-version of a dollhouse. If that was not weird enough, the girls look inhuman — as if they have been either experimented upon or exposed to some chemical or biological contaminate that has deformed them. With so many stories layered within stories, it makes one wonder what kind of show one is watching. And who exactly are the good guys?!
Despite the tangential diversion into Sterling’s past to see how he was duped by a beautiful Russian spy, it played out as a flawless parallel to the situation with Simon. Sterling’s weakness is that he trusts all the wrong people — but maybe his instincts are not so wrong if Simon is on the good guy’s side. The glimpse into Sterling’s history certainly made his inexplicable anger over betrayal more understandable. Zeljko Ivanek rose to the occasion and gave Sterling more depth and complexity than we initially perceived. Sterling may seem like the villain in this labyrinthine story, but he is looking less villainous with each episode.
It was a nice quiet moment when President Martinez (Blair Underwood) invited Sterling to join him for a drink at the end of the episode. Such an invitation was unexpected and yet showed how isolated these men of incredible power are. They have no friends — no one to confide in. The weight of the world rests on their shoulders and virtually no one knows the sacrifices they have made to protect the entire planet. A moment of peace is all they get and yet they chose to spend it together. Politics makes strange bedfellows and, when you are at war, you take your friends as you find them. It was gracious and a telling moment where they acknowledged they are equals in these uncertain times against an unknown, unfathomable enemy.
Then, while Simon was confined to a hospital bed for this episode, his presence was keenly felt. It was his neck in the noose if it were proven he was the EBE’s inside man. So as the clock ran down to see if his blood and fingerprints were a match to the physical evidence, we worried for the fate of the hero who had forsake his own kind to save his fellow CIA agents when the building imploded last week. Whereas, everyone else’s motivations seemed self-serving, Simon was acting selflessly to protect both his own kind and humans. It has made him the inadvertent hero of this twisty story. It will be interesting if it he or Sean that ultimately ends up rescuing Leila’s sister.
Props have to be given to “The Event” for its audacity in kidnapping a young child and portraying her as the victim of a weird conspiracy that collects young girls and puts them in a dollhouse. One would have expected aliens and wormholes, but a living dollhouse with disfigured children — now that really does not fit. But it did capture our attention. What exactly is the “event” and how do the children figure into it?
What Didn’t Work
It is a shame that Sofia successfully escaped. Her scenes with President Martinez were riveting and without the one-on-one showdown and maneuvering for power between them, the show feels like it is lacking a measure of intensity. Plus, the reveal that Thomas is Sophia’s son has relegated him to a lesser role as well. Even Sean feels less motivated now that he has rescued Leila. This show needs to amp up its power players, not nullify their presence.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
“I Know Who You Are” was written by Evan Katz and Lisa Zwerling, directed by Milan Cheylov. “The Event” stars Jason Ritter, Sarah Roemer, Laura Innes, Ian Anthony Dale, Scott Patterson, Zeljko Ivanek, Blair Underwood and Clifton Collins, Jr.
“The Event” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.