The Event Turns in a Monumental Episode

Ever since Episode 3 or so of NBC's The Event, things have gone downhill at such an awe-inspiring rate that it's hard not to poke fun at the show whenever we see an old man drinking youth serum, unintentionally funny run-around-in-circles chases, some dude walking down a hallway for 15 minutes, cornfields, or even the slightest glimpse of Sarah Roemer's feeble attempts at acting. But you have to admit, Monday's episode was (and I never thought I'd say this) actually pretty good! Go ahead and check your calendars, April Fool's Day is still a few days away. I'm being 90 percent serious.

Don't get too excited, the show is still a smoldering pile of rubble. But "Face Off" was entertaining, and for once, it was enjoyable in the way the show's producers intended it to be, and not because it was unintentionally hilarious. "Face Off" marked a return to the series' goofy-fun early episodes, with ridiculous high-stakes standoffs, gratuitous explosions, mysterious old men exploring mysterious old archeological digs, and sketchy special effects.

So what made last night's The Event so watchable?

1. The alien/terrorists destroyed a national monument!


All good terrorist-alien-invasion shows and movies must blow up a national treasure, and with its annihilation of the Washington Monument, The Event joins the big boys. Sure it was only D.C.'s tallest phallic symbol, and its destruction was not as emotionally devastating as Independence Day's demolished White House, but what did you expect? It's The Event. Frankly, I'm a little shocked the aliens didn't blow up the Reagan Library.

2. Creepy old man killed someone!


We've known for a while that Dempsey (Hal Holbrook) is an evil old man, but we've never seen him directly do anything evil (unless you count being disarmingly huggable as evil). Instead, we've deduced his moral code from the way he sinisterly spins in his chair, speaks in a gravelly whisper, and offers us butterscotch candies. But now he's gone and shot someone for opening his Christmas present too early. And not just anyone: an archaeologist! Mankind's most curious folk! That's pure evil.

3. Indie art house cinematography!
In addition to this masterful combination of framing and Photoshop filters:

...there was a scene in which Vicky and Sean went for a drive through the French countryside. And because everything in France is more artsy and ethereal, the producers hired Sofia Coppola to direct this scene, just to really emphasize that the kids were indeed in the magical land of France.



Look out Francois Truffaut! Someone's paying homage to Pierrot le Fou and other French New Wave Classics!

4. Main characters died! Maybe!


After building up an ensemble cast of characters who pop up and disappear at random and whose allegiances we're still trying to figure out, The Event finally killed some big players. My favorite character Thomas bravely sacrificed his own life (and the lives of everyone else he didn't consult on his bus) to protect his dear mum Sophia, because she had a better chance of helping their race advance. It's nice to see that those two were able to forgive each other so quickly after Thomas murdered Sophia's followers in cold blood. I guess he's just a mama's boy at heart.

This chapter of the show may not have made much progress regarding what "The Event" actually is (was the blowing up of a national monument the Event?), but things happened. People died. Landmarks were 'sploded. That's all I really ask for from my cheesy network sci-fi shows.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Apr 01, 2011
I think THE event will probably be the reveal of "alien" life to the world in the show. "The event that changed everything was the confirmation that WE are not alone in the Universe."
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Mar 31, 2011
Vicky is hot and watching the hellfire missiles blow up those buses was sweet. Now we know what it looks like when predator drones drop their missiles on Taliban/Al Qaeda vehicles.
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Mar 31, 2011
Not bad, granted there were some areas that needed drastic improvement and a few unrealistic situations that strained the suspension of disbelief but overall this episode was effective and was probably the best episode by 'The Event' Standards.
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Mar 31, 2011
And there's that "You have ten minutes to surrender" thing. Who does that in real life? Tell them to surrender, now, no "wait ten minutes to do whatever evil thing you want to do while we sit back and let you."
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Mar 31, 2011
And let's not forget the dramatic "Let's evade the Secret Service by splitting up, Sean stealing a car, picking up Vicky, and driving away" scene. What a waste of 2 minutes.
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Mar 30, 2011
Bad. Just bad.
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Mar 30, 2011
I used to like sci fi but find most now to be too violent and/or just too silly (like "V"). This is one of the first that I really like and almost the only program I watch on TV--I'm too busy to waste time. I like the plot and realize it's not supposed to be in-depth acting. I find it not as violent as others. Can't understand some of you who seem to like it only when something blows up. At least we weren't exposed to body pieces and blood and gore like so many TV shows. I enjoyed the first of the series and the fact that the aliens have a woman leader who, of course, wants to do no harm. But most men like to blow up something! It's too bad this series can't go on. I would like some scifi that is family friendly. Of for the days of Star Wars! and Star Trek! The best part of The Event is that these are people like us and not demon monsters. I think I see the plot of them being returning original settlers of the earth.
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Mar 30, 2011
Personally, I found it tough to swallow that in the span of 20 minutes Thomas had a 180-degree change in his feelings toward his mother and toward his ultimate goal for "his" people. But, other than those minutes of suspending belief, I liked this episode better than many of the others. I found it interesting that all it takes to loosen Vicky's lips about her past is an old friend and some French wine. So she's a burned spy eh? Explains a lot...
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Mar 30, 2011
And why exactly were there three Apache helicopters aiming at the buses? In the end, only one of the Apaches actually fired their missles... Of course, they had to shoot the buses one by one, leaving at least 5 minutes between each shot. The president should consider hiring mercenaries enstead of sending those lame troops. ;-)
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Mar 30, 2011
Up until now the show was pretty bad, somewhat cool premise but the show was nothing more than sets of characters running around in circles arguing with each other and doing stupid things. Last night's episode gave the show some actual direction, and was great action. Still pretty bad acting in some areas, but overall it was definitely the best episode of the Event so far. Let's hope it only gets better.
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Mar 30, 2011
It was actually good! Lots of actions in the first half, explosions, story movements, etc. It felt like a season finale, but it wasn't. We'll see what's next week will be like.
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Mar 30, 2011
cool, show is not as bad as critics say, but still, not all that great either
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Mar 30, 2011
I gotta say, Tim, I love your reviews, but I was a little disappointed that you didn t highlight what was, at least to me, the best scene in this episode: the french dinner!! Besides indulging in well worn stereotypes (the french speaking in highly accented english intercut with Oui and Voila, and eating meals consisting solely of wine and cheese) and suggesting (via a couple of lustful looks) that perhaps Vicki is more interested in jumping Seans bones that in saving her son(already moving on, lover boy!!But Vicki is HOT!!!), the story Henri tells Sean is unfu**ingbelievable: Vicki and Henri, operatives at the top of their game, got so sh*tfaced during a mission they weren t able to carry it out, and later on, they accidently kill their mark in a drunk driving head on collision!!! And Vicki asked herself why the CIA didn t reinbourse her for a job well done: That is the kind of work ethics we should all embrace!! No wonder the CIA burned her: why the hell would they want to keep the best and most promissing agent they had (talk about low standards), when she couldn t even be expected to stay sober during assignments? No, the fault lays squarely on her superiors shoulders, who fired her to hide his own incompetence. Why the hell would he need to do that? What can be worse than getting drunk on the job??

The Event is like James Bond: Nobody does it better. I only wish that the Apache could fire more than one rocket every ten minutes, at least the show would have gone out with a bang, and Sophia would join Thomas in the Heaven of the Annoying TV Characters.
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Mar 30, 2011
just saw it , it was actually great! :D
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Mar 30, 2011
OK, I watch and enjoy Fringe, so I'm glad that is renewed. I recorded "V" for vapid, but that really turned out to be an epic fail in my opinion. And then "The Event" returns on "V"s heals...and I just can't believe how unbelievably bad two networks can simultaneously be attempting to script a decent sci-fi show. Now, I had 4 episodes backed up on my DVR, including the spring premiere, and it took about 25 minutes for me to pull out my laptop and search for confirmation that this show is going to be cancelled. Thankfully, all signs at this time point to yes! This show is just horribly written, and I hate some characters--Thomas, Sean and especially Laura Innes' Sophia--but Sarah Roemer is really beautiful and about the only thing I enjoy on the show is watching her. And it's not her fault the material she's given by the writers is so awful. Her acting is fine (I think she's a star), but what are you gonna do?



Now, this last episode--Face Off--had to be the dumbest sci-fi television (excluding any Syfy channel movie-of-the-week, which I'm pretty sure are INTENDED to be insulting to my intelligence) I've EVER seen. Case in point--there is a military helicopter blowing up buses, and after the first one goes up, what do the other two do? Do they stop and have everyone run for their lives? No, they keep barreling down the road at full speed, seemingly quite aware that they are sitting ducks, and play this inane game of leap frog! You've got to be fraking kidding me!!! Who is writing this crap??!! They should be fired yesterday; but eventually, when sweet, sweet cancellation comes for this dumpster fire, those responsible will be out of work. LOOK--if you can't write a show with 19 other people sitting around a table brainstorming your best alien invasion, secret society, ancient astronaut techno-thriller-drama, then get out of Hollywood.



"V" and "The Event" have made me long for the days of "Flash Forward," and make me appreciate more with each passing fraked up network season after network season, the inspired brilliance that was "LOST."



BTW--I deleted the backed up episodes on my DVR. The only reason I saw Episode 15: Face Off is because I found out it was supposed to be the "game changer" where they attack Washington (boy do I wish I had that 42 minutes of my life back). So, note to advertisers: no, I'm not even watching your commercials at even 4x speed on my DVR when this show is so stupid it rates an Series Delete on my remote control.
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Mar 30, 2011
The "giving in to terrorists" plot is totally unbelievable. After 9/11, does anyone think we'll just stand idly by and give in to the demands of the terrorists without reciprocity? Sure, after the government finds out that the terrorists were bluffing, they were taken out, but still, the wimpy president waited after how long to say enough is enough. I hope the show ends soon.
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Mar 30, 2011
This was a great episode and a taste of the potential this show really has. I hope it gets a good run and we find every thing out!!!!
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Mar 30, 2011
From the archaeological dig, dialogue in the show, and comments made during ppromos I would guess "The Event" is the first humans that were on earth returning to claim the planet they left millions of years ago. That's why their DNA is so close to ours. Or maybe better "The Event" is the aliens discovering that this is their first home.
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Mar 30, 2011
Please lets not get ahead of ourselves some of the acting and dialogue still sucked...big time.
Sean and Leyla should have been killed .Their story arc and acting still the weakest part of The Event.
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Mar 30, 2011
Best episode since the Pilot.
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Mar 30, 2011
vicky is smoking hot!
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Mar 30, 2011
good episode. hope thomas is not dead
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Mar 29, 2011
The actual "Event" in The Event would be the impending alien Supernova, do you not think?
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Mar 29, 2011
I liked the episode. It was great.
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