Welcome back The Event fans!
This review is not a recap of The Event episodes two and three. I do not favor recaps. Rather this review is an analysis exploring and evaluating some of the theories of the series tied to the storyline, how well portions of the story arc have been depicted, and what if any relationship The Event has with other series in the past.
We will also discuss the quality of the acting, direction, location shooting, cinematography as well as topics anchored in the present which make the series more than believable.
For this purpose we will include select images courtesy of NBC for news analysis and review purposes as well as the promotional trailer for episode four “A Matter of Life and Death”. All told The Event establishes an edifice that is to be admired by Wormholeriders News Agency, so lets begin with a few images of the wormhole in The Event shall we?
However, be warned. Certain parts of the series are discussed in detail and should be considered as spoilers if you have not witnessed The Event for yourself. If you do not enjoy spoilers, you should stop reading now. But first lets feast your eyes on yet another couple of images of the wormhole or something most similar!
The Event is an up and coming series which has continued to reveal what effect aliens are having and have had on our world since their imprisonment some 66 years ago on Earth. With an obvious though not directly stated reference to the alleged UFO crash landing events in Roswell New Mexico circa 1947, The Event builds on that belief held by many on Earth. The Roswell incident has captivated many on our planet for over six decades. The Event dovetails this belief factor in today’s viewers very nicely in the opinion of this reviewer. This appears to be true much to the delight of millions of viewers based on recent ratings discussed at the end of this analysis.
Episodes two and three of The Event are analyzed in tandem herein because in the opinion of this reviewer the first three episodes actually act as a movie of sorts with the typical two hour duration. Some commented to me on Twitter that they could not understand what was happening in the pilot. I have watched the first three episodes several times and am convinced that they could be viewed back to back to back to help truly internalize the series single effect to date for those who where not clear on what occurred. Viewing in such a fashion helps sets the tone for what is to come. Fortunately for The Event fans, DVR technology and on-line viewing at NBC allows for just that!
On a side topic, for anyone to assume that humankind is the sole type of intelligent life in the universe is being naïve in the opinion of this reviewer. As recently discussed in our new WHR Science Series, our gifted science writer RedOne68 (Sandra) has produced two fine articles. One is on the subject of life elsewhere in the universe and one is about wormholes. You can read Sandra’s latest article on life in the universe by clicking this hyperlink.
The Event story arc strays from the Roswell incident in New Mexico events in a major way. In this excellent rendition of aliens among us, broadcast on NBC in the United States, the discovery of extra-terrestrials occurs on November 02, 1944 in the Brookes Mountain Range in Alaska (a real place from the real world), some three years before the oft reported Roswell incident. The Roswell incident looms tall amid ongoing, yet unproven, claims of a government cover up ever since 1947 by conspiracy enthusiasts, many of whom may very well be correct in such beliefs.
The basis for such lack of trust in governmental agencies far pre-dates current events and is therefore a solid cornerstone of The Event story arc which continues to be revealed in a series of flashbacks during episodes two and three. As previously mentioned in our first review of The Event, this is a time honored technique in story telling dating back to the earliest years of recorded human history, specifically in modern times as a technique in literature and film.
In episode two, we learn that that during World War 2, an “aircraft of undermined origins” crashed in a remote area of Alaska with 97 survivors not of Earthly characteristics. Being on a war footing, the United States military and “Intelligence” agencies quarantines the area, ‘apprehends’ the 97, but those are not all the survivors. The able bodied leave the crash site while character Sophia Maguire portrayed by Laura Innes prepares the wounded whom are to be interned. The question then becomes where did the others go and what are they going to do in our society?
Initial scientific observations conclude that the non-humans appear to age at a dramatically slower rate than humankind. How much slower than humans the alien’s age leaves open the potential (in the story) that the aliens may have been living on planet Earth for a very long time until the capture of the 97 in 1944.
Just how long the aliens have been on Earth remains to be revealed in future episodes. In the episode two, a briefing to President Martinez (Blair Underwood) occurs over 65 years later. During the briefing the topic turns to the aliens DNA which has been sequenced. This proves the early 1944 hypothesis that although quite similar to humans, they are in fact alien in nature, not of the Earth.
During the current day briefing which tracks the electromagnetic aspects of The Event, a flashback from 13 months earlier is played out that reveals photos from various decades illustrating the aliens whom have hardly aged in their 66 years in captivity by “Intelligence” and military divisions of the Unites States government. The current day President is astounded by these disclosures after the fact and asks “why” the aliens are being detained? Once again the real world ‘plausible deniability’ routine makes for believable story telling. Why? Many politicians throughout history claim to be unaware of various situations being managed by their subordinates.
During these sequences we also are afforded the opportunity to see more of the President’s cabinet in action including Bill Smitrovich (Thirteen Days, Independence Day, The Practice) portraying the Vice President, Raymond Jarvis. Politics aside, Bill Smittrovich’s role is quite similar to the actual reality of today’s White House with Vice President Joe Biden as the seasoned politician whom was to aid the younger Barack Obama as President. This parallel makes the story more believable by tying the plot to real world scenarios that the viewing audience can relate to.
In true to life revelations to the President, the intelligence and military agencies whom have been charged with detaining the aliens since 1944 state that the aliens have a “hidden agenda”. Well of course they do! Why else would they be detained? Or could it be that the governmental agencies suffer from good ole’ human paranoia? Well, we will leave that theory alone for the time being, but I can assure you that the “hidden agenda” is a most effectively implemented in The Event.
With the majority of the aliens in the series (apparently) located in a secure facility in Alaska known as Mount Inostranka, it is discussed that various other factions of the aliens are operating in our society and or have operated and infiltrated our society for many years. No doubt these are the individuals whom were not hurt and escaped the 1944 crash in Alaska.
How far have they are penetrated into our society or how long they have been here has not yet been revealed. However, we do know that at least one of them escaped the detention facility previously. Where there is one whom has escaped, there are likely to be many in the theory of The Event as I interpret them.
We then segue to the series protagonist Jason Ritter portraying Sean Walker in a Yuma Arizona hospital after learning that his girlfriend and fiancé’ Leila Buchanan, portrayed by Sarah Roemer, was not erased from the timeline but was instead kidnapped as a bargaining chip to force the father, Michael Buchanan (Scott Patterson) to crash the airliner into the press event to stop the disclosure to the general public about the alien presence here on Earth.
This aspect of The Event plot is reminiscent of a classic series “The Invaders” circa 1967-1968 where protagonist Sean Walker is akin to architect David Vincent portrayed by Roy Thinnes who knows the secrets of the aliens but is not believed by people he comes into contact with, at least not at first in both series. The Event does an awesome job in this regard.
The initial story arc in The Event is therefore one proven to be highly effective in the entertainment industry, particularly in science fiction; Various alien factions involved with our society in various governmental institutions, each with their own agenda at work. This of course must also delight conspiracy buffs who believe that our rapid advances in technology are due in part to alien knowledge being imparted to select governmental agencies operating Area 51 in Nevada.
Speaking of “The Invaders”, earlier this year SyFy ran “The Invaders” as an all day marathon for two days. I cannot help but believe that “The Invaders” marathon on SyFy was a test of the viewing audience, their enjoyment of this type of series, and whether or not the viewing public would ultimately accept “The Event”. Of interest is that SyFy recently ran “The Event” series pilot to expose their viewers to the series. Is this all a coincidence? Hardly. It represents a well planned market research technique (in my opinion) that NBC Universal should be complimented on.
Back to The Event; In the hospital after the crash of the airliner in the Arizona desert (subsequent to being transported in what I can only describe as a wormhole effect), we learn that the protagonist Jason Ritter who plays the character Sean Walker, has been framed for the murder of a passenger on the cruise ship where he and Leila Buchanan (Sarah Roemer) were vacationing.
In a bizarre but effective twist of plot, when he sincerely wants to disclose what is occurring to law enforcement, we find that he is wanted for the murder of an acquaintance on the cruise ship. Obviously some organization has the ability to affect changes to the computer records. Are they human or are they xenophobic alien factions? Could both be at play? My theory says yes, both are involved to some extent and here is why.
As the “The Event” tale unfolds in episodes two and three, we continue to see flashbacks to the happenings from the pilot episode. Specifically we learn about what the xenophobic factions here on Earth are willing to do suppress the ‘secret’ from being revealed to the general public. This includes attempts at mass murder to apparently extinguish the witnesses. These attempts fail. Quite deliberately by the way. More on that later.
As mentioned, the extent of their xenophobic activities also include kidnapping and murder to stop the truth of an alien presence from being revealed to the general public by the President portrayed by veteran actor Blair Underwood. The xenophobia is a two way street in The Event, human paranoid of alien and visa-versa!
To coin a phrase, the event’s revealed so far include when the President released the de-facto alien leader Sophia Maguire to make a public announcement which set off the entire set of spiraling story arc plot twists in the pilot episode. These flashbacks continue to fill in the story-line unabated through episode two and episode three.
Keep reading and that theory will be divulged or debunked depending on your perspective. During a one on one discussion between Sophia Maguire and the President, she discloses that it was they who saved his life in the first episode when the wormhole appeared in front of the jet airliner just prior to being used as a weapon of mass destruction. The President requests to know how the plane instantly disappeared from the viewing audience’s perspective and appeared in the Arizona desert as depicted above and below.
One theory is that the attack on the airliner (after being transported to the Arizona desert) may not be humans trying to suppress the news of aliens on Earth, but could in fact be aliens whom have infiltrated ‘black ops’ intelligence divisions of the United States government that do not desire their presence and or agenda to be revealed.
When Sophia declines to comment, the President informs her that she and her kind will be returned to the Mount Inostranka detention facility indefinitely. When Sophia declares that such would be a mistake, we are left wondering what else she knows and who of her kind are responsible for what happenings in The Event.
In our first review of the Event I discussed a changing in the time-line from the wormhole effect. I stand by my theory that changes to the time-line are occurring or being affected for as yet some fully explained reason. While apparently not the same type of time-line changes as in Eureka, Fringe or Stargate, nonetheless the movement of an airliner such a vast distance to save the President and all at the press conference is a change in reality with far reaching consequences affecting the President of the United States and perhaps our entire world!
As episode two draws to a conclusion, in a fateful and telling flashback ten years back in time, we learn that Agent Simon Lee (now on the President’s staff) portrayed by Ian Anthony Dale, is an alien when after a blood test he removes a synthetic vein from his arm used to trick the nurse and hence the blood test required for admittance to the Central Intelligence Agency.
This scene provides proof to the viewers that the aliens are in fact infiltrated into our government. Ironically it is agent Lee who is then tasked by Blake Sterling, the President’s advisor (Zeljko Ivanek) to root out all the aliens!
Instead Agent Lee meets with alien brother “Thomas” (Clifton Collins Jr.) who after a hug informs him that “they” have “plans” to use the passengers, give him coordinates, and that Agent Lee will find out what when he gets to the Arizona desert.
Upon arrival in the Arizona desert Agent Lee finds that all the passengers are dead, but were killed after the fact, not from the airliners crash landing! They were apparently killed by a sinister force while either trying to escape or when protecting loved ones during what appears to be their final moments alive on planet Earth.
Before we proceed, a few asked me why if I think so highly of The Event did I give it an “A Minus” grade in the first review at WHR? I focused on their opinions due to the fact that the ‘sell’ to the general audience requires three episodes to really “get” ones head around what is happening. Because of the extensive use of flashbacks to fill in the back story, some found it hard to follow. I heard these constructively critical comments and internalized them. Perhaps it is easier for me to “get” The Event from my acting and entertainment service background to understand that episodes one, two and three were more like acts such as in a well delivered stage play. Each is needed to provide a full single effect for the viewing audience.
Let us now briefly discuss the acting, direction by Jeffery Reiner, special digital effects team lead by Gary D’Amico, and location shooting. The ensemble cast is superb as has been the direction, the writing, the location shooting, computer generated graphics, and the cinematography by Feliks Parnell throughout the first three episodes. Show runner and creator Nick Wauters is to be complimented for assembling such a fine team. I expect my grade to change to a straight “A” once the series resumes in episode four “A Matter of Life and Death” after the setting of the foundation in the initial three.
Additionally the ensemble cast is supplemented with effective guest stars including D.B. Sweeney as “Carter” (24, Life as We Know It, and Jericho), Heather McComb as Agent Collier (Prison Break, Profiler, and X-Files), and Gabriel Olds as Agent Spencer (the Mentalist, Charmed and D.C.). The Event includes many other fine guest actors and actresses. It is these performances which help create the sense of realism that is The Event.
The bodies of the jetliner passengers from the wormhole transported airliner which suddenly appeared in Arizona appear to be dead! Despite the depiction of all the people massacred when attack helicopters used something, perhaps a nerve gas, a conspiracy is afoot! Appearances can be deceiving, yet in in the eyes of the President, when he arrives on the scene with his adviser’s, is that the passengers certainly look like the victims of a massacre.
Jumping ahead to the very end of the third episode, the victims are observed at the end of episode three in a hanger serving as a makeshift morgue. To our utter surprise and relief all are observed waking up from being “dead”! How in the world were the deaths feigned? We do not know. In any event, the scene and angle of filming is brilliant. Why else would people (humans) be resurrected from the “dead” if not for the purpose “Thomas” has alluded to to alien brother Agent Lee? What technology is being utilized to resurrect the dead, and who in our infiltrated government is responsible? Let’s move back a bit in the story to analyze the why shall we?
We quickly learn in episode three that there is a cover up of some sort. This enactment fits nicely with the viewers whom distrust government, a fact directly related to public sentiment in the United States and most of the world after the economic disasters of the past several years (for starters) . One of the passengers aboard the cruise ship is suspected by the protagonist Sean Walker of being part of the conspiracy. This character is later revealed in both name and deed. Later Sean is befriended inadvertently by Agent Collier whom begins to believe his fantastic story. Prior to that, thinking she has fooled Sean Walker, she calls for backup when he leaves the motel room.
In the meantime, the aliens or human xenophobic persons working the kidnapping once again resort to murder when a police officer is killed during a routine traffic stop. We then see that it is the same woman, Vicky Roberts (Taylor Cole) from the cruise ship. And guess who is in the back of the van? Yep, its Sean’s girlfriend Leila Buchanan!
Meanwhile our hero, Sean, has been thinking several steps ahead and observes his plan working. He secrets himself in the trunk of Agent Collier’s car to gain access to the computer room at her headquarters after also having stolen her netbook computer which she states will only work when logging in plugged directly into the network at her headquarters. This was a weak technical detail that caused me to keep my grade from straight “A” status through episode three. Today’s computer encryption technology allows a secure login from anywhere in the world. Perhaps I am being harsh with 30 years of computer experience?
Anyway, so far so good for Sean. However in the story he does not think far enough ahead and is captured. But not until he has attached the computer to the network, uses face recognition technology and uncovers the truth about Vicky Roberts. Agent Collier is there to see that there are literally no less than seven fake identity driver’s licenses! Based on the reality today of identity theft and bogus ID cards, this scene is more than believable, artfully depicted by the director in several cinematic sequences. It is obvious Agent Collier now begins to truly believe what Sean has been saying since the beginning.
Oh and I left out a ‘minor’ detail. The President calmly informed Sophia that of the 97 detainees, one would surely be willing to make a deal for their freedom if she was not willing to cooperate. Sure enough we return to this in episode three when alien “William” played by Omid Abtahi apparently turns on his race and his leader Sophia so long as his alien girlfriend’s freedom from the Inostranka detention facility is part of the deal. Much like any group in real life being detained, there is always someone willing to cut a deal to save themselves at the expense of others.
We will leave that fact of life where it is and return to a quickening paces of action in The Event. Our erstwhile hero Sean Walker and the lovely Agent Collier, who by now has figured out that some rather odd “black ops” are part of the equations is surprised when two “agents” from Washington D.C. show up unexpectedly at her field office to take custody of Sean. Sean sees the goings on through the blinds in Agent Collins office. A very effective cinematic sequence by the director placing the viewer in the perspective of the intended victim is utilized.
We flash to the poor kidnapped Leila Buchanan now being held in a shipping container bound for lord knows where. She briefly attacks Vicky Roberts and informs her that Sean will never stop looking for her.
Back to Sean and a shootout at the field office ensues when they are suspected of not being who they claim. What series of any type would be complete without a little gun play? The agents are of course fakes designed to eliminate Sean from the situation. The fight sequence is well staged and believable. One bad guy is killed and our hero Sean whacks the other. Agent Collins and Sean Walker escape in the bad guy’s vehicle to fight another day!
As we reach the conclusion of the third episode, turncoat alien William is killed by his Alien girlfriend “Maya” whom is delivered to him as “part of the deal” he made to turn on his own kind and leader Sophia. Reflective of most underground organizations, unfortunately for William, the girlfriend remains loyal to the alien cause and count of the aliens under government control in The Event is now reduced to 96 when William crumples after being stabbed to death by his lover. We know then that they are not immortal as William pays the ultimate price for his treachery.
We end this review where I started the analysis of episode three, the makeshift temporary morgue in a military hanger of unknown location. One by one the so-called dead passengers wake up from the dead in a display of alien prowess. The is the question that will be answered in episode four of The Event according to the trailers I have seen.
The Event returns this Monday evening October 10, 2010 on NBC at 9 PM (east / west) in the United States. Good news for the series is that “The Event” has also been announced for premiere in the United Kingdom. We suggest that you tune in to another epic science fiction series unfolding before our very eyes! Your support during the first eight episodes will affect ratings and whether or not we will be treated to more of The Event!
As The Event on NBC is preparing for its fourth episode, half of the episodes produced to date, the series garnered a recent 6.8 viewing rating from the trusted ratings firm Nielson’s. Quite respectable for a new series against stiff Monday evening competition. Nielson’s also provides ratings with time shifted DVR viewing as well as “live” viewing that more accurately reflects how well a program is doing and whether or not a series will survive. The audience for The Event may be considered niche by some in prime time standards, however science fiction series such as Star Trek and Stargate were also considered niche and are now entering their fifth and seconds decades respectively.
I for one am hopeful that NBC will order the back end of “The Event” season one in order to produce a full season of episodes. Why? Because the series (over the first three episodes), has struck a chord about the fascinating subject of whether we are alone in the universe and whether or not visitors have been here on planet Earth now or in the past.
Lastly, the fact that a major American network studio have ventured into the realm of science fiction for new prime time weekly episodic series is welcomed by not only many fans of this genre of entertainment, but by WormholeRiders around the world as well. Therefore we reiterate, tune in again Monday October 10, 2010 at 9 PM local to watch The Event live!
With that said, each episode also stands alone segueing the single effect to a purpose which is simple. The second and third episode effectively establishes the foundations of the story arc being depicted for the viewing audience. In subsequent weeks, now that the foundations have been established, we will resume weekly analysis of “The Event”. Courtesy of NBC we include the promotional trailer for “A Matter of Life and Death”
As always I thank you for reading and for visiting WormholeRiders News Agency. Please feel free to leave a spam free comment or question here. Or as so many of our visitors prefer, visit WHR on Twitter or Facebook with your comments or questions.