Channel 4

The cast of THE EVENT

  1. Pilot-I Haven't Told You Everything
  2. To Keep Us Safe
  3. Protect Them From The Truth
  4. A Matter Of Life And Death
  5. Casualties Of War
  6. Loyalty
  7. I Know Who You Are
  8. For The Good Of Our Country
  9. Your World To Take
  10. Everything Will Change
  11. And Then Were More
  12. Inostranka
  13. Turnabout
  14. A Message Back
  15. Face Off
  16. You Bury Other Things Too
  17. Cut Off The Head
  18. Strain
  19. The Event
  20. ONe Will Live, One Will Die

Sean Walker –
Jason Ritter

President Martinez -
Blair Underwood

Sophia Maguire -
Laura Innes

Blake Sterling -
Zeljko Ivanek

Michael Buchanan -
Scott Patterson

Leila Buchanan -
Sara Roemer

Simon Lee -
Lee Anthony Dale

Vicky Roberts -
Taylor Cole

Pilot - I Haven't Told You Everything

Sean Walker gets on a plane with a government agent on his tail. He has a gun and is trying to get into the pilot's cabin, but not to hijack the plane. The President of the USA is being advised by everyone not to go public with what he knows about the facility in Alaska holding civilians prisoner for decades without rights. The plane, it seems, is destined to stop him from holding that press conference.

THE EVENT, by the very nature of its title, builds itself up as being the new big thing and it lives up to that title with a blistering opening episode. There is action galore here, matching up to LOST and FLASHFORWARD in the exciting opening stakes, hitting the ground at full sprint and then flashing back through various time lines to give the background as to just why the hero is trying to de-hijack the plane.

This is the television equivalent of a jigsaw puzzle and the pieces that are being put together here are for a certain section of the picture, what is happening now. The wider picture of the background and the consequences will no doubt be revealed in future episodes. It's not for nothing that the show's tag line is ‘all will become clear'. The question is whether there is the audience appetite for another mystery after LOST haemorrhaged viewers in its later seasons and FLASHFORWARD failed to get a second season. It is to be hoped that there is because on the basis of this opening episode this is a mystery we would like to see unravelled.


To Keep Us Safe

The plane that was aimed at the US President has been transported from Florida to the middle of the desert by means unknown. Sean is warned by his would-be father in law to get away before the rescuers arrive and that is good advice. The President learns that the Alaskan detainees are 'not of this earth'.

More of the backstory is revealed as the President learns of a plane that crashed in 1944, fully populated with aliens whose DNA is 1% different from our own, but who apparently have the power to transport a plane halfway across the country in a second. Not all of these were apprehended after the plane crash and it is those that are free who saved the President, leaving the question open as who caused the hijacking.

The action beat here is Sean's attempt to escape from the pursuing agents in the hospital and it's exciting stuff with a surprising ending, but this episode is about the conspiracy and the plot rather than with the fast action. The kidnapping of Sean's girlfriend from the cruise ship is explained in terms of blackmailing her father, but why they covered it all up only to then to use the dead man killed in the process to pin a murder rap on Sean remains confusing and unlikely.

The bouncing between timelines remains successful despite giving us moments of complete disinterest (Sean meets Leila) in terms of the main storyline. This could become the show's flashback flaw. Even so, there is enough going on in terms of new twists being added to make this exciting and extremely watchable.


Protect Them From The Truth

The aliens' leader refuses to help the President, even in the face of the slaughtered people from the plane, so he offers amnesty and freedom to any one of her people who will speak. One agrees. Sean, meanwhile, escapes from the FBI only to infiltrate their office to find out who kidnapped Leila. They, however, are a lot closer to catching up with him.

If we didn't know that this was about aliens then it could be an episode of 24. Events surrounding the car crash at the beginning are well staged, but a little strange considering that a large vehicle ploughed into another one that it could clearly see a mile away. It's about as likely as the two agents walking into the FBI field office and being able to mow down the entire staff of agents without hardly trying.

Implausibility aside, it's slickly done, effortlessly entertaining, has some nice twists along the way and then comes up with a killer (or anti-killer) of a final scene that piques the interest enough to bring us back again.


A Matter Of Life And Death

The passengers of the plane are no longer dead and the White House staff are trying to deal with that. Sean and FBI Agent Collier track down clues to Leila's whereabouts, but not everything is as it seems.

The headlong pace is slowed down and in its place are a series of twists that are all only partly successful, but ultimately add up to an entertaining if not quite thrilling ride. Sean and Collier's investigation is pure police procedural, as is Leila's situation, and even the President's in-house political manouverings could have come straight out of 24.

The flashbacks that so often flawed "">LOST are even less relevant or useful and only serve to remind us that this show is only a pale reflection.


Casualties Of War

The survivors of the plane crash are bleeding out and the only chance for their survival is for the President to give into Thomas's demands, something that he is not willing to do. Sean and Collier track down Leila's whereabouts, but how can they take on a whole station full of armed fake police?

The science fiction backdrop to this show is completely lost in the tension of the hostage negotiations and the action of Leila's rescue. The former story is the better one, tense and with a good performance from Blair Underwood that makes the President's snatching of control from the blackmailer a punch the air moment. By comparison the nonsense that goes on in the only police station in the world that doesn't get a single phone call all night is completely unbelievable sub-24 action silliness.

It's slick, it's stylish, it makes no sense. That can't go on as shows like FLASHFORWARD has proven, so it needs to shape up soon.



When Sophia escapes from her tracking, Simon is revealed to be a traitor in the FBI, but he refuses to let the latest demonstration of the aliens' power cost lives.

Apart from the appearance of the virtual black hole at the end, this could almost not be a science fiction show at all. The plot is a straight spy story with some admittedly clever twists (the neutralisation of the tracking is very sharp), but it is not anything that hasn't been done before in other shows.

By the end of the episode, you realise that you are no further forward than you were at the beginning.

The flashback story is touching, but doesn't really add much to the plot.


I Know Who You Are

Simon is now in the hospital thanks to the building falling down on him, but steps are already being taken to save his identity as the mole at the heart of the President's operation. Sean and Leila visit an unusual hacker in search of more information about the whereabouts of her sister.

There is still not much going on that resembles science fiction and even less that makes a lot of sense. The paranoid hacker that Sean and Leila are taken to see is a stock character and no more believable here than elsewhere.

The bad guys still hold all the cards and the flashback story telling the history of the President's security chief is hardly believable.


For The Good Of Our Country

President Martinez pulls out all the stops to find out who the mole is within the White House set up and the trail leads to a surprising target. Sean, meanwhile, is shot and Leila takes a doctor prisoner in order to get him the help that he needs.

You could be forgiven for not realising that you were watching a science fiction series with this episode since it focusses on the hunt for a traitor inside the White House and upon an injured fugitive taking a doctor hostage. Both of these stories are tried and tested spy/crime story staples and don't really take matters any further, the episode coming with just a whiff of padding.


Your World To Take

Sophia meets with her people and finds that not all of them are willing to go home, having created successful lives on Earth. Just how far they are willing to go and just how far she is willing to go to establish her authority soon become clear. Sean and Leila's search for Leila's sister takes on a sinister turn.

Sophia has come across as the reasonable one of the show to date, but her actions at the end of this episode are chilling indeed and show what a steely core the woman must have and how she came to be leader of the fugitives. The story also gives the background that the aliens' world is barely viable as a life-sustaining world and that to return there they must create a portal like the one that saved the President's life.

Exactly what is going on with the kidnapped kids and the ageing process has yet to be revealed, but it's likely to be linked to the Hal Holbrook character who is emerging more and more from the shadows. What, though, is his part in all of this?


Everything Will Change

Having been put in their places by Sophia, Thomas and Isobel do a runner and activate a missile silo in a remote country. The sudden appearance of a missile within range of the continental USA takes the President off the trail of his treacherous VP. Sean and Leila track down the hospital holding the missing children, including Leila's sister.

The VP is working for the bad guys, but that story is dropped in favour of the ‘now you see it' missile silo, building up all the tension as the President and his team prepare to be nuked and Sophia prepares for the backlash, but then it pulls the rug out from under the whole thing.

That story, at least, has some interest despite being rather silly. The 'Sean and Leila fail to get into the hospital' storyline is a total waste of time and switches tack right at the end with the discovery of some family information that tries to justify why we are wasting time with these people.


And Then Were More

The message that Thomas sent out into space has been decoded as ‘preparations are being made for your arrival'. The President determines that this is a prelude to invasion and sends security head Sterling to torture information out of the Inostranka detainees. Sean and Leila rescue Samantha whilst Sophia frees Leila's father in the hope of finding information about Thomas's location. A new senator starts sniffing around the truth.

THE EVENT comes back after its mid-season break with an episode of filler as the audience has to be reminded of what went before and storylines that weren't really working have to be wound up quickly. Thus Sean and Leila save her sister with ridiculous ease considering what has gone before.

The focus then switches to Thomas and his plans, though that is then diffused by the introduction of Virginia Madsen as the crusading senator who doesn't know what she's stumbled onto.

Quite frankly, it's all a bit of a mess and really needs to find its focus and its story really, really fast.



Thomas stages a rescue mission at the Alaskan prison, unaware that Sterling is currently interrogating inmates there. A game of cat and mouse and guns follows. The President has to deal with Senator Lewis who has gone live on national television with a threat to reveal everything she knows about Inostranka and Leila has to choose between her father and Sean.

There are times when this show is so utterly stupid that it is breathtaking. After all that Sean has done for Leila, after all that he has learned about the aliens, Sophia and Leila's father decide that he can't go any further with them. Thus, the human who knows most about them and their plans is just cast free? Utter nonsense.

Fortunately that's only a small part of the episode. The main section is made up of the DIE HARD antics of Sterling as he tries to stay alive and escape Thomas's troops. This is simple action storytelling and is easily what works the best.

The Senator's blackmailing of the President during a commercial break of the programme she is appearing on is accidentally hilarious. As if the producers would allow her to keep her mobile phone switched on and have a conversation during the adverts.

The show just gets sillier.



Sophia sets about tracking down Thomas, learning in the process that Thomas plans to transport reactor rods out of a nuclear power plant. The last time he did this it was at a place called Chernobyl. For once, Sophia and the President must work together.

This episode has a strong central plotline to follow and concentrate on, which aids considerably. The troublesome senator is forgotten and Leila is all but sidelined. Even Sean only gets a couple of scenes as he decides to take on his own investigation.

This, though, is about the fuel rods, giving us one good action sequence, a torture sequence and some nice dramatic acting.

Less impressive is the idea that the President would consider allowing a nuclear reactor to meltdown just to prove that he has the balls to make difficult decisions.


A Message Back

Thomas gets a response to his message and it's not good news. He gathers all his people together to tell them what is happening, but for once the Government forces are a step ahead of them. Sean sets out to bring down the people who framed him by threatening the Vice President.

If it weren't for the fact that taking out the Vice President is a painfully easy exercise and his secure room is about as secure as a sieve is watertight, this would be a better episode. The President is starting to change in interesting ways, not necessarily good and the developments with the aliens have more interest to them.


Face Off

Government forces have Sophia and her people safely under siege in a church. In a desperate act of bluff, Sophia destroys the Washington monument and promises that the rest of the city will follow. When the President learns that he has been played once more, he authorises the use of deadly force.

Aside from Sean's trip to France, this episode sticks with the siege situation and crafts a tense situation that plays out a few twists and turns along the way to be one of the best moments of the show to date. The President's sudden changes of mind get a bit repetitive and less believable as time goes on, but the game of bluff is nicely done and the results are deadly.

Had the show been as good as this from the start then we might still care.


You Bury Other Things Too

Sophia determines to finish Thomas's plan to bring 2 billion of their people to Earth no matter what the cost to the indigenous human race. Simon, having escaped from the President's staff finds that he cannot go along with this plan. Sean tracks down Dempsey and attempts to kill him, walking into a trap in the process.

Sophia's about face is breathtakingly unbelievable in this latest development. Her message is that the attack on her people renders the human race as non-benign. The fact that Thomas's attack on the prison caused many human deaths and that she herself ordered the destruction of the Washington Monument with the resulting loss of life seems to have been conveniently forgotten.

Other stupidities are the ease with which Simon escapes the watch of the tightest security in the world and Sean’s failing to see that he is walking into a trap. The description of Dempsey's chateau security is so ludicrous that it is clearly not for real. Sean's torture of his informant, however, is quite wince-inducing.

The silliness continues.


Cut Off The Head

Sophia now plans to destroy humanity with a secret weapon, but is thwarted by a government assault team. In order to get the authorities off her back, she decides to recruit the Vice President to assassinate President Martinez. In the meantime, Sean learns of a destiny that has been waiting for him for quite some time.

After all the nonsense about Hal Holbrook and his using the life force of young children to prolong his life, the character gives an info dump to Sean and leaves the scene in a twist of unprecedented ridiculousness. Now it seems that he was a guardian able to read the future and to know that Sophia would turn evil and that only Sean could stop her.

The concentration on the plot against the President makes the episode at least focussed, but it still doesn't make it even remotely believable.



President Martinez suffers a stroke, but Sterling soon suspects foul play on the part of the Vice President. Sean goes after the 'weapon' that Sophia is expecting from Murmansk.

The show speeds up a bit as it enters into the final stages. Events inside the Presidency are fast and furious and quite the most interesting that the show has come up with to date. The focus on the hunt for evidence to prevent the treacherous VP from gaining the power has a drive and focus that the show has been needing and lessens the silly factor that has dogged the show.

The support story of Sean going after the virus that is Sophia's ultimate weapon is equally lean and spare and thus fares better whilst Leila's travails inside the alien camp remain a side issue, but don't distract too much from the other events.


The Or Us

The weapon is en route to the USA and Sean has to get on the same plane and try to identify the courier. Vice President Jarvis is sworn in and soon finds just how much he is at Sophia's mercy. Some members of Sophia's race don't agree with her, however, and a breakout is staged.

The show is accelerating towards its end and the plot strands are starting to converge. The three on display here are simple and all the better for that, but manage to have more action and tension than most of the rest of the show to date.

Perhaps if the show had been this together from the beginning it might have had better prospects.


One Will Live, One Will Die

Simon escapes from Sophia's camp and attempts to get the antidote to President Martinez through Director Sterling. Acting President Jarvis uses all the power of his office to stop them. Sean and Vicky, meanwhile, have to stop a field test of Sophia's weapon.

THE EVENT has morphed into a version of the spy series 24 as Sean and Vicky race the clock to stop Sophia using her plague in a shopping mall and Agent Lee and Director Sterling scheme to get around Jarvis's defences. It's all pretty well done and very watchable, but far removed from the show that started out.

Sense is still a little shaky. If the biological weapon is so important, why would the couriers stop off to give it a test? Once it was safe in Sophia's hands then it could have been tested any time. And why does Vicky faff around with fire alarms when to evacuate the mall when a few shots in the air would have had people stampeding out?






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