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The Event – “To Keep Us Safe” – review
Mondays on NBC there is an event worth watching (so far). It’s the new show The Event. If you missed the series premiere, titled “I Haven’t Told You Everything Yet,” (sure to be the theme of every serialized, cliffhanger-producing episode) check out my recap and review.
Last night’s second episode was titled “To Keep Us Safe.” My question is, does “us” really refer to us, or does it actually refer to “them”? Last week I postulated that the key event in The Event might be related to extraterrestrials. This week more signs point that way. Call me silly. Call me optimistic. But I’m daring to believe that conclusion is far too easy and the writers will still surprise us somehow. We have enough aliens in V after all.
The key revelation of this episode is that the prisoners incarcerated at the mysterious Alaska prison (seemingly led by Sophia, played by Laura Innes), are not exactly human. They look like us, but their DNA is actually 1% not the same. As a point of reference, sinister, pale Blake Sterling (Zeljko Ivanek as the Director of National Intelligence) relates this news to the President (Blair Underwood) with the footnote that chimp DNA differs from human DNA only 2%. He further speculates that the prisoners and we human folk could possibly share a common ancestor.
I can play that game, too, Mr. Sterling (who we may as well call Spooky Sterling or Horn Rimmed Glasses Deficient Director Sterling). What if the prisoners are from the future? Or what if they are genetic super people designed in a lab? This, dear friends, is just Sasha guessing. Back to the plot.
Our blue-eyed hero, Sean (Jason Ritter), is as watchable as ever. He finds himself in the Arizona desert after his flight, which was about to crash into the President until a sky portal opened up and swallowed it, teleports there and crashes. Most of the two-hundred some passengers survive the crash, including the captain, Sean’s would be father-in-law.
Thanks to more pesky flashbacks, we learn the mysterious bad guys who kidnapped Sean’s girlfriend right off of their cruise ship also killed her mother back at her home and kidnapped her little sister, then persuaded her dad to fly that plane into the President. They are global, these baddies. One of them is a brunette Sean met on the cruise. The other is D. B. Sweeney. Welcome back to television, D.B. We missed you (even if it says “guest star” by your name in the credits).
Black helicopters swarm the Arizona skyline, and Captain Dad tells Sean to run. And Sean does run, until he collapses in the desert, is supposedly picked up by a good Samaritan, and taken to the hospital. We the audience find him in the hospital bed without ever seeing how he got there. For that matter we still have no idea how he got from his cruise to boarding his almost father-in-law’s plane with a gun.
What we do know about Sean is how he met his girlfriend. Because the time is taken to develop their love story, I can’t help but think Sean is more than just at the wrong place and the wrong time with a girlfriend whose father happens to be a commercial pilot. How is he really linked to the The Event? Could he be one of “them” and not even know it?
Oh, I failed to mention that this episode also reveals that not all of the “them” are in prison. Another handy dandy flashback reveals the point in time sixty-six years ago when “they” crash landed in Alaska. In a plane? In a spaceship? We could not tell. Sophia keeps the weaker or injured among them under her wing and is captured by the American Government and locked away for refusing to explain their existence and whatnot. But actor Clifton Collins, Jr., is Thomas, one “them” who escaped with the strongest of “them” and have been living among us humans.
In fact, CIA agent Simon Lee is one of “them,” too. He is deep under cover, no? So deep that Sterling puts Lee in charge of a super task force to locate “them” who hide among us. Sound like The Departed? He has to find himself. I chuckle at that.
So, Sean tries to run away from the police (who he begged a nurse to call in the first place) when they suspect him of a murder on his cruise ship. He fails. He has been through a lot. And is captured. He tries to convince his captors of his ordeal, but they mostly think he’s nuts.
But Agent Lee makes it out to the plane crash and finds everyone dead, including Captain Dad. They are all face down in the desert in a very unnerving way. They survived the crash, so who did this? Who was flying around in those black helicopters? Thomas doesn’t seem to see eye to eye with Sophia. She is kinder and gentler. He is not. He tells Agent Lee he put the survivors of the crash to use. How did killing them fit his agenda? Are we dealing with good aliens versus bad aliens here, or isn’t it more likely that D.B Sweeney and his lot are not a part of “them” at all?
The President tries to interrogate Sophia. She seemed to like him last episode, but this episode refuses to explain anything aside from offering a veiled threat. Oh, and she claims responsibility for worm-holing the plane. And that’s all we learn till next time….