‘The Event’ 1.10 Recap: This Is Why You Don’t Go into the Abandoned Basement of a Mental Hospital

Yes, ‘The Event’ is still on the air. Is anybody else still watching? For some reason, I still am, though just barely. Since the show premiered, it has skirted by, holding my interest just enough to avoid my purging it from the DVR schedule. At this point, I feel like I continue to watch mainly out of obligation. Since I’ve already gone this far, I might as well see how the damn thing ends, right? Will I even get the chance? After last week’s “Fall Finale,” I wonder if the network will even bother to bring it back.

So, where are we?

There are aliens among us. At least, I assume that they’re aliens. They’ve been called “Extraterrestrial Beings.” Some viewers hold a theory that they’re really from the future or something, but I’m still working under the assumption that they’re aliens – especially after the events of last week’s episode ‘Everything Will Change’.

Sophia, the leader of the detainees from the military prison at Mt. Inostranka, has escaped and joined up with her son Thomas. It turns out that a great number of their people are out and about in the world, living among us. Sophia’s mission is to return them all to wherever they came from, but Thomas and a number of the others aren’t so interested in that. It seems that the place they came from isn’t so great, and they kind of like it here. Still, Sophia will tolerate no dissent. She smacked down Thomas for trying to betray her, and made his girlfriend Isabel shoot herself in the leg. Now they seem to be back on board with her plans (and Isabel has healed up awfully quickly).

Of course, they’re really just playing along and biding their time. Thomas has hidden reserves of money and has been funding a secret missile silo in the obviously-fictional country of “Amala.” When President Martinez (Blair Underwood, still not even remotely Hispanic) gets wind of this, he assumes that the missile is intended for an attack on U.S. soil. This nearly leads to an international incident with the government of Amala as the missile begins a countdown to launch.

Also a threat is a mean old man named Dempsey, played by Hal Holbrook. We still don’t know whether he’s an alien too, or what his game plan is. All we know is that he’s an influential power player in American politics, and has Vice President Jarvis under his thumb. The VP is still in the hospital recovering from his near-miss with a rocket launcher. Martinez knows he’s dirty and tries to grill him, but Jarvis clams up and plays dumb because Dempsey has threatened his wife (Kathleen Quinlan) and family.

The other thing we know about Dempsey is that he was behind the kidnapping of Leila and her little sister Samantha (as well as forcing her father to try to fly that plane into the President). Looks like he’s kidnapped a bunch of other little girls as well, and has been experimenting on them. In a plotline almost exactly the same as a recent episode of ‘Fringe’, the children are left looking old and haggard, so that he can extract a compound from their cells that makes him young again (but only briefly).

The quest to find Samantha leads Leila and Sean to a mental hospital called Willowbrook. After a failed attempt to investigate during the day, they sneak in at night and make their way to a spooky basement that’s been trashed. Burned documents are scattered everywhere and the lights eerily flicker for no reason at all. (Aren’t all basements in Hollywood mental hospitals exactly like this?) They find evidence that Samantha had been there, but also find a box with photos of Leila’s father that date all the way back to the 1920s… and he looks exactly the same! DUH DUHH DUHHHHH!!!

Meanwhile, the silo in Amala launches its missile before President Martinez can take it out with an air strike. Fortunately, its target wasn’t the U.S., or any country at all. It heads for orbit and launches a communications satellite – a satellite aimed straight out to space.

That’s the cliffhanger we’re left with. Leila’s father is an alien, and the other aliens send a message home. Officially, the show is scheduled to return at the end of February, but its ratings have been steadily declining since the premiere and there’s some chance that the network may just dump it. Then again, it’s on NBC, and they don’t have anything better to replace it with. (No one honestly expects ‘The Cape’ to do well, do they?) If it does come back, the producers better plan to deliver some closure by the season finale, because there is really no chance of it being renewed for a second season.


  1. I think it’s like Flash Forward. All hype over the initial premise, but then drags out too little plot over too much time.

    Again, it’s another of these ‘fringe’ shows (No reference to the show of that name) that has a science fiction elements to separate itself from the mainstream, but then almost seems embarrassed to admit it’s science fiction in case it alienates the mainstream audience. Then they usually end up pleasing no-one.

    The mainstream audience lose interest because there aren’t enough divorces/marriages/births/hospital ‘drama’, and the science fiction fans lose interest because it’s just not engaging enough, original enough, daring enough, or thoughtful enough.

    I fully expect this to get canned after this season (I pretty much give any SF show a chance for its first season, to see if it picks up). It’s not actually bad, as such, it’s just not good, either!

  2. Keith

    I like the show, but I’m definitely getting tired of the Sean and Leila plotline. At least they made some sort of effort to inject some interest in it with that last bit of info regarding her dad.

    My thoughts are that these experiments are being done to make the aliens age more like humans. Which doesn’t really make much sense when I really think about it. What would be the advantage and who would stand to gain by it? Unless of course, Thomas’ grand scheme is to phone home and get the rest of his people to come to earth for an invasion and Dempsy knows of these plans and is trying to stop them with this “aging” serum?

    I just hope that when it does get the can that it doesn’t end with a cliffhanger like Flash Forward did.

    • Josh Zyber

      Your comment has gotten me to thinking. I don’t think Holbrook is an alien trying to age more like humans. (Why would aliens want to die faster? Seems like a stupid idea to me.) I think he’s probably a human performing experiments on aliens in order to make an eternal-youth serum for himself.

  3. mlemaire

    What they need to do is have Shawn and Leila catch up to everyone else (Hey look, we know as much as the viewer now!) so that we can get past this slow-burn of them finding out what we already know from past episodes. Then the viewer can get a sense of discovery as we find out – GASP – at the same time the characters do! I know, shocking, right? There’s nothing worse than following characters who are discovering plot threads you were already aware of several episodes ago.

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