Now that it’s all over and done with and officially canceled, we should probably know what the event at the heart of ‘The Event’ actually was, shouldn’t we? Doesn’t that seem like a reasonable expectation? Unfortunately, last week’s season/series finale still didn’t answer that question to any satisfaction. I guess we’ll never know.
‘The Event’ is an enormously frustrating show. On the one hand, it has some pretty interesting sci-fi concepts that it wants to explore, and some juicy political intrigue that started to develop in the later half of the season. On the other hand, it has some incredibly annoying characters (Sean and Leila) and dumb storylines that occupy far too much screen time (everything to do with Sean and Leila). It also often felt (and especially so in this finale) like the writers didn’t think through all of the plot points as well as they should have.
Episode ‘Arrival’ is mostly concerned with President Martinez (Blair Underwood) trying to reclaim his office after the duplicitous Vice President Jarvis poisoned him and took over the Oval Office. Jarvis has been fed a load of bullshit by alien bitch Sophia (Laura Innes), who’s planning to wipe out the human population on Earth in order to make room for the entire population of her dying planet to move here. She’s going to do this with a super-strain of the Spanish Flu, which her people will distribute from a food processing plant, a money printing press, and Dulles International Airport. From these three points, the virus should spread rapidly throughout the globe until all human life on the planet is killed off. Conveniently, the aliens are immune to Spanish Flu.
With the help of Sean, Director Sterling, and turncoat alien Simon, Martinez manages to stop the virus from being unleashed. However, by that point, it’s too late to stop the teleportation portal array from bringing the aliens over. The planet starts to be rocked by earthquakes and floods (bad timing on that, show runners). Martinez demands that Sophia tell him where the portal will deposit her people. She tells him that the virus was intended to be a humane way of clearing out the Earth. What’s going to happen to the human population now will be much worse.
Just then, we discover the true nature of Sophia’s plan. She’s not just bringing all of the people from her planet to Earth. She’s bringing her entire planet here. A brand new planet pops into orbit next to our own. From the White House lawn, the President’s son looks up to the sky and asks his mommy what that is. The First Lady responds, “Home,” which is our confirmation that she was an alien all along (something suspected for a while). Ooooooh, plot twist….!
OK, so explain this to me. If Sophia’s plan was to teleport an entire planet and park it next to ours, why did she need to “make room” on Earth? There doesn’t seem to be any point to that. And her explanation that killing us off with the virus would be more “humane” than what will happen next doesn’t jibe with the fact that her original plan was to only kill off a portion of the human population, not all of us. As recently as the last episode, she asked her scientist if the virus could be controlled and contained so that it only killed enough humans to make room for her people.
Earlier in the finale, Simon informed Sean that his people had actually been on Earth before ours. (All right, this sort of fits with the storyline about Dempsey [Hal Holbrook].) They left because something they call “The Event” was going to happen that would amount to the next step in the aliens’ evolutionary process, and this Event would eradicate all of the humans on the planet. It’s not clear whether they were here at the same time as early human life, or if they left before we rose up out of the muck. It also seems that leaving Earth stalled their evolutionary Event, but showing up here again would cause it to happen. So why didn’t Sophia, Simon, and their crew who were trapped on Earth for the past 60 years undergo this Event?
Who exactly was Dempsey, that he was charged with protecting our planet from these aliens? Is he from the same race, or another batch of aliens altogether? And why was he experimenting on young children to make a youth serum? That storyline was dropped altogether halfway through the season.
This season finale was clearly designed with a cliffhanger in hopes of renewal. It was not intended to be a series finale. Too many story threads are left dangling, and too many of the plot points don’t make sense. I kind of expected this to be the case, but I’m disappointed that the show’s producers (who must have known for quite a while that their ratings were in the toilet) didn’t plan ahead to leave viewers with closure.
I really wanted this show to be better than it was. I think that it’s probably for the best that it wasn’t renewed.