Sometimes, you have to shoot the baby. That was the one overriding lesson you could take away from last night’s episode of The Event. (I’m filling in this week while Doc Jensen takes a mysterious trip to the mountains of Alaska.) I think this episode was a more consistent than last week’s Night of a Thousand Twist/Reverse-Twists. We got more insight than ever into the nature (and ultimate goal) of the Whatchamacallums. (They’re trying to get “home,” wherever that is, and they split the fricking atom to get themselves there.) The central drama of the episode was more about clashing personalities – President Martinez’ red-phone showdown with Thomas – than about 24-ish gunplay. Sure, Sean Walker was still racing around suburban America, but the Leila-in-Chains subplot seems to finally be over.
But oh, viewers, that baby. I admire the show’s attempt to turn Vicky, who could’ve just been a faceless hottie killer, into a character with some depth. In her flashback origin story, she mercilessly gunned down a family but stopped short of killing the cute little infant. Instead, she took the very Ben Linus-y step of adopting the child as her own, hiding it from her Mysterious Boss. On its own, this plot twist wouldn’t be all that offensive, but it’s epidemic of the storytelling on The Event. The show dangles the deaths of the Avias 514 passengers in front of our faces for one mesmerizing cliffhanger…and then revives them one episode later. Last night, they were threatened again…and then revived again. (For those keeping track, Michael Buchanan has now died twice.) If there’s one lesson that can be learned from the great serialized TV shows, it’s that, sooner or later, you can’t keep on teasing stuff like this. You have to shoot the baby.
But I don’t want to rag too much on an episode that gave us some nifty sci-fi concepts to feast on, so let’s begin by talking about the better half of the episode:
Mutual Assured Destruction
The episode eerily kicked off with the Avias passengers going crazy with the Rage Virus or Space Madness or something. Nosebleeds, loud screaming, and a general bubonic plague-like panic set in. Thomas had the cure, but he was holding it hostage. He demanded the release of the Inostrankans, or promised the passengers would all be dead by morning.
At this point, we got a weighty flashback, in which Thomas and a beret-sporting Simon led the uninjured refugees away from the crash site. (They didn’t seem too bothered by the snowstorm: potential evidence that the Whatchamacallums have superhuman stamina to go along with their near-immortality?) Thomas and Simon found a bunker with lots of ’40s era equipment inside. (Simon noted that no one had been there in awhile – perhaps it was an old listening station?) There were, by my count, three revelations in this scene, two of them rather large:
1. Simon noticed stacks of canned food and said admiringly “All this food!” There’s no way an alien would be able to just guess that that was food, right?
NEXT: Noir detective visits the Manhattan Project, so to speak.