Monday, March 7, 2011

The Event 1.11-12: Hardball in Fiction

The Event just finished its 2-hour return on the East Coast - Episode 1.11-12.   It's been a while since the previous episode was aired at the end of November.   I thought the new two hours were the best so far in this series, which still feels like 24 meets Flashforward, high praise in my book.

One point is definitively settled tonight:  The "aliens" are truly from outer space.   They may have come from Earth at some point, and/or time travelled - their DNA is 99% the same as ours - but as Leila's father Michael (himself an alien) explains, his people come from a planet way out in space (with a star number and everything).  In addition, we also get more confirmation that Thomas's plan is to bring a lot more or maybe even the rest of all of his people to this, our, planet, and make it their own.

As a first step, Thomas launches an attack on Inostranka, with a view towards freeing all of the aliens held there, so they can help him prepare the way for the aliens from outer space.  He's a pretty vicious alien guy, that Thomas, slaughtering the aliens who don't want to join him, and torturing Sterling to get a code to help in their escape.   (A nice twist on 24, with bad guys torturing the good guy - though, come to think of it, Jack Bauer was as often a victim as a practitioner of torture.)

Sterling - played by the ubiquitous on television Željko Ivanek (but it's always good to see him) - has a great night, almost saving the day in a torrent of fine action scenes.   Badly wounded, Sterling seemed likely to die before he was forced to give up the code.  But neither happens - Sterling neither dies nor divulges the code.  Alas, a soldier who doesn't want to see Sterling die does give up the code, and Maya is killed, as Thomas escapes with a fair number of his people.

While this is going on, Michael tries to convince Leila to go with him, but not take Sean along.  Leila doesn't want this, but honorable Sean leaves early the next morning, while Leila sleeps, after the two sleep together one last time.  I'd have liked to see Sean do something more dynamic, like insist on going along with Michael.

And the third piece of tonight's story takes place in Washington, DC, as Alaska Senator Catherine Lewis (played by Virginia Madsen) in effect blackmails the President to tell her what's really going in that prison in her state.   Part of this features Sen. Lewis on MSNBC's Hardball, with Chris Matthews playing himself.  He does a pretty good job, but he was not quite as nasty as he is when a guest suddenly starts to snow him on the air.  He should have interrupted more, and started wondering if Sen. Lewis was reading from a script, or in "a trance".   But, hey, it's the second time MSNBC has made it on to NBC drama television - just a few weeks ago, it was Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough, and Tamron Hall on Law and Order: SUV (and last night, Lawrence O'Donnell played a lawyer on Big Love).   Who knows what choice guest gigs Keith Olbermann might have had, had MSNBC not foolishly canned him.

There was also one soft spot in the plot - Sen. Lewis should have not gained such easy access to her husband's office (the office of a former Senator, recently deceased, now sealed on orders from the President).  But The Event has returned with some powerful turns, and I'm looking forward to more.

See also The Event Debuts on NBC ... The Event 1.2: Aliens! ... The Event 1.4: 24 Back in Action! ... The Event 1.6: Not Only Aliens, Immortals! ... The Event 1.7: The Portal and its Implications  ... The Event 1.8: The "Republican" VP and the Anti-24 ... The Event 1.9: "Native Populations, Indigenous People" ... The Event 1.10: Satellite

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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book

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