The Event

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Monty Ashley: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Rocks Fall; No One Dies
ty seconds later. Was this supposed to be happening at the same time as the stuff in Washington? Because one of the settings is a taut minute-by-minute thriller (although "taut" may be overstating it) and the other setting has someone driving a thousand miles in the middle of a scene.

Well, we're here at the Buchanan homestead, so we might as well make the best of it. There's police tape on the outside and those little colored numbers the people on CSI like to put on the ground next to shell casings. Leila sees a big bloodstain on the carpet and has a moment of emotion. They go into what looks like a rec room, but Leila claims it's her father's office. They start to search the room, which takes the form of Leila knocking books off of shelves while Sean throws couch cushions around. Neither one is looking at what they're doing. But then! Leila finds a box of stuff that distracts her. It contains Samantha's baby clothes, which is obviously the sort of thing an airline pilot would keep on an upper shelf in his home office. The music gets sappy. Then, when the show figures it's done enough to remind us that Samantha exists, Leila has an idea: they'll search the attic!

The attic is actually just a very high shelf in a closet. But it's so high that it requires a ladder to get to, so I guess I'll allow it. Leila proceeds to search the shelf, which you'll remember means that she just throws things to the ground without looking at them. Aha! She finds a thoroughly uninteresting file, which is the only thing that catches her eye. It appears to contain maps, which is obviously something crazy for a pilot to collect. There are also news clippings about Alaska and strange things in the sky.

Suddenly! A shadowy figure appears in the frame behind Sean and Leila! It appears to lift a gun, but it's too backlit to tell for sure. A woman's voice tells them, "You shouldn't have come here."

Simon calls Thomas to tell him that his cover's blown. Thomas tells him that it's time to move on again, which you'd think Simon would have realized on his own. Simon has a brief fit in his car.

TEN YEARS EARLIER, in the lovely city of WASHINGTON, DC, Simon and another guy talk about how they just graduated from Spy University. But then they pass an old lady who calls Simon "Mason." It's that lady from 1954, but now she's old. And now she notices that he hasn't aged a day. The woman's daughter (or possibly nurse) explains that she has Alzheimer's, which is pretty convenient for Simon. He seems affected but can only say "I'm sorry. You must have me confused with someone else." Okay, that's an incredibly generic line there, but this scene is still the most interesting thing in the show. I'd be delighted to have a show about what it's like to be an incredibly long-lived person trying to hide in regular society. That's right: this show is making me pine for the coherent storytelling of Highlander: The Series.

The Situation Room. Sterling wants a picture up on the center screen. It's Sophia! They found her, but this image is ten minutes old. They should probably send some men over to shadow her, but I don't know how their chain of command works with Simon no longer involved. Come to think of it, shouldn't Sterling be asking what happened to that guy he sent over to check on the field team? And while I'm on the subject, Sterling told someone to pick up Sean a few episodes ago, and he doesn't seem to have followed up on that at all. I think his Tragic Flaw is that he forgets about ongoing projects. Anyway, Sophia is seen going into a building. Simon tells Thomas that they're on her trail, so I guess he's going to keep doing his job until someone specifically tells him that he's been found out as a They infiltrator. Then he'll run. Simon tells Thomas that he should flee, but Thomas claims to have a contingency plan.

Sophia walks through the building, which appears to still be under construction. That's a very popular location for action scenes, you know. She finds Thomas and they hug. Say, who's the new spokesperson for the detainees in Inostranka?

Sean and Leila. And a mysterious woman with a gun. Hey, have you heard what Raymond Chandler said about storytelling? "When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand." I think that's what's happening here. The gun-toting woman says, "I need to know how much of your father's file you've seen." Sean says they haven't seen anything. They just found it! He offers to slide the file over to her and forget it exists. Leila is willing to get shot over it, but Sean isn't. The woman creeps forward, and then Sean disarms her. Leila grabs the gun.

Back to the rec room. Excuse me, "office." Leila and Sean are interrogating the mysterious woman, who promptly tells them she's Madeline Jackson, a journalist. Then she starts ranting about how people don't want the truth, and the lies keep the construct together and churches and consumers and blah blah blah blah blah. It ends with, "I'm not the deluded one. You are." Well, you're the one trying to keep them from reading the file. They're actively trying to become non-deluded (I guess they're trying to get luded?) and you show up waving a gun, trying to stop them. She has some valuable exposition about Leila's father, Michael Buchanan. Two years earlier, he was flying to Alaska and saw a mysterious building when he had to divert. And because he obviously knew that there wasn't supposed to be a giant government facility in the Inostranka mountain range, he started to do some research. And he found, as Madeline says, "An article I wrote on a site that I had." This site no longer exists, because they (I don't know if it's the same "they" as "They") hacked it. Or something. Madeline's theory is that Michael knew too much, "so they took him."

Sean asks for the whole story. So Madeline starts with "In 1944, an aircraft..." and goes through the whole thing. See, exposition is supposed to work with one character telling another something that they might both know, but the viewers don't. When one character tells another something that the audience already knows, it's not exposition. It's boring. Sean and Leila are skeptical about the whole story, even though it's not any more crazy than the things that have already happened to them. Madeline says the detainees are "EBEs. Extraterrestrial Biological Entities. Aliens." Why wouldn't you just say "aliens" first? Save the conspiracy jargon for your late-night call-in radio shows.

Sterling has video of that building from two hours earlier. Boy, it's a good thing there's always a traffic camera trained on the one door to this unfinished building. On the video, someone enters the building, and Martinez claims to recognize Thomas from the back of his head, even though he's never seen him. Sterling says the field unit will have the place surrounded within minutes. Simon pulls up and uses a crowbar to pop open a padlock so he can get in. If this is the same door, how'd the padlock get on the outside of the door?

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The Event

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