‘The Event’ – ‘To Keep Us Safe’: Can you handle the truth?

Senior Television Writer
09.27.10 40 Comments


A quick review of “The Event” episode two coming up just as soon as I’m in a negative position…

I was very hard on “The Event” in my initial review for two reasons: 1)Because the show seemed like a shell game, constantly teasing me with questions without the slightest hint of answers, and 2)Because it was doing so in the middle of an episode that had no characters worth latching on to (even if some were played by actors I enjoy like Jason Ritter) or anything of substance beyond all the “What the hell is going on?” story devices.

On the first issue, “To Keep Us Safe” was a big step in the right direction. We find out immediately where the plane went, find out that Laura Innes and her fellow prisoners are aliens, and that there’s a second group of aliens lurking around out there, led by Clifton Collins Jr.

So good for the producers on that score. They offered up some fairly substantial stuff, even if they didn’t tell us what The Event actually is, what Collins’ faction is up to, why DB Sweeney is so set on killing the President (and why he still cares about stopping Sean even after the plane crash gambit didn’t work), etc. Obviously, if they answer everything in episode two, there’s not much of a show, but they provided enough information so that I didn’t feel cheated at episode’s end.

As for the second issue… well, I’m still not terribly invested. I appreciate the effort with the Sean/Leila flashback to make us care about them as people and as a couple, but they’re still two-dimensional – and that’s still one more dimension than anybody else has.

And that, I would argue, is the much bigger problem. I don’t want to keep bringing up the “Lost” comparison (though with that opening sequence and then the jet engine lying on the desert floor, it’s kind of hard not to), but the first “Lost” after the pilot told us a whole lot less about the island than this episode did about various things, and yet I was far more invested and entertained by the people and by the craft on display by the filmmakers.

“To Keep Us Safe” was far less obnoxious than this show’s pilot, but the show as a whole still feels fairly empty. I’ll give it another week or two (I still have an episode three screener to watch), but this doesn’t seem like a show for me.

What did everybody else think?

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