It seems like with every new episode of The Event, I find something new to hate about Sophia's people. This week, it's how unbelievably smug they are. Just because they've cracked the code on intergalactic travel, they think they're such hot shit. And in spite of preparing to decimate hundreds of millions of people, Sophia and Lady Dr. Evil want to stand around discussing the moral ramifications of their actions. This isn't the first time we've seen the Hetero sapiens up on their high horses about the failings of human nature, and talking about how, by killing us all and taking the planet off our hands, they are really just putting us out of our misery. But never has it been quite so irritating as this week, especially since the catalyst was Sophia's guilt dream, in which a dying little girl who looks like a young Haley Reinhart begs Sophia for help. C'mon, surely one person out of the dozen left watching The Event also watches American Idol.
I'm nitpicking here, of course, but what else is there to do with the penultimate episode of The Event? (NBC canceled it, naturally, but as is standard practice these days, there's big talk of shopping it elsewhere, talk that will probably fizzle out quickly.) We've been over the lazy writing, the laughable logic holes, the often amateurish acting, the fact that it took almost the entirety of the first season for the writers to figure out exactly what the show was, and the fact that the final result proved to be not worth whatever effort it took to get there. I will say "The Beginning Of The End" was an improvement over "Us Or Them" and "One Will Live, One Will Die," which remain in a dead heat for the dubious distinction of being The Event's nadir.
President Martinez emerged from his coma, for one thing, which brought back Blair Underwood in the show's most compelling performance. (Though I could be convinced Zeljko Ivanek is more deserving of that title.) Martinez didn't have much to do this week, aside from demanding to return to the White House and having a totally unsatisfying confrontation with Jarvis. Given the Jarvis we've seen up until now, that he would attempt to put up a fight over Martinez's return seems a little hard to believe. He could barely do it to begin with, and with his ambivalence about the impending genocide, I'd have imagined him being downright happy to pass the reins back to Martinez. Instead, he tells Martinez he's going to sic his team of competence and psychiatric experts on him before he can return to office. The wheels keep on spinning.
Meanwhile, there were two huge improvements in the Sean and Vicky story, and their names are Simon Lee and Blake Sterling. By pulling together these two storylines, I didn't feel quite as marooned as I typically do during a Sean and Vicky scene. And while most of the story was more 24-lite procedural with more mumbo-jumbo and less action, I couldn't complain about being spared the supposed sexual tension between Sean and Vicky. They track down Sophia's secret lab, just in time to rescue Leila, who was about to be put out of her misery. It's a good thing, too, because Sean didn't seem to be making Leila a priority. Simon was like "We got separated; sorry, bro." And Sean was like "Eh, it happens." Not that I'd blame him. Saving the entire human population does take precedent over saving one cute half-alien girl. They had a sort of cute Pushing Daisies moment as he tried to convince her they have a future together while separated by a plastic curtain. It was audacious in that we're still being expected to remotely care about whether or not Sean and Leila end up together. Or if Leila lives or dies. Or… y'know, any of this.
I will give some credit to the scenes of Sophia's preparations for releasing the virus. There was a briskness and an immediacy to them that almost succeeded at getting me to invest. There's always something chilling about the activation of undercover agents; it was usually startling on 24, even as many times as that show trotted the device out, and it worked here too. And as cliffhangers go, this one wasn't shabby. If I'd been stumbling through this season out of morbid curiosity rather than professional obligation, I'd be inclined to see how it all ends.
- I usually don't read much into the previews for the upcoming episode, but apparently they will finally define The Event. So I guess there's egg on my face or something.
- Lady Dr. Evil says to Leila, "We were here first." That would have been an intriguing breadcrumb to drop back in the fall. Now, not so much.