The Event: Episode 5 – Bad Guys are People too!

Five weeks into “The Event” we finally got our character development – too bad it was for the heartless (or are they?!) villains and not for the heroes we’re supposed to care about.  Once again, this episode has proven that the show is on a slippery slope of developmental missteps that started with the plot-hole riddled third episode.

While stuff was actually accomplished this week (instead of last week, where the entire episode felt like we were running on a hamster wheel), it took a long time to get there.  Additionally, the steps taken to get there felt forced and inconsistent.  Yes, the kidnapping arc is finally over (for now) but the first portion had a “been there, done that” feeling (Oh, look, Leila tried to escape!  Oh no, she’s caught again) and the second part didn’t make much sense.  After all the trouble the villains went through, it doesn’t make any sense for Vicky to just switch sides and let Sean and Leila go, no matter how much she was being blackmailed.  The President’s story also went somewhere (FINALLY), but not before half an hour of a stalemate with Thomas.  It was nice to see the President finally develop some backbone, but still, he spent most of the episode having the same arguments he had last week.

Most of my criticisms of “The Event” has been its lack of character development.  Episode Five finally gave us some development, but it actually left me less satisfied with the show, rather than more satisfied.  For one, all the character development was given to the villains.  Shouldn’t the show make us care about the good guys in mortal peril before they start trying to explain the motivations of the alien killers?  After all, if I don’t care that a hero might die, it’s probably a bad time to say “our villains can actually be somewhat decent.”  Additionally, and perhaps far worse, the development we did see was inconsistent.  Are we supposed to believe that Vicky, who has shown her heartlessness at every possible moment (including killing innocent people), would save and then mother a baby?  Even more so, are we honestly supposed to believe that this would lead to her killing her teammates and letting both Sean and Leila go in order to prevent a picture of her son from being released? (Seriously, what was Sean going to do?  Go on facebook and say “Hey, everyone, I know this evil villain named Vicky and she has a son named Adam!  Isn’t he cute??”)  I’m guessing that the writers wanted to humanize the bad guys after portraying them as omnipotent killers for the last few weeks, but I’m not buying it.

Additionally, the one thing this show has been good at – action and adrenaline – was severely lacking this week.  We didn’t care if Vicky won the shootout or not because, face it, we don’t care about Vicky (most of us would be happy if she died).  We didn’t care about the health of the plane passengers because, well, they already died once and we didn’t care then (note to the writers: if I have to say the phrase “Oh no, the dead people are dying again” you know you’ve done something wrong).  Even Sean finally reuniting with his girlfriend didn’t feel that important because all the previous steps to get there were poorly developed (Vicky just happens to turn her phone on, Sean’s friend – who we knew nothing about beforehand – just happens to call before they enter the building, Leila just happens to see a screen saver of the real cop, Leila just happens to have no one guarding her when Sean arrives).  Everything about this episode was poorly contrived in order to force an ending that couldn’t otherwise happen (Sean rescuing Leila).

After seeing five episodes of “The Event,” I’m nearly ready to stop watching.  The show has yet to really take us anywhere, and the situations are too implausible.   Worse still, the characters just don’t have anything interesting to offer.  It’s sad, because I really wanted to like this show.

Do I think “The Event” is the next LOST?  Absolutely not.  Do I think it’s the next FlashForward?  It’s getting there.  I stopped watching FlashForward after I realized that all the characters were boring, the events were too contrived, and nothing was ever accomplished from episode to episode.  If the writers don’t do something drastic in the next few weeks, that’s exactly what’s going to happen with “The Event.”

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~ by digitallysmitten on October 19, 2010.

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