So that’s it. The Event finale came and went. But what exactly did we learn, and did we get the payoff we were hoping for?
The events that took place can essentially be boiled down into the following:
- Martinez reclaims the presidency from Jarvis, who he outed in the most mundane way possible – a tape of Jarvis revealing his treachery. And Jarvis made it this far, how exactly? However, before Martinez pulled that rabbit from his hat he injected a bit of faux drama by fainting. That’s all it was, faux drama, as it served no other purpose.
- Together, Martinez, Blake, Simon, Sean and Vicky, foil Sophia’s attempt to release the virus. I’m not sure how the Sophia chase scene (which was quite lengthy, and included many gunshots) took place without airport security stepping in.
- Simon tells Sean that the ‘Event’ is what his people (who lived on the Earth before humans) call the next stage of evolution, a transformation they would have undergone had they remained on Earth. While he doesn’t know what the Event is, he warns that humans probably wont survive it. OK, thanks Simon.
- Leila survived. Yay! She’s also pregnant with Sean’s baby! Yay, we don’t have to see that storyline in Season 2!
- Science be damned, Sophia transported her people to Earth. Kinda. What she actually did was bring her entire frickin’ planet through a wormhole.
- With the EBEs planet visible from Earth, Christina (who just happens to be on the White House lawn, with her son who makes a convenient appearance, and has seemingly morphed into a different kid entirely) looks up and says “home!” with tears of joy in her eyes. So, at least we get that one – Christina IS an EBE. And a fine one at that.
1. The Titular Event
“The Event” is apparently a stage of evolution – one that humans wont survive and the reason why the EBEs fled Earth in the first place. (I guess they’re better equipped to survive it now?). I’m not sure the writers have that ironed out, but along with the “alien invasion” theory, here’s what I said The Event might be back in August of last year:
2. A supernatural happening. Think Mayan Calender. Something is about to happen that will shift the consciousness of humanity, perhaps giving certain segments of Earth’s population cosmic abilities which many will see as a threat to the survival of the human race as we know it. While the Mayan connection may be a bit too far, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these ideas explored.
3. A spiritual emergence. Kinda related to the above — could a spiritual awakening be about to emerge?
Pretty spot on from what I can gather from Simon’s reveal. That said, the story would have been better served had they built towards all of this a lot sooner. I’m convinced that The Event wanted to be more of a 24 type show than a true mystery/sci-fi series.
From what I recall, it was NBC who apparently asked creator Nick Wauters to introduce more fantastical elements. Not a bad idea, but I’m not sure the powers that be knew how to best manage these elements.
2. Crazy Sophia
So, if Sophia planned to park her entire planet beside Earth, as opposed to teleporting her people onto Earth, why the need to kill the human population? You might say it’s because her planet is dying – but her planet is no longer near their sun that went all supernova. Also, how does this reconcile with their original mission. What was their original mission?
And if they can just move entire planets, why all the drama that preceded it? It seems like we could have watched the pilot and finale and got everything we needed to know about the Season 1 storyline.
Again, I put this down to false drama. It’s all but confirmed when Sophia decides that, actually, she wont release the virus – only to later imply that she was acting out of mercy and that her people will have to remove the human problem by less ‘kind’ means.
Except.. since she enacted the plan, there was never any sign that Sophia was acting out of ‘mercy’. She may have had a contrived twinge of conscience in the previous episode (don’t get me started on the ‘dream’ sequence), but it was clear that her intentions were to make room for her people. To suddenly ‘redeem’ the character by having her all but say she was only thinking of the humans – without any foreshadowing – just doesn’t sit well.
I’m not saying they should have made it obvious or spoon-fed the audience – quite the opposite. I would have liked more layers and a stronger character through line. It’s almost impossible to switch it up with one-dimensional characters and have it play effectively. Now, I understand why they did it – to conceal the cliffhanger of the planet arriving through the wormhole, and such. But in this case, the ends didn’t justify the storytelling means.
3. First Lady
Christina being an EBE is somewhat interesting. I’m glad they gave us this detail, but it’s a shame we wont get the backstory on that. She doesn’t seem to have any direct connection to Sophia and her sleepers, so what to make of it? Did she splinter off from them? (surely not, Sophia and Co. would have recognized her). Did she arrive on an earlier mission? Is she a Sentinel?
She clearly loves Martinez, but was there an ulterior motive at one point? And how did Martinez fail to realize that his wife hadn’t aged a day in all the years he’s known her?
We hardly got anything on the old Dempster storyline, except a couple of vague references to the scroll that Sean is supposed to read.
I applaud The Event for embracing serialized storytelling and for trying to do something high concept. There were some potentially interesting characters: Sophia, Simon, Thomas. Christina was always a pleasure. The show opened on a promising note and it ended on an interesting frame – and I mean that literally, the final image was intriguing.
But that’s my problem with The Event. It was story that didn’t have enough story for 22 episodes – one where the focus was badly misplaced on Sean and Leila. Along the way the promising characters became one-dimensional. Jarvis was simply a joke, although he did provide some comic relief here and there.
While I do wonder what would have happened next, such thoughts are quickly washed away by the fact that the first season wasn’t about characters, wasn’t about mystery or mythology, and didn’t have anything really interesting to say. It was just about getting from A to Z in the most long-winded and contrived manner.
Did we get a satisfactory answer to the titular question? I don’t think so. Even if they were hoping for a second season, it’s a shame the show couldn’t deliver better payoff. And I’m not only talking in terms of answers.
Like most supporters of serialized fare, I wanted the show to work. And I’m sure it did for some. For me though, it never got out of second gear. That said, it tried. Well, at one point.
Thankfully, one ‘failure’ doesn’t mean the whole genre is doomed. We have other Seriable stories being told that are succeeding with their high, overarching concepts, engaging characters and compelling stories.
So, unless The Event returns through Netflix or some other medium, it looks like this is goodbye. But in truth, story never ends. I’m certain that we’ll have overarching reasons to talk about the show over the weeks, months and years.
Final episode rating: 5.5/10
What did you think of the finale? Did it meet your expectations? Are you sad the show has been canceled by NBC?