Episode Title: "Turnabout"
Writer: James Wong
Director: Michael Waxman
Previously on "The Event":
After sending out a satellite message to his alien brethren in space, Thomas (Clifton Collins Jr.) staged an assault on Inostranka and freed the refugees willing to swear loyalty to him. But he killed everyone who openly remained loyal to his mother, Sophia (Laura Innes). However, Maya (Clea DuVall) was clever enough to hide her true allegiance and she freed CIA Director Blake Sterling (Zeljko Ivanek) in a bid to make sure that Thomas’ plans were foiled. But she ended up sacrificing her life to save Blake from Thomas directly.
Back in Washington, President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood) had difficulty controlling a freshman Senator, Catherine Lewis (Virginia Madsen), who discovered the Inostranka facility in her late husband’s files. Elsewhere, Simon (Ian Anthony Dale) broke Michael Buchanan (Scott Patterson) out of federal custody to help Sophia hunt down Michael. At the same time, Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) and Leila Buchanan (Sarah Roemer) found her kidnapped sister, Samantha. They also learned that Michael was one of Sophia’s people. Although the girls were soon reunited with their father, Michael told Leila that Sean couldn’t come with them. And so, Sean put on a backpack and hit the road. Cue the Lonely Man piano theme in 3… 2… 1.
The President is seriously disrespected by his Chief of Staff, who calls him weak to his face. Then the President finds himself in his office with Sophia and Thomas, who executes him. The President awakens from his nightmare with a jolt. It’s not shown on camera, but I’m sure he wet his bed. The President also seems to take the dream to heart, as he chews out his staff for letting the aliens escape. Elsewhere, Thomas welcomes the freed Inostranka detainees to their gated community. Just watch out for those home owners association fees! Thomas also sends Hanson (Jack Stehlin), a disfigured alien who looks like Pugface Morgan (google him!) to launder funds for the coming invasion.
Michael leaves Leila and Samantha with his friend, Carlos (Jose Zuniga) who is also an alien. But Carlos seems more sympathetic to Thomas’ side than Sophia’s. Michael and Sophia track down Hanson and torture him for info on Thomas’ plans. Sophia then contacts the President, who is understandably reluctant to believe her that Thomas is planning to steal nuclear rods. Amazingly, Blake admits that he thinks Sophia is telling the truth after Maya’s sacrifice and he helps convince the President to move the rods to safety. Meanwhile, Sean tries to lose himself in a bar before getting drawn into a fight with an abusive boyfriend. And let’s just say that the other guy wouldn’t like him when he’s angry…
After beating the crap out of the rude dude, Sean breaks into his sisters house to steal food, before running into her there. She’s mostly understanding about his crazy story and urges him to fight back against the people who experimented on little girls. At the power plant, Simon personally oversees the removal of the nuclear rods. As Simon fills in Sophia on the details, Hanson listens in and passes the info on Thomas with a hidden transmitter. Now that the plan is in motion, he orders Hanson to kill his mother. Elsewhere, Leila overhears Carlos and his wife arguing about whether to side with Sophia or Thomas, but they don’t trust Leila because she’s a half breed.
Finally, Vicky Roberts (Taylor Cole) makes her long awaited return in a grocery store, as she suspiciously eyes everyone around her as a potential black ops agent sent to kill her. And yet when she gets home, Sean easily gets the drop on her and demands her help in taking down her former employers. At Sophia’s safehouse, Hanson breaks free and nearly kills Sophia before Michael intervenes. They also discover the hidden transmitter and realize that Thomas tricked them. At the same time, Thomas leads a raid on the rods, taking out the escorts, with only Simon escaping. Thomas once again succeeds and makes off with the rods.
The President is furious over the latest turn of events and won’t accept Sophia’s explanation. When she doesn’t turn herself in, he orders lethal force to take her down.
You know, if "The Event" is canceled at the end of the season, I think Jason Ritter could star in the "Incredible Hulk" TV series if he gets rid of that wimpy facial hair. When I was watching the bar scene, I was half expecting for his eyes to suddenly turn green and his shirt to rip off. I thought last week’s "Hulk" homage was a one off, but Sean is definitely getting his David Banner on. The problem is that I don’t buy Sean as a sudden bad ass. "The Event" has a tendency to make wild leaps in character development without adequately paving the way.
Take President Martinez for example. As a character, I’ve generally liked him. But this week, he went from being President Dickless to President Dick. The nightmare he had and his increasing paranoia are supposed to explain his sudden shift. But like Sean, I don’t really believe in the "new" assertive President. There’s something to be said for consistency in character. Thomas was the same way. One episode, he was on his knees begging for his mother’s forgiveness and in the next he’s an alien mastermind. You can’t have it both ways.
I will say that I enjoyed the more subtle change in Blake, who actually took Maya’s death to heart without being sentimental about it. It wasn’t a wild seismic shift in his character and it actually made him seem less one note than he has before.
There was also a terrific sequence with Vicky in the grocery store that showed how paranoid that she’s become. The problem is that she made no real effort to disguise herself and even Sean found her easily! I’m glad to see the character again, but someone with her supposed experience in black ops shouldn’t continually come up on the short end of her dealings with someone like Sean. Although I suspect that part of the reason that Sean was separated from Leila was to set up a relationship with Vicky. Admittedly, Taylor Cole is a better actress than Sarah Roemer and I do think that Vicky has the potential to be the female lead of this show (aside from the incredibly grating Sophia).
But getting back to Sean, the writers seem so desperate to keep him involved with the story that they seemingly invented his sister just to have someone tell him to fight back! I’m also kind of amazed that his first thought was to flee to Mexico rather than trying to use his FBI contact to clear his name. But hey… he’s not exactly a big thinker until the show randomly decides that he is.
On it’s own terms, this is actually one of the series’ better episodes. Its weakness lies primarily in some of the choices that were made up to this point. James Wong is really good writer (with stints on "The X-Files" and "Millennium") and he seems to be dragging the show into more interesting territory this week. "The Event" could eventually turn into a show worth saving if this keeps up.
And I would really like to see that happen.
Crave Online Rating: 7.5 out of 10.