THE EVENT 1.19 ‘Us or Them’

Sean and Vicky try to prevent the aliens from getting the Spanish Flu and Michael is ordered to kill Simon.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Episode Title: "Us or Them"

Writer: David H. Goodman
Director: Milan Cheylov
Previously on "The Event":

Ostracized at the White House for a little thing like conspiracy to assassinate the sitting President, Vice President Raymond Jarvis (Bill Smitrovich) made an alliance with Sophia (Laura Innes) to poison President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood) with a pack of sugar mixed into his coffee. And for only the third time on "The Event," a plan actually worked and President Martinez suffered a severe stroke. CIA Director Blake Sterling (Željko Ivanek) and Chief of Staff, Richard Peel (Roger Bart) tried to assemble the evidence that would implicate Jarvis, but they fell short and watched as he was named acting President.  Then Blake finally remembered that he had a sample of the poisoned coffee on his shirt.

Meanwhile, Leila Buchanan (Sarah Roemer) contacted her estranged boyfriend, Sean "I Take Point Now" Walker (Jason Ritter) and alerted him to Sophia's plans to use the Spanish Flu to wipe out humanity and make room for her people. Leila was caught in the act by her father, Michael (Scott Patterson), who was forced to kill her guardian in order to save her life. In Russia, Vicky Roberts (Taylor Cole) accompanied Sean to a Russian tanker where the Spanish Flu was accidentally released, killing almost the entire crew. From the lone survivor, Sean and Vicky learned that an alien agent named Alex was transporting the virus on a plane bound for New York.

In the hospital, the President slips into a coma as his wife, Christina (Lisa Vidal) watches in hysterics. At the White House, Blake and the other staff members watch as Jarvis is sworn in as the acting President. At the gated alien community, Simon Lee (Ian Anthony Dale) learns that Sophia arranged for Martinez to be poisoned and he attempts to escape by attacking Carlos. But Carlos wins and leaves Simon still trapped in bed. Back at the White House, Jarvis unveils his new policies of alien appeasement and negotiation. He's like the perfect embodiment of the surrender happy Democrat caricature; which means that this portion of the show has been brought to you by Fox News.

Back at alien acres, Carlos tells Sophia about Simon's escape attempt. She also receives word that "Alex" is on the plane heading to New York with the Spanish Flu samples. At the airport, Sean and Vicky fail to prevent Alex from getting on the flight or even identifying him. So, they buy tickets for the same flight despite Vicky's sudden burst of common sense. On the plane, "Ninja Master" Sean identifies a possible courier who even takes his briefcase to the bathroom. But it's just some dude smuggling coke. Afterwards, Sean decides that this is the perfect time to talk to Vicky about any romantic feelings she may have towards him.

After some excruciatingly bad dialog, Vicky basically brushes off Sean's theory that she's into him and contacts someone at Homeland Security to alert them to the WMD on the plane.   Elsewhere, one of Sophia's doctors predicts that the President will die in a day or so from the poison. Then she orders Michael to kill Simon instead of giving him another chance to alert the humans. Leila tries to sway her father from siding with Sophia and she even tells him that she doesn't even recognize him anymore. Of course, that may also be due to the wildly inconsistent characterizations on this show. Sophia and Michael were still heroes five or six episodes ago.

At the White House, Blake confronts Jarvis with the test results from the coffee on his shirt and basically accuses him of trying to kill President Martinez. He even points out that Jarvis is just a pawn to Sophia, but Jarvis forcibly has Blake resign and removed from the White House. Then Sophia calls and uses him to call off the F-16 fighter jets escorting Sean and Vicky's plane. Sophia's gravelly voice and keen sense of the obvious are what make her such an effective villain. Wait, did I say "effective"? I meant annoying.

As the passengers disembark from the plane in New York, Sean and Vicky inadvertently learn that the carrier is a female flight attendant named Alexandra (Angela Gots). They tail her out to the parking lot, where Alexandra's partner nearly runs them down with a car. The male sleeper agent then becomes possibly the first villain on the show to catch Sean with one arm and threatens his life if Vicky doesn't give up her gun. Sean yells at her to take the shot, but instead she surrenders. Stupidly, the alien sleeper lets them both live and he and Alexandra drive off with the virus.

Back at the quaint alien village, Michael doesn't go through with shooting Simon and he helps him escape. Michael also steels the cure for President Martinez before reuniting with Simon and Leila in the forest. But Michael gets fatally shot along the way. At Michael's urging, Simon takes the cure and pulls a "Sean Walker" and leaves a woman behind in danger. As Leila is dragged away from her father's body, she accuses Sophia of being responsible for this.


"The Event" finally has some forward momentum, even if I'm still not impressed with Sophia's Spanish Flu plan.

I have to wonder about Blake's intelligence sometimes. Just when it seems like he's bidding his time to make a move against Jarvis, he basically got himself thrown out of the White House for no reason. I kept expecting any kind of justification for that scene, like Blake was trying to catch Jarvis admitting the plan on wiretap or something that could be used against him. Judging by Željko Ivanek's acting history on genre shows, it's reasonable to assume that Blake is going to die horribly at some point. But I'd rather that potential death be towards something of significance.

I've actually grown to enjoy Blake ever since his confrontation with Thomas in Alaska, even if that character development was quickly rolled back when Sophia was turned into the villain. Even within the context of the show, characters seem to have a hard time justifying their actions. The scene between Sean and Vicky was actually kind of hilarious in a way, just to see Sean recount how ludicrous their team up is now that he's not blackmailing her.And if noting else, Sean and Vicky provide a lot of unintentional comedy in their scenes together,

However, it's pretty obvious that they're gonna hook up Sean and Vicky before the end of the season, especially after she proved him right by not letting him die in the parking lot. I'd argue that their relationship is completely unbelievable, but Vicky's association with Sean has turned her into the defacto lead female hero on the series.

I can't fault that choice, especially with Sarah Roemer's whinny Leila as the only alternative. The one saving grace of Leila's speech to her father was that they didn't take the excuse to cut to a flashback of that scene when she was a child. In that regard, I assume that the producers have learned not to emulate "Lost" that closely any more.

There's enough working angles in "The Event" that it still holds my interest. The White House vs. Aliens plot has been the best thing about the series, despite being sidelined somewhat by the "President" Jarvis storyline. But if the producers of the show really wanted to be bold, they should have killed off Martinez just to keep Jarvis as the full fledged, ineffectual President.

And against my better judgment, I still kind of like this show. It's a lot better than it was at the beginning of the season, but I'm not sure that's going to be enough to save this show from going the way of "The Cape."

Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.