Sunday, March 12, 2017

[Review] The Event

The series that ended only after the first season. Ended with a cliffhanger, but that's nothing surprising, lot of them ended like this. I'll be honest, I wasn't even sure to continue watching after a very confusing first episode, mixing timelines of the events. It was a hard watch, as for me, but I'm glad I persevered through - in overall I tremendously enjoyed this little sci-fi series about clash of species. Clash of politics.

There is one mighty poignant moment in the series during a meeting with the US President. Turns out, at one camp in Alaska, the government keeps few dozens of people prisoners. They look like human but they are not human. The percentage of DNA difference is less than 1%. Someone finds such difference laughable until one scientists points out that there's 2%* of DNA difference between humans and chimpanzees. Laughs freeze.

The episodes unfold a highly intricate fabric of, well, events throwing the characters into deeper and deeper turmoil, adding new angles and problems to solve (the virus, adding to the disasters caused in well wish but...). In 1944 an unknown object crashed somewhere in Alaska and to save her people, the leader (called Sophia) decided that some will remain and let themselves be imprisoned by US army. They remained prisoners in a secret facility of Inostranka for the next 66 years. Meanwhile, those who escaped (following the lead of Thomas), started the preparations to build a portal allowing their people to leave Earth and go back to their home. They are the Sleepers, who blended with humans, patiently waiting for a possibility to go home.

When the President of US, Elias Martinez, after long hours of fruitless talks with Sophia decided to go public with Inostranka and the existence of the other species - that's when the things changed 180 degrees. Seemingly unconnected things started to happen. During a cruise, Sean Walker's girlfriend, Leila Buchanan is kidnapped. The search for the missing woman throws Sean right in the middle of a conspiracy, revolving around Inostranka. His search lands him in the middle of a hijacked plane, piloted by Leila's father on an assassination mission. Turns out, his other daughter was kidnapped (to be subjected to some experiments allowed by a shadow figure), his wife murdered and he himself forced to pilot the plane in the attempt to crash into the US President (talking with Sophia per chance). The first episode ends with a plane disappearing seconds before the impact.

The paths of the characters, despite being initially separated, are leading towards the very same moment and place. Thanks to an asynchronous narrative we get a glimpse into the past of few of them, and the most tragic are with no doubt Simon Lee (a Sleeper) and Blake Sterling, two men whose fates are intertwined in a cruel fashion. The betrayal hanging over Blake from his past is doubled by the nature of Simon whom Blake believes after the crisis and even apologizes for not trusting him. Question remains whether Blake really believes Simon. It was a marvelously constructed episode.

The series rings especially true these days (even though the series is from 2010). Sophia calls her people "immigrants" - they only want to settle down on Earth despite the directive her people abide by - to not interfere with the indigenous cultures. But then there's Thomas, her ambitious and unscrupulous son who values his people above people of Earth and is ready to annihilate humans and take the Earth over. And he proved his point all over. Hell, he's even willing to kill his own people who don't follow him but remain faithful to Sophia (massacre at Inostranka). And since their planet's becoming uninhabitable, they need a place to survive...

In overall, to not spoil much fun (cause people are afraid of the spoilers as if they carried Ebola virus) - it was a very, very good series. Granted, it IS hard to follow at first, and it demands from the viewers to pay attention, but in the end it rewards everyone who can sit down and watch using at least half of their brain. The cast is great (I hated Sophia's callous behavior so so much, hated Leila's self-absorbed nature, loved Simon's pain written all over his face), the script is wise. 22 episodes started and ended in a flash and we'll never know what happened after that cliffhanger. It was an intelligent, well presented series. Maybe that's why it got cancelled. Because people (as I read on some fora) "couldn't follow". Then go and watch Kardashians you mental amoebas!
I highly recommend this series.


* According to Robin Dunbar it's actually 1.5%