The Event Episodes

2010, TV Show

The Event Episode: "Pilot"

Season 1, Episode 1
Episode Synopsis: The series about a spectacular conspiracy gets underway with everyman Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) looking into the disappearance of his girlfriend Leila (Sarah Roemer) from a Caribbean cruise. In other events, the president (Blair Underwood), over the objections of his National Intelligence director (Željko Ivanek), plans to announce he's releasing a group of detainees.
Original Air Date: Sep 20, 2010
Guest Cast Sayeed Shahidi: David Martinez Julia Campbell Lauren Stamile Omid Abtahi Wes Ramsey Gonzalo Menendez Joseph C. Phillips Tony Todd Wynn Everett Angel Desai Casey Siemaszko
Full Episode
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Season 1, Episode 1
Free | Hulu
Length: 42:34
Aired: 9/20/2010
Also available on Amazon Prime
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The Event Episode Recap: "I Haven't Told You Everything" Season 1, Episode 1

What is the event of The Event? That's the question posed by this intriguing NBC pilot, and obviously no easy answer is forthcoming. What's clear is that, much like Lost and 24 and the serialized dramas that came before it, The Event will be about the journey and not the destination. The show heads out to each commercial break with a head-scratching cliffhanger. It's an intricate, scrambled narrative with lots of "eleven days earlier"-type title cards, but for the purpose of this recap, I'm going to (try to) keep things relatively simple and sequential. Let's dive in, shall we?

Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) and girlfriend (and intended fiancée) Leila Buchanan (Sarah Roemer) go on a cruise. They meet a happy-go-lucky couple with whom they go cliff-diving and get drunk; the next day, Leila sleeps off a hangover while Sean goes diving. When Sean returns to their cabin on the ship, his key card doesn't work, Leila is gone and the cruise line has no record of the couple ever having boarded.

Meanwhile, back at Leila's house, a crew of mercenaries kidnaps Leila's younger sister and kills her mother.

We flash back a year to a snowy place called Mount Inastranka in Alaska, where CIA agent Simon Lee (Ian Anthony Dale) is discussing a man named William with Sophia Maguire (Laura Innes). He cryptically tells her that William is going to trade information for his freedom. "He's going to tell them about the event," he says. Sophia emphasizes that he can't, and that she needs Simon to stop that from happening. It's then revealed that Sophia is a prisoner, her arms in chains as a military guard escorts her back to what is presumably a cell.

The newly elected President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood) is the first Afro-Cuban commander-in-chief of the United States, and as the children of immigrants, he brings a unique perspective to human-rights issues. His advisers — among them, Vice President Raymond Jarvis (Bill Smitrovich) and Blake Sterling (Zeljko Ivanek), the director of national intelligence — are nervous about his plan to release the 97 detainees of Inastranka. We see that upon learning of the covert detention center, a little more than a year earlier, the president traveled there to see the mysterious detainees' living quarters and research labs and to meet their leader: Sophia.

Flash forward to a sunny reception with crisp white tablecloths, cake and nautical flags, and it's clear from the president's conversation with Sophia (who is in attendance and obviously no longer a prisoner) that he has decided to make an important — and indeed celebratory — announcement that day.

Across town at the airport, air-traffic control is trying to stop a plane that Simon believes has a bomb-wielding terrorist on board from taking off, just as the airport's radar system goes down. Simon drives out on the runway to attempt to stop it himself. (This is something that YouTube tells us is pretty much impossible.) Putting aside the jet-engine-wake inaccuracies for a moment, Simon is still unsuccessful and the plane takes off.

This is, of course, the flight on which, all sweaty-palmed and wild-eyed, Sean pulls a gun on a stewardess and an air marshal and insists that he needs to speak to the pilot. It becomes clear that there's a method to Sean's madness. The pilot is Michael Buchanan (Scott Patterson), aka Leila's father, and he seems determined to fly the plane right into the president's reception.

But just as the plane is about to crash the party, a liquid-metallic hole opens in the sky, swallowing up the plane, which vanishes into thin air. "They saved us," Sophia says to nobody in particular, and then, when the president asks who saved them, she says, "I haven't told you everything."

So ... all that happened. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that while I enjoyed the adrenalized first hour of The Event very much, I couldn't help but think back to another mind-bending pilot episode that I loved this time last year: Flash Forward. I'm sure it's the last thing that NBC wants us to associate with its new show, considering how poorly Flash Forward did in the ratings when its complicated narrative failed to live up to its promise before the audience decamped and it was summarily canceled.

Nevertheless, that's what we're faced with. Is the event of The Event compelling enough to keep viewers sticking around? It depends on how you interpret this first hour. Producers have said that the show will be 95 percent action and suspense and just 5 percent sci-fi. So who are the detainees of Inastranka? (We only learn that they "aren't American.") I hesitate to use the word "aliens" this early in the narrative, but the script's clear references to immigration perhaps indicate that as we learn more about the prisoners, we are in for one doozy of a parable. But judging from their advancements in aviation technology (since they can make jets disappear), their land of origin is somewhere else entirely.

So what did you think? Was the show's set-up intriguing enough to keep you tuning in? What do you think "the event" is?

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What is the event of The Event? That's the question posed by this intriguing NBC pilot, and obviously no easy answer is forthcoming. What's clear is that, much like Lost and 24 and the serialized dramas that came before it, The Event will be about the journey and not the destination. The show heads out to each commercial break with a head-scratching cliffhanger. It's an intricate, scrambled narrative with lots of "eleven days earlier"-type title cards, but for the purpose of this recap, I'm going to (try to) keep things relatively simple and sequential. Let's dive in, shall we?

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Premiered: September 20, 2010, on NBC
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (904 ratings)
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Premise: An ordinary man's probe into his girlfriend's disappearance leads him to uncover a conspiracy of untold dimensions, inadvertently affecting the newly elected U.S. president, the leader of a group of mysterious detainees and the detainee leader's father.

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