The Event

Kerplop! That is the sound this show makes! Last week was so promising. After months, literally three months or something, we finally had a poor man’s Lost to make up for the end of Lost. All summer long Americans would greet each other in the hair salons and the strip mall H&R Block offices and say “I don’t know if we’ll EVER have a lazy Lost rip-off to watch on Monday nights. It’s been almost two months!” and yet NBC answered those real prayers that were definitely not just made up just now with The Event. Or at least they seemed to. Airplanes vanishing! Presidents threatened! Mystery “people”! A MARRIAGE PROPOSAL THWARTED! Will you marry me is the new WHAT’S IN THE HATCH. This week’s episode picked up right where last week’s episode left off, and that’s when things really started falling apart. Yoops!

So the airplane that disappeared into the sky over Miami Brunch reappears in the sky over Some Desert. Oh no! Everyone on the plane is definitely going to miss brunch now. The plane crash lands in the desert super successfully? Like, the camera shakes for sure, and people scream, but it turns out the plane lands really really well and everyone survives, despite the disorienting nature of a plane popping through a wormhole thousands of miles away. So the pilot is apparently the new Captain Sully, American Hero. Also can I just say that the one mystery this show never solved was how that girl’s dad knew how to fly an airplane? I’m guessing his day job was a pilot, which is why he was targeted, and that is literally all this show ever needed to say. “He’s a pilot.” OK, got it. But because they didn’t say that, now he’s just a random father of two who knows how to hijack planes and fly them into presidents and heroically land them in the desert after flying through wormholes in the sky. Pretty incredible. Dad of the Year Mug at the very least.

As soon as the plane crash lands in the desert with zero casualties, a fire starts to burn in the rear of the plane. FIRE! LOOK OUT! Jason Ritter starts giving everyone directions on how to safely escape from the airplane. Hahahhahahahhaha! Really? You’re telling me that after an emergency landing, neither the Federal Air Marshal nor the highly trained professional flight crew commandeers the evacuation procedures and just leaves it in the hands of a 20-something facial-hair-mistake-maker who was waving a gun around two minutes ago? Sure. This guy definitely knows what this show is talking about:

The dad emerges from the burning airplane and immediately tells Jason Ritter everything. Which is almost nothing. Oh good grief. HERE WE GO WITH ONE OF THESE SHOWS. He explains that he had to fly the plane into the President’s brunch because “they” were going to shoot his daughter (Jason Ritter’s fiancee) right in front of him. Fair enough, I guess? Considering that they killed your wife right in front of you, and are now holding both of your daughters hostage, you should DEFINITELY murder 200 people with an airplane bomb in the president’s face. It just seems like the right thing to do. Just then, a bunch of helicopters appear on the horizon. “Oh good, help,” Jason Ritter says. “No,” the dad says, “that’s not help. You have to go save my daughter/your fiancee! Run! Go help her!” And so Jason Ritter runs. Again: hahahahah. I mean, just to be clear: if those helicopters are evil helicopters, then that means the bad guys were able to trace a magic airplane through a sky wormhole out to the desert and immediately dispatch a dozen gunships, but Jason Ritter is going to be able to outrun them on foot? OK! Run, then!

MEANWHILE: the President is so mad! Who are these guys?! His Chief of Staff (or whatever, you know, the bald IMPORTANT guy) explains to him in a meeting that the aliens (oh, by the way, they’re definitely aliens I guess) crashed in Alaska in the 1940s, and that the United States government has been holding them captive ever since. At no point in this meeting does anyone ask how it is possible that an alien race had the technology in the 1940s to travel to our planet but does not have the technology to escape from an Alaskan internment camp. The President wants to know why we are holding them captive, and the Bald Guy explains that it’s because he has a hunch that they’re keeping something secret from us. HAHAHHA. Sure. Whatever. At this point: LITERALLY, WHATEVER. In other news, they age super slow, and also the pop science cocktail party fact that human DNA differs from chimpanzee DNA by only 2% is dropped like Hard Truths. (When they first started talking about how the aliens were 99% genetically “human” I kept thinking “please do not bring up chimpanzees, please do not bring up chimpanzees. Bringing up chimpanzees would be almost impossibly corny and lazy and stupid and lame.” Then they brought up chimpanzees.)

Of course my favorite SHOCKING SURPRISE of last night’s episode was when the President of the United States of America TURNED A CHAIR AROUND BACKWARDS AND SAT DOWN IN IT.

I know that it is a function of narrative efficiency, but I love (read: hate) scenes like this in movies and TV. You’re going to tell me that a career politician understands the complicated psychological manipulations and verbal fluidity required for high-stakes interrogation with hostile ALIEN CREATURES? “We should definitely let the President of the United States handle this delicate situation alone.” I’m sure after 60 years of alien stonewalling, all it requires is treating the aliens like adults when it comes to the subject of contraception, and he will definitely get the answers he’s looking for. Classic game of Good President/Bad President.

Jason Ritter wakes up in a hospital and then is immediately framed for murder. Oh, right, because FLASHBACK, a red herring was murdered on the cruise ship.

Uh: 30 minutes after the murder occurred, the room was clean and another couple was staying in it and there was no record on the ship of Jason Ritter’s having even been there, so I’m not sure I understand the point. Like, if the aliens can hack into the mainframe Sandra Bullock The Net style and put out a Federal warrant for Jason Ritter’s arrest, why even bother ACTUALLY murdering someone? It just seems unnecessarily complicated to kill someone, hide any evidence of the murder, delete someone’s Orbitz reservation so that there isn’t even any evidence that the person you are about to frame was ever in the vicinity of the alleged crime, and THEN post his photo on Copbook. Why do the aliens make everything so complicated?

The big REVEAL of the episode is that in addition to the aliens in the internment camp in Alaska there are also other aliens out and about. Uh oh! One of them is even operating at the highest levels of the FBI’s investigation INTO the aliens. Whoa! There is a scene where they show him getting a blood test for his FBI application 10 years ago or whatever (which makes one wonder what he was doing for the previous 50 years, but NEVERMIND) and then he goes into the bathroom at FBI headquarters and pulls a plastic tube out of his arm. Fake blood! You scare me like the real thing! Of course, one might wonder if you were going to go to the trouble of implanting a fake plastic vein full of fake blood into your arm in order to fool the FBI into thinking you were human, maybe you would WAIT UNTIL YOU GOT HOME to pull the fake plastic vein full of fake blood out of your arm, especially since it is clearly painful. There is just no reason to do this in the bathroom stall, sir. But, as always, WHATEVER. I’m not the secret alien, so what do I know.

Jason Ritter is under arrest. The cops won’t believe his story. I don’t know why not! Here’s an actual line of dialogue from The Event: “That’s when they kidnapped Leila to force her dad to fly a plane into the President.” DING DONG. Rest your case, dude. At one point, the cops are driving him across the desert and trying to get him to shut up but he won’t shut up. Shoot him! Just shoot him! IT’S THE ONLY WAY! They don’t shoot him, but the lady cop does turn around and say “does this girlfriend of yours even exist?” at which point he gets kind of quiet and he says “I was going to marry her,” and the lady cop GETS SAD FOR HIM! Hahahahhahaha. “Well, the girlfriend is definitely real and was definitely kidnapped by aliens who definitely forced her father to fly a plane into the President of the United States at Miami Brunch before the plane disappeared into a blurry magic sky hole because a crazy sociopath DEFINITELY wouldn’t make up something as sacred and touching as MARRIAGE.” Barf fart shit barf. I guess they cut out the line where she was like “I wish I was married. Of course, I can’t get married, because like all lady cops, I am a lesbian. Sometimes I feel like the alien in this world!”

Oh, BTW, everyone on the plane is dead.

Ugh. This show. Looks like we’ve got a new Fringe on our hands, everybody. (Fringe, of course, is a show that we said goodbye to years ago, but which I continued to secretly watch at lunch without telling anybody for MONTHS and MONTHS. Although, it was kind of worth it if you remember the KABLONKERS season 1 finale. Best finale ever? Never forget.) Next week: Desmond pulls the time plug and the plane never crashed and this show never got greenlit and everyone goes to heaven.

Comments (44)
  1. If Bing is to be believed, there is no alternative to The Event. We must keep watching

  2. Is it bad to wish for a reality show mid-season replacement?

  3. After the first episode Gabe was like:

    But now he’s like:

  4. The Event stinks?

    I guess they should call it…

    The NonEvent.

  5. The highlight of the show was clearly DB Sweeney as the assassin.

  6. As someone who still watches Fringe secretly on the weekend while my girlfriend is at work, I am happy to report season 3 started off with what looks like a possible reoccuring role for Bubbles from the Wire. I am hoping that slowly all of the characters from the Wire will take over the show (2 down, many more to go). Maybe in the alternate universe Omar doesn’t have a scar!

  7. I was really excited to never watch this show, but now I’m even more excited to read the recaps that let me know about the horribleness. #excitedgum

  8. Glad I made this call last week.

  9. I feel bad (but not that bad), but nothing brings me greater joy than reading Gabe’s recaps of things he hates. So I welcome The Event’s newfound craptitude!

    • I don’t think of myself as a bad person, but given my druthers, Videogum would just be an endless nightmare for Gabe of WMOAT, Jersey Shore recaps, thirtysomething recaps, anti-bad entertainer screeds…sort of like Never Let Me Go/The Island for the intellect, where the only prisoner/donor is Gabe.
      Sorry, I am a bad person.

  10. i missed this last night because i was watching the series finale of “lone star.”

  11. I have a few things to say:

    1.) They “Lost” me when they crashed landed in a desert after basically using a frozen donkey wheel to get there. And turns out they are in Yuma. Someone took the 3:10 to Yuma. AmIright?

    2.) When is Rod Serling going to walk on screen and tell us we are in the Twilight Zone? Because we are fo’ sure in the Twilight Zone.

    3.) One of the bad guys was the hockey player dude from “The Cutting Edge.” YES!

    4.) That dad is no Frank Lapidus, so just stop it.

    5.) Also, how did Jason Ritter get arrested for a murder on a cruise ship that he was “never on.”? MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

    6.) “Sure, honey, you can go snorkeling with that hot chick, and I will stay here and be raped by her boyfriend. Dream Vacation.”

    7.) Good recap, Gabe. That is exactly what this show is like!

    • “4.) That dad is no Frank Lapidus, so just stop it.”

      But he is Luke from Gilmore Girls, and so I think this means we’re in the same universe as Parenthood.

    • “One of the bad guys was the hockey player dude from ‘The Cutting Edge.’ YES!”

      Whoa, whoa, whoa. I love ya, TIMN, but D.B. Sweeney is not just “The hockey player dude from ‘The Cutting Egde.’” Indeed, The Debes played hockey-player-turned-Olympian-figure-skater Doug Dorsey, but, for a child of the 80s, he was oh so much more. Look upon his works, ye mighty, and despair!:

      1989: Dish Bogget in the greatest mini-series of all time, Lonesome Dove
      1990: The bumbling Lt. Phil Lowenthal in Memphis Belle
      1991: Steve Smith in Blue Desert alongside a pre-Friends-era Courtney Cox
      1992: Doug Dorsey in TCE
      1993: Alien abductee Travis Walton in Fire in the Sky (based on a true story!)
      1995: Michael Holzcek in Roommates opposite the 183-year-old Peter Faulk
      1995: Clyde Woodrow in probably the worst episode of Tales from the Crypt ever “Staired in Horror” (what does that pun even mean?)

      So there you go. You got some viewing to do.

      • Teacherman, I am pumping the brakes as I type! However, like I told my husband last night, he is one of those actors I see in everything, but I will always think of him as Doug the Hockey Player from The Cutting Edge, and I don’t think anything will ever change that.

  12. so my dog ended up watching the first episode on DVR, even after my monkey told him not to. then he watched this week’s episode and apologized to my monkey and promised to never do it again. monkey, of course, accepted the apology.

  13. This is one of my top ten favorite recaps. I am definitely never going to watch this show.

  14. Gabe, I’m gonna have to get on your case about this one line:

    “… does anyone ask how it is possible that an alien race had the technology in the 1940s to travel to our planet but does not have the technology to escape from an Alaskan internment camp. ”

    So like, lets say you are Gabe and you are from the 21st century. And lets say your plane crashes over an extremely undeveloped part of the world, a place where they could NEVER have built a plane, or even imagine how that’s done. Now imagine after the plane crashes you, the 21st century modern-man Gabe, is thrown in a wooden cage as a jail cell. So how does being from a super advanced society that was able to build an airplane (an AIRPLANE!) make you any better at escaping from non-technologically advanced jail?

    • i totally agree. this was a necessary comment!

    • Because he knows there’s a full solar eclipse about to happen in 48 hours and threatens to permanently blot out the sun if he isn’t released, duh. Plus, he can record Chuck Berry songs before they’re written and yada yada install hidden cameras in the women’s bathroom.

    • Yea but Gabe can’t create wormholes, or do any kind of magic, the aliens are different! Gabe also would not calmly threaten the undeveloped part of the world president that he and his people are growing impatient!

      Imagine if David Blane, Chris Angel and Harry Potter crash in undeveloped part of the world! They have powers, hence they can summon airplanes, and escape from Shit world!! (Aliens are like Harry Potter)

  15. Who decided that Monday was going to be the official night to put every doo-doo television show on tv all at once? It’s seriously the worst!

  16. My theory is that they are not really aliens but future humans who are more evolved than us. Also: who cares.

  17. My dad again called me last night to tell me about the Event, and I have figured out why his recaps don’t make any sense, but at the same time are kind of familiar. Zeljko Ivanek is the constant in all of the shows he watches, so his theories and explanations of the Event are actually a mix of True Blood, Big Love, 24, Heroes, Damages, House and the Mentalist. I know! I know! I am trying to get him to blog.

  18. “Barf fart shit barf”


  19. I watched the LOST pilot late last eve just to make my TV feel worthwhile.

  20. I know it’s a little early to have theories about the show, but I really think we’re still in alternate-universe afterlife world from season 6 of ‘Lost,’ except all of the principals have become enlightened and moved on, so all that’s left is the hammy supporting cast. This is their less compelling, overacted purgatory, and eventually Ana Lucia will show up.

  21. Did the Packers win?

  22. The pilot to the Event was terrible, why were you optimistic!

    Also, Fringe has gotten good….Shit My Dad Says is the new Lost though.

  23. My biggest problem with this show is the sloppy and excessive use of flashbacks.




    Someone needs to go back to school and take Narrative Storytelling 101.

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