The Event: I Haven’t Told You Everything

What’s The Event? Nope, we still don’t know. But a bunch of stuff happened in the first episode, so let’s try to get that sorted out. I’ve heard that future episodes may be more linear, so this recap format may change, but for this episode, I thought it would be useful to set things out in chronological order. Here we go!

Thirteen months ago:
CIA agent Simon Lee arrives at some sort of detention facility at Mount Inostranka, Alaska. He talks to a woman named Sophia about how someone named William has been recaptured, and may be planning to tell “them” about The Event in order to buy his freedom. Simon wants to warn “them,” and thinks President Elias Martinez would help, but Sophia is having none of it. “If our people out there are having doubts, I need you to reason with them.” Simon finally agrees that Sophia can count on him, and as the scene ends we see that Sophia’s hands are cuffed – she’s a prisoner.

Shortly thereafter, the President – we’ll call him “Eli” to save time – finds out about Mount Inostranka and yells at Director of National Intelligence Blake Sterling for not telling him earlier. Sterling claims the information was given on a need-to-know basis, and Eli thunders, “I am the President of the United States. I need to know.” Sterling confirms that there are 97 prisoners at the facility but won’t tell Eli much else; Eli, in turn, refuses to tell Sterling how he got the file about Mount Inostranka in the first place. Anyone else think Simon is somehow responsible? Yeah. Anyway, Sterling insists that the CIA has been overseeing the facility for years and so the President shouldn’t worry his pretty little head about it, but Eli insists that he wants to go there and meet “them.” (In this case, I think “them” refers to the prisoners, not the “them” that Simon and Sophia were talking about. These characters never met an antecedent-free pronoun they didn’t like.)

Some unspecified amount of time later, Eli arrives at Mount Inostranka by helicopter, and insists on seeing living quarters and research labs. He is introduced to Sophia as “their leader.”

Eleven days ago:
Leila Buchanan chats with her mother and her little sister Samantha as she gets ready for the cruise she’s taking with her boyfriend Sean. Meanwhile, Sean gives Leila’s father Michael the ship’s contact information and asks for – and receives – Michael’s blessing to marry Leila. Michael drives them to the airport.

Eight days ago:
The ship docks at an island, and Sean and Leila frolic on a beach. We see that Sean has an engagement ring. He takes Leila on a hike and is in the middle of proposing when they hear someone yelling for help. (During Sean’s proposal, we find out that he and Leila have known each other for five years. I’m just mentioning this stuff because I have no idea what will or won’t be important later.) They find a man named Greg whose girlfriend Vicky has slipped off the cliff and into the water. Greg can’t help because his arm is in a cast, so Sean jumps in and saves Vicky. The couples bond over Sean’s heroism, so they spend the rest of the day hanging out and drinking on the beach. Vicky wants them to hang out for the rest of the cruise, and to go snorkeling the next day.

At home, Michael and the rest of the family chat about Leila and the cruise, and Michael calls his daughter to check in. In the background, we see the President on the news signing a “clinic bill.” Leila gets off the phone quickly because the beach is loud, but promises to call the next day. After Michael hangs up, his wife notices that Samantha’s bike is outside in the rain and tells her to bring it in. While Sam’s doing that, Michael tells his wife that she should start trusting Sean more, but won’t say why. When Sam goes outside, a man in black grabs her, while others burst in and shoot Mrs. Buchanan in the forehead.

Back on the ship, a rather drunk Sean and Leila head back to cabin 5314 and discuss how they’re getting annoyed with Vicky and Greg. Then they switch to making out instead, and things are getting pretty hot and heavy when Leila puts on the brakes so she can get some fresh air out on the balcony. They make a deal to have a romantic dinner alone the next evening, and we see Sean put the engagement ring into the cabin’s safe.

Seven days ago:
Sean and Vicky snorkel while Greg is off on a jungle excursion and Leila stays on board; she has “food poisoning” but Sean thinks she’s actually hungover, and I think she’s actually been poisoned or drugged. Vicky gets rather flirty with Sean and insists on taking a picture of them together. When he gets back to the ship, Sean can’t get his keycard to work, so goes to the purser – or maybe just some sort of customer service desk – to get a new key. The ship has no record of him or Leila boarding the ship, and when he talks a security officer into going to the room with him, they find another couple there. Sean’s passport is gone, since it was in the cabin. He calls Leila but gets a recording that her number is out of service, and then calls her parents, who don’t answer because her mother is dead and her father is – well, who knows at this point? Sean panics and runs as security tries to take him away.

Today, around 1 p.m.:
Michael Buchanan, who we now see is a pilot, gets on flight 514 to Sao Paulo. His copilot is surprised to see him because he thought a different pilot was on the schedule. Meanwhile, Simon drives crazily through the streets of Miami as he calls air traffic control and tries to stop flight 514. Once he makes a bomb threat, the tower tries to stop the plane, but they’ve turned off their transponder and soon the entire radar system is down.

23 minutes earlier (around 1:30):
As flight 514 prepares to take off, a flight attendant tells Sean to get out of the bathroom and sit down. As he leaves the bathroom, we see what I think is a blue baseball cap in the trash, but I’m not sure. We cut back and forth between the plane taking off, guys running through the airport, and Simon driving his SUV onto the runway to try to stop the plane himself. Sean can see Simon, but his expression is rather inscrutable, so I’m not yet sure whether he’s on Simon’s side or knows what’s going on. Someone asks Simon over the phone whether he intercepted the plane, but he says he couldn’t stop it.

Once the plane is in the air, Sean pulls a gun on a flight attendant and rushes toward the cockpit. He tries to get the pilot to open the door, and then tries to reason with him over the phone: “Let me in. It’s not too late, but we have to act now.” An air marshal in turn pulls a gun on Sean, and Sean drops his gun as he tries to explain what’s going on. The marshal tries to get the pilot to turn the plane around, but then there’s a gun shot in the cockpit, and the flight starts getting shaky. Sean convinces the marshal that they have to get into the cockpit or they’ll be used as a live bomb, but the pilot overrides the controls so they can’t get in. We see another plane next to them, getting ready to shoot them down – and then we see that it is, of course, Michael in the cockpit, refusing to acknowledge the phone or the other plane. Sean continues to try to reason with him: “Whatever they promised you, you can’t trust them. You and I together, we’ll come up with something, we’ll find her. Please listen. I love Leila too. But think about what you’re doing. She would never want you to do this. Mike!”

Meanwhile, the President is having a big party – for his son’s birthday, I think – at his retreat in Coral Gables, Florida. The Vice President rudely pulls him away to a little meeting/intervention. Sterling, the VP, and an unnamed military guy think Eli’s making a mistake, because he wants to close “the facility” – we’re assuming they’re talking about Mount Inostranka here – and they don’t. They tell him he can’t be objective because his parents were immigrants, he tells them that it’s about human rights and not abusing and illegally detaining non-Americans, and I start wondering exactly when this scene was written, because it’s starting to feel very ripped-from-the-headlines, if you know what I mean. The VP doesn’t think they have enough information to feel safe letting the prisoners out, and Military Guy wants Eli to delay the press conference, but Eli points out that they already gave one reporter exclusive access to the story, and it’s clear that he wants to go ahead with it anyway.

2:00 p.m.:
Sophia arrives for the press conference, and apparently she and Eli have become close over the past thirteen months, because he greets her with “Your time has come, my friend.” The VP and Sterling haven’t arrived yet – but isn’t the press conference at the party? Weren’t they all right there a minute ago? – and the Secret Service agents are hearing unspecified but worrisome things over their earbud radios as things get really windy. The Secret Service starts evacuating the site, because radar is down over the entire eastern seaboard. They think the attack has already started, and the President may be the target. He’s pushed into an SUV with his wife Christina and their son as everyone stares into the sky at a plane heading right toward them. The wind seems to have reached hurricane-like levels, which confuses me, because the plane is still fairly high up. If this were really what happens when a plane lands, it would impossible to walk around airport parking lots, right? Thoughts, anyone? (No, I don’t know why this is apparently the one mysterious happening that really bothered me in this whole episode.)

Simon is driving down a highway in the storm, because apparently a plane landing creates wind in an entire city. Sorry, I’ll stop. He instructs someone over the phone: “If you’re going to do it, you better do it now.” Meanwhile, Michael, in the cockpit, looks shellshocked as the plane heads for the President. Before the plane can crash, though, there’s lots of light, a big electric blue circle of shimmery light appears in the sky, and the plane disappears into it. This screams “wormhole” to me, but I’ve been thinking about Deep Space 9 recently, so, you know, your results may vary. After a few minutes, the light disappears and everything gets calm. People are relieved but confused – except for Sophia. “They saved us.” “Who?” Eli asks. “Who saved us?” Sophia’s non-answer: “I haven’t told you everything.” Really? I never would have guessed!

1. The obvious: What is The Event?
2. Who are the 97 prisoners? My guess: scientists of some sort.
3. Who is behind the assassination attempt? My guess: The VP and/or Sterling, to keep Eli from letting the prisoners out.
4. Why was Leila kidnapped and her mother killed? My guess: Leila was taken in order to get her father to crash the plane, and her mother was killed so Michael would know these people were really dangerous.
5. How was Sean’s existence erased from the ship? Well, given all the CIA stuff I’m surmising here, this is barely even a question.
6. How does Sean think he can run away from security on a ship in the middle of the ocean? Yeah, don’t think this will go well.
7. Where did the plane go? I’m assuming it wasn’t just zapped into oblivion, since a few main characters were on it.
8. Seriously, folks, what’s with the wind? It’s bothering me. Was it because the plane wasn’t slowing down the way it normally would before landing?
9. Did this episode intrigue you enough to keep you watching? My answer: Definitely.

Photo Courtesy of NBC

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