‘The Event’ Premiere Review & Discussion

Published 5 years ago by

the event pilot nbc The Event Premiere Review & Discussion

Unless you’ve been living in a box for the past few months, you will most certainly have been bombarded with NBC’s non-stop promotion of The Event. With Lost now off the air, NBC is no doubt setting The Event up to take its place in the hearts and minds of viewers. With the manner of which NBC is consistently promoting this series, one has to wonder whether viewers will be intrigued or completely turned off. Especially since the pilot doesn’t serve to answer the question that have been beckoning every television and radio commercial – what is “the event?”

Setting aside the poorly written ad-copies, viewers should now know (thanks to Lost) that whatever “the event” is, it will never be as entertaining as watching the characters’ journeys throughout. Of course, if six seasons of questions and five episodes of answers isn’t your type of series, you’ll be happy to hear that the producers have no plan to withhold what exactly “the event” is.

… just don’t expect to find out in The Event series premiere.

Preview (courtesy of NBC)

The Event premieres with a conspiracy of both national and global proportions. Sean Walker (Jason Ritter), stumbles into a national conspiracy after his girlfriend Leila (Sarah Roemer) mysteriously disappears from a Caribbean cruise. Elsewhere, President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood) is scheduled to announce the release of a group of detainees led by Sophia Maguire (Laura Innes) — despite the disapproval of his Director of National Intelligence, Blake Sterling (Zeljko Ivanek). Their futures are on a collision course in a global conspiracy that could ultimately change the fate of mankind.


Like Lost or, dare I say, Flashforward, not much is revealed in the pilot about what this ominous “event” is. Therefore, this review is based solely on the talent of the main cast, the intentions of the producers and the future potential of the series. Unfortunately, many viewers may not be able to look at the series the same way.  With NBC promoting The Event every chance they get, many of those who tune in will be disappointed to find that the appearance of some kind of “event” only occurs in the episode’s final moments… and even then, it’s only minimal.

the event jason ritter The Event Premiere Review & Discussion

Until those final moments, viewers will no doubt be confused and/or annoyed with the way in which the producers chose to convey the initial plot of the series. Instead of a single, coherent storyline, the producers chose to jump around from various moments of the past, to present day events (not the event – and it’s not time travel. Think Damages). While any other series would be crucified with this poor choice in storytelling (especially since it’s done somewhat poorly), one has to give The Event a little leeway because in this television environment, it’s not easy to capture an audience with this type of ambiguous series. I have a feeling that once more information regarding “the event” is revealed that the poorly realized time jumps will be lessened, as in the pilot they only serve to create artificial excitement and a sense of intrigue; Something that I hope will be replaced by actual excitement and intrigue as the series progresses.

Much of what will make this series work is the cast. Jason Ritter, Blair Underwood and Zeljko Ivanek are all great in the pilot and with the addition of Clifton Collins Jr. (he’s not in the pilot), they certainly have the talent to support an amazing story. In the beginning, much of the story revolves around Jason Ritter’s character, Sean Walker, and his girlfriend Leila Buchanan, played by Sarah Roemer as they go on a Caribbean cruise. If you’ve seen any television in the past ten years, you will be familiar with this type of premise. Their initial storyline is more or less a means by which the writers can unravel their intriguing storyline. While the first reveal of “something’s not right” isn’t as exciting as one would have expected, the subsequent events and thought-out subplots certainly help sell it.

Of course, there’s no way such an “event” could happen without some kind of government cover-up. Since government cover-ups aren’t exactly something new to television dramas, The Event needs to be able to separate themselves apart for the rest. Fortunately, Blair Underwood as President Elias Martinez serves as an apparent surrogate to the audience. In this sense, the cover-up does not start from the top as the President is one of the last people to learn that the CIA has a secret prison in which they keep people that are connected to “the event.” Unfortunately, the audience isn’t let in on what exactly is going on as the President is eventually brought in on the cover-up.

nbc the event premier ritter girlfriend The Event Premiere Review & Discussion

With Zeljko Ivanek playing as Director of National Intelligence, Blake Sterling, NBC couldn’t have picked a better actor to play the apparent “bad guy.” With Sterling holding all of the information to “the event” and the CIA cover-up, it’s truly a joy to watch the back and forth between the President and Sterling, as the President wants to know and see everything and Sterling is forced to comply.

After a quick trip to the Arctic prison, the President meets with those connected to “the event” and decides that it’s time for the nation to know. While those watching will no doubt be excited to see this particular event unfold, it’s quickly interrupted by a full-sized passenger jet flying straight towards the president.

As the series comes to a close, we are waiting to see the giant airliner crash into the President’s vacation house and the scene of the press conference. Although, in the pilot’s last moments, something happens and the plane somehow disappears. While the episode ends before anything else can be explained, viewers are left knowing that what just happened has something to do with “the event” and that “they” helped save the President from an airplane assassination.

the event blair underwood nbc The Event Premiere Review & Discussion

Final Thoughts

The series premiere of The Event is the textbook definition of potential. With a great cast and somewhat intriguing plot, if any series is going to make this ominous, ambiguous type of storytelling work following Lost, this certainly will.


The Event airs Monday’s @9pm, on NBC

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  1. I dont think this show will make it past what ever they bought. We have all seen shows with repeated clich’s and semi predictable story lines. Its what the writers and actors do with it. Jack’s 24 character, defaulted to “what was good for the country” but you had to guess how he would achieve that goal. “Lost” I think did a better method of tying in flashbacks. X files often left you hanging but answered the story enough not to be frustrating. It really doesnt matter if they are aliens, time travelers, or a bus load of Atlantic City patrons who got lost in the artic. If the writers dont write or the actors dont act, the show is a waste. If they want to save this show, have one of the characters wake up, so the first three shows were a dream, and start over.

  2. The show’s pilot episode was told almost entirely in retro version to two different time frames Executive producer Evan Katz stated that “everything is designed to answer questions so you’re not frustrated or feeling like we’re making it up as we go along” and the writers intend to keep the viewers guessing in a “fair way. If all of this is TRUE THEN………

    Ha ha. Then why haven’t these questions been answered?

    Who were the ones that kidnapped the little girl?

    Where is the girl that was kidnapped that was supposed to bring in her bicycle

    Why did they kill just the wife?

    Was the reason Sophia had the plane disappear because she was going to be with the President and would be killed also?

    How did Sean get on the plane WITH A GUN and not be noticed?

    How did Sean get on the plane without a ticket?

    I don’t know what story they’ll come up with to explain what happened to the plane but whatever they tell – it won’t be the truth. Whatever may surface, they will probably tell you it’s fake.

    President Elias Martinez learns of the facility’s existence shortly after his inauguration and decides, after meeting the leader of the detainees, to release them and disclose their existence to the world over the objections of the intelligence agencies. His plans are put on hold when an assassination attempt on him is foiled by means beyond human technology. The CIA, realizing that this means there are other aliens, secretly plans to find and kill them. The agent chosen to head the effort is himself an alien and that fact is unknown to the agency. Blake Sterling – the Director of National Intelligence, who has long kept secrets from the President Raymond Jarvis – the opposition party Vice President of the United States

    Thomas – a member of the non-terrestrials who escaped capture, he now in contact with the other “sleepers” who are not imprisoned.

  3. Jonny:

    An early scene shows Sean retrieving what is obviously the gun from inside the plane’s bathroom.

    Why do you believe Sean had no ticket?

    Why do you assume, twice, that the plane was meant to assassinate the president. It could have been meant to kill Sophia. It could have been meant to force someone’s hand to perform an incontrovertible public intervention which in itself exposed the “non human” presence. And–just conjecture here–it may have signaled an attempt to change timeline events involving both these figures or even another who was with them.

    I didn’t follow your line about ‘opposition party.’ The VP is always the same party as the President…although in this alternate universe (like 24 with its unique presidents) maybe that is no longer the case.

    The little girl and her family (we may assume the mother is dead but it could be a decoy to cover up some secret about the family) may be gone to be used as hostages/leverage against their daughter who, we know, has been kidnapped and does not show signs of submitting to her captors. Conjecture–she could change her tune if her little sister (?) or parents are threatened.

    I feel like the events in the 40s, already being explained, may unreel slowly. The nature of that ‘event’ (?) and the identity of the non-humans (a word used by the characters in the show and not necessarily true) are not completely known, but we are aware. It’s as if the Twins had been revealed in the first episodes of Lost…we would have at least known of the contest going on.

    One more thing you assume–that Sophia was behind the plane disappearing. She said her people were, not her. She may or may not have known THAT they would intervene, or HOW they would intervene. We see that SOME of their number are expendable, and I get the impression that Sophia is A leader, but not necessarily THE leader. She may in fact object to the FACT that she was saved (and/or the pres. was saved) or HOW she was saved.

    My theory is that someone wanted their existence hidden, so the target was not necessarily Pres. or Sophia, but the revelation itself. If the plane’s people all survived, and they are able to return to their normal lives, the story of the plane’s disappearance or destruction is um, blown out of the water.

    • Allow me to address your comments on my comments, Sylar!

      1 I have “to assume” BECAUSE I don’t know exactly what is going on or what is a truth or what is “a LIE”!
      2. I believe Sean had no ticket BECAUSE I did not see him buy one or board the plane like the other passengers.
      3. The assumptions I made about the little girl and wife were just that BECAUSE they didn’t show how things were planned or that anyone would care or remember about the little girl being kidnapped was important enough to tell us right away/
      4. Again about Sophia being the one behind the plane crashing……if you remember which you don’t, Sophia told Lee, “he has to be stopped from telling them about “The Event” which is why Lee was trying to stop the plane from taking off! Who else could she possibly mean if it wasn’t Sean????
      5. You yourself used the word “impression” that Sophia is a LEADER but NOT the LEADER! Impression implies uncertainty and not being sure of something which I KNOW is the same thing as ASSUME!
      6. Again your “play on words” I use is more about you criticizing me because you use the same idea like, “My theory is that……….assume, impression, idea..
      7. This is all about “speculation”, theory, idea, impression, assume it’s ALL THE SAME THING!!
      8. Just because you are mesmerized by The Event and act like a lawyer in defending the program and anyone who criticizes someone attempting to give THEIR OPINION does not give you the right to make me sound like a moron or a child who doesn’t know what they are talking about!

  4. Theres only one person thst could make you ( or me) look llike a moron

    • Highlight below to be spoiled! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!

      The Event is a Biological threat!

  5. Could Vicky be a policewoman or connected with the FBI?

    See this photo: http://spoilertv.iimmgg.com/image/36611c43cbfe791d470b2f35fa5661e8

  6. this is coming from england, this Event is coming sometime next week, should i bother? from you saying its not Lost 24 or FlashForward. i need a new fix.

  7. I wasn’t impressed by the event, I was very disappointed that the event is nothing more then a rip off of Lost. I wont be watching it.

  8. I think I broke the code! “The event” is something we can’t see. We should never see. Because “the event” (small or large) is what the “non humans” came to prevent. We always see time travel movies from the time travelers’ perspective. This time OUR world (well, a fictionalized version with a diff. pres., etc.) faces something that outsiders have arrived to stop from happening. Maybe it has started happening already. Has an ape talked somewhere in a lab? Has Serum A come very very close to being mixed with Catalyst B? Has another Hitler been born yet? Someone is here to stomp on that butterfly before its wing flaps the wrong way, and perhaps there are others, purists, from no matter how horrible the future is, insist that there be no intervention.

    • Is Sylar a member of the plane crash in Alaska? Has he come here to fill our minds with his ideas and drive us crazy? Is Sylar Sophia’s husband sent to this website to keep us from knowing what “The EVENT” really is?

      Do any of you believe what Sylar says? Hmmm….

      • you’re right Sylar is a writer for the show… ;-)

  9. Week 4 episode was of little importance or gave you “ANSWERS” to previous week’s questions. Can you tell me what answers were revealed from the previous weeks? Of what importance was it to show 5 years ago when Sean met Leila’s parents for the lst time? And so what we found out that Vicky has a son, not important. These people are not here to help the President because they don’t care what happens to the passengers from the airplane. First they disappear, then dead, then alive, and then threatened by Thomas to be killed. More questions arise than ANSWERS given by the producer and director as promised. Program now is becoming tedious, boring, unsuspenseful, or of any interest. I hope it crashes soon to show it doesn’t work.

    What is not clear is when Leila’s father was being interviewed by the FBI he said, Leila knew the girl who was going to kill her, Vicky. So how does Leila know Vicky? From where other than their meeting when she was supposedly drowning and Sean saved her?

  10. Johnny, I thought you bailed this show.

    Knowing about Vicki’s son gives Sean leverage since he can threaten to either blow her cover or harm him (not that he would, but she may not know that.) He doesn’t know that she would soon be shot anyway.

    I have no idea why you ask “How does Leila know Vicky” since you answer it in the following sentence. Why would she know her from elsewhere? Her father knew because he, too, was threatened by the same group–that’s why he was flying the plane into the Pres.

    It’s obvious that either Blake or the VP is behind this whole thing, and I suspect from the bumbling explanation of parents, that Sean is “one of them”–them being one of Sophia’s people. Of course Sean bumbles and fumbles about a lot of things (reminds me of Mark Ruffalo with his half-slurred speech patterns.)

    • SYLAR:

      Obviously you don’t pay attention. How does the father “know that Vicky was going to kidnap his daughter? What “proof” do you have? Let me answer that for you…..NONE! Isn’t it possible that there are more people involved BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LITTLE GIRL?

      If everyone was from the same group then why wasn’t the little girl in the same place as Leila meaning together? And we still haven’t seen the little girl since the 1st episode so ????????


  11. Do not like the show At all. The jumping in time is completely unnecessary

  12. I’m FAR from loving the show, but it’s starting to grow on me a little bit.


  13. Well I Broke Down and Watched this Last Night.

    The Detainee’s are Not Little Green Men , They are Humanoids from a Paralell Universe. ( I Bet )

  14. If I could define the show with 3 words, their will be : suck , suck, suck,
    8 more weeks before they cancel the show,

  15. Pardon me but did I miss something or did ALL OF YOU MISS THIS TOO?

    1. How did Sophia or Thomas know that they already had someone who was going to tell them what everything was all about?

    2. And, was that really his girl friend that met him or someone like a shape-shifter who eventually kill him because why would his girl friend want to kill him otherwise?

    3. And, how many people knew where the prisoner was to be able to send “someone else to stop the prisoner from revealing anything?

    4. Could Sophia have sent Lee to kill the prisoner?

    5. How many people knew the location of the prisoner?

  16. This is Flash Forward, but going backwards. Rather watch the cancelled show.

  17. if they keep going back 5 min, 20 min, then 2 weeks, then a month, then 5 years . . .
    Well a couple more earliers and it’ll be before ever and I won’t have to worry about watching this lame __s show because it won’t have happened.
    See ‘ya


    Try to act “surprised” when this show is canceled and be prepared to satisfy your cravings elsewhere! This show is “sinking like the Titanic”!!!

  19. Vic (or ___ ?)

    How are the ratings doing?

    • The Event,” which drew only 6.5 million viewers was in fourth for the night, and its Monday night slate keeps getting worse; cancellation looms.” PER Blast Magazine.

      “NBC’s “The Event” was down to 6.45 million viewers, shedding another million from last week, and a 2.2 demo rating”. Per Hit Fix Entertainment.

      Per “Headline Planet”……“The Event” Ratings Fall Again,
      October 12, 2010
      By Brian Cantor

      Although “The Event” slowed the pace of its descent into ratings misery Monday, it still suffered another decline for its fourth episode.

      NBC’s serialized-drama fell to a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating with 6.45 million viewers. While that performance does not register as horrible within the context of NBC, it represents a drop of almost 40% from the show’s September 20 premiere performance.

      Kudos to the writers of The EVENT and NBC for continuing to be nowhere in the ratings except for the Sunday night football games and nothing else! A clear display of lack of ideas and imagination to make people watch your channel. Why don’t you go to another country or planet where they might enjoy your mediocrity.

      The Event dropped from a 2.9 last week all the way down to a 2.4 this week. Congratulations to the writers and network !!!You stink!

  20. i think the show has protential but is very slow in showing us the real threat that these people bring i hope that people dont get bored of watching flash backs over a number of years that mean nothing to anyone lets see what these visitors have got

  21. Okay I thought lost flashed back more than The Event. I like it moe than lost I can follow it easier drama , love, action, give it a chance and there has been a lot of sports going on. Give John Ritters son a chance that’s the least you could do he gave me a lot of laughs through the years.

  22. There’s more to this series than the Alaska Refugees. There’s the Sean-Layla romance, why Sean is so valuable to the Assassins, how (if at all) the Assassins are related to the Refugees, and the implications of the schism between Thomas and the others.

    (I predict that Thomas will try to kill Sophia, which makes him the official leader of the Refugees. Either they follow him, or the undercover guy may have to come out and declare another way–after all, he be the last of them to hear directly from Sophia.)

  23. Not that it interests me, but now we also have people, including the First Lady, wondering where the president’s new-found testicles came from, and what the implications are.

    • Whats up with the #3 in the word EV3NT? Could it be WW3? maybe they are here to prevent it.

  24. I watched the pilot, but that’s it.
    It already feels like a poor attempt to make something like Lost but with a different story.
    Too obvious. But the most annoying thing was the jumping in time. “Today”, “Three years earlier”, “two weeks earlier” (from “today” or from “three weeks earlier”…?).
    Do it again, but do it right. I loved Lost, but I do not like The event. At all.

  25. OK, I have done my best to give this show a chance. The writing is terrible and the storyline is going no where that I care about. I absolutely HATE the flashbacks in time which makes it hard to follow the stupid subplots. The character development is super slow to where I don’t even care what happens to anybody. The kidnapping, the killers, Sean Walker, the aliens… it’s all not intriguing. The coolest thing that happened was the plane disappearing! The rest has been stupid. They should have focused more on the aliens capabilities and the government conspiracy, rather than this cat and mouse crap. This is another FlashForward show that will be cancelled in a few more weeks. The producers aren’t revealing enough to keep me interested in this show. Too bad, cause I really wanted to give it a chance. Goes to show you how good the producers were on Lost. They knew how to tell a good story every episode. The Event is uneventful and I don’t see it picking up. I’m done watching.

  26. I was dumbfounded with the logic of the alien expat
    not understanding his negotiation weakness with the president.

    without a public demonstration of his ability to disappear planes
    (and given the fact that the planes occupants are in a secure private facility unknown to the general public) the president can easily allow the passengers to die without any public backlash!

    because the public already believes the plane has crashed – those people are already dead! So bringing them back to life would be a bigger PR problem for the government.

    For the alien expat (and writers of the show?) not to understand that threatning the death of people that the public already assumes are dead is the ultimate stupidity!

    And then for the alien not to be able to demonstrate his power in a more public and on a larger scale (I mean he did make a plane teleport – right?) makes him look weak and ineffective – the writers seem unable to create a worthy antaganist.

    COME ON! have the alien publically take out a small town with a population of 10-20K! Then I’ll believe he is in a negotiating position with the president. If the president doesn’t give in then you take out a bigger town something around 50K…!


    here’s my prediction of where this is going:
    the aliens are actually in purgatory -
    along with everyone else on earth…
    (just like the psuedo-christian ending of Lost)

  27. Wow. I feel stupid because my wife and I LOVE this show. LOL…I had no idea it wasn’t doing well in the ratings. Let me ask…why do the bad guys want the young guy so badly? And if they wanted him dead, why didn’t the girl kill him when they went were together on his vacation? Why kidnap the girl, then use her to lure him? They had him when he was on vacation. I’m confused.

  28. Rich,
    Thanks for reminding me of a line from last night that jumped out at me, then I forgot. It was that Sean was totally focused on finding Layla. The whole thing is designed to keep him distracted from…

    from what?

    Is it something he can figure out?
    Is it about who he is? (as in, a non-human, and like some cylons, a sleeper. Or maybe related to the conspiracy somehow–whatever it is. Or perhaps he’s the son of a non-human/human relationship. Remember what he said about his family–was it the truth?).
    Is it something he can do–with his hacking ability (find the technology to return the non-humans to wherever they belong).
    What if the plane was saved not to spare the Pres. or to spare Sophia, or to cause a scene–but to preserve Sean Walker.

  29. People people you all have it Wrong!!! Two things to watch this show. First watch it as a comedy, second record it and fast forward commercial and any dialogue scenes. Thomas can make a plane disappear and reappear thousands of miles away, but cant zapp out the refugees. The hostage situation is a filler, female assasin ( apology, I dont know there names and dont care) female assasin takes out dozens in the police station, but that is typical action movie stuff usually reserved for heroes. Government plant guy, is so anti Thomas, Sophia tells him to order Thomas to give over the drugs man! So why not just tell the president, here is Thomas location? Thomas helped us earthers develop nuclear fission, didnt he think he should also show us how to take care of waste, since he thomas was gonna be here a while? Yes its fiction, its entertainment, but dang, those writers are paid well, they couldnt do better than this, at least keep the inconsistencies out. Just remember flash backs reduce production cost, thats why they do it. Its a comedy and use fast forward, than the show isnt so bad.