Saturday, March 26, 2011

In Medias Res: The Event-"A Message Back"

For some reason, I haven't felt like reviewing any of the shows I watched last week. I like to think it's because I didn't have time to write reviews during the week, and I wouldn't remember them well enough if I wrote the reviews now. It's probably just because I'm lazy, but whatever the reason, I didn't want to review them. However, I did want to post some new content to this blog. So, I thought I'd try something new. That's where the "In Medias Res" series comes in. The idea behind it is that I watch a current episode of show that I haven't been following. Thus, I start in medias res or "into the middle of things." For the shows I've covered so far, I've used more of a review format than a recap format. However, I've been wanting to try out the recap format, and I think this idea lends itself to that format. I'm calling this a "series" because it's something that I'll probably do again if this turns out well. If it's a failure, however, this may just be a one shot thing. 

I had a little bit of a trouble choosing which show to cover for this. However, I've chosen "A Message Back" of The Event. I've heard vague things about this show (and have seen the old-lady-faced children scene), but I really don't know much about it. 

Luckily for me, the episode starts off with a "previously on" segment. Unluckily, I don't understand most of it. There's an explosion, a gun shot, some fighting, mention of boy's name, a dramatic hospital bed scene, talk of the President, and Luke from Gilmore Girls. That's about all I got out of it.

The actual episode starts in some kind of control room with two guys in it. One of them is playing with one of those cool collapsible sphere things when an alarm goes off. The two guys have some dramatic conversation about radiation or something. Collapsible-sphere-dude freaks out, but the guy in the striped shirt tells him to chill out. I'm assuming from collapsible-sphere-guy's acting that he's either a one-shot character or has incredibly sweet connections in Hollywood. Only holy crap, I feel bad for criticizing him because he get's shot in the head by chill-out guy. Then, I find out that chill-out guy is named Anthony. He had a dramatic conversation about a secret message from "home" (does this mean that these two fellows are aliens?) with a man who is amazing at making expressions.
Here are two shots of Mr. Expression in action. Photo Credit: NBC.

Then, the show flashes their opening sequence. I miss the days of sitcomey, long openings, but I have to admit that The Event's opening sequence is kind of cool. I have to wonder why one of the "E"s is backwards. Does it mean something? Does it represent a three? Does it stand for "extraterrestrial?" Is it just attempt to be cool?

The next scene features a creepy, old pedophilish-man watching children in a park. He points out "the girl in the purple sweater" as "one of the special ones" to a woman with a bun. So, bun lady goes up to the girl and has a conversation with her about turtles. She tells the little girl, "everything has to go home sometime," a sentence with a double-meaning that the little girl seems to miss. I don't know if bun lady is a terrible actress or a terrible actress that is trying to act creepy and malicious. Either way, the creepy man seems to like what she's doing because he gives her the nod.

A woman in a leather jacket enters her apartment, and the shaky camera work practically shouts that something is wrong. If you missed that hint, a close up is shown of a disheveled blind and an opening in the window, revealing that something is definitely wrong.

Dum. Dum. Dum.              Photo Credit: NBC.

Shocker! The intruder is Jason Ritter, and he wants answers. Leather jacket woman has a gun, but so does he. After taking her gun, they both attempt to threaten each other. Leather jacket wants an explanation too, and Jason explains that her mom led him to her. Her mom also is also used as leverage for her to help him. She apparently loves her family or something because she tells him to look for "James Dempsey" (Patrick Dempsey's brother, perhaps? Or better yet, Mr. Expression?).

                                        Is she an alien, too? Actually, is anyone an alien?       Photo Credit: NBC.                                    
She also tells him that the VP is in on all the sketchiness and "is in bed with Dempsey." Despite this rush of information, he makes sure to throw in another threat to her family.

The President gives a speech about something. I was munching on some Fritos as I watched this scene, so all I got out of the meeting was no more mistakes...I mean really no more mistakes....Sophia....I'm serious guys, no more mistakes. The people in the room must have gotten about as much our of his speech as I did, because they gave a loud round of applause for a man who interrupts it. Then the President glares at the interrupter. Seriously though, I'd like to know why they were clapping for the man.

Luke and a random woman have a conversation about something. I don't hear what it's about. This time, instead of being distracted by chips, I'm distracted by Luke's hair. As a phone rings, it's revealed (to me, at least) that this woman is Sophia. There's one mystery solved. The caller is Mr. Expression (who disappointments me by not doing anything screencap-worthy in this scene). I guess from what he says that Sophia is an alien. I wonder if Luke knows. Is he an alien too?

I love you and all, Luke, but please put on your baseball hat. I'd also like you to know that I spent a large part of Saw 7 trying to remember if you were still alive or if Jigsaw had killed you.    Photo Credit: NBC.
 The President tells some dude off. Oh wait, this guy is the VP, right?

The government knows about Sophia's call, and Mr. Prezzie wants her dead or alive. I'm guessing he knows that she's an alien. I wonder if the President is supposed to be a good guy. My guess is on yes, because he seems to be just trying to get by, but who knows?

Jason Ritter and Leather Jacket are now driving somewhere. I'm guessing Leather Jacket hasn't seen this week's episode of Grey's Anatomy because she takes her eyes of the road to look at Jason Ritter.
There's mention of aliens and the little girls; both are things I knew vaguely about before the show! After that's out of the way, things get personal. Jason tells her, "you make no sense to me." She reveals emotional family background to him, even going so far as to say that she shot her abusive dad. Jason's taken aback until she reveals that it was all a lie. She is who she is just because that's who she is. Nice one, Leather Jacket. I bet you two are going to end up together.

I know it's on a rival network, but you could learn something from Grey's Anatomy.              Photo Credit: NBC.

The President talks to that guy from Heroes. I actually learned quite a bit from this conversation. At least I think so. The president says that he made the mistake of releasing Sophia and her people. Before the show started or after the first episode or so, I remember hearing something about the President releasing prisoners. So, I'm going to guess that the premise behind this show is that there were aliens who were somehow captured by the government. Then the president, possibly not knowing they were aliens, released them. This caused drama of some kind, and the President wants to make things right. Sophia seemed kind of cool, so I'm going to guess that she's a good alien, but Mr. Expression (who is probably Dempsey) is a bad one. Somehow, Jason Ritter got involved. And maybe the VP is on the aliens' side? And Leather Jacket was probably working for the VP and such, but quit when she found out about all of the drama. Or maybe she's still working for them? I'm not quite sure where the old-lady little girls and the creepy pedophile man tie into the story. Maybe they're part of the alien shenanigans? Am I even close? I'd love to hear an assessment of my theory from someone who's been watching the show.

Anyway, back to the episode. Jason Ritter and Leather Jacket eat together at a diner, and she tries to reason with him. He'll have none of it, though. So, they plan to go to a party together. Plus, Leather Jacket discusses Jason Ritter's hacking the Pentagon. I guess that's how he ties into the story.

Some random couple's getting ready for the party when Leather Jacket shows up sans her leather jacket (or any clothing other than a towel). It's a trap, and Jason comes in with a gun! Leather jacket is soon wearing her leather jacket again as Jason ducktapes the poor couple. I feel bad for them, because they paid a lot of money for this party. I learn that the woman's name is Cynthia Fisk, but I still don't know leather jacket or Jason Ritter's true names.

A text goes out, and Sophia and Luke talk about a "Thomas." I'm thinking it's more likely that Mr. Expression is Thomas than Dempsey. I learn that Luke is named Michael. So, Michael definitely knows about the aliens. I thought he was an alien for a second because Sophia called them "our people." But then she said that he doesn't have to go with her, so maybe he's not. Anyway, he's going with her. Awwww. So sweet.

The government gets ahold of the text message, but it's too encrypted to read. They see Michael with Sophia and decide that he's an alien too. So, I'm thinking that he's probably not an alien, but I'm still not a hundred percent sure. The government decided to follow Sophia to the meeting of aliens. I guess aliens are like Pokemon, you gotta catch 'em all.

It's time for the party, and Jason and LJ (aka Leather Jacket) are there. You know these two are going to end up a couple eventually. The security guard looks suspicious of LJ, but she passes the fingerprint test. But, oh no! Jason does not pass his. He tries again; this time, for some reason, he passes. LJ heads to the bathroom to pull an Alias-esque move in putting together a gun. This gun is then used to threaten Mr. VP at a party. Jason introduces himself as Ted. I don't know if this is his name or the name of the guy who's identity he stole.

Sidney Bristow would approve.                      Photo Credit: NBC.

Speaking of the guy who's identity Jason Ritter stole, the camera returns to him. His wife is knocked out or asleep, but he inches his way towards the door to bang his feet against it.

Jason Ritter wants to recruit another person to his gang using force. Seriously, is there anybody who's on his side by choice?

The ducktaped man appears again, still banging his feet against the door. He appears to be getting tired, so it's lucky for him that a maid happens to be going to down the hall. She enters with an "omg," and is entrusted with the task of calling 911 because the VP is in danger. Omg, indeed.

The scene switches back to the VP, LJ, and Jason Ritter. Jason (Ted?) gets frustrated as the VP says that he can't help him get to Dempsey. Mr. VP, getting less scared of the gun, sasses that someone will come looking for him soon. Ted? (I think I'll call him that until I learn otherwise), not liking Mr. VP's sass,  throws him against the wall holding the gun against his throat. And nevermind. Ted? is apparently not Ted at all; he's "Shawn Walker." If I'm not mistaken, his name was the boy's name that was mentioned in the "previously on." Apparently Dempsey has framed him for murder. After a good roughening up, it turns out the VP does know some stuff about Dempsey. The secret service come in to rescue the VP, but the man who I now know is Shawn and LJ have already gotten away.

Meanwhile, government people are still spying on Luke, I mean Michael, and Sophia. Michael and Sophia reach a cathedral. The government uses some kind of heat technology to sense that about two hundred beings are in the building. This is the meeting they thought it was, so they target the building. Mr. Expression (who is disappointing me with his lack of funny faces) turns out to definitely be Thomas, and Sophia turns out to be his mom. Sophia wants a moment alone with her son, but Thomas will have none of it. He's ready to start his meeting. He brings up the message from home that got collapsible-sphere-guy killed.

A creeper appears.          Photo Credit: NBC.
Apparently, "their sun is going supernova." Everybody looks really sad. And they have good reason too. Thomas tells them, "In less than a year, our planet will be uninhabitable," and I'm guessing this means more aliens will come to earth to claim it as their planet. I'm also guessing that Michael might actually be an alien because he looks really bummed about all this. But maybe he's just showing support for his wife.

I knew you wouldn't disappoint me.               Photo Credit: NBC.

Thomas says that his plan to "bring thousands of people here is now obsolete." I wonder why they were going to bring the people to earth before that? He said something about them being worried about their planet before the message, and so maybe they were just going to be more gradual with the aliens to earth thing. Also, does that mean he's going to bring all of his alien buddies? I have a brief interlude of government people with guns surrounding the building to ponder this question, before it's confirmed by Thomas. I kind of feel bad for these soon-to-be-homeless-aliens, but I have to say that my allegiance is with my home people. Is there anyway the aliens and humans can just coexist on earth? That might be cool. The episode ends with the government nearing in on the alien meeting, and the aliens aware of the government nearing in on them. I was hoping for some kind of epic smackdown before the end, but whatever. I have to admit that a lot of this episode was just confusing (at least to someone who's unsure of what's going on), but the last scene intrigued me. I like the idea of some massive alien invasion, and I'm kind of curious to see what's going to happen at the beginning of the next episode. Still, as a whole, the show was cheesy and a little dull, and I probably won't be tuning in again.

So, that was my first installment of In Medias Res. It took me about forever to do, but it was fun. If I have some free time in the future, I might do one with another show.

If any The Event (So, is this alien invasion the titular "event"?) fans are reading this, how close to the truth was I in my assumptions? Do you know anything about the show that might clear some things up for me? Care to correct any of my mistakes? Even if you don't watch The Event, I'd love to hear what you thought of my recap. Do you have any show suggestions for a future In Medias Res?

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