After an improved second episode that provided some answers to the pilot’s biggest questions, The Event proved in its third episode that it’s more less out of gas already. The slight sense of mystery, intrigue and danger created in the first two episodes (however manufactured it might have been) is completely gone in “Protect Them From The Truth,” replaced by more sluggish plotting, stupid character motivations and a general lack of direction.
Moreover, the episode confirms the most important problem with series like this: Solving the mysteries without letting people get too invested in them in the first place is an especially awful idea when there’s no real plan following the initial answering phase. As soon as the alien reveal happened early in episode two, the air completely came out of the story and the series, and that’s pathetic considering the answer isn’t that revolutionary or exciting in the first place.
And again, let me reiterate: The problems with answering questions is only highlighted more when the characters are vapid, blank and annoying at best. Jason Ritter is trying his damnedest to make this work, and in certain moments, like the bit in the hotel room with the FBI agent, he almost hooks me in. Then a bunch of stupid things happen and he’s forced to run or scream about how he’s innocent and remember this series sucks.
Sometimes, like in many of the seasons of 24, the story gets more interesting as layers of the conspiracy are added on, but here, it’s just not the case. The political elements to the story are boring and frivolous, the hierarchy within the aliens is boring and frivolous and even though it’s the strongest part of the series (because of Ritter), the uncovering of why Leila was kidnapped is…boring and frivolous!
With the first two episodes, I was willing to stick with The Event because it was at least entertaining, despite all the stupidity, pretentiousness and general annoyances. But if the following few episodes are as meandering and pointless as “Protect Them From The Truth,” I might have to check out earlier than I suspected I would. This is like a real bad episode of 24 without the few moments with Kiefer Sutherland being a bad-ass that keep almost every episode of 24 at a watchable level.