The Event, “For The Good Of Our Country”

I haven’t written about The Event since episode three or something like that, and I think you know why. The Event is a terrible, terrible television program. Yet, because I have a whole in my schedule at 9 p.m. on Monday night, there I am, every week, watching The Event. Well, watching might be too strong of a word, but I think that actually serves me better than not.

And that’s because I’m pretty sure the writers of The Event know they’re working on a ridiculously awful series and they’ve just gone completely off the deep end with the plotting, the twists and the “characterization” in the last 3-4 episodes. The series started off from this place of total self-absorption, but I think that’s been toned down in recent weeks and the insane has been ratcheted up a few levels. While there have been a few good character moments — mostly in the Simon-centric episode that totally aped the Lost flashback formula — I am completely compelled by The Event for its willingness to be more fucking crazy each week.

This week’s episode, “For the Good of Our Country,” has so many great Eventian moments that made me smile in confusion. Hal Holbrook is following up his great work on Sons of Anarchy with some scenery chewing here, where he’s apparently the leader of the group that kidnapped Sarah Roemer in the pilot and forced Scott Patterson to fly the plane that would attempt to kill President Blair Underwood. Not only is it funny to see Hal Holbrook as an evil mastermind — no offense to him — but his character regularly takes sips from an eye dropper. A freaking eye dropper! Oh, and the cliffhanger for this episode? HE LOOKS IN THE MIRROR AND RANDOMLY TURNS YOUNGER, only it’s not a young Hal Holbrook and more an uncanny valley’ed smoothy face of Hal Holbrook. It’s honestly one of the creepiest things I have ever seen in my 22 years on this planet.

Of course, that cliffhanger comes close to topping last week’s epic finish, which involved dozens of little girls with mutated faces trapped in a room. Presumably, those two cliffhangers are related, but because The Event is really interested in stupid things like narrative coherency, none of that was mentioned this week. But who knew that all those “What is The Event?!” promos were actually referring to a plastic surgery malpractice lawsuit?

Moreover, because there are so many characters to keep track of, the series is also not bothered by concepts of time and space. We’ve seen characters cross the country, randomly appear in places hundreds of miles from where they just were, etc., but this week takes the cake. For most of the episode, there’s a focus on the Vice President, who is apparently in cahoots with Hal Holbrook, and that entire story takes place during the day, presumably on the east coast.

Over in a completely different series, Jason Ritter and Sarah Roemer are on the run from somebody for some reason and he gets shot, so there’s this whole ordeal about saving him. I thought it might serve the purpose in revealing that hey, Jason Ritter is actually an EBE alien thingy too. Nope, it turns out the only purpose of this story is to suggest that while these stories are going on at the same exact time, it’s apparently the middle of the day in D.C. and pitch-black dark wherever the hell Jason Ritter and Sarah Roemer are. Sure, that’s probably just a completely illogical error on the writer or director’s part, but MAYBE IT’S NOT. Maybe Jason Ritter and Sarah Roemer are actually on a different plane of existence. Mind = blown.

Listen, it’s probably a guarantee that The Event gets canceled, either by the end of the season, but perhaps even earlier. But unlike FlashForward, which I just wanted to go away aside from Joseph Fiennes ridiculously uncorked portrayal of Mark Benford — NBC should have just brought Mark over to solve this case too, unless, you know, HE WAS LOADED — I want The Event to last a full season, particularly with the knowledge it won’t go any further. I want more elderly people drinking from eye droppers, I want more disfigured children, I want more Zeljko Ivanek playing a 15-year younger version of his character but still looking 55 years old, I want more errors in the time-space continuum. You could argue that the writers of The Event are just asking to get canceled, but I think they’re doing the opposite: They’re trying to make the series as insane as possible so we can’t turn away. Thus far, it’s kind of working.


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