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The Event Recap: Shooting Blanks

A month into its run, we still haven’t the foggiest idea what "The Event" could be, but at least we’re starting to understand how a typical episode of The Event will play out: multiple plot strands, broken up by the occasional flashback, which then leads to a pretty decent surprise right before the hour is up. Last night’s episode followed that formula to a tee, right down to a nifty finale that utilized that classic plot gimmick: a gun loaded with blanks that we’re all led to believe contains real bullets. But until the writers figure out how to make the full hour as explosive, we’re going to start losing patience with the show’s endless tease.

What We Know: Sean and Agent Collier ascertain that through one of her aliases, Vicky has been paying rent for a home in Lubbock, Texas. When they arrive at the residence, Sean hopes he’ll find Leila, but discovers only Vicky’s son and mother, who reluctantly give them Vicky’s emergency number, which contained a Colorado area code.
What We Don’t Know: How important will the reveal of Vicky’s adorably nerdy son, Adam, be to the plotline? Is there any significance to the Colorado phone number?
What We Really Want to Know: Are the writers tempted to have any future episodes in which Sean pretends again to be an FBI agent? Because if so, Jason Ritter needs to be a lot more convincing when he introduces himself as “Agent Walker,” which just makes him sound like Walker, Texas Ranger’s puny cousin.


What We Know: Thomas calls President Martinez (from a cell phone stashed in the president’s son’s backpack!) to say that if Sophia and the rest of the detainees aren’t released, people will die. Later in the episode, the miraculously no-longer-dead airline passengers experience simultaneous nosebleeds and begin spitting up blood.
What We Don’t Know: How did Thomas and his men sneak the phone into the kid’s backpack? How is Thomas controlling the passengers’ vital signs? And why can he not simply teleport the detainees out of their prison?
What We Really Want to Know: Is there a reason President Martinez is the most docile leader of the free world ever? It’s one thing to be No Drama Obama, it’s another thing entirely to barely quicken your pulse when your own son is in danger.


What We Know: In a flashback from five years ago, we witness Sean’s first meeting with Leila’s parents at Thanksgiving, in which he revealed that his parents split up when he was very young and that he isn’t close with either of them. Moved by his puppy-dog exposition, Leila’s parents decide he’s an okay enough guy to be hooking up with their beloved daughter.
What We Don’t Know: What’s the importance of this information about Sean’s parents? Is it going to come back at some later point? Also, is there any special significance to the label of that bottle of scotch that Sean glanced at for such a long time?
What We Really Want to Know: Four episodes into The Event, is it safe to assume that whenever there’s a flashback from here on out we should be paying super-close attention so that we don’t miss any soon-to-be-important plot points that will come back into the larger narrative?


What We Know: President Martinez spends yet another episode trying to get Sophia to reveal the whereabouts of the undercover refugees, announcing that he knows she was behind the murder of William last week. Beaten by his smoothness, she gives up Thomas, warning the president that he’s charismatic, but that they didn’t see eye-to-eye on how to deal with their Earth captors. The scene was juxtaposed with a flashback from when Martinez and Sophia were first getting to know each other, allowing for a hackneyed, “ironic” parallel between his family’s immigration from Cuba and her crash-landing on Earth. In another shocking development, Sophia is vegan.
What We Don’t Know: What will happen if and when Thomas frees Sophia and they meet face to face?
What We Really Want to Know: Will we see William’s murderess ever again on the show? Or was Clea DuVall’s role relegated to a glorified cameo?


What We Know: Aware that her captors are going to execute her in two hours, Leila breaks free, escapes into the Texas night, and finds a semi-helpful police officer who takes her back to the station. She leaves a message on Sean’s cell phone, which is, conveniently, low on battery so he didn’t pick it up. What she doesn’t realize is that Carter and Vicky had planned her escape all along so that she could lure Sean into a trap to “rescue” her.
What We Don’t Know: Who was the mysterious man who sounds like Hal Holbrook that Vicky called at the end of the episode? Last week, Sterling indicated that the government was on the hunt for Sean as well — will they find him before Sean and Collier fall into this trap?
What We Really Want to Know: Even if we accept that Sean’s phone was powering down because it was on low battery, why doesn’t he check it immediately? He’s only mentioned about a thousand times that he needs to find his girlfriend — wouldn’t he be interested in a call from a number he doesn’t recognize? Also, we’ll watch Holbrook in anything, but can his elegant menace do much to elevate a show that isn’t exactly awash in foreboding atmosphere?

Photo: Adam Rose/NBC