By Jay Haney and Rhiannon Nokomis
[Warning: contains spoilers]
“To every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.” – H.L. Mencken
When President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood) woke up this morning, he thought he was going to make history. At 2 pm, he nearly became history, along with everybody else at the Presidential retreat in Coral Gables. Luckily for everyone, the crashing plane vanished…into thin air. The people on the plane weren’t really complaining either…panicking but not complaining.
Unlike the typical television series, this episode is not a main story with branching subplots to flesh out the secondary characters. Rather, there are four main stories going here with points of intersection that we believe will ultimately create a larger picture. First we have Sean Walker (Jason Ritter), whom we first see on Avias Air Flight 514, looking a little stressed. Eleven days before, he and his girlfriend, Leila Buchanan (Sarah Roehmer), were on their way to a Caribbean cruise. Now, he’s pulling out a gun and demanding to talk to the pilot (more on him later). You see, while he and Leila were on their cruise, they ran into a couple of new friends named ‘Greg’ (Wes Ramsey)and ‘Vicki’ (Taylor Cole). Sean’s off with Vicki for a little snorkeling expedition the next day (probably not a smart move if you’re planning to propose to your girlfriend later) because Greg’s got a cast on his arm. Then, when Sean gets back, his keycard doesn’t work. No problem, that’s what the front desk is for. But wait, it gets worse. There’s no record of him or Leila being on board; there’s someone else in his room; and his passport has vanished with the rest of his stuff (girlfriend included).
Next, there’s Simon Lee (Ian Anthony Dale), a government agent of some unspecified agency. He is desperately trying to keep Avias Air 514 from leaving the ground. Small problem…he’s trying to stop a passenger plane with an SUV. He does take the thoughtful first step of getting in touch with Air Traffic Control…which just happens to have a convenient system failure that most likely has nothing to do with Microsoft. So, he tries pulling the plane over like some kind of traffic cop (“Pull over and let me see your pilot’s license and flight registration!”) by chasing it down the runway. To no one’s surprise, the plane manages to take off. But Lee may have bigger problems than that. He apparently is attached to a facility called ‘Mount Inostranka’ and is also taking orders from one of the prisoners there, named ‘Sophia’ (Laura Innes). There is one concern that they share: keeping secret knowledge of something called ‘The Event’.
Now, President Martinez found out about this little secret facility recently through some classified documents. There were files he was never meant to see but ‘someone’ thoughtfully dropped them in his lap. The prisoners have been detained, abused, and held for a very long time, apparently. He wants to do the right thing and set them free. The problem? He is opposed by his Vice President (Bill Smitrovich), his National Intelligence Director (Zeljko Ivanek), and the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Still, he’s going whole hog on this: full press conference, his son’s birthday party, and Sophia standing by his side. Then the plane unexpectedly tries to crash the party.
Oh yeah, I mentioned the pilot, didn’t I? That would be Michael Buchanan (Scott Patterson), Leila’s dad. Turns out he’s an airline pilot for Avias Air, who is sitting at home with his wife and younger daughter. After giving Leila a quick call, his day gets as rainy as the weather outside. A couple of professional break-in artists (We know they’re professional because they’re wearing all-black during the daytime) snatched Daughter #2, blew the wife’s head off, and left Michael alive. We get a good look at the ponytail on one of them…a not-so-subtle reference that this might be important later. Next thing we see, Michael is getting on Flight 514 unexpectedly as the pilot. He then shoots his co-pilot in the head and takes the plane on a power dive.
So, what exactly happened to the plane? Well, Simon apparently used someone a little more capable than the flight control guy…to “remove” the plane from the equation. Whom did he contact? Where did it go? We don’t know….
After the plane’s disappearance created the aerial equivalent of a tsunami, everyone on the ground is looking dumbfounded…except Sophia. She simply tells the president, “I haven’t told you everything.” Thanks for the newsflash. The first episode does an excellent job of roping you in and at its conclusion, leaves you asking one simple question: “What the hell is going on?!” Please stay tuned…
Bio: J. Keith Haney is a recovering game addict, collector of classic comic stories, and general man of mystery.
Bio: Acacia Rhiannon Nokomis lives in Bumsville, Nowhere – otherwise known as ‘Hell’. She shares her home with a dog and several cats, one of whom is a Manx kitten who likes to make people bleed. Uninvited guests are often buried alive in the backyard. The garden is flourishing.
You can watch episodes of The Event on Amazon.com Video on Demand.