THE EVENT (NBC) “I Haven’t Told You Everything” Review

The Event

Reviewing the premiere episode of The Event, entitled ‘I Haven’t Told You Everything’, won’t be easy. Why? Because they really haven’t told us anything. They haven’t told us anything at all. When the episode ended, I was checking to see if there was actually a second episode coming up for a feature length premiere, but no. That was it. And I was confused.

The Event is split into two main storylines which intersect briefly at the end of the episode. In the first, President Martinez (the son of Cuban immigrants, we’re told, presumably because being black isn’t futuristic enough anymore) learns about a secret facility in Alaska and decides to tell the world about it and it’s prisoners. Who are the prisoners, what are they researching, and why are they important? We don’t know. There are no clues. I’m assuming aliens but that’s mostly based on a sense of ‘well, what else could it possibly be’?

The second storyline concerns Sean Walker, a young man going on a cruise with his girlfriend Leila. There they meet a strange couple, Vicky and Greg, after Sean saves the life of one of the pair. After a hungover Leila can’t make a diving date with Vicky, Sean steps in. All goes well until he heads back to the cruise ship to find Leila missing and no trace of them staying there on the cruise ship computers. Instead of sticking around to figure out what’s going on, Sean runs. Does he know something about what’s going on?

Leila’s mother is killed by some mysterious gunman, her little sister is presumably kidnapped, and her father, Michael – here’s where it gets tricky – hijacks a plane to get Leila back. A plane that Sean is now on. Sean tries to get into the cockpit to stop him but it’s too late. Michael aims the plane toward the President’s retreat in Florida, where he’s preparing to reveal the existence of the mysterious prisoners from Alaska. But before the plane can hit it disappears into a wormhole or anomaly of some kind. And when asked what just happened, the leader of the prisoners, Sophia, announces ‘I haven’t told you everything’.

I want to like The Event, but I don’t think it really wants me to like it. After forty-five minutes we know the following: an event will occur, there are mysterious prisoners, and Sean Walker may know something about what is going on. Is he a former prisoner? Did he learn something between running out of the cruise ship and turning up on the plane? And what did the kidnappers promise Michael in return for getting Leila back – if that’s what really happened?

This first episode of The Event gives us a lot of questions – but nothing else. Usually this wouldn’t be too bad – I spent four years watching The 4400 with no idea what that event was going to be – but The Event doesn’t really give us a reason to care. Aside from Sean and Michael, I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters. At this stage finding out what happened to Leila is more of a draw than finding out what The Event will be.

A major weakness was the heavy airliner plot. After LOST and Fringe, any sci-fi pilot involving aircraft is inviting a comparison to those two series. And while I’m not particularly a fan of either, I definitely found their pilot episodes a lot more intriguing than The Event’s.

I’ll be tuning in to episode 2 next week in hopes of finding answers. Not necessarily answers to ‘what is The Event’ or ‘what happened to Leila’, but answers to why I should be watching. What has The Event got that LOST, Fringe, The X-Files, and other sci-fi dramas don’t/didn’t have? Right now, I fear the answer is nothing.

What did you think of The Event? Has it gripped you? Are you excited for episode two? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.