Review of THE EVENT – Loyalty (2010)

Blood is thicker than water and even trumps true love

This episode was all about Agent Simon Lee (Ian Anthony Dale). It was time to find out who was this mysterious guy connected to the detainees. While we still do not know who or what exactly the detainees are – other than supposedly alien life forms that are remarkably similar to our DNA – Simon is the soft-hearted one.

Back when he was trying to live a normal life off the radar and become a detainee himself, Simon fell in love with a girl named Violet (Holland Roden). Of course happily-ever-after was really never an option when you are an alien on the run from the U.S. government. So it was just a matter of time before Thomas (Clifton Collins, Jr.) came around to (a) get Simon out of a potentially disastrous romantic entanglement and (b) decades later, recruit Simon to infiltrated the CIA.

There is clearly some hierarchy at play and Simon does not rank as high as Thomas and must follow orders. It was therefore interesting when Simon abandoned Thomas and Sofia (Laura Innes) just as the building was collapsing around them and chose to stay behind — which may have meant certain death. For some reason, Simon is anxious to shed his association with the detainees and live a simple human life. Alas, fate has not allowed him such luxury.

As for our other intrepid heroes, Leila (Sarah Roemer) and Sean (Jason Ritter), they struck out on their own after Leila found out that her sister was abducted and still missing. It seemed rather foolhardy that they took off without Agent Collier (Heather McComb), leaving her with Carter (D.B. Sweeney) as her prisoner. Compounding their bad decision making, it was crazy to return to Leila’s parent’s house and think that no one would be staking it out in case they showed up there. But like any gung-ho, naïve couple, Leila and Sean acted headless of the consequences snooping around Leila’s dad’s house to find out what he may have been hiding that connected him to the detainees and/or the government which was trying to keep the detainees a secret.

While Sean and Leila’s search turned up a folder of documents, it also got the attention of a paranoid journalist, Madeline Jackson (Paula Malcomson), who had been staking-out the house in search of Leila’s dad, Michael. Madeline ultimately revealed that Michael inadvertently flown by a secret detention facility in Alaska and then contacted Madeline after she wrote some articles about a government conspiracy. Madeline was the one who told Sean and Leila that the detainees were EBE’s (extraterrestrial biological entities). Still unknown is whether Michael’s attempt to fly his plane into the Presidential compound and Leila’s abduction was orchestrated by the EBE’s or the U.S. government. It would help a lot in locating Leila’s sister if they knew exactly who took her.

As is become a familiar pattern on “The Event,” all the characters are roaming about in search of someone. But their frantic efforts to find those missing people are causing lots of chaos and confusion, both for them and for viewers.

What Worked

While Simon was ridiculously stupid to use a radioactive isotope that could be traced back to the CIA lab, it was still cool how he put a little of the same isotope in each unsuspecting coffee drinker’s cup at the coffee shop creating a diversion so that Sofia could escape surveillance long enough to rendezvous with Thomas. Plus, Thomas’ ultimate escape plan involving a building that imploded and perhaps a wormhole was awesome. What incredible abilities the EBE’s have to be able to transport a plane from Florida to Arizona, implode an entire building, making the plane crash survivors appear dead, and perhaps infecting them with some unknown pathogen.  It makes one wonder if they are this powerful, why did they not attempt to rescue all the detainees years ago. What makes them so powerful — now? Did they have to wait a requisite amount of years before their abilities manifested?

Another fun clue was when Simon told Violet, “Where I come from, there wasn’t any [water].” Is that why the EBE’s are here? Are they in search of a more habitable planet? Are they the last of their kind? Are they refugees?

What Didn’t Work

It felt unnecessary for Simon to run into Violet nearly 50 years later and have a tearful reunion scene. Simon chose his path. He needs to live with it and move on; for even if he had stayed with Violet, their relationship was doomed. So when Simon told Violet, “If it was up to me, I would have stayed,” and she sadly replied, “It was up to you,” that was ridiculous. Simon could not have stayed and had a normal life. The fact that he was not aging as rapidly as Violet would have been a huge problem on many levels. Simon did have to leave and he knew it. Simon is an EBE. He may look human and be nearly human, but he is not. It would have been wrong to conceal that fact from Violet. So how could it be true love if she did not even know who or what Simon was? They both may have been in love, but love based on a lie. Simon’s only choice was to leave. It was an act of love and kindness that he did. Regardless, the reunion was unnecessary to the present day storyline where so many other lives hang in the balance.  Enough of the tangential trips down memory lane and let us see what is happening now.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

“Loyalty” was written by Leyani Diaz and Vanessa Rojas, directed by Jonas Pate. “The Event” stars Jason Ritter, Sarah Roemer, Laura Innes, Ian Anthony Dale, Scott Patterson, Zeljko Ivanek, Blair Underwood and Clifton Collins, Jr. “The Event” airs Mondays at 9:00 pm on NBC.

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