The Event (typographically stylized THE EV?NT) is an American television series containing elements of science fiction,action/adventure and political allegory. The show was created by Nick Wauters, and premiered on NBC on September 20, 2010. The plot centers on a group of extraterrestrials, some of whom have been detained by the United States government for sixty-six years since their ship crashed in Alaska, while others have secretly assimilated among the general populace. The series was picked up for a full first season of 22 episodes on October 18, 2010. NBC canceled the series on May 13, 2011.
In the present day, President Martinez learns of the facility’s existence shortly after his inauguration and decides, after meeting the leader of the detainees, to release them and disclose their existence to the world, despite the objections of the intelligence agencies. His plans are put on hold when an assassination attempt on him is foiled by means beyond human technology. The CIA realizes there are other extraterrestrials and secretly plans to find and detain them. Unknown to the agency, the agent chosen to head the effort is himself one of those extraterrestrials. The escaped extraterrestrials, upon learning of the CIA’s plans, have mixed reactions: some want to try to salvage attempts to peacefully assimilate, while others want to fight against the populace.
Caught in the middle of these events is Sean Walker, whose plans to propose to his girlfriend Leila on a Caribbean cruise are cut short when she mysteriously disappears from the ship. His investigation eventually leads him to uncover the assassination plot.
The show’s pilot episode is told almost entirely in retroversions to three different time frames. According to Nick Wauters, the show’s creator, later episodes would use flashbacks more to develop the characters. “There will be big reveals and big clues in each episode,” he said, promising that viewers would not have to wait too long for answers to questions raised. After the pilot aired, he and executive producer Steve Stark answered some viewer questions on their Twitter feeds, one being the fate of the plane used in the assassination attempt, which ended up disappearing through a portal before it could crash. The characters also have Twitter feeds, and one had a blog, truthseeker5314.com, which would reveal additional information. The last two episodes before and all episodes following the show’s hiatus no longer featured flashbacks. Cast member Blair Underwood said regarding the removal of the flashbacks, “We had been jumping around a lot and doing flashbacks and that was confusing to people,” and “So when we come back, that device is done with! We are now telling the story straight through so people can track it and follow it easier.”
Taylor Cole as Vicky Roberts – a woman who Sean and Leila meet while on a cruise. She is later revealed to be an assassin who formerly worked for the CIA. Vicky kidnaps Leila in an attempt to draw Sean out. She fosters a child she orphaned after participating in a mission where she assassinated the child’s family.
The pilot episode received 10.88 million viewers and a 3.6/9 adults 18–49 rating/share, placing third in its timeslot at 9:00 pm ET. After averaging 9.1 million viewers for the first four episodes, NBC picked up the series for a full season.
However, by the final episode of 2010 on November 29, the series had cut its audience by 46% and its demo rating by 48%, to 5.83 million and a 1.9/5 respectively, although both of these were up noticeably from the previous week. On November 15, NBC announced that The Event would be going into hiatus after the November 29 episode, and would return on February 28, 2011 (later pushed back to March 7). Upon its return, the series received 5.23 million viewers and a then-series-low 1.4/4 18–49 rating/share; the latter of these figures represented a 26% plunge from the fall finale. The series had since gone as low as 3.85 million viewers and a 1.1/3 rating/share in 18–49, first on April 18 and again on May 9.
|2||“To Keep Us Safe”||Jeffrey Reiner||Evan Katz & Nick Wauters||September 27, 2010 (NBC)||9.06|
|The plane flies out of the vortex and crashes into a desert in Arizona, and as government helicopters approach the area, Michael urges Sean to run. Michael is captured where agents tell him that his two daughters (Leila included) were kidnapped by a group of mysterious individuals, one of whom includes Vicky Roberts (Taylor Cole), whom Sean and Leila met on a Caribbean cruise. Michael is told that his daughters will be killed if he did not cooperate. Sean eventually collapses in the desert, but is found and taken to a hospital in Yuma. Shortly thereafter, he is apprehended by FBI agents on a warrant for a murder that occurred on the cruise ship (conducted by the assailants who kidnapped Leila). Meanwhile, it is revealed the 97 detainees are a humanoid extraterrestrial species with enhanced lifespans who crash-landed in Alaska in 1944 from a UFO spaceship. Mount Inostranka was constructed to hold them, but many were not captured, as they fled their crash site and began to live among human society all over the world. Director Sterling appoints CIA operative Simon Lee (Ian Anthony Dale) to find the individuals, but Sterling does not know that Lee himself is one of the undiscovered aliens. Lee and a group of soldiers visit the crash site in Arizona and find all the passengers of the plane dead.|
|3||“Protect Them from the Truth”||Jeffrey Reiner||David H. Goodman & James Wong||October 4, 2010 (NBC)||7.56|
|Sean is taken into custody by FBI agents Hobbs and Collier in Yuma, while trying to convince them his story about Leila’s abduction and of the plane flying into a vortex is true. He is able to escape after a vehicle accident, taking Agent Collier (Heather McComb) to a motel. Parts of Sean’s story make sense to Collier, and she discovers that Vicky Roberts has multiple identities. Men posing as federal officials attempt to transfer Sean from Yuma to Washington, D.C., but open fire in the building; Sean escapes with Agent Collier. Meanwhile, when Sophia refuses to reveal the identity of those responsible for the Avias 514 incident, President Martinez offers freedom to any Inostranka detainee that can provide him with details. One named William (Omid Abtahi) comes forward. William demands that they also release his girlfriend, Maya (Clea DuVall), and when they are reunited, Maya stabs William to prevent him from talking. The military gathers the victims of the plane crash who were thought dead, but mysteriously awaken.|
|4||“A Matter of Life and Death”||John Badham||David Schulner & Lisa Zwerling||October 11, 2010 (NBC)||6.50|
|Sean and Agent Collier escape from a shootout at the Yuma office. Their search for Leila leads them to Texas, where they find Vicky Roberts’ mother but not Leila. Sean meets Vicky’s son, who asks him to take his picture to show to his mother. Sean takes his picture with his cellphone. Meanwhile, Sterling interrogates Michael about the people who kidnapped his family and made him fly the plane. A mysterious man, named Thomas (Clifton Collins, Jr.), calls President Martinez to demand that the detainees be released or innocent people will die. Martinez and his wife Christina (Lisa Vidal) meet with Sophia in an attempt to get her to open up about the airplane. The passengers of the Avias 514 awaken, but they cannot recall anything that happened and exhibit different illnesses. Also, Leila manages to escape from her captors and tries to contact Sean, however Vicky had set up the escape and allowed Leila to contact Sean in an effort to locate and capture him.|
|5||“Casualties of War”||Milan Cheylov||Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie||October 18, 2010 (NBC)||6.42|
|Thomas contacts President Martinez again to offer an ultimatum. Thomas will provide an antidote for the passengers of Avias 514, who are slowly dying from a mysterious illness. In exchange, though, President Martinez must release all the Inostranka detainees. Sophia and Agent Lee try to convince Thomas to back down on his demands, when they learn that President will execute the detainees if the passengers of Avias 514 die. Meanwhile, Sean is able to contact Leila, but she discovers the police are involved in her kidnapping and fails to escape. When Sean arrives and discovers Vicky is inside the station, he threatens to expose the young boy she has been harboring from a previous mission against the orders of her superiors. Vicky then helps Sean escape with Leila. The episode closes with Martinez agreeing to trade Sophia for the antidote.|
|8||“For the Good of Our Country”||Jeffrey Reiner||David H. Goodman & James Wong||November 15, 2010 (NBC)||5.64|
|Martinez interrogates Michael as he reveals the people who wanted him to do the assassination attempt were going to call it off, but a call from someone told them to go through with it. He also reveals the call was made mere minutes after a meeting Martinez had about the press conference. After looking through phone records, they discover Raymond Jarvis (Bill Smitrovich), the vice-president, was in on the attempt. Meanwhile, Sean is shot by one of the assassins who survived the explosion, forcing Leila to kidnap a doctor to perform surgery on him. Elsewhere, Vicky is ordered by Dempsey (Hal Holbrook) to kill Jarvis, however she lets him live and tells him to confess. The men sent out by Martinez capture Jarvis, but before he could reveal who gave him orders, a car explosion goes off, apparently killing him. Dempsey is then shown looking in the mirror soon after taking a medicine for his coffee, his face shifting to a younger version of himself.|
|14||“A Message Back”||Norberto Barba||David H. Goodman & Nick Wauters||March 21, 2011 (NBC)||4.11
|Vicky tells Sean about Dempsey, a powerful billionaire who has now mysteriously disappeared and is the one behind the whole conspiracy. Meanwhile, Vice President Jarvis is released from the hospital and plans to have a party at the Ambassador Hotel. Sean and Vicky disguise themselves as guests to get to Jarvis. He reveals that Dempsey recently left the United States for France. Meanwhile, Thomas receives a message from his home planet and sets up a meeting with the other sleepers. He calls Sophia while she is being watched by the covert military team dressed as local SWAT. She goes with Michael to the abandoned church in Los Angeles to meet with Thomas. Leila also goes by following the alien watching her. Martinez learns that if Sophia is at the meeting, it could be his chance to catch all of the sleepers. Thomas reveals that their home planet’s sun has started going supernova, leaving their home uninhabitable in less than a year. They have no choice but to get all of their people to Earth in order to survive. The military surround the building, trapping everyone inside.|
|15||“Face Off”||Janusz Kami?ski||David Schulner & Lisa Zwerling||March 28, 2011 (NBC)||4.53
|Vicky and Sean escape the Secret Service and fly to France to try and catch Dempsey. In France, Dempsey has been funding a very expensive archaeology project. His workers have uncovered a cave with extremely old drawings that Dempsey says are of “guardian angels”, which are in fact physical beings. Back in the United States, Martinez has the church with Sophia’s people surrounded by assault teams. With no way out, Sophia and Thomas calls Gerard at the portal and asks him if he can transport them out of the church. When he replies that they do not even have enough uranium loaded for one person, Sophia asks what he does have enough for. Back in D.C., Martinez is about to order that all troops move in and kill Sophia’s people when the situation room starts to vibrate as if there is an earthquake. As Martinez is rushed to a safe room, Sterling receives reports that the Washington Monument has completely collapsed. Martinez orders all troops to stand down. Sophia claims that they will keep destroying D.C. unless Martinez provides her with three buses to LAX and a plane, to which he obliges. While Sophia and the rest are on their way to LAX, Sterling finally realizes that Agent Lee is actually a ‘sleeper’ and the White House is able to crack the encryption code on a phone call he made to Sophia. The call reveals that they do not have enough fuel to do any more damage to Washington and her demands to Martinez were a bluff. An Apache helicopter is sent in and starts destroying the first bus. Thomas makes a phone call to Gerard who says he only has enough fuel loaded for one bus. Thomas sacrifices himself and his bus, while the third bus transporting Sophia, along with Michael and Leila, goes through the portal.|
|16||“You Bury Other Things Too”||Michael Waxman||Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie||April 4, 2011 (NBC)||4.14
|Sophia, Michael, Leila, and the other remaining sleeper aliens on their bus are transported to the same gated community Thomas once hid with his group. Agent Simon Lee gets a call from an unknown ‘sleeper’ that his calls are being wiretapped and must flee immediately to them. Sophia proposes that since life is currently unsustainable on their home planet, Thomas’ plan should continue by letting more of her people come down to Earth, much to Simon’s dismay. When Simon talks to Michael about Sophia’s plan, he proposes they both go against the idea since it would result in genocide on innocent human beings. Instead, Michael informs Sophia of Simon’s plan, has him promptly arrested and taken away. In France, Sean and Vicky follow the advice from a French acquaintance of hers to head to a chateau where Dempsey is, which turns out that the direction they took has no such place and are both ambushed. After a violent shootout, Vicky is apprehended, while Sean escapes. Vicky is then taken to Dempsey and explains to her that he comes from a long line of sentinel beings that defended against the ‘sleepers’ for countless years. He then orders his men to leave her for dead. Sean violently confronts the acquaintance, ties him up, and proceeds to beat his hands with a hammer. The acquaintance concedes and tells Sean of the address on where Dempsey’s location is. Elsewhere, President Martinez personally confides to his own staff of Sophia and Lee’s actions, so he gives a speech that in light of the recent events, the only way to assure themselves of any trouble is for the general public in the country (including staff and other personnel in the White House) to undergo a mandatory TB skin test, when it’s actually a ruse to gather DNA of possible ‘sleepers,’ much to his wife’s disapproval and leading Martinez to question himself about her reasons.|
|17||“Cut Off the Head”||Norberto Barba||Evan Katz & James Wong||April 18, 2011 (NBC)||3.85
|Sophia sends some of her people to other parts of the globe to locate pieces of a weapon she would need in her plans. President Martinez becomes suspicious of his wife’s refusal to take the DNA test. Vice President Jarvis meets Sophia with a proposition that could make him President, in exchange for having more of her people arrive on Earth. In France, Sean rescues Vicky and is confronted by Dempsey, who explains that he represents an ancient group, dedicated to protecting humanity from outsiders. He explains what’s to come and that he believes that Sean is the one capable of stopping Sophia and her people. Sean refuses, telling Dempsey that his only goal will be to stop him and make him pay for his crimes. Dempsey approvingly agrees, but tells Sean that he will have to make sure that Sean refocuses his attention on Sophia. He then takes a pistol and commits suicide with a shot to his own head, leaving the shocked Sean with a bag containing the information Dempsey says he’ll need in his quest. At the end, Leila manages to contact Sean using a stolen cell phone and informs him of Sophia’s plan.|
|18||“Strain”||Michael Watkins||Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie||April 25, 2011 (NBC)||4.62
|Vice President Jarvis proceeds with Sophia’s plan to make him President. Jarvis replaces President Martinez’s sweetener with poison. President Martinez is rushed to the hospital after suffering a stroke, with a deteriorating condition. After being told by the President that Jarvis was behind the assassination attempt, Sterling secretly works with the president’s chief-of-staff to stop Jarvis from becoming president. They view CCTV footage and see that the vice president quickly grabs the sweetener, to remove any evidence. Sterling then notices that a sample of the poison could still be in the carpet after the drink is spilt, but the carpet is cleaned after Jarvis realizes this as well on a phone call to Sophia. Meanwhile, Sean and Vicky travel to Murmansk, Russia, after receiving a tip from Leila that the sleepers are searching for a weapon in that area. In Murmansk, a scientist is extracting the weapon from a frozen body when he accidentally cuts himself and infects himself with the weapon. Sean and Vicky arrive in Murmansk and board the ship the scientists were working on, only to find that they are all dead. The only surviving crew member among the dead is then confronted by Sean and Vicky, who explains that the weapon has already been moved and is intended to be flown back to the United States. The weapon is a strain of the Spanish Flu. At the same time, Michael confronts Leila over the call made using the stolen cell phone. He then kills Leila’s handler as he is going to expose her to Sophia. A vote is held with the President’s staff and Jarvis is made acting president. Sterling then realizes that the President’s coffee spilled over his shirt, and he now has sample of the poisoned drink. The President’s condition worsens and he begins to seize.|
|19||“Us or Them”||Milan Cheylov||David H. Goodman||May 2, 2011 (NBC)||4.14
|Vice President Jarvis has just been sworn in as acting president as Martinez lapses into a coma and his condition worsens. Meanwhile, Sean and Vicky board a plane headed back for for the U.S. with the hopes of catching the virus but they arrive too late. Sterling is fired by Jarvis for questioning Jarvis’ involvement with poisoning Martinez. Elsewhere, Michael helps Simon and Leila escape from the sleeper compound. Michael is killed while trying to protect Leila and Simon. Before dying, Michael gives Simon an antidote with the hopes it will cure Martinez. Simon escapes while Leila watches Michael die as Sophia and her troops arrive at the scene.|
|20||“One Will Live, One Will Die”||Alex Zakrzewski||David Schulner||May 9, 2011 (NBC)||3.85
|Sean and Vicky arrive at the mall to find the sleepers. Vicky alerts security while Sean does his best to take them out and the bomb. Sean shoots one of the sleepers to death in a brawl and manages to disarm the bomb by shooting at it repeatedly. The other sleeper escapes and unleashes a portion of the virus onto a bus and kills a small amount of humans. One of Sophia’s people concludes that the virus kills the humans too quickly and resolve to implant the virus into one of the hybrids. Meanwhile, Lee finds Sterling and the two form an alliance into saving President Martinez’s life with the antidote needed for the illness. Sterling contacts Christina and informs her of a subtle plan. Jarvis’ men wiretap their call, but are unable to decrypt it in time, forcing Jarvis to confront Christina personally and lies that Sterling poisoned her husband. Christina explains that she plans to meet both Sterling and Lee secretly at an empty warehouse, prompting Jarvis to put a stop to them. Despite the staff finding Jarvis’ brutal actions on killing Sterling and Lee unnecessary, he demands a missile launch, destroying the warehouse they are in. His men search the wreckage, but find they had escaped through an underground tunnel. Jarvis’ men finally manage to decrypt the phone conversation and hear from it that Sterling actually revealed to Christina the truth behind Jarvis’ hidden agendas, while the rest of their conversation was explained separately on a payphone, making the decrypted phone message a decoy. Christina injects the antidote into her husband, after discreetly receiving it from Lee (in disguise) at the hospital gift shop.|
|21||“The Beginning of the End”||Jonas Pate||Teleplay by: Nick Wauters
Story by: Leyani Diaz & Vanessa Rojas
|May 16, 2011 (NBC)||4.07
|Sean and Vicky follow the address on the identification of the sleeper they had killed. It ultimately leads them to a warehouse, where they come across both Sterling and Lee. The four of them team up and try to find the exact whereabouts of the other sleepers in the city. Meanwhile, President Martinez’s vital signs begin to vastly improve, due to the antidote his wife Christina had managed to give him. He demands to head back to the White House immediately and stop the ones who conspired against him, despite still feeling somewhat weak from the poison’s after effects. Martinez confronts Jarvis in a rage saying that poisoning him just to acquire his position as President and allowing Sophia to carry out her plan only risks the lives of innocent people, rather than bringing peace. Jarvis explains that to resume his role as President, Martinez must convince the cabinet of his good health. Sophia and one of the doctors beside her begin to notice Leila continuously in agony from the strain of Spanish Flu in her body. The doctor concludes that although her sleeper-half is immune, her human immune system is constantly fighting and may take days or months for Leila to actually succumb to it. Sophia directs every of her people around the world to commence with their plan. Sean, Lee, Vicki, and Sterling manage to locate the hideout of the sleepers and holds one of the female doctors, Dr. Lu, captive and interrogate her. When she refuses to talk, Lee threatens to torture her with an electric drill until she finally reveals the password to their satellite link. Ultimately they discover that ‘The Event’ has truly begun. A massive portal into deep space opens…|
|22||“Arrival”||James Wong||Evan Katz||May 23, 2011 (NBC)||4.89
|Sean tells a weakened Leila that Sterling has called someone at the CDC who will be able to help her recover. Leila has given up hope, but Sean begs her to fight the virus with all her might. Meanwhile, Sterling finds a damaging report on Dr. Lu’s computer that shows the rapid spread of the deadly pathogen to wipe out humanity. After careful research, Sterling learns that the Sleepers are depositing pressurized aerosol containers carrying the virus at three distinct locations (a food processing plant, the Bureau of Engraving, and Dulles Airport). Martinez presents the cabinet with crucial evidence that Jarvis was responsible for his illness in an assassination attempt. Jarvis is then arrested and removed from office and Martinez is restored as President once again. Special Forces teams take down the Sleepers at the food processing plant and at the engraving bureau. Sean, Vicky, Sterling, and Lee confront Sophia and her associates at Dullis Airport before they can release the virus. All of the sleepers are killed except for Sophia where Sean tells her not to release the virus saying that it will not help her situation and will only make things worse. Sophia surrenders to the military and humanity is saved. Afterwords, Vicky goes off on her own, while Lee tells Sean that the ancient scroll that Dempsey gave Sean explains all about the origins of the aliens as well as their plans. Sophia, now in custody once again, tells Martinez that despite her failure to destroy humanity there is no stopping the sleepers and the rest of her people from coming to Earth for it is already done. In her still weakened state, Leila tells Sean that she is pregnant. At the end, the portal succeeds in transporting the entire alien planet into Earth’s orbit. Looking into the sky, the President’s son asks his mother Christina: “What is it?” She replies: “Home”… suggesting that she too was a sleeper this entire time.|