So, four episodes in, and these “quick recaps” aren’t so quick anymore. Doesn’t mean we won’t tackle them anymore, though!
Here goes: The dead-not-dead people don’t remember anything after taking off in the plane, and then start bleeding out of the nose and mouth like they have some sort of remote-controlled ebola. Leila finally fought back against her captors and fled moments before they would have killed her, got picked up by a cop, and still hasn’t discovered that it was all a plot to lure in Sean and she did exactly as they planned. Sean and Agent Collier track one of Vicky’s aliases, thinking they’ve found where Leila is, to a house in Texas where instead they find her mom, her son, that her whole life is a secret, and some contact info they can’t worry about just now because Sean’s phone is dead. We also learn in flashbacks that Sean is almost an orphan with a drunk dad and a “not well” mom, and that he left home early and never looked back. The President is still getting nowhere with Sophia, but she’s looking more and more distraught about it, and we assume he’s questioning her because their friends, not because there’s no one in the CIA who can do it. Sophia finally gives up Thomas’s name and says that whatever he wants, Prez needs to give him because even she doesn’t know what he’ll do. Thomas makes a stand: he calls the Prez on a phone slipped into his young son’s backpack despite the secret service all over him. The President flips a little, as is understandable, and tells Simon to trade out the agents; how long before he knows Simon’s part of his concerns? Sophia, in the President’s flashback (where we hear that great story about his mom), we learn that Sophia considers herself an immigrant; apparently Thomas sees things differently, but, for some reason, he can’t teleport her out the way he can ‘port a plane.
This week felt a little more like we were getting somewhere, but the different shards of story are still too separate. We’re hoping that as the season progresses, the instances of people just missing each other through clever editing and the coming-together of such differing story-lines will get more pronounced. As it is now, things are a little too all over the place. Is it weird to wish for more in a show where there’s already so much more going on? Well, that’s where we are. It would be so nice to see the various storylines matching up more, the details getting more important, more people asking more questions in different and varied directions from the very specific ones we’ve gotten… We don’t really need more characters; we just need more of them to have something to do. Any one of those aides could start asking what if they aren’t aliens? What if their plan isn’t a bad one? What if all these weird things are all part of the same situation? If more people inside the story are asking the questions, we don’t have to, and then maybe they’d be less vexing. Also, why does Sean have to be the only one from the civilian sector that’s trying to figure out what’s happening? Maybe he can tap into his old hacker network and find us some Lone Gunmen with alternative methods of ferreting out information?
Anyway, that’s more of the bigger issues of the show. On the smaller issues of this one episode, there’s improvement. It’s still sort of side-stepping taking a stand on anything (which is what killed V, remember), but it feels like it’s getting somewhere, like things are happening. They’re just happening very slowly. And it’s still interesting and full of action, which it does very well. We want to see it doing well and getting renewed and being a worthy weekly-must-see replacement for Lost. We’re just concerned that the show as a whole doesn’t quite get that having a high concept means you have to give us something mindblowing every episode, and all the flashbacks have to mean something. This is still early; maybe we just haven’t seen enough of the story they have planned out yet. We’re in this for the long haul, we like the show and it’s idea– but that makes us want more from every episode. It’s so close to what it can be that we can see it, and when it falls sort or takes the easy way out, it seems… unfulfilled.
Leila finally gets to do something! Whoo! Even if it is exactly what the improbably smart villains want her to do. Which makes the whole scene also a Con (see below).
DB Sweeney the Villain and Vicky aren’t idiots. They’re just really good at undermining Leila’s right to be an individual.
The fact that Leila was set up means that even though the villains aren’t idiots, Leila is still just a pawn and a captive. With hair that never gets really gross, no matter how long she’s tied up.
Why is Collier being all Scully? She should believe more now. Also, what happened to her shrapnel-shredded shoulder that really should have left her paralyzed on that side, at least for a while?
What if it gets too complicated before it starts to make sense?
DB Sweeney and Vicky want to somehow warp Leila to their POV, because there’s something special about her– so keeping her around is not pointless. She’s needed for her own merits, and she needs to be on their side.
Everyone in the President’s inner circle is working against him– and possibly against the possibly-aliens, too.
The Event, NBC, Monday nights at 9.