After a 10-episode opening salvo that relied heavily on flashbacks and was not exactly a ratings blockbuster, NBC's science-fiction thriller "The Event" returned last Monday with a two-hour block that featured Director of National Intelligence Blake Sterling (Zeljko Ivanek) sprawled on the ground with several bullet wounds.
As there was no medical professional pronouncing time of death, making assumptions is likely unwise. But someone will die. Executive producer Evan Katz promises it.
"In the next batch of episodes," says Katz, "there's going to be a major attack launched on this country by our friends. You're going to find out who and what Hal Holbrook's character is. A character who's become a main character is going to die in episode 15."
The show began with an ordinary guy named Sean Walker (Jason Ritter) whose girlfriend, Leila (Sarah Roemer), was abducted. That led him to uncover a conspiracy stretching back 66 years, in which the United States government maintained a secret detention facility at Mount Inostranka in Alaska, where it housed humanoid inhabitants of a crashed alien spacecraft.
Or, at least, some of the aliens are there, led by Sophia (Laura Innes). The rest have been living among the human population and in at least one case, producing alien/human hybrid children. Another alien, Simon Lee (Ian Anthony Dale), has infiltrated the CIA and is close to recently elected U.S. President Elias Martinez (Blair Underwood).
Meanwhile, Sophia's rebellious son, Thomas (Clifton Collins Jr.), is leading his own insurrection, causing trouble for both humanity and his fellow aliens.In the White House, Martinez has found himself facing trouble from both the aliens and from an Alaskan senator (Virginia Madsen) who isn't willing to sit down and keep quiet while filling out the remaining weeks of her late husband's term. She's onto the secret facility at Inostranka and is willing to bargain to get answers.
It's a lot to take in for a new chief executive.
Sitting back in his chair behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office (actually a replica set, the same one used on Fox's "24," for which Katz was a producer), Underwood says, "Martinez felt he could make a change as president. He felt he could make a difference in the lives of all people. He's a peacemaker.
"That's why there's been a very fast evolution from wanting to release these people to realizing these people are dangerous. His job is to oversee the lives of the American people, at the end of the day, in terms of national security.
"When we first meet him, he would never justify in his mind that it's OK to have anybody killed. He's not for war necessarily. But it's that realization that a lot of presidents have who are warmhearted and want to 'Kumbaya' and all that; they realize after the first national security briefing the reality of being the leader of this country."
Meanwhile, Sean Walker -- a man not privy to world secrets -- has been carrying just as heavy a burden.
"You're going to see Sean," Katz says, "start to transform into someone who, by the end of the season, is not going to be recognizable from this sweet, innocent Everyman who just wanted to take his girlfriend on a cruise.
"He's going to be pushed to acts of great desperation and things he wouldn't have believed. We have a great ending to the season that I've never seen before, which is not easy, that will forever alter the world that everyone inhabits."
And, says Katz, "No more flashbacks."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun