The Event 3/21/11 "A Message Back" **major spoiler**

“Our sun has started going supernova. … The first wave of lethal gamma rays will reach our solar system in the next two weeks.”

Did anyone else’s jaw drop at this?

Just how many light years away is their solar system? It’s been about 4 weeks since the orignal message was sent and a response was received. I’m guessing their planet is toast already.

In a recent episode, pilot-dad said something about NGC 253, which means their home’s about 11 million light years away. FTL communication? How’d the SETI guys pick it up with their radio telescopes, then? Nobody cared? Best guess with this show.

That’s probably the case—this show kind of sucks. But a fanwank might be that they sent it through a wormhole that allowed it to come out close to Earth.

Umm … yeah, I assumed it was some sort of FTL communication, since they got a response in a matter of days.

My point was, though: Their sun is apparently some distance outside of their solar system. WTF?

Depends on what one means by a star ‘starting’ to go supernova. Gamma ray bursts are only produced when the actual collapse happens, which may yet be two weeks away.

Paging Bad Astronomer

Yes, but whenever they were produced, they’d originate within the solar system. They wouldn’t “reach the solar system” in any amount of time.

I just thought it was a ridiculously amateurish mistake that a high schooler wouldn’t make. But I guess the outrage was mine alone.

I saw the episode last night and what Thomas actually said was that the first wave of gamma rays were expected to reach the planet in the next couple of weeks. So presumably he meant about two weeks from when he was speaking, not two weeks from when the message was sent. But that doesn’t excuse the show, which is pretty awful.

Good to see Hott Brunette Assassin back—Sean has personally witnessed her killing a dozen people since he first met her a couple of weeks ago, so naturally he trusts her with a gun.

It sure was nice of the aliens to meet in an old church in downtown LA, instead of out in the desert somewhere…

I concur, MPB. When she’s on the screen, I try to listen to the dialogue, but all I can hear is the voice in my head saying, “That woman is stupidly beautiful” over and over.


Since it is looking increasingly like the aliens actually look like humans normally (and it isn’t some kind of disguise put on to lend in) I’m ignoring anything particularly sciency in the show.

  1. Signal broadcast into space from a satellite is answered in a few days.
  2. Alien planet apparently is not all that close to their sun (I thought maybe I’d misheard and it was a neighboring star that was going supernova which would still be bad).
  3. Aliens have been here for 70 years and just happen to call home 15 days before sun goes supernova.
  4. Aliens possess ability to instantaneously travel between galaxies but apparently came here on a spaceship they could crash.
  5. NSA can’t track a cell phone that has been left on (though they are waiting for it to be “activated” again. Apparently Sprints cell towers are better at finding cell phones than the NSA.
  6. The aliens were smart enough to staff the one dish that apparently received the broadcast back. Good thing they didn’t answer while the planet was turned the other way. Or do they have enough people to have one alien at every observatory at all times?
  7. The United States is a very big country that can apparently be traversed in hours by a man on the run from the law in an SUV.
  8. Secret service uses an ultra secure system that apparently has every potential invitees thumbprint on file (for a basic fundraiser) but doesn’t have a photo of the person.
  9. The President of the United States apparently has no other demands on him time allowing him to visit hundreds of dead bodies in the desert or a super secret military base in Alaska without the White House press corp noticing he was gone (remember the flack Obama got for playing a round of golf without taking them).
  10. ER Alien lady needed to get from SF to LA for an important meeting later that afternoon so she apparently took the train (since she arrived at Union Station). Also, apparently all of the aliens are so geographically concentrated that most of them could get there in a couple hours despite having infiltrated every important position and observatory in the world.
  11. At some point something paranormal with these aliens is apparently going to be revealed based on that brief moment with Hal Holbrook looking in the mirror a while back and his face changing.

And really, that’s the only reason I’m watching. The only part I care about is wanting to learn just how Hal Holbrook fits into this since neither the government nor the aliens seem to be aware of him.

Wow, seeing it all laid out like that is almost depressing…

As for the Hal Holbrook thing, I thought it was by now pretty established that he somehow got wind about the presence of apparently ageless people, and has been harvesting their children for a serum to keep him, uhm, ‘young’; the momentary effect of which we saw in the mirror, when he briefly turned into his younger self. However, I’m still wondering what Nazca Lines – The Board Game[sup]TM[/sup] is all about…

My wild-a**** speculation: Earth was discovered by the aliens centuries or millennia ago, and until now protected by a “prime directive” because the aliens discovered that their already long lives could be extended indefinitely by a serum harvested from alien-Earther hybrids, and rather than turn the population of Earth into breeding slaves the knowledge was suppressed. Dempsey is an alien who has been stranded on Earth long before the Inostranka people crashed and who has had access to only enough hybrids to stay alive in an aged state.

Yeah, I’m sure it is a fountain of youth thing too.

But who are the kids being taken, are they all half-aliens and the aliens haven’t noticed someone keeps kidnapping their kids? If these half-aliens have anti-aging properties when do they being to age slowly because our main half-alien character is in her mid to late 20s and apparently it to her that many years to reach her age. Not to mention the fact that it took seeing a picture of her dad from the '20s to realize he’d never aged. Pictures of him from 28 years earlier when she was born weren’t good enough I guess.

If they are all half-aliens does that mean the other little girl who had previously been kidnapped was a half alien and one her parents was an alien and we just weren’t told and they hadn’t told the other aliens what had happened?

My guess is that the aliens are not supposed to get involved with humans or have hybrid children, and that the ones who have did so against orders and have kept it secret from the rest of the aliens. That was the impression I got when Sophia found out about Michael Buchanan’s family. Possibly the hybrids don’t live any longer than humans, but do carry a special factor in their blood. If the aliens live for centuries, it would be logical that they also have a much lower rate of reproduction than humans, and to them we are the equivalent of rodents: fast breeding and quick dying. Humans and hybrids could be utterly expendable by their standards.

I like how Sophia just took Thomas at his word that he got that message back. No “show me the actual message” even, just “oh you just murdered dozens of people just for not kissing your ass instead of mine, but you’d NEVER lie and make up a message like that”. Obviously, we know he really got this message, but Sophia doesn’t.

There is just SO much of this type of ludicrous, insultingly unbelievable horseshit written into each and every episode.

The Event is one of the only Sci-Fi shows I have ever watched (I have never seen even 30 seconds cumulative of any Star Trek TV show or movie in my life, for example) so I am not sure if the wildly uneven writing is just part and parcel of Sci-Fi in general or if it is just the couple of shows that I have watched? (FlashForward was the other series I tried out. Maybe I have picked the wrong shows to introduce myself to the genre)

I don’t notice any more in sci-fi than any other category of TV show, but yeah, it happens in lots of TV.