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The Event

Episode 1.01 : Pilot

The Event Poster

TV Info


Episode Premiere

September 20, 2010

Distributor

NBC

Genre

Drama, Thriller

Show Period

2010 - 2011

Production Company

Universal Media Studios, Steve Stark Productions

Cast and Crew


Director

Jeffrey Reiner

Screenwriter

Nick Wauters

Main Cast


Additional Cast

  • Tony Todd
  • Lauren Stamile
  • Julia Campbell
  • Gonzalo Menendez
  • Joseph C. Phillips
  • Michael Cummings
  • Wes Ramsey

Synopsis


It's 5p.m. An unseen news reporter declares that a press conference is being interrupted by something strange. Blurry news footage documents the chaos: people running for safety, a loud buzz filling the air, and harsh winds overturning furniture. As the reporter screams, "Run!" the footage abruptly stops. It's 23 minutes earlier, and an L.A.-bound flight readies for takeoff from the Miami Airport. A flight attendant asks a sweaty, anxious-looking Sean Walker to exit the bathroom and take his seat. A discarded maintenance uniform peeks out of the trash. Sean nervously makes his way to his seat, and sees shadowy men rushing through the airport, intent on finding him. As the plane picks up steam, a black SUV races alongside it, just off to the side of the runway. Sean regards it with caution.

It's 11 days earlier. At the Buchanan residence, Leila packs for an upcoming cruise with her boyfriend Sean. Leila's mother Val helps with the preparation, while Leila's little sister Samantha bounces around, annoying them. Meanwhile, in the study, Sean rambles nervously to Leila's father Michael. Michael interrupts Sean and cuts right to the chase: he'd be happy to give Sean his blessing. Michael's relief is palpable. We cut back to the plane, where Sean peers around the cabin in a paranoid fashion. With the plane safely in flight, Sean approaches the cockpit door. When a stewardess asks him to take a seat, Sean swiftly turns around and pulls out a gun! Could Sean be a hijacker?

It's just before 5p.m. In a black SUV, Simon Lee speeds towards the airport and calls the Miami Control Tower. Simon urges the controller to stop the plane, claiming that there's a terrorist with a bomb onboard. It's 13 months earlier. In Mount Inostranka, Alaska, a menacing building stands out against the snow. Simon tells an enigmatic Sophia that William has finally been recaptured. William has offered information regarding "the event" in exchange for his freedom. Sophia tells Simon that he must silence William. Simon questions Sophia's advice, countering that if people knew about "the event," perhaps they could better prepare. He adds that President Martinez is a good man who might help. Sophia won't budge, and as Simon exits, we see she is handcuffed to the table.

Simon continues racing towards the airport, finally convincing the flight controller to stop the flight. But when the tower radios the plane's cockpit, there's no response. And strangely, the entire system's down. Desperate, Simon crashes onto the runway, speeding alongside the plane. But he's too late; the plane sails into the sky without interference. On the plane, Sean pulls a gun on the stewardess and knocks on the cockpit door, screaming, "You don't have to do this! Let me in! It's not too late, but we have to act now!" A gun-toting Air Marshal interrupts Sean's meltdown and forces Sean to disarm. Sean protests, saying it's not what it looks like.

It's eight days earlier. Sean and Leila frolic on the St. Lucia beach. They hike to the top of a hill where Sean's rambling can only mean that he's about to propose. Suddenly, a man in a cast screams for help. His girlfriend has hit her head and fallen into the ocean, and with his injury, he's unable to save her. Sean heroically jumps in and saves her life. Safely beachside, Sean, Leila, and their new friends Greg and Vicky chat over drinks. Leila's a bit ill at ease around the free-wheeling, hard-drinking couple and seems relieved when a phone call from her father interrupts the fiesta. After a brief chat with her dad, Leila rejoins the party, where Vicky has already insisted that Leila and Sean join her for snorkeling the next morning.

Later that night, Sean and an inebriated Leila stumble to their hotel room while gossiping about their slightly imposing new friends. Feeling queasy, Leila steps onto the balcony where Sean suggests that the following night they should have a private, romantic dinner in Antigua. Leila agrees, unaware of Sean's proposal plans. We cut back to Sean on the doomed flight, shortly after the Air Marshal has disarmed him. While pointing a gun at Sean, the Air Marshal knocks on the cockpit door and tells the pilot to turn the plane around. Suddenly, a loud gunshot rings out. But it's not from the cabin - it's from inside the cockpit!

At the Presidential Retreat in Florida, President Elias Martinez celebrates his son's birthday at an outdoor party. Vice President Raymond Jarvis discreetly interrupts, pulling President Martinez into a conference room. Vice President Jarvis, Director Blake Sterling, and General Whitman try to convince the President to call off the press conference and keep the Inostranka facility open. They remind the President to "sacrifice the rights of the few for the safety of the many." The President disagrees, saying that they've unfairly treated the prisoners, and it's time to set them free. The press conference will go on, and can't even be delayed because a reporter already has the exclusive. Seeing that the President is set on holding the press conference, Sterling backs down but urges the President to keep the detainees in the facility.

It's 13 months earlier. President Martinez scolds Sterling for hiding information regarding the Mount Inostranka facility and its 97 detainees. Sterling says that the CIA is overseeing the facility and that there's nothing to worry about. Unconvinced, the President insists on a visit to see for himself. At Mount Inostranka, the President enters the facility. He demands to see the detainees' living quarters and research labs. But first, he meets their mysterious leader Sophia. Back in Miami, President Martinez and Sophia prepare for the press conference while the Vice President is nowhere to be found. Suddenly Secret Service men barge in, rushing the President and Sophia to safety. In the sky, they see a plane flying directly at them!

It's eight days earlier. At the Buchanan residence, Michael and Val debate whether they should check in on Leila during her vacation. They playfully bicker over who's more overprotective of their beautiful daughter. Michael gives in to his paternal instinct and phones Leila while Samantha runs outside to bring her bicycle in from the rain. In the yard, someone grabs Sam and stifles her scream. Moments later, two armed intruders ambush Michael and Val, guns blasting. At the Miami Airport, Michael Buchanan walks onto a plane in a pilot's uniform. He has a look of eerie determination as he enters the cockpit, preparing for flight.

Sean and the rest of the passengers react to the loud gunshot coming from the locked cockpit. Sean finally convinces the Air Marshal that they must get into the cockpit, but the door's locked and the pilot isn't answering Sean's pleas. Outside the plane, the passengers see an F-16 jet flying beside them! As panicked voices echo through the cabin, the plane jerks and Sean falls to the floor. It's seven days earlier. Sean and Vicky snorkel in the pristine St. Lucia waters. On the boat ride to shore, Sean explains that Leila couldn't come along because she was ill, either with food poisoning, or more likely, a bad hangover. Vicky giggles and leans in seductively to take a picture with Sean.

Sean returns to his hotel room but his card won't unlock the door. He calls for Leila but nobody answers. When he complains to the front desk, the hotel employee says they have no record of Sean in the system. And according to the computer, another couple - Jason B. Olsen and Maria Olsen - occupies his room. At Sean's insistence, a security guard accompanies him back to his room where the Olsens answer the door. Sean barges in but there's no sign of Leila, and Sean's belongings - including his passport - are gone. Sean calls Leila but her phone has been disconnected. When he dials the Buchanans, the answering machine picks up. A bloodied hand rests limply on the Buchanans' floor. In a state of full-blown panic, Sean sprints away from the security guard and races out of the hotel.

Back on the doomed flight, Sean picks up the phone and begs Michael not to go through with his plans. Sean argues that if they work together, maybe they can still find Leila. "Whatever they promised you, you can't trust them!" Sean adds. Michael ignores Sean's desperate cries and finally notices the F-16 flying beside him. The F-16 radios the cockpit, telling Michael that this is the final warning. Meanwhile, thousands of feet below, the President and his entourage hear the deafening roar of the plane as it gathers speed, hurtling directly at them! Through intense, tear-filled eyes, Michael steels himself as the plane descends. He's a man possessed.

At the Presidential Retreat, the press conference preparation has devolved into a full-blown crisis. President Martinez and his family crowd into a waiting SUV, Sophia ducks for cover, and a crowd of reporters tries desperately to document the chaos. On a nearby freeway, Simon calls the F-16 jet pilot flying beside the plane and suggests he intervene. But the pilot can't act; his system's down. (Insert highlight video skittle) The plane is just about to crash into the President's SUV when suddenly the ground shakes and the plane vanishes into a brilliant, bright white light! Stunned and confused, President Martinez looks to Sophia, who possesses an eerie calm. "They saved us," she says. "Who saved us?" President Martinez asks. Sophia simply replies, "I haven't told you everything."

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