Chris Haston/NBC
Jeff Jensen
October 26, 2010 AT 02:50 PM EDT

My favorite scene in last night’s installment of The Event was The Great Cream Carafe Getaway, served up by Whatchamacallum double agent Simon Lee. Sophia Maguire—free at last, free at last—hopped a subway and made a beeline to her Whatchamacallum co-leader (and former lover?) Thomas. Which was exactly what President Martinez and intelligence honcho Blake Sterling wanted her to do. They had spiked her Fruit Loops with a non-toxic (and apparently totally tasteless) radioactive isotope and were tracking her subtly nuked 1%-less-than-human body in hopes of nabbing Thomas, and of course, recapturing her.

Simon Lee needed to find a way to get his maybe-alien liege out of this jam, and I, for one, was rooting for them. I wasn’t relishing the prospect of being made to watch another five episodes of Laura Innes trying desperately to make incarceration look interesting. And so Simon directed Sophia to meet him at a coffee shop, where he demonstrated the kind of quick-thinking ingenuity that made him “Barista of the Month” three months in a row on his home planet of WaterlessWorld… although since they have no water on WaterlessWorld, they don’t have coffee, so he couldn’t have been a barista. (Dammit! I hate it when my jokes fall apart like that!) Simon spiked all the creamers with the same radioactive marking liquid in Sophia’s bloodstream. Back at Mission Control, Elias and Blake watched as their computerized map started quickly filling up with more and more dots, to the point where Sophia’s got lost in the cream-loving crowd. Man, does that coffee shop do brisk business or what?

It was a clever scene, and it got the episode, entitled “Loyalty,” off to a strong, promising start that it couldn’t completely sustain… but I’m not going to dwell on the negatives this week. I’m also not going to give you the usual full-length write-up: I’m feeling a little under the weather, as well as feeling very jetlagged from an assignment in London. (Big thanks to Darren Franich for filling in last week—I really appreciated his fresh, insightful take on the show.) I’ll be able to come clean on my English adventure later this week here at the website and in the pages of our magazine. I hope you’ll enjoy it enough to forgive me for slacking off. Since “Loyalty” seemed to mark a new phase in The Event’s season 1 storytelling, I thought I would use this space to single out a few things that struck me as particularly promising—things that I hope the show will continue nurture in the weeks to come.

Sean and Leila

I was surprised that The Event decided to reunite the young lovers so quickly. Yes, I had been complaining about Leila’s abduction storyline for weeks, so hooray for her liberation! But what I was expecting–what I was privately rooting for, really–was that she would find a way to escape and then spend some time on her own, perhaps investigating a different angle of the mystery-conspiracy while trying to get back to Sean and home. Still, I’m not complaining. My favorite parts of The Event’s pilot episode were the cruise ship scenes between Sean and Leila. The actors demonstrated winning chemistry, and I immediately became invested in their characters.

NEXT: Shades of Lost in one character’s story arc?

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