Get ready to say goodbye to NBC's The Event. The NBC alien conspiracy series is taking a long three-month break and won't return until Feb. 28, but you can expect tonight's fall finale episode to blow you away, promised stars Jason Ritter and Sarah Roemer.
Ritter and Roemer play the lovers caught in the middle of a conspiracy involving aliens, an attempted assassination of the president and the mysterious event that likely won't happen until the series returns in the spring.
Here are 10 secrets the actors revealed about the series and tonight's fall finale, which airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
Why it's "kind of nice" being kept in the dark
Ritter and Roemer admit that they are pretty much clueless about where their characters are headed and what "the event" actually is. But that doesn't bother them at all, said Ritter. "I think there's something that's exciting about that. Out of all of the actors, we know the least about what's going forward. ... We all got these character bios at the very beginning, so Sophia and Thomas and Ian Anthony Dale's character assignment, they all know exactly where they're all from and what's going on with them. But it's been fun to meet up with Sarah every day, and we just kind of jump off into the unknown." he said.
"It is kind of nice being in the dark and seeing how it unfolds along with everybody else," said Roemer. "And it does keep things interesting. We only really know what our characters know."
Why Sean and Leila's relationship has changed forever
Getting shot, kidnapped and caught up in a huge conspiracy means enormous changes for the once happy-go-lucky couple with plans for a normal life together. "There's been a big shift," said Ritter. "I think that for Sean, initially, Leila was his whole focus and he was desperate to find her and that was it. That was his one thing. And, you know, he also really does love Samantha and really loves her father and cares about her family."
But now that Sean's found her, Leila's mission to find her sister and figure out what happened has become his mission too. "There's a different drive there. Not that it's any less urgent, but there's a certain calm in Sean now that he's gotten Leila, except for the fact that Leila is now a little on edge. She's different from when I saw her before. ... So the balance that I'm trying to strike is I've gotten what I wanted, but now she's driven and I'm just trying to hang on to her and make sure that she's okay and letting her actually lead the way."
"The relationship has completely changed from what they're both used to," added Roemer. "They find comfort in each other, and Leila finds comfort in having Sean, because she knows what lengths he'll go to to be with her and help her find her family. ... Leila is sort of on the brink of losing it a little bit, and just really her focus is finding her sister. And she has so many questions for her father, who tried to assassinate the president, and so many things she just doesn't know or understand anymore."
Going from innocence to kicking ass and beyond
"I'm excited for the next half of the season to see how more of our stories start interconnecting. I think we've been on our own little Sean-and-Leila story, and that's been so much fun. And I really have loved watching both of these characters transition from innocence in the world to kicking a little bit more ass," said Ritter.
"It's been an interesting journey. I completely was blindsided several times during the season. I mean, I did not think that Sean would find Leila in episode five. I really had been thinking about that as maybe a season-long problem. And so it was really exciting to make an assumption about where the show was going and have the rug pulled out from me over and over and over again," he said.
Get ready for huge happenings and cliffhangery goodness
Tonight's episode, "Everything Will Change," is "really exciting and takes everything up several notches," said Ritter.
"The next few episodes are really big huge things happening, which I want to talk about, but I can't," said Roemer. "I've really enjoyed watching the show up to this point and how everything's been unfolding and knowing a little bit where it's going. I can't wait. I can't wait to get started on the second half."
So what can we look forward to tonight? "Leila makes a discovery about one of the cast members that is a stunning revelation that will change the way she views everything," Ritter teased.
And can we expect a midseason-ending cliffhanger to keep us hanging by our fingernails until the series returns on Feb. 28 to finish its first season? "Oh yeah. Absolutely," he said.
"It's going to go with a bit of a bang," she added.
One thing you may not know about Jason Ritter ...
"Jason Ritter is a nonstop joke teller on set," said Roemer.
"Yeah. We have long days sometimes, and I try to keep up morale. But also I realize that my jokes, which are mostly bad puns, really work the best at about 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. So it's really a selfish thing to get the biggest laugh on what's probably a lame joke when everyone's brains have stopped functioning at such a high level," he confessed.
About those aliens ...
While Roemer and Ritter do not know the secrets the aliens are hiding, Ritter does have a theory. "There are lots of theories as to who they are. I mean, one of my favorite theories that I've heard out there is that they in fact are from Earth but in a different time or in a parallel [universe] even. All these different things that are exciting to think about."
And when it comes to what "the event" actually is ...
"The short answer is we don't know," said Ritter. "But I do think that there's been a lot of setting up in this first half-season. And it's all going to start mixing [the story and the characters] up. They're going to start mixing it up in the last 12 episodes."
"I've noticed that more and more people of the cast are starting to slowly find out about the Event and more things about it, which makes me think we're getting closer," said Roemer. But "Jason and I are probably the furthest from knowing what it is."
"I know that there are other cast members who do. Laura Innes does, and Ian Anthony Dale does. I think Blair thought he knew, and that was frustrating, because now he's not sure. So yeah, no. I don't know what it is. Sarah and I keep having theories with each other, but we get proven wrong," he added.
Why a three-month break is necessary
"It's a necessary break, I feel like, in order for ... NBC to be able to air the final 12 all in a row. So it's sort of that thing where it's a longer wait, but the payoff will be all the better for it," said Ritter. "They're going to do a whole relaunching. And I mean, obviously it's something that they thought a lot about, and they know that it's a dangerous time for shows like this, and I knew that they were deciding whether or not to take shorter breaks.
"And so I think they decided to just go for one big one but then really give the audience what they want once we start back up. So once we start back up there's no stopping us until the very end. So that's an exciting thing," he said.
Why trusting the writers is Ritter's biggest challenge
Ritter said his biggest challenge has been to put his trust in the writers. "There are times where I can sometimes get lost in my new show. If I'm doing a movie or a play, or something like that, I go, 'Wait. Wait a second. Does this fully make sense?,' because ... I get involved in continuity, and I want to know where I'm coming from and where I'm going."
There have been times "where they're not letting us know what's happening. And I know that they're doing it on purpose, and I know that they have a plan. And so the interesting thing for me has been to just trust that. Okay, now all right. So now there is a little bit of a jump, but I'm here now and I know that it's all going to work out fine," said Ritter.
Why it sometimes feels like they are involved in their own secret conspiracy
Working on a series with this many secrets can be a challenge, the actors admit. So even though Roemer and Ritter aren't privy to the big future secrets of the series, they have to be careful what they say about the episodes they do know about.
"It's always hard for me, because we're usually a couple episodes ahead. I do get nervous about what I can and can't say, because I lose track of time a little bit. Like I know where we are, like where our characters are in present time. But from where everybody else is, exactly, I sometimes get a little confused, because they all kind of carry over into other episodes," said Roemer.
"I think that the secrecy part is great for all aspects of working on the show. I think sometimes the interviews are the hardest part, the answering questions, because I certainly, in my life, generally am somewhat of a blabbermouth, so it's hard for me to rein myself in and keep from ruining it for everyone else," he said.
Are you ready for tonight's fall finale, or have you given up on The Event?