The Tomorrow People Review: "Girl, Interrupted" (Episode 1.03)
We open this week’s episode on a good old-fashioned flashback. In it, Cara, the female head of The Tomorrow People, is getting propositioned during a high school dance. According to this young suitor, she’s easy because she’s deaf. He takes Cara to a secluded road and puts the moves on her. She rebuffs. He attacks. She gets away only to be attacked by the young man in a misty field. To get away, she uses her newfound powers of telekinesis and, in a fit of understandable rage, sends him flying.
It’s a fine bit of exposition to the themes of the episode, which centers on the theme of teen angst and past regrets. And it does a nice job wending in some motivation for another of the primary characters. Cara is on the run, and in hiding, not only because of her powers, but also because knocking the boy to the ground inadvertently killed him.
The episode parallels this with Stephen at a weekend party overhearing via his telepathy that one of his troubled classmates, Emily, is planning on killing herself in two days. And now Stephen has to decide whether his powers should be used to help his human brethren rather than just looking out for homo superiors like himself and the Tomorrow People. He turns to Cara for advice who initially thinks he should leave her to die because to help Emily would mean revealing his powers and then causing more trouble for their mutated kind. You can probably figure out what happens by the end of the episode.
It’s a lot of plot to pack into one hour-long span of sci-fi drama, especially when you add in the subplot of Stephen installing a dongle that will help the Tomorrow People hack into Ultra’s mainframe and it almost ending in Cara’s untimely demise. The surprising thing is that they manage to maintain a balance between all these threads, keeping the show moving forward and adding new wrinkles to the overarching story that could come to bear in future installments.
One of the more interesting new plot furrows is that Ultra thinks that Cara has been stripped of her powers. After agents catch her, Stephen talks them out of killing her, claiming that turning her human would do the most damage. To prove his point, Stephen offers to inject her with the normalizing dose. Of course, he stops time and switches out the solution, but now if Cara is caught using again, that means trouble for Stephen. It’s not the first time this show has alluded to drug addiction as being a dramaturgical parallel to the Tomorrow People’s superpowers, and it’s a great one too. I rather hope the writers delve into that allegorical idea a little more as the show moves forward.
The biggest concern, though, comes at the end of the episode, when Stephen’s friend Astrid catches him teleporting. She confronts him, wanting the truth and threatening to seek it out on her own if he doesn’t fess up. It’s another fine cliffhanger, and a fine ending for what has, so far, been the finest episode of the series. The exposition has been dispensed with completely; now it’s time to really shine a light on the darker, dustier corners of these characters’ lives.