If the ads surrounding this episode weren’t already touting the fact that they are nearing the end of season one, this week’s installment would be proof positive that they are rushing towards a big ending of some kind. Every scene was stuffed full of drama, action, intensity and emotion … to the point that you have to wonder if the creators are hedging their bets about the return of the show for a second season.
Of primary importance to the episode was the return from the netherworld of Roger, the potential messiah of the Tomorrow People. Though, I take umbrage with the idea that he would have such a spring in his step after spending 10 years in a deep freeze, it was a welcome injection of energy to the series that threatened to lag in the waning part of the season.
Excited as everyone was about Roger’s resurrection, that quickly turned to disgust and frustration as the rest of the underground dwellers watched him take off again—first to spend time with his family, but then to try and go on the run lest The Founder strap him into The Machine and turn the normal humans to dust.
Well, that was the plan anyway until he decided to destroy The Machine at long last. But before he can, John shoots him with a tranq dart and attempts to blow it up for him. But before he can, he is captured and beaten to bits by Ultra, double-crossed by The Founder and Hillary! John is then strapped to a chair and shot up with … something. He’s led to believe that it is turning him human, but he reacts to the injections with a weird amplification of his powers.
If that weren’t enough, Russell escorts a breakaway faction of the Tomorrow People to Ultra, all of them eager to get injected with a tracking device that will supposedly protect them from harm. To ensure their safety, though, Russell offers himself up as the guinea pig for the first shot. Nothing happens, but that doesn’t mean nothing will happen, know what I mean?
The big, big moment of the episode comes, of course, at the very end. Hillary, crestfallen and guilty for betraying her beloved Stephen, shows up in the Founder’s office declaring that it is time for their glorious leader to die. She opens her jacket to reveal a bomb strapped to her stomach. Boom.
When this show began, I envisioned a slog through a season of half-assed references to other sci-fi properties and roughly sketched Biblical references. But damn if it hasn’t slowly but surely won me over. I’ve never been more excited for a week to skip past, so I can find out what the aftermath of that explosion is going to be. Now I absolutely understand why people got so quickly hooked on soap operas and kept coming back to the well day after day. Cliffhangers work. And they go a long way towards helping us gloss over the rough patches of episodes like this. (The actor playing The Founder is getting more and more over the top with each new episode; Cara still looks like she’s passing a kidney stone instead of actually emoting.) I’m hooked, and I can’t stop staring.
Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.