As promised or at least hinted at in last week’s episode, it’s all coming to a head now. Strange alliances are being created, the tension is rising in all corners of the world of the homo superiors, and more secrets are getting revealed. All leading up to … well, we don’t know yet.
What we do know is that the Founder is back at the head of Ultra and instituting kinder, gentler policies. No more killing. No more stripping of powers. If breakouts decide they want to get cocky or dangerous with their abilities (as with the poor magician who is snapped up in the process), they will get a stern talking to and an injection with a tracking device. And if that weren’t enough, he wants to call a truce with the Tomorrow People and let them live aboveground at long last.
At the same time, Jedikiah is begging for help from Stephen and John to help bring Roger back from his biostasis with the hopes of putting an end to the Founder’s supposedly nefarious plan to end the lives of millions of normal folk.
So, the key question is: who is to be believed? A man who experimented on his own daughter for potentially dangerous ends? Or a possibly unstable gent who, in this episode, held a gun to the head of Stephen’s brother so that the elder Jameson boy would reveal his powers to the younger?
That has been this show’s most successful plot device this whole season. Apart from the Tomorrow People, no one knows whom to trust anymore. Heck, even though Hillary has revealed herself to be a willing participant in Stephen’s bedroom activities, I’m not convinced that she’s on the level. Even if you pay cursory attention to the show, it manages to draw you in.
It gets even more complicated at the very end, when the Founder encourages Stephen to strap into “The Machine,” a device that will help amplify its user’s powers. In this case, it is Stephen’s ability to stop time, something that he is led to believe will help him open up a portal to The Refuge, the place where all homo superiors will be free.
Nothing is ever how it seems though, as Stephen’s interaction with his father in the void leads to more confusion, and Jedikiah, seeing this happening from a sensor connected to Roger’s body, intones: “You stupid, stupid boy.”
Can’t say as I blame him on that front. Stephen hardly put up a fight or raised an eyebrow before whipping off his shirt and strapping into this monstrosity of a machine. His naïveté could very well be his undoing in this whole affair. Not that I think he’s going to be killed off by the end of season one, but he could very easily end up in the same vat of preservatives that his father is, leaving us fans chewing our fingernails and speculating until season two (should it happen) rolls around.
Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.