Hand it to the writers of The Tomorrow People for being able to wrap up a 22 episode-long arc in dramatic fashion and set the table for a potential second season. And it wasn’t a total waste of time and energy for the creative resources of all involved!
Point of fact: it was a pretty thrilling episode if only because they didn’t skimp on the action and left a lot of the smooch-y exposition on the back burner. I mean, any episode that starts with Jedikiah using his newly-installed powers to break into Ultra and then killing his brother to try and save humanity… well, that’s gonna be a hot hour of television.
And it only gets hotter from there. Upset by the death of his father, Stephen vows revenge, seeking out a serum that will help alter his DNA to allow him to kill The Founder. They want to know why he’s doing it. He says, simply, “Revenge.” Chilling. All right, not really chilling, but it was as purely dramatic as the show has been in weeks.
In the end, Stephen opts to not inject himself with the serum. Instead, he joins forces with his ragtag gang of do-gooders in an attempt to stop the forced extinction of regular humans via The Machine. The gaggle storms Ultra, fighting off the kill squad while Stephen goes toe-to-toe with The Founder.
Another mark in the win column for this episode: the fight scenes were pretty badass, especially the showdown with Stephen and his nemesis. They each use their remarkable powers to choke and smack the other around—until Stephen absorbs a superpower, opens up a vortex, and sends the Founder to his doom. But, c’mon… this is science fiction. You know he’s going to show up again more powerful than ever before.
But just when you think all is well, Cara gets shot by an enraged Natalie. And in the ensuing chaos, Stephen’s new power comes out: he can actually turn back time and save his beloved. He is the Chosen One. The One. The Jesus figure that will eventually (I’m guessing) sacrifice himself and be resurrected. Should be fun.
The show aims to move forward with Stephen and Cara in charge of a whole new gaggle of breakouts who arrived on the scene, drawn by some signal sent out in the destruction of The Machine. But more importantly, Jedikiah returns John’s powers to him, but in doing so, wipes the young man’s memory clean and turns him into an automaton. The two then descend on their senator friend’s office and use their guns and influence to convince him to fund a program to create “super soldiers.” The next step? Recruiting the Tomorrow People.
I’m still amazed that The CW has survived this long, churning out schlock like most of the stuff on their schedule. Apparently a promise of shirtless men and sexual tension is enough to keep people returning to their local affiliates week after week. This could easily be their ticket out of that morass of pre-teen angst and threadbare plots.
All told, the inaugural season worked more often than it didn’t. They just need some folks to come in and smarten the place up a bit. Take these adorable moppets in the show out for some acting lessons, add a little more punch to the dialogue, and kill the soap opera nonsense that hamstrings the whole season. There’s so much great sci-fi potential here. Hopefully by season two, they’ll know what to do with it. And if not, hell, it’ll still be a campy delight watching them scramble around for relevance and respect.
Robert Ham is a Portland-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.