Friday, October 18, 2013

The Tomorrow People, Season 1, Episode 2: In Too Deep

We open with one of those really annoying scenes where something happens (a dual between Steven and another Tomorrow Person on a rooftop) and then we switch to 3 days ago. I really really hate this tool, it’s annoying and unnecessary.

Anyway, 3 days ago, Steven’s mother is still a very busy single mother and she thinks he’s still taking his pills. We’re reminded of his powers and, realising they created a god last episode, the writers now quickly add that his powers aren’t 100% reliable as he teleports to school to remind us that Astrid is his friend.

The voiceover tells us about Ultra and his rather dubious plan to work for them. In Ultra we get the episodes second reminder of the Tomorrow People’s powers – Teleportation, Telekinesis and Telepathy – the latter of which makes it tricky for Steven to be a mole in the organisation. More reminders of uncle Jedikiah’s wish to control all Tomorrow People and his huge spy network tracking for them; and then a flash to a rogue “paranormal” (which is a damn site shorter than Tomorrow Person or Homo Superior).

The guy who, in 3 days time, will dual with Steven is using his abilities to rob a bank – manipulating a guard to be his robber using telekinesis.

Steven teleports to the Underground Lair since Cora won’t answer his telepathy; but John doesn’t exactly welcome him with open arms since he’s now working for Jedikiah (and love triangle jealousy, of course). Lots of argument back and forth but Steven, despite his very limited experience, is sure he knows what’s best and John is equally sure that Steven is putting them all at risk. (I do think John is unfair holding up Cora having left a sister behind – Steven isn’t leaving family behind, Jedikiah is openly threatening them).

Right that’s everything recapped – now on to the episode and Steven coming home late to a very angry mother and a very cross Astrid. For added problem, his mother found his meds in the dustbin. She pulls out some epic level guilt to get him to talk to his doctor and Steven taps into her memories - the issues she had with Steven’s father; and him walking out (while she begs him that they can find another doctor) saying he doesn’t love her.

Back at the secret base, the super computer, Tim, does a facial recognition search on the bank robber and comes up with Kurt Rundle – unfortunately with him being mid-breakout Cara can’t get to him telepathically. Cara and John have a moment with John all kinds of stressed and Cara eaves dropping – and Tim ruining the moment in the first amusing scene the show has produced. When John steps out, Cara goes through his things to find the “d-chip”. Tim notes how not happy John will be but Cara says someone else needs it more.

That would be Steven. The watch will stop anyone reading Steven’s minds while he’s in Ultra; Steven takes the chance to tell Cara about the memory he saw (but, alas, not the chance to take some acting lessons). He worries about his dad being an awful person but Cara points out, from the point of view of someone who reads minds, people are complicated. Their little meeting is broken up by John telepathically calling Cara with more news on Kurt. John, Cara and Russel go to confront him and he, predictably, disappears.

At Ultra, Jedikiah’s goons have also found Kurt and Steven gets to go along on his first mission. Awww. He goes, isn’t the quiet good boy he pretends to be – but he does hear Kurt’s thoughts and passing on the info to his keeper. And that keeper tases the poor boy’s mother and a team of humans come in with guns – because they can kill people, unlike Tomorrow People. The men charge upstairs and start shooting blinding into Kurt’s hiding space – but Kurt has already gone.

Steven is shocked, SHOCKED, that Ultra would send in a kill squad to hunt down a 17 year old boy – because he has not been paying attention it seems. Jedikiah argues he’s not a kid – he’s a paranormal menace, so totally ok. Jedikiah has no sympathy for his suicide.

John and Cara spar, mainly so we can have more exposition about John’s jealousy and growing hostility towards Steven-of-the-awful-decisions.

Steven goes to John & co to tell them the bad news – ULTRA WILL KILL HIM! ZOMG! To which John & co respond with a heartily deserved “well duh”.  Steven then begins ranting at THEM for not rushing to the rescue and daring to assess the risks – oh how could they! John hits back with an excellent line “we’re not superheroes, we’re a hunted species trying to survive”.

At home Steven talks to his mother about his dad –how he had them on the run across the country, how he was erratic and up to things his mother had no idea about

And back at the hideout Russel and Cara confront John – they want to help Kurt like Steven said, they aren’t willing to write him off nor do they think that they can remain on the defensive. Yes, staying hidden has kept them safe for 2 years, but if they don’t look out for their fellow Paranormals then what is the point of survival.

Steven tracks down Kurt and tries to reassure him – but as Kurt says “you’re lying or you’re an idiot.” Option 2, Kurt, option 2. Steven sympathises with him because he knows how hard it is seeing your mother (Kurt’s father is also out of the picture) struggle to pay for his mental health medication. Which is when Steven’s Keeper turns up and Kurt goes on the run. There’s chase with lots of teleporting until Steven finally smacks his Keeper with a block of wood and follows Kurt to the rooftop – the scene this programme opened on. Kurt pushes Steven to the edge of the building and teleports while Steven struggles to find his balance.

He is saved by John teleporting in and catching him (what? He couldn’t teleport away from the edge? Or use telekinesis?) Cara goes to Kurt, talking to him and, when he lashes out she smacks him unconscious. Much better.

Steven has to report to Uncle Jedikiah and SHOCKINGLY he isn’t allowed to leave Ultra. My gods, how could we have anticipated this? As a bonus, the debrief now involves a lot of telepathy AND Jedikiah finds the D-chip in his watch. Oops. He reaches out to Cara to let her know he’s in trouble – which is a shame because she’d just got John to admit he trusts Steven but then went and interrupted their sexy getaway. This is not the way to get back in John’s good books. Cara coaches him on how to fill his head with distracting images to keep the telepath out, since he refuses to leave.

Steven focuses on the memory of his father leaving to block the Telepath – denying that the Tomorrow People had anything to do with helping Kurt escape. He passes and Jedikiah seems to be ok with that and somehow convinced that, Tomorrow People or not, Steven is happy with his murdering agenda. Of course someone has to suffer for failing – that would be Vaugh, Steven’s keeper who is now in a body bag.

It’s time for Steven’s shocked face. Honestly Ultra = super evil bad guys. What part of this are you having trouble understanding, Steven?

Steven goes to see John and after some sparring he tells John that ZOMG HE WAS RIGHT ABOUT ULTRA! But, alas, John has now been hit with the silly stick – because not only is he willing to go on the offensive, but Steven on the inside (and extremely suspected) is going to be so useful as a spy.

And Steven goes to dinner with Cara (a special safe house restaurant that is there because it is convenient) and Cara says John isn’t her boyfriend – but doesn’t define exactly what they are, either. He tells her about the memory he used and we see the rest of it; after Steven, as a child, spoke to his father after he heard him fighting with his mother with his father telling him to be brave and to look after his family.

We close with his determination to find his father – and be a better brother, son and friend. And yes, still being undercover. Especially since Jedikiah is convinced Steven is working for the Tomorrow People and intends to use Steven to get to them.

Can someone explain to me why Steven is keeping his powers a secret from his mother? It’s not like she wouldn’t believe him – he can teleport and move things with his mind. How long could actually doubt that? The third time you were spun around the room? The fourth?

Steven is beginning to annoy the hell out of me. Ultra is genocidal – this is NEWS to you? Jedikiah lied to you? Oh I am shocked! SHOCKED! Why did you not listen to Cara et al? And then he lambasts them for not jumping into a high risk situation without risk assessment? Really? He only came into his powers, what, a week or so ago? Not once has he acted like anyone may be more experienced in this than him.

And what has Steven achieved? As an infiltrator in Ultra, what did he succeed in doing? One thing?