Friday, November 15, 2013

The Tomorrow People, Season 1, Episode 6: Sorry for Your Loss

Flashback! 7 years ago, Russell is playing the piano in a recital – excellently. And then he continues playing it without using his hands and seems rather surprised by this. He covers well though. Despite the judges accepting him, his father unleashes some harsh criticism in Korean. He also calls Russell Ryung, but Russell prefers Russell – much to his father’s disapproval and goes into a full blown “do you know what I’ve done for you!” rant that parents do so well. He also doesn’t want to hear about Russell’s telekinesis difficulties – which only become more concerning when Russell kicks things in anger – and sends them flying

Present day Russell is helping Stephen earn some money by hustling pool. Then in comes Piper, playing wonderfully ignorant of all things pool – and promptly wipes the floor with him. Of course (the minute she didn’t know what a queue was was a clue there). She also seems to be using telekinesis which Russell and Stephen think to each other. When she plays ignorant about hearing their thoughts, he throws a ball at her – which she stops with telekinesis. See, that could have been terribly embarrassing if he were wrong. She runs, they chase, she hits them with a queue and disappears.

Back to HQ and John and Cara put on their judgey faces since last time they went out and about people were shot which really ruins a party, but scolding is delayed by Tim passing on the news that Russell’s father has just died of a heart attack.

Russell wants some alone time, just claiming he and his dad weren’t close despite being obviously upset. She and Stephen recap some events from last week and that Irene is apparently fine. Cara is still giving John the silent treatment – not for keeping it a secret that he can kill (which clearly disturbs him and he considers himself warped) but for not letting her into his head because he could have more secrets she’s not allowed to play around with. Russell interrupts and wants to go to his dad’s funeral; Cara starts to lay down the law in which case Russell says he won’t return – but he’s going. John insists on going with him (she’s pissed that he’s “running out” on the conversation about how all his brain meats belong to her).

At Ultra, Darcy shows Stephen a picture of Astrid and reminds him that secret missions for deadly conspiracies are not really something you should invite your friends to – and how she’ll look the other way now but Jedikiah will kill Astrid if he finds out. It is, after all, how Jedikiah deals with pretty much everything. And he realises that Ultra knows about Piper (not much – just that she’s a teenaged Black woman).

Stephen rushes to HQ to tell Cara – who says it’s a bad time, they have to hide. Stephen says it’s like John never left and that Cara is “minding the store” for her boyfriend. Seriously? She saw several of her people shot – excuse her if she’s not eager to risk everything, again, for a complete stranger.

Over to John and Russell, using the safe places John has prepared across the country and Russell describes how his father was obsessed with him becoming a pianist and the harsh training regime he went under – John asks why they’re going to a funeral of such a tyrant and he gets the look he deserves in return; he apologises at least. And we flashback to young Russell using his abilities to cheat at cards in illicit, dangerous looking card games – only escaping the consequences of winning a few too many times by teleporting.

Stephen and Cara go to the pool hall where Piper was though Stephen doubts she’ll return to the same place in such a big city – but Cara has a wiser look on things; it is a big city, but it’s intimidating, especially to a new arrival, people stick to a few small areas around them. After going into a bar where the show laughably tries to convince us that there are people out there who actually believe the 25 year old Robbie Amell is actually a high school student by having him carded in a bar – before Piper shows up.

They chase and manage to talk to her, warning her there are bad guys out there – just as 2 goons arrive to prove their point. Piper teleports right there in the street, but Stephen and Cara refuse to because it’s too crowded. More goons come the other way so to hide them, Stephen kisses Cara. Of course he does because this makes perfect sense in CW land.

After that they go looking for Piper and talk past relationships because, of course they do. And they’re totally not flirting, honest. Stephen is surprised that Cara has never been with anyone but John but she points out how very different it is to be with a Tomorrow Person – because you can read their minds and now all their intimate secrets!

She finds Piper and they hurry to her. They guide Piper away from the agents about to approach her (one shoots a tranq and misses, hitting someone else in the crowd. No-one else in the crowd seems to care…) and manage to teleport her out. Darcy looks… troubled that they escape.

Back to Russell and John – Russell is very drunk and impressing the bar with his ability at darts, groping a woman, annoying her boyfriend and making it worse by spilling her hidden thoughts about leaving town. Charming – boundaries are a problem for Paranormals it seems. A bar fight starts and John ends up hitting a cop.

The next day they’re hung over and handcuffed and after some bickering, John calls out Russell, says he’s stalling creating reasons that stop them getting to the funeral in time. Another flashback – and we see Russell giving all the money he’s won to his father, paying him back for all the sacrifices his dad likes to rub in his face. His father is shocked, especially to learn that he’s destroyed his son’s love of the piano – and a squad of the gambling den’s goons arrive looking for Russell. His father gives the thugs the money but they want Russell. They breaks his hand trying to make him tell them where Russell is – he doesn’t tell them.

Back in the present, the police check what John tells them about going to a funeral and he lets them go. Russell is concerned about facing his mother after how he left but John reassures him. They go to his mother’s house and they have a sad reunion. She asks him to play the piano for them as a last thing for his father. We have a flashback after that to him playing in a recital – his father watching with a broken hand, smiling in pride. Then Russell vanishes before his eyes.

Back at HQ, Piper describes how she was drawn to New York and Cara explains it’s part of the paranormal powers – they’re drawn to each other so they all congregate in the same place. She also reveals that her older sister also ran away as well. And Tim contacts them with news – Piper is Darcy’s sister. Oh dear – there’s lots of debate about what to do about this but Darcy over hears so they tell her the whole truth about who Darcy is working for and how badly it could end. She wants to see Darcy

Stephen passes on the message to Darcy and will help her meet her so long as she keeps it from Ultra (Stephen’s not even pretending not to be a double agent any more) and Darcy agrees and we get the reunion. They talk and connect and Cara telepaths Stephen to tell him Ultra is on the way. Stephen confronts Darcy and it’s revealed Piper is up to having her powers stripped – to keep her safe. Cara tells Stephen to run but Stephen reminds Darcy how terrible it is to people to lose their powers, how they look like they’re dead inside afterwards. After a tense second, Darcy says Stephen is right and they all run

Stephen and Piper hide while Darcy confronts the agents. When they grow more suspicious and Piper makes a noise, Darcy grabs one of their guns telekinetically and tells the agents to back off. But she’s a paranormal. She can’t kill (but you can stop people with a gun without killing them). She shoots several of them in the leg – and they shoot back and kill her.

She couldn’t have knocked them all back with telekinesis? Couldn’t have teleported away? Stephen couldn’t have remembered his nifty time stop power?

Only after Darcy is dead do Stephen and Piper teleport away. They return to HQ to comfort Piper and welcome her among them – and to welcome back the wounded Irene. Stephen mopes around alone and Cara drops in to say how wonderful and good Stephen is for how much he risks for others. Stephen wonders if he’s just too sentimental to be part of the war – but Cara considers his humanity a gift. They also talk about the whole making out thing – and how Stephen thinks about Cara and she thinks about him.  And they kiss – love triangle is GO! He pulls back and apologises – she thinks they should go somewhere more private

And we see Jedikiah visiting a woman - a paranormal – called Morgan and criticising her for using her powers against their “arrangement”. She uses telekinesis to undo his tie and several buttons – and they kiss.

Asian parents being extremely harsh and demanding is very much a trope, but I liked that they showed far more to his family than that and added genuine courage and affection to the depiction. It was also excellent to see some background on Russell since he has been such a token character to date he badly needed fleshing out

Cara is beginning to annoy me. Or continuing to annoy me, rather. This whole “how could you not let me read your mind” thing is disturbing. I don’t care how intimate you are with someone, having “don’t read every last corner of my mind” is a perfectly reasonable boundary to place. Frankly, rather than “waah I can’t read his mind” I’d be more concerned that John considers himself “warped” after being a victim of experimentation.

I also do not like how Cara is treated by Stephen and John – we saw this last week as well. If Cara wants to rescue someone or wants to party, it’s not because she wants to or has agency – it’s because Stephen is controlling her. If Cara wants to hunker down after seeing her friends shot and some of them killed – it’s because John is controlling her. Is it too much to think that maybe, just maybe, this woman has an opinion of her own without it coming from one of the men?