Friday, January 24, 2014

The Tomorrow People, Season 1, Episode 11: Rumble

Opening flashback – to 6 years ago. A young Cara, on the streets, uses her telekinesis to steal and apple – and then has to run from Ultra before being rescued by 2 other paranormals – Julian and Nellie.

To the present and Stephen talks about his mother’s new boyfriend with Astrid (after Luca passes on the info – and yes, Astrid has been allowed out of the plot box). Particularly how he is capable of blocking Stephen’s telepathy meaning he’s a paranormal – and powerful.

At Tomorrow People HQ, Cara is having another leadership crisis because she fears everyone’s not listening to her (y’know, Cara as leader will get real old real fast if she spends it all whimpering) when the newly rescued Charlotte starts broadcasting telepathic horrible noise in her nightmare. John apparently did the same thing during his breakout. John helpfully comforts her through it while Cara looks on at a loss, not being imprisoned by Ultra, she can’t imagine what Charlotte has gone through.

In Ultra we get our weekly reminder that Ultra is evil as Stephen and other young paranormal candidates (yes there’s more) watch one of their fellows be de-powered. Jedikiah reminds them that he hates them all and would happily destroy any of them. I would say the reminder is unnecessary but Stephen does seem to regularly forget. To not be destroyed they need to impress – which means finding the breakout Julian Masters (yes the Julian from the beginning) who apparently recruits young paranormals to his criminal gang.

Cut to Julian stealing from someone – and then beating them until the mojo that stops Paranormals killing kicks in (which he calls “sweet music”).

Stephen passes this all on to Cara, Russell and John. Stephen considers bring Julian in as a way to solidify himself with Ultra but Cara nixes the whole thing since she knows Julian. Stephen is not impressed by Cara’s unwillingness to do anything even with the inside knowledge they have and tries to appeal to John – John makes it clear it’s Cara’s decision but adds that it’d be better for everyone if Julian weren’t an issue.

Flashback to young Cara, Nellie being kind while Julian is determined that Cara be useful – and with lots of rhetoric about superior species, being tough and finding the “killer” inside, much to Nellie’s disapproval.

To the present and they meet with Julian (who accuses Cara of copying Nellie’s style). Julian rants and raves like a proper villain – mocking them for hiding, again pushing the “we’re superior” line with an added extra of being at war with humanity. He insults Cara as a “weak jelly spined ineffectual skank” and his whole army teleports in.

Hey, I’d let him get on with fighting Ultra. He may actually achieve something or at least get out of their hair. Cara has the same plan – well, no, she just wants to avoid him and hope – but she does set a tale on him (Russell – because he convinced her not to go herself).

Flashback again – housebreaking and stealing with Nellie feeding a justification to Cara about rich people being overinsured so stealing helps them. Uh-huh. Even that weak defence falls when they hit and tie up the home owner

Brief Ultra break where Stephen is competing against his fellows and Hillary, one of his competitors wins by preying on Stephen’s “chivalry” (or, rather, his willingness to believe she is weak and helpless).

And back to HQ where Morgan warns John and Cara that the group is considering kicking Charlotte out because of her agonising panic attacks. John is disgusted at the idea that the Tomorrow People would start kicking out people they consider weak; but Morgan puts it down to everyone being unsettled under new leadership.

Cara dishes out an epic speech slamming the idea – how most of them arrived with either poor control of their abilities or other “bruises” from the life they lead before. None of them would be there if they kicked people out who had problems. Morgan asks who will babysit Charlotte and John volunteers. Which leads to John training Charlotte and talking her through her issues

Russell reports in with news of Julian’s planned attacks, though Cara says it’s more about torturing humans than money (another reiteration of him thinking they’re superior to humans) and Russell suggests cuffing Julian and maybe the gang will leave him. Cara firmly shuts it down and tells him they’re leaving Julian to Ultra (which I totally agree with – let them batter each other). Russell is a bit pouty and snarky at the order.

Flashback again and softhearted Cara releases the home owner – and he gets a shotgun and shoots Nellie. Ooops, who could have predicted such a thing?

Back to the present and Hillary joins Stephen on his Julian hunting trip, ruining it for both of them. Stephen is angry at her competitiveness but she rightly points out that he can play the “we’re all in it together” card because he’s not going to be nuked by uncle Jedikiah on a sadistic whim. Julian returns to his base – and finds Russell. Julian hits Russell and they fight – Julian definitely having the upper hand. He beats Russell then punches him in the head until the do-not-kill feedback kicks in; then encourages his gang to take over the beating.

I’m not even going to poke the world building implications of the do-not-kill vibe kicking in to stop one paranormal beating Russell but the whole gang being able to take over where he left off.

Russell is dumped and Cara and John find him and bring him back to HQ and Cara swears vengeance

Flashback again – Julian naturally blames Cara for Nellie’s death and calls her weak – and that Ultra will find her and take her powers because of that weakness.

In the present Cara decides to go after Julian – alone (of course). Stephen tries to talk her out of it – pointing out that he’s playing to his strength. She counters she has an advantage because Julian doesn’t think she has a strength. True and a good line – personally I think John + sniper rifle makes a great response though.

She goes to Julian – and she does bring a gang of Tomorrow People with her. After Julian monologues for a ridiculously long time, they fight – everyone fights until the Tomorrow People start blinking out after losing on multiple fronts – leaving Cara alone. Until they teleport in Charlotte who unleashes her mental bomb of pain (wilfully this time) incapacitating Julian’s gang. Then she teleports out – just in time for Stephen, Hillary et al from Ultra to arrive. Extra bonus – Charlotte’s mind screen deactivates powers, leaving them unable to teleport out.

Julian takes a tranq to the shoulder but buys himself some time by throwing one of his minions at Stephen, long enough for his powers to come back enough to let him teleport out.

Back to HQ for celebrations, worry about Julian and John giving Cara another leadership pep talk.

And at Ultra when Jedikiah praises Stephen, he bigs up the participation of his team, insisting on equal credit. This doesn’t impress Jedikiah but it does get Hillary on side.

Amusing ending: Cara gets a pep talk from Stephen and when alone she asks why she can’t figure out the two of them (choosing between Stephen and John) and Tim suggests that maybe she likes having two hot guys after her (not quite in those words, admittedly).

And we return to Astrid and Stephen (well she was allowed 5 minutes out of the plot box) Stephen didn’t study for his calculus test so plans to read the answers from Astrid’s mind for much snarky fun arguing. But while they snark and reveal paranormal secrets to the whole world, Hillary is following them.

And Julian’s already recruiting new vulnerable paranormals.


This idea of the whole group being nervous because of Cara’s leadership is ridiculous. They chose her. Not only did they choose her, but they chose her with an OVERWHELMING majority. Already they have doubts? And it’s not like Cara wasn’t already a major force in leading the group before the leadership change – or like John has been cast aside to the outskirts of command.

I really don’t like the idea of us giving Cara some power and then throwing in all this doubt and challenge to her authority and leadership when very little has fundamentally changed.