Friday, January 31, 2014

The Tomorrow People, Season 1, Episode 12: Sitting Ducks

Astrid attends an interview to a music school and the three interviewers shoot her

Well that was a surprise – so let’s move 48 hours earlier.

Have I mentioned before how much I loathe it when shows do this? I have? Well let me mention it again! CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER PLEASE! There is no reason to give away part of what is going to happen in the episode at the beginning of said episode. It’s annoying

So the real start of the episode is at Ultra with Hillary and Stephen sparring and Hillary laying down the reality – Stephen can take the training casually because the competition is rigged so he can win. The whole work as a team thing is a dream. She also asks evil Jedikiah what happens if a paranormal exposes their power to a human (do I even have to say what happens to them and the human?) because, of course, she’s seen Stephen use his powers around Astrid because Stephen forgot about the whole undercover thing since the story required him to (what, it’s one of the least shaky things about this shows storyline consistency).

Stephen goes home all paranoid but Astrid assures him she told no-one about his powers (um, you used them in public Stephen, remember?) and he has another surprise – his mother, Marla’s, new boyfriend Peter (he who is probably evil) is taking them all camping. Camping? Ugh, this man is definitely evil. Marla didn’t tell Stephen because she didn’t think he’d want to go – but Stephen wants to go to play watchdog for Marla and Luca.

Stephen runs to Tomorrow People HQ to ask for help- - he needs someone to watch Astrid while he is being paranoid about Peter – Cara et al do think that Stephen may be overreacting a little about Peter (which I find… bemusing. How likely is it that Marla would, coincidentally, date a Paranormal? Unless they think Stephen is wrong) especially since if he is paranormal, Peter can’t kill and if he does cause trouble, Stephen can summon help. Tim’s ability to check people’s browsing history concerns Russell though.

After Cara also dismisses his concern over Astrid (wow, way to help your undercover agent actually stay undercover; how could you let his petty concerns take away Tomorrow people from their busy agenda of… skulking and hiding), John agrees to keep an eye on her since he has seen what Ultra does to humans who know the big secret

Does that sound like flashback bait to you? Why yes it is! 14 years ago, young John showed his powers to a kind comic book seller. Now we’re going to have half a dozen flashbacks or more before this Tony’s inevitable death to show us the Object Lesson.

Hillary tattles on Stephen to Jedikiah, not only telling him about Astrid but showing him buried CCTV footage that showed Astrid at the scene of one of their missions. Later she pushes Jedikiah about it, demanding to know what’s happening and if Astrid will be killed – and Jedikiah gets irritated at her presumption – and for being happy at a human being killed, after all Jedikiah’s Ultra exists (or pretends to exist) to protect  humanity from Paranormals and serve them, having a Paranormal be gleeful about the death of a human does not amuse Jedikiah.

 John drops in on Astrid on the subway (one of the convenient moments when the subway is deserted so they can have their secret meetings) to let her know what Stephen wants and give dire warnings which Astrid doesn’t take very seriously.

Flashback – yes young John is in trouble for showing his power to comic-book salesmen. Is anyone surprised by this? Is there even a need for this flashback? Ultra, evil, keep secret, kill people. How very unshocked are we? John sad childhood, yup, got that.

Anyway, Stephen and family are camping, those poor poor people. He keeps telepathically talking to Cara who reveals that Peter changed his last name for DISRUPTED SIGNAL! Because they’re camping near water and bodies of water disrupt telepathy because… because. Stephen naturally assumes that they’re camping near fresh water for NEFARIOUS purposes – and Peter has brought a gun to go duck shooting. More camping. More paranoia and when crossing a rope bridge, Stephen knocks it, causing Peter to drop his camera – which he then catches with Telekinesis, unseen by Luca.

Back in town Astrid attends her interview – yes the one from the beginning of the episode – and John  teleports in and teleports her out (I have to laugh at the goons who keep shooting the place where John was AFTER he teleported). But John has been shot in the side. Astrid has to doctor his wound while they hide in a cupboard (a few episodes ago, John and Russell teleported across the country – yet half the time they only teleport teeny distances when fleeing), unable to teleport because John is weak or summon help because the teleportation will be traced.

Their plan is for John to gather strength so they can teleport out. Apparently he gathers strength by Astrid putting pressure on his wound. And then they can talk and Astrid can tell John how being shot at is not nearly as bad as Stephen blocking her from his life (uh-huh, ask John, the guy with the bullet wound, if he agrees with that one). They talk about future plans, the songs Astrid was going to sing – and when John  spaces out (because slowly bleeding to death isn’t a great way to gather strength), Astrid sings to him. This whole hiding thing has escaped them. During which we have another flashback in which we’re all totally shocked that Tony gets murdered. At least the song makes an awesome dramatic accompaniment. Drama aside, Astrid skypes Cara.

In the woods, Stephen and Peter are alone so Stephen confronts Peter about being a paranormal while being coy about the whole paranormal thing – and pushes Peter off a cliff into water. Except in the water, Peter doesn’t save himself and Stephen has to use his powers to save him.

Of course, his mother isn’t best thrilled with the whole trying to kill her boyfriend bit and hammers home that his father is never coming home, that she has kept them safe and now needs more, as does Luca (all true except for the bit where she doesn’t know how much more they need keeping safe from).

Back to Astrid and Tim and Cara try to guide her on how to treat John’s bullet wound – and they realise the bullet didn’t come out of the wound so it has to be removed. Thankfully the store room has a sewing kit and alcohol. Having had Astrid easily remove the bullet, Cara teleports in and beats up an Ultra goon before going inside. She works her way to Astrid and John, but she isn’t a powerful enough Teleporter to take them both at once.

Cara runs with Astrid, not teleporting until they can have some fight scenes, then teleporting – and being detected on Jedikiah’s new teleporting tracking computer. Cara’s run wasn’t just for more action – she hoped that by teleporting from the other-side of the building she’d buy time before they found John

Wait, so this teleport tracking only tells you someone escaped? That’s perhaps the most useless tool ever! It’s just there so you know when to yell “curses, foiled again!”

She returns and rescues John and the goons shoot the space where she was, as is their wont. They actually unleash a good half a clip into the room just in case she teleports back or something.

Stephen and family go home and Stephen apologises to his mother who asks him to be honest about what’s happening with him (which, of course, he doesn’t). He leaves to see Astrid, also avoiding Luca (who could be the source of all the paranormal activity around Peter). Of course, seeing Astrid she now has to stay with the Tomorrow People, lying to her family about where she is. She isn’t happy with Stephen and tells him “you’re the reason I need protection in the first place.”

Stephen then goes to be massively grateful to John - and John shares a memory of Roger, Stephen’s father. And with Cara and John he realises if Peter wasn’t using powers than Luca must have been the one doing it. Luca is breaking out

Tomorrow People may be the worst programme when it comes to adjusting powers and the rules behind powers to fit the storyline. Or introducing arbitrary, unexplained limits.

Ok, I can’t blame Tomorrow People for this one since so many shows do the same thing, but can we stop having people removing bullets from wounds? Especially with amateur, makeshift surgery! Bullets are not made of radium, you can happily go your whole life with bullets lodged inside you - it’s certainly preferable to someone with no medical training probing your wound and causing all kinds of damage fishing the bullets out.

I hope that now Astrid will be a more regular part of the cast at least and Luca’s breakout will bring Marla into the big secret.