Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Tomorrow People: Season 1, Episode 16: Superhero

A paranormal woman in leather, a mask and a hood (discreet she isn’t) follows a man down the road to his house where they fight. The man’s an ordinary human and lasts a few seconds before staying down and giving the woman chance to find another woman, bound and gagged, in the man’s cupboard

A paranormal super-hero?

To john and Cara who are getting it on. No really, I think they’re supposed to be having sex – not just making out and not cut away. Why supposed to be? Because this is the CW and they’re both clearly wearing underwear (there’s not even an attempt to hide it)… but there’s definite underwear grinding going on. In the aftermath (at some point clothes were removed) Cara is unsure about what this means for their working relationship but John assures her he respects her authority.

Y’know, even if he’s being honest there, that’s pretty terrible, because he didn’t respect it before (and, to be fair, her decision making didn’t deserve much respect) but now he respects it because of orgasms?

To the HQ where the convenient shiny device belonging to Stephen’s dad is confirmed to be a key and it’s biologically linked to Roger (Stephen’s dad) which is proof that Roger’s body is out there because REASONS. He wants to read Jedikiah’s mind, Cara thinks they’ve played this game before and whatever Stephen wants, he’s doing it alone.

So he goes out drinking with Russell (aren’t they supposed to be 16 or 17? Are we not even pretending they’re kids any more?) Though Russell is right, there is no way Stephen can say “I’m not interested in talking about girls, I’m interested in my dad’s body” and it not sound wrong. So very very wrong. Stephen’s night is interrupted by a call from Ultra about the new breakout, the superhero who apparently leaves a rose behind.

This sends Russell into flashback mode – 4 years ago when Russell was partying and gambling in a casino, cheating with his powers and a woman who uses her own powers to stop Russell winning – so he doesn’t get dragged downstairs by a gang of unsympathetic guys who don’t appreciate such “luck” (that means Russell didn’t learn his lesson either now or when his father suffered because of his gambling. Character growth? Who needs that?).

Anyway, Ultra wants to kill the superhero because they’re evil and Stephen goes in to interview a conspiracy theorist with Hillary. Who turns out knowing nothing – I think this scene is here to show how dangerous Hillary is because she threatens people but considering they’re both mind readers it just seems so ridiculous. Why do you interrogate people, telepaths, whyyyy?

At the HQ John is getting in some nice gratuitous shirtlessness and Morgan wants to help Stephen get in Jedikiah’s head because she knows him and is sure it’ll work. And it’s totally not because she wants to see her boyfriend or get out of the base and be able to come back without Cara shutting the door on her behind. Honest.

Stephen’s research brings up that Russell and the super hero, Talia, knew each other and Russell confesses all – and by all, basically that they hit casinos and have unfinished business. So less all and more “nothing”. But the rose she leaves behind is rare and special and Tim knows where it can be found

Another flashback (Russell and Talia grinding underwear) after which she suggests, basically, becoming super heroes.

To the present and Tim informs them (after snarkily waking them up – which is an awesome idea – A SNARKY SUPER COMPUTER?! You bring this in NOW!? It’s episode 16, he should have been snarking since the pilot, it may have made the show worth watching!) that Talia is at a bar and off they go (nice little moment where Russell challenges Stephen’s assumption that he, of Korean ancestry, would know his way around a Vietnamese bar). They go down to where Talia is merrily beating up 2 men with guns carrying a huge amount of money. When they interrupt she attacks them and the men escape – the woman takes of her mask. She isn’t Talia, her name is Mallory.

She has heard of Russell though – she credits him for inspiring the first “Avenger”. Yes, there are several of them, it’s a name that’s passed on. She likes her super hero gig, is quite blasé about Ultra and isn’t willing to hide. She wants them to join her in her plan to hunt down a Vietnamese gang.

This involves going to save a judge from the gang because only they can possibly do it and law enforcement just breaks down in places without Tomorrow People. They go in, they fight- and Cara senses it and has the bemusing realisation that Stephen is… HAVING FUN! (I love her confusion over this, like the concept of fun is completely alien to her.) Actually it probably is a little disturbing to know Stephen gets his jollies using his super powers to beat humans into unconsciousness. They drop in to scold everyone for beating up the gang members and all teleport out seconds before Ultra arrive (thankfully Hillary didn’t call Stephen in to take down the paranormal even though she did for a simple interview for REASONS)

At HQ Cara goes into lecture mode but Russell asks why they don’t help – why they don’t do anything – except try to find limbo ghost hero (so very true). Cara puts that everyone is out of control and she can only trust John (seriously, Cara, seriously? No-one betrayed you… people did stuff that didn’t involve you.) Which means John now has to tell her about Morgan sneaking out. Cara is furious especially since Morgan is pregnant…. Which is relevant? Also it seems that John is mistaken about Cara holding Morgan against her will; which she might have wanted to update everyone on.

At Ultra we have a surprise – Hillary is angry, partly because she knows Stephen was at the judges house, but also because of what they were doing: trying to capture a super hero who was saving a judge and his family including his 15 year old daughter. Stephen’s shocked to see this display of conscience and Hillary gives some of her backstory. When she was young, her house was invaded by burglars who killed her family when her brother tried to call the police. She made it her mission to protect people – which is why she joined Ultra.

Somehow the whole “Ultra is evil” thing has escaped her.

At HQ Mallory and Russell talk super heroing and Tim snarkily informs them about the trial of the gang boss being moved up. Mallory leaps into action “we were born great so we can do great things” but Russell is torn. After musing and another flashback he walks out and Cara stops him asking what he’s doing. He refuses to follow orders, he denies that the choice can only be “working for Ultra” or “fight Ultra”. Like every argument in the Tomorrow People, this becomes a grand speech for the idle floorshow (who don’t fight Ultra… or do much of anything). Still no-one rallies and Russell goes alone.

Cara, if you want to keep your authority, you’ve got to stop having these discussions in public.

Meanwhile Morgan has been spending quality time with Jedikiah and discussing the future – could they raise a child together? His answer is a resounding and soul crushing “no” to the pregnant Morgan. When they turn over to go to sleep she starts to search his mind – and he feels it. He gets up demands answers, when she keeps denying it he grabs her throat (telekinesis, Morgan?) And John points a gun at the back of his head. They leave but not before dropping the revelation of Jedikia’s soon-to-be-daddyness

To the court where the gang member is on trial and a large number of gang members are ominously moving around carrying huge automatic weapons in bags – are there no security at this court house? They take the entire court room hostage. Outside, Mallory and Russell are ready to go

At Ultra Hillary is ready to go in – to apprehend Mallory, she’s still following orders. But Stephen gets a warning to Cara and John. Cara has an idea.

Mallory and Russell fight the guns after making them waste their ammo. John arrives to convince them to leave. So they do. On foot. Running past Stephen and Hillary who have arrived in a car and are now running around. On foot.

Why does everyone forget how to teleport?

Cara was providing  distraction so everyone else could leave…. But… why…?! Why couldn’t they all just… leave? It’s not like teleporting takes preparation?

Russell says goodbye to Mallory – and Talia comes to see him, apparently willing to forgive him reporting her for stealing their winnings (which she did, but only to give it to charity). She won’t let him go with her though because he has his own partners and his own mission.

The gang meets up and Mallory reports the little information she found which John remembers – but as a place he saw when he was 12. To pull up the memory he needs to allow Cara into his head. She filters through all of John’s many traumas before getting an address.

Hillary pays Stephen a home visit; she hates that working with Stephen has made her soft and vulnerable and – time for a passionate kiss, or two or three. She promises to debrief him so hard.

Damn it, my co-worker uses the word “debrief” all the damn time. I’m going to have to keep a straight face tomorrow.

Stephen goes to the location John remembered with his dad’s key which gets all excited as he gets closer and opens a secure door. Inside he finds his dad’s frozen tomb. And Jedikiah appears – who finally realises that Morgan got the information, passed it onto the Tomorrow People… who then told Stephen

Stephen’s cover is rumbled. HAH were we actually pretending it was still there?

Wait, 4 years ago? How old is Russell supposed to be? Is he 4-5 years older than Stephen? Because Stephen goes to high school – 4 years ago he’d be 14. This is the problem of casting people in their mid to late 20s as teenagers (according to the Wiki, Stephen is 18, John 28, Cara 23 – damn, that was a long paper round, Hillary 19 and no-one has a clue about Russell).

I’m amused at the mockery of the idea of a Tomorrow Person super hero – but really, between their 3 powers (and the automatic martial arts they all seem to learn) they’re probably at the upper end of the scale as far as super powers go. But I do question exactly what she’s doing with these criminals. Sure she beats them up – but she can’t kill them and “was beaten up and left bound by a super hero” is not admissible in court – but then that’s a flaw of the super hero genre entirely.

Ok, quick question – exactly what is the fear of the Tomorrow People being revealed again? Considering that there is ALREADY a powerful, wealthy agency created expressly to hunt them down, it’s not likely to get any worse than it already is. And I wish they’d gone into Russell’s criticism more – what DO the Tomorrow People do all day, especially since they don’t spend it hunting for Roger because Cara deems it to risky? Because they only react – if there isn’t a break out (and evena  lot of them they let Ultra deal with) what do they do? An endless ream of sodoku?

Tim needed to be this snarky much much sooner