Warning! Spoilers follow
The Tomorrow People follows up last week’s promising episode with another entertaining hour. There were good stories here as we got John’s origin story, but the dynamic presence of guest-star Jason Dohring only highlighted how lifeless the show can be.
As for the overall plot of the series this was John’s hour, showing how he jumped from the frying pan of an awful foster home to the fire of Ultra at a very young age and ending with the reveal that McCrane wasn’t the only Tomorrow Person who had developed the ability to kill. It would have been more effective to actually show McCrane doing some evil deeds instead of having everybody talk about how bad he was, so it’s a testament to how good Dohring is that he was able to come across as a worthy bad guy with so little to do on screen. Still, it provided an opportunity for John’s past to come back up and give us more than just hints that things were tough for him. Now we’ve got the circumstances of his joining and leaving Ultra, and we also know that with his ability to kill he and Price hold one of the most interesting secrets on the show.
With John taking center stage for much of the hour Stephen was mostly an observer, and not a terribly bright one at that. His spy skills are still anemic, as he’s unprepared for things to get even a little tense at dinner and then is completely blindsided by Price sending in a kill squad, which is like being surprised that Ben Affleck received a backlash for his casting as Batman after such an appalling turn in the red of Daredevil. And as the character farthest removed from the action, Marla is the most expendable character on the show. Even though she talked a good game here about Stephen not knowing everything about her, she’s still not bringing anything to the proceedings.
The secret deal struck by John and Price to take out McCrane was a nice touch, but it was quickly undercut by the show’s habit of having its characters constantly declaring their intentions to each other. Maybe the idea was to make it perfectly clear that this was a temporary cease-fire rather than a long con being run by the two of them, but that didn’t seem likely. Instead it over-simplified what’s already been a very straightforward plot.
In the end, despite being a good episode, this hour left me more down on the show than when it began. A show with super powers and sinister conspiracies should be having a lot more fun than they are right now.
What did you think to this week’s episode? Did you like John’s origin story? Did you enjoy Dohring’s performance? Let us know in the comments section below