Wednesday, 30 October 2013

S1x3 - The Tomorrow People: Girl, Interrupted

Aired 23/10/13 on The CW

For a show that airs on The CW, the cheesiest channel out there, ‘Girl, Interrupted’ was a pretty solid episode. It was a mix of flashbacks, plot advancements and more of Stephen as a double agent for the TP in Ultra.

The main focus of the episode was Cara, the Tomorrow Person who was the voice inside Stephen’s head in the pilot, as her powers go on the fritz causing her to get telepathic overload. Turns out that it was exactly five years since she discovered that she wasn’t human and it wasn’t exactly the happiest of events. When a boy approached her at a high school dance, first it was revealed that she used to be deaf, and then we realised that the guy was a giant douche who just wanted to take advantage of her awkward innocence. He drives her out to the off beaten path and tries to get it on with her but she is all ‘erm, no’ and legs it out of the car. When he gives chase and pins her down, she throws him back with her newly discovered telekinetic powers, and as an added bonus, gets her hearing. A not-so-added bonus was that she actually killed the guy when his head landed on a rock, resulting in her being carted off to jail, but her powers came to the rescue once again and she teleported away.

She ended up back at her house where she shared the news with her dad that she could hear, but he didn’t care as he said that there was no way anyone would believe it was self-defence because of the dead guy’s powerful dad. And although he kept saying it was so she could live her life, Cara overheard his thoughts that they would be better off without her, as he thrust a wad of cash in her hands and sent her away. Poor Cara left as the door was slammed in her face, with a quick mournful ‘bye’ to her little sister. Having powers seems awesome, but clearly there are bad sides to them.

One bad side effect, as a result of that unhappy memory, causes her to overload and hear everyone’s thoughts at once – something which happened in the middle of helping Stephen break into a restricted section of Ultra to plant a USB into the mainframe that tracks Breakouts, so the TP can get to them first. As his telepathic warning system overloaded, he nearly got caught by Jedikiah but managed to pass it off. Or maybe he didn’t, because they later found the USB. Although Jedikiah said he trusted Stephen’s word, he isn’t stupid and knows Stephen is a double agent, who is only kept around so that he can lead them to the TP. Well, duh.

The side plot of the episode tied in quite nicely with the main one too, as Stephen overheard his classmate Emily’s thoughts at a party about her impending death. She was the other school freak along with Stephen after having a tough time when an accident killed her little sister. It didn’t help that she was the one driving a car and not paying attention when a train came, and was suffering from some major survivor’s guilt.

Stephen asked John and Cara to help but they said that they don’t interfere with human life, something he couldn’t understand. On one hand, I get what they were saying; when do you draw the line at helping people? They could save this one girl which is good, but why not the next one? As Cara said, they’re not God, they don’t get to choose. Plus it could expose their powers. But I also get Stephen’s point of view, the old superhero cliché of ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’ If they have the powers why not use them to help when they can? Stephen worked out that she was going to put herself in the path of a train and went to stop her, and Cara agreed to go as she felt that she owed him. She then identified with Emily by telling her about her own guilt and said that killing herself wouldn't resolve anything. It was done all neat and tidy, no flashy shows of power to save her, but just when we thought it went okay, Stephen’s friend Astrid showed up and watched him teleport away. Uh-oh.

I’m kind of surprised that she found out so early on in the series as usually this would be dragged out, resulting in a lot of annoyed shouting at the screen, but I’m interested to see where they are going to take it now. Stephen tried to play it off, but she watched him teleport; there’s really not much he can pass it off as. (Although he did tell her all about the TP in the pilot which she didn’t believe, and is now acting like she can’t remember that conversation… did I miss something or is this a plot hole?).

It was a pretty solid episode overall and a step up from the previous episodes. It’s still the kind of show you watch when you don’t want anything complicated, but it's definitely starting to look more promising.