Thursday, 7 November 2013

S1x4 - The Tomorrow People: Kill or be Killed

Aired 30/10/13 on The CW

After all the progress in last week’s episode, this show looked like it was on the up and up. This week was a step back. Stephen was back in full force as a na├»ve teenager who thinks he knows what he’s doing, while Cara can’t use her powers in front of Jedikiah, because he thinks he successfully took them from her last week. I also wondered how they were going to tackle Astrid finding out about Stephen’s powers and their solution was to just ignore it for a week and not even have her in the episode.

Instead, we focused more on John, the mysterious leader of the Tomorrow People and ex agent of Ultra. When rogue ex Ultra agent Killian McCrane returned, both John and Jedikiah agreed that he had to be stopped. Turns out that Jedikiah doesn’t want to kill all the TP, but wants to experiment on them as well. One of the first things he did was sort out that pesky problem the TP have in that they can’t kill anyone, and McCrane was one of the only ones to survive the initial testing. However, it turned him a bit cuckoo in the head and he now enjoys going on mass killing sprees in between cosying up by the fire and long walks on the beach.

At first it seemed like he was after Jedikiah when he tried to blow up his car, but he was actually back to see John. Through flashbacks we learned a bit about John as we saw him stealing food for his foster siblings and then getting beaten by his drunken foster dad. Jedikiah was the one who saved him and took him back to Ultra to train him. He trained alongside McCrane, but John was always the golden boy, so there was tension between them. When McCrane came back and found out that John had finally left Ultra, he wanted them to work together again, exacting revenge and the like, but John wasn’t really down with the killing aspect of it and said no.

Jedikiah wanted Stephen to set up a meeting between him and John, so they could discuss how to work together to stop McCrane, and here’s where the episode got hinky. There’s always been some mystery behind the relationship between John and Jedikiah, as we knew he used to work for him and be his top agent, but he’s spent the whole time professing how evil Jedikiah is and how he needs to be stopped, and then doesn’t hesitate even a moment to go meet him? The flashbacks did shed some light on how maybe Jedikiah became somewhat of a father figure, but they weren’t enough to justify why he had suddenly changed his mind.

I found it weird that Jedikiah was so caring and non-threatening towards John as well, but that was explained when it was revealed that he was just setting him up so he could kill both him and McCrane at the same time. John wasn’t into this plan and teleported McCrane away so they could fight in private. After exchanging a few teleported punches, McCrane got the upper hand and was boasting how he would always best John because he could kill and John couldn’t when BAM – John shot him in the chest. Turns out McCrane wasn’t so special after all, and John had a similar reason to leave Ultra as he did. Only John is slightly less homicidal and actively avoids trying to kill people.

This is why he left and why he hates Jedikiah so much – he turned John into something he didn’t want to be. It’s a good enough reason but the whole concept behind it wasn’t really explained. Jedikiah goes on and on about how the TP need to be eradicated as a species before they evolve to a stage where they can kill and become truly dangerous, but he wants to perfect his TP by altering their make-up so they can kill. I get the idea behind this because then his TP would have the upper hand when capturing Breakouts, but part of his control over them is the fact that they can’t kill him, making him their superior. McCrane is an example of what happens when they realise that if they can kill, then the control over them is gone. This doesn’t seem like a mistake Jedikiah would make after they’ve built him up to be someone who is clever and cunning. This definitely needs some more explanation in future episodes but I have a feeling they might just expect us to accept it.

Overall, it wasn’t a particularly strong episode. There wasn’t much continuation on previous storylines, which I can forgive because they are still establishing and setting up all of the stories, but what we did find out was a bit out of character on the whole. The pluses were the conversation between Stephen’s mum and Jedikiah, where it was revealed that Stephen’s mum is kind of a badass and the scene where John fulfilled this episode’s shirtless-man quota. I didn’t mind that bit.