The Tomorrow People: 104 “Kill or Be Killed” Review
Reviewed by Mark McCullough.
With the scene set and characters established in the first two episodes, I was hoping that last week’s magnificent episode was tone setting for the rest of the series. The darker themes seemed to work very well and justified the shows 9pm airtime. With that said, did this week’s offering live up to the high bar set by its predecessor?
As has become almost tradition within the show it opens with a scene set in the past. This time it is a car chase which is short lived. The police are quick in stopping the car, only to find the suspect has teleported out. It is revealed to be John, who like Cara is revealed to have come from a difficult background. John came from an abusive alcoholic Stepfather who didn’t care much for John or his siblings. This left John having to provide for them by stealing food as their Stepfather wasted all his money on alcohol. Ironically it was Jedikiah who delivered him from his peril, by swapping him for money with his Stepfather. However this proves to be a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Jedikiah trains him and looks out for him. When John eventually decides he has had enough at Ultra, he runs to the only place he knows. This leads to a run in with his Stepfather where he makes the mistake of revealing his powers, only to receive a beating. Jedikiah appears and kills John’s Stepfather warning John that there are consequences to revealing the existence of the Tomorrow People. He says he is the only person who will accept them for what they are. This leads to the formation of a father-son bond between the two. This begs the question: What changed?
So far some of my favourite scenes in the show have been those between Stephen and his Mother. This time we are offered more allowing his mum to show how much she loves him and how understanding she is despite it going against her own beliefs. This culminates with Jedikiah being invited to dinner. The dinner scene itself is quite humorous, with Stephen’s Brother questioning ‘What sort of name is Jedikiah?’ (Something I’m sure we have all been wondering). The best scene by a stretch however is where Jedikiah (established as a delightfully evil mastermind) is completely put in his place by Stephen’s Mother who shows her authority by allowing the internship to go ahead. We are teased with the hint that Stephen’s ‘badass’ Mother has more to her than meets the eye.
We are introduced to Killian McCrane via his reputation as a bomber. He is revealed to be a corrupt form of the Tomorrow People who is capable of killing. He is a former Ultra agent who has gone on a bombing spree across several major cities, with New York next on his list. With Ultra’s genetic engineering programme being the direct cause of Killian’s new found ability, Jedikiah almost pays for his sins. McCrane’s true target is his old training partner, John.
McCrane offers John the option of joining him and sharing revenge on Jedikiah. As expected John point blank refuses leaving himself and Stephen in a warehouse lined with bombs. John uses a new trick of being in five places at once to disarm the bombs. Jedikiah resolves that he cannot stop McCrane alone and proposes a temporary ceasefire with John until he is caught. John accepts citing his reasoning as Jedikiah being the closest thing to a father he has. True to form, Jedikiah sets him up trying to kill both John and McCrane in one go. This leads to a wonderful confrontation scene between John and McCrane. The denouement of the confrontation is sure to have major impacts on the rest of the series.
Another fantastic outing from what has been a very impressive series. The character development is clear and effective in this story. The stakes have been upped and as I was hoping for a darker tone is established with the show going down the route of the name of the episode, ‘kill or be killed’. Consequence of actions seems to be a recurring theme of the series with a lot being added, yet nothing revealed as of yet. I was a little disappointed not to see the impact of Stephen and Astrid’s argument, with no recognition other than a throw off line. Besides from that, this episode had all I could hope for: tension, development humour and wonderful direction. A highly enjoyable episode.