The Tomorrow People: 105 “All Tomorrow’s Parties” Review
Reviewed by Mark McCullough.
With the series having picked up pace in its last few outings, The Tomorrow People has an optimistic feel about its direction and future. Looking at the synopsis of this week’s episode, the story looks like a busy one.
The episode opens with yet another pursuit scene, although this time an unexpected twist is revealed to be the reason. Within the sequence, we get a few new ideas presented to us. For the first time in the series Cara and John deem one of their own unworthy of saving, allowing Ultra to remove his powers. He provides the perfect cover for a plan to steal some anti-serum from Ultra, something Stephen manages to do all too easily. We are introduced to The Tomorrow People’s resident geneticist, your typical seventeen year old child protégée, fully equipped with a Yale degree and appropriate jargon. Evidently some research has been performed by the writers as the idea presented is plausible.
Perhaps the most intriguing of all is the opportunity to delve into the Ultra hierarchy. Having been hinted earlier in the series that Jedikiah was ‘only the tip of the spear’, we finally get to see those above him. But before we do, we already get a sense of their power with the revelation that they ordered the death of Stephen’s father. Stephen is called to meet with them and is led hooded to the location by Jedikiah. The leader is revealed to be a Homo Superior and communicates to Stephen mentally without actually meeting him face-to-face. Stephen becomes worried that his mind has been read and the location of the hideout revealed. On prom night Stephen is taken by Ultra for a further loyalty test, but is followed by Astrid.
Something I felt was lacking in last week’s episode was the follow up from Astrid and Stephen’s argument. This is addressed here, but is rather ridiculous as instead of a proper apology, Stephen asks her to prom. How they make up appears far too easy to be believable. Astrid still has her questions, but seems to forgive him anyway. Stephen eventually decides to tell Astrid the truth; again I would say her reaction is totally unbelievable.
We also see hints of unrest within The Tomorrow People as one of their members sneaks home to visit their family, thus endangering the lives of the all. In a confrontation with John they challenge as to why Stephen has special privileges. This affords an opportunity for the awkward relationship between John and Stephen to be examined a little further. John blames Stephen for causing the unrest whereas Stephen questions John’s leadership skills. In an attempt to ease tensions, Cara suggests a night out, which ends up going ahead.
The night out (which is a typical teenage one with loud music, a club and lots of alcohol) turns out to be an ambush by Ultra. It is also Stephen’s test as he is forced to watch as a shootout ensues in the club. Stephen is able to use his powers to cut the electricity allowing his friends to escape. But it comes with a cost, three deaths and one serious injury. There is a more personal cost for John who had to kill to save Cara’s life. Cara is furious with him for keeping it a secret for so long. There is yet another cost, as they figure out there must be a traitor within their ranks who set them up. It is an easy deduction as to who the culprit is. The betrayal brings out an unexpected side of Cara, who exacts the ultimate punishment on the traitor.
While this episode was the easiest to criticise so far, it is also the one that has the most going for it and brings forward a lot of new themes and character development. Now it seems very apparent that the series is going to focus heavily on the relationships between characters. It is also evident has adapted a darker tone which I feel suits the series. This week’s offering was tense, unpredictable and captivating. It had a strong solid story which came together very well and played into the larger story arcs too. The Astrid-Stephen interactions despite being unbelievable, still worked reasonably well. However one major complaint I would have so far is the character of Russell. The fact I had to look up his name says a lot about how neglected his character has been. I feel he has been used solely for comic relief and would love to see more development for him soon.