The Tomorrow People: 107 “Limbo” Review
Reviewed by Mark McCullough.
Recently we have been treated to several ambitious characters developments: Stephen and Cara’s relationship, Jedikiah’s secret rendezvous and Stephen disclosing the extent of his powers to Astrid. Whilst at this stage, most of these are only seeds of storylines whose impact on the wider cast has yet to be explored. Since last week’s dénouement I have been left wondering how John will react, all things considered I am hoping that he doesn’t find out too soon as a dynamic of secrets within the group could make for an interesting subplot. Speaking of secrets, Jedikiah’s adds an interesting extra layer to his character and could perhaps be an exploitable weakness in his character. My anticipation for this offering has been high all week, so hopefully it lives up to that.
The premise to this outing is slightly different than before, with a break-out who has gone undetected for many years. The twist being that he has kept a low profile due to what he has utilised his powers for, the abduction and rape of women. This sets an extremely dark tone to the episode and raises a lot of moral issues for the characters. This also provides an opportunity for the trope of responsibility with special powers which is visited on again within the episode.
Conflict seems to be a theme within this story for Stephen. We notice an uncomfortable edge between him and Cara from early in the episode. He gets in a fight with an Ultra colleague other the death of Agent Nichols and as such decides to take a few days off. He annoys Astrid by accidentally reading her mind. He is punished by Jedikiah for using his powers to have fun. And finally with John as the two fight over Cara.
The root of the conflict is Stephen’s personal crisis. He believes that he destroys everything he touches, blaming himself for Agent Nichol’s death. During his time of weakness he is easily persuaded by Astrid to use his powers for a more selfish purpose. Through this Stephen becomes the person he despises, one of the so-called Jerks within the school. His cheating results in him gaining a place in the school’s basketball team and unwittingly throwing a house party. John uses the basketball match as a chance to get some revenge on Stephen.
Cara is torn between Stephen and John. When John tells her that he loves her, she is forced to make a decision. She tells a distraught Stephen that he was a mistake before confessing to John. John is angry and assumes that she did it in order to get even with him over concealing his ability to kill. By the end of the episode they have made up and say that they love each other. Cara admits that she still has some feelings for Stephen, but concedes that she will lie to Stephen for the sake of harmony.
Angry at the fall out with John, Stephen locates the break-out alone without his powers. It is quite clever how a throwaway line from the first scenes comes into play in such a way later. Stephen’s actions place him in a dangerous situation where he almost pays the price. Being the main character it was obvious that he wasn’t going to die. A special connection with Cara allows for a timely intervention in order to save him. But not before he has a vision of his father, who delivers an important message to him.
Upon bring the breakout to Ultra; Jedikiah becomes suspicious at the lack of concurrence with Stephen’s story. Not least the fact he was able to take down a dangerous criminal with the use of his powers. From the break-out’s version of events, Jedikiah learns that Cara may still have her powers.
Being honest, I have to admit this episode what not what I expected at all. To reveal Stephen and Cara’s sexual activities so soon seemed to be an odd decision and restricted some of what could have been done with the characters had it been prolonged a little. However what we got instead was wonderfully handled and believable, and still offers ongoing tension between the three main characters. Jedikiah’s actions in the previous episode seemed to have been forgotten as it was business as usual at Ultra (although it is possible this could form the centre of a future story). The dark storyline of abduction and rape was rather wasted as it took more a back seat. Had it been taken more to the fore, the potential for a gripping emotional story would have been huge. Apart from this, the episode was another great offering from a very enjoyable series.