The Tomorrow People: 111 “Rumble” Review
Reviewed by Mark McCullough.
I have been extremely impressed by The Tomorrow People over the last few weeks. Not only is it a high quality show, but it is consistently reaching top standards. As part of the highly competitive Science Fiction genre, the show manages to set itself apart with a more drama based narrative focusing on characters that happen to have special powers. It is from these characters which the show really draws it strength. The large character pool is a major advantage; thankfully this does not come at the expense of character development. The show so far seems to have a knack of knowing which character is in the greatest need of development and delivers it.
Cara’s character is a strong focus of the episode. We get an insight in to her struggles after leaving home, resorting to stealing food in order to survive. When she is pursued by Ultra, she meets Julian Masters who helps her. Julian plays a large role in this story being the target of Ultra, although he himself is the leader of a group of thugs who prey on the rich of society. Besides this, his character is revealed to have psychopathic tendencies as he gets a high from the point where he is prevented from killing (the prime barrier). His past with Cara is shown to be an abusive one as he takes advantage of her and leading her towards things she wouldn’t normally do.
Julian threatens the Tomorrow People and insults Cara during a confrontation scene. He claims that New York is his and that he has control of the city. His gang is revealed to be extremely large rendering any effort by the Tomorrow People ineffective. Julian and his gang plan a hate based attack on an apartment block containing several of New York’s richest residents. Things become extremely personal as one of the Tomorrow People is beaten to within an inch of their lives by Julian and his gang. Cara retaliates by outsmarting them, leaving them for Ultra to find and capture. Unfortunately Julian escapes leaving Cara certain of the fact that he will return for revenge. The conclusion of the episode shows history repeating itself as Julian befriends a new breakout.
Another new character is introduced to correspond with Stephen’s storyline in Ultra. Hillary is one of Stephen’s Ultra co-workers, who is determined and thinks she always knows best. When the stakes at Ultra are raised by Jedikiah’s threat of taking the powers away from any trainee who fails to meet the grade required. Hillary’s desire to impress leads to disastrous consequences as Julian is able to easily escape as Hillary refuses to work as a team. Stephen manages to convince her that the best way to survive is to work together. The cliff-hanger to this storyline features Hillary discovering a secret about Stephen which she may be able to use against him.
Cara’s leadership is tested several times throughout the episode. The first being when Stephen defers to John’s judgement instead of hers leaving her visibly hurt. The next situation is when the Tomorrow People begin to want to evict Charlotte from the lair. Her nightmares of her time in the Citadel are causing psychic bursts which are affecting everyone in the liar. Cara takes command well and resolves the situation. It is revealed that Cara still has feelings for both John and Stephen, and cannot make up her mind on who she wants.
Despite the revelations about John’s character in the previous episodes, I still find him extremely likeable, a good man and a great character. He proves his worth as the looks out for Charlotte and helps her in her training. He has some wonderful dialogue about identifying your weaknesses or fears, and turning them into something that gives you strength. The scene is wonderfully poignant and is sure to resonate with viewers.
This week’s outing is not just as impressive as its predecessors. That does not mean that it wasn’t another solid highly enjoyable episode just that it seemed to be missing something which could have made it even better. The episode does what it sets out to do, expanding on Cara’s character and the new dynamics in the lair. It also established a new credible threat that was not Ultra, this makes for a refreshing change. Dark themes are handled extremely well and the new characters introduced are strong and relatable. Another good outing by a fantastic series.