The Tomorrow People: 113 “Things Fall Apart” Review
Reviewed by Mark McCullough.
Last time out, The Tomorrow People ended on a cliff-hanger which bore huge personal consequences within his personal life. This affected him on three fronts: his friendships, with Astrid being forced to live with the Tomorrow People for her own protection. His workplace environment has also been compromised by Hilary’s betrayal; will he blame her for Astrid’s perils? And finally his family life received the biggest change of them all with the assumption that it was in fact Luca who was breaking out as a Tomorrow Person. I for one am very interested to see where the show takes these new twists and what change they offer for the dynamic.
As has become typical of the show in instances where a new breakout is introduced, it occurs in the opening scene of the episode. This week we see a Tomorrow Person rob a bank and await the police on a motorcycle. Once the police arrive she utilises her strong powers to prevent her arrest. She leaves a message on the wall saying ‘Hi Dad’ and flees the scene without the money.
Astrid becomes a strong focus in the opening segments of the episodes. She is unhappy about the situation and is worried for her father. Stephen’s Mum asks him if he knows where Astrid is, indicating that she knows that Astrid tells Stephen everything. Unsurprisingly the Astrid situation drives a wedge between Stephen and Jedikiah with the former accusing the latter that he reneged on his promise. The confrontation results in Stephen threatening to leave Ultra.
The two plot threads merge with the return of the Founder. Upon learning of Stephen’s stance on the matter, he entices Stephen with an offer that would secure Astrid’s safety. All Stephen has to do in return is to capture this very strong break-out: Cassandra (Cassie) Smythe, the daughter of the Founder himself.
What follows introduces two new concepts to the viewers. A synergist is someone for whom both parents are Tomorrow People; this means that they have more powers than regular Tomorrow People, which would explain the use of the term synergist. The second idea seeded into the minds of the viewer is a suggestion that all is not quite right between the Founder and Jedikiah. When Jedikiah makes a house call to Stephen, suggestions as to the honour of the Founder are quite surprising and revelation that Jedikiah has never lied to Stephen sits with the new side to the character which has been exposed over the last few weeks. Jedikiah’s judgement proves to be quite astute which will surely pave a way for redemption between him and Stephen.
The character moments in this episode are a real highlight as we see some brilliant scenes. Cara’s decision to stop the deal with the Founder against Stephen’s wishes shows that she has become a strong leader. This is further back up with a conversation between Cara and John where Cara says their relationship must take a back seat to the needs of the group. Astrid and John share a moment early in the episode and it is noticeable that there is chemistry between them. Stephen’s Mother is one of my favourite characters in the entire show and she gets a real wonderful moment in this episode. She approaches Jedikiah in his office and threatens him in an attempt to secure the safety of both Stephen and Astrid.
Cassie is an extremely interesting addition to the show. A Tomorrow Person who appears to want to have her powers removed. As she explains her history with her father and her motives for doing what she has done, it is impossible to feel sorry for her. This wonderful girl is reduced to a mere bargaining tool in the shadow war between Ultra and the Tomorrow People. Cara suspects that there may be more to it than that and investigates. When her fears are confirmed to be correct, Stephen is sent to investigate the circumstances in Ultra. However the Founder is waiting for him and captures him. Cara and John fight over the best approach to the problem resulting in John defying a direct order from Cara. This results in more conflict between John and Cara which ends in serious consequences for John and the future of the Tomorrow People
The episode ends on what I can only describe as the mother of all cliff-hangers. This one could potentially have the biggest impact on the narrative of the show and makes a lot of sense. Astute viewers will now be able to piece together a lot of the information to get a good idea of where the show may be going. If it is as I am guessing (I can’t say for now without spoiling the cliff-hanger), I will be very happy with the direction of the show.
At the midpoint of the episode I was certainly not expecting to dish out full marks in the review. However the strength of the latter half of the plot was exceptional drawing a lot of ideas and themes together. The introduction of Cassie is a welcome one, and presents a character that could go anywhere. It is obvious where her heart lies, but with Ultra playing in her head, it should make for interesting viewing to see where the writers take her character. To say this episode was a game changer is an understatement. So many changes to the established format would be considered a risk, but thankfully the risk paid off and the show feels fresh and unpredictable again.