The Tomorrow People: 119 “Modus Vivendi” Review
Reviewed by Mark McCullough.
With last week’s out blurring the lines between good and bad, this time the show was given a free slate to make the viewer question themselves further. Having also read the disappointing news that the series has not been re-commissioned for a second outing, I sincerely hope that it does enough over the course of the final episodes to give the fans a satisfactory conclusion to the narrative. As there are only four episodes left (including this one) I am expecting that there will be some significant developments.
The narrative opens with Jedikiah as he launches a solo assault on Ultra, his apparent target; the Founder’s Machine. Upon ultimately failing Jedikiah’s actions serve only to attain a bounty on his head which forces him to lay low and hide from Ultra. This also endangers Roger as Jedikiah refuses to leave his side, citing a pact to stay together. When John is unable to persuade him otherwise, the pair decide to work together to protect Roger.
Meanwhile the Founder is advancing his plans, with Stephen appearing to be onside. The focus is upon the machine and Stephen’s ability to stop time. In order for the plan to work, Stephen has to undergo special training to enhance his powers. Hilary, as both his training partner and girlfriend also plays a significant role. When the Founder lands at Stephen’s doorstep, he makes an offer which could change the course of the narrative for the remainder of the series.
As expected Cara is dismissive of the offer at first, but after becoming fearful of Hilary’s influence corrupting Stephen, she reconsiders. Using the past between the Tomorrow People and Ultra as leverage she engineers a situation which sees Hilary being held in the lair whilst Russell visits Ultra to hear the Founders offer. Perhaps even more surprising is her response to the offer, accepting it and allowing the truce between Ultra and the Tomorrow People to be completed.
The Founder obtains information about Jedikiah’s property portfolio, leading Ultra to the place where Roger’s body is being kept. This results in a face-off between an Ultra hit squad and John and Jedikiah. The result means that Roger is no longer safe meaning that he is forced to be removed from the cryogenic coma.
This piles the pressure onto the Tomorrow People as they only have a short time in which to act to save his life. It needs to be a large co-ordinated effort, and it quite literally is with everyone coming together in the lair of the Tomorrow People. Stephen’s Mum Marla works with Jedikiah to remove the bullet from Roger’s body. This needs to be carefully timed with Stephen and Hilary’s attempted break in at Ultra in order to use the Founder’s machine. By using powers only he can, Stephen is able to use the machine to enter Limbo and to lead his father home. Meanwhile Cara, John and the rest of the Tomorrow People are demoted to watching on powerless. Roger’s position by the end of the episode is actually not hugely different from where he started it. Personally I feel it would have been a little better if they had taken it further now instead of waiting until next week.
The episode ends on a cliff-hanger which confirms that all is not as it seems and a certain character proves to be a traitor. Before the characters were classified into groups and acted accordingly. Now however with a lot of the boundaries having been removed the characters are free to express their true sentiments. It is no stretch to state that all decisions are made in this story for selfish reasons, whether that be: redemption, revenge, relationships, power, the promise of a normal life, ambition or even jealousy.
I’ll be honest; I wasn’t impressed by this week’s episode. I did not feel the focus was handled well and the plot was a bit all over the place. I suppose what I’m getting at is that some people have changed too easily and as such their actions seemed very out of character. Using Cara, John and Hillary as my examples, Cara who has always lead for the best goals for the group chooses the most important decision to allow personal feelings to cloud her decision making. John seems to accept Jedikiah far too easily; the love-hate established between the two stretches the belief a little. As for Hilary, her alliances are the most confusing of the lot as she seems to switch sides with every appearance. Perhaps if the story had advanced the overarching narrative of the series within the episode the changes in character may have been better received. As it stands we are left with what felt like a filler episode which put simply did not reach the standards set by the rest of the series. However what the episode has done is set things up for what looks set to be a really epic finale to a wonderful series.