The Tomorrow People: 122 “Son of Man” (Finale) Review
Reviewed by Mark McCullough.
Not just the finale to Series One of The Tomorrow People, but the last episode ever following the show’s cancellation. Before watching this episode I was disappointed to hear there wouldn’t be a second series, however now I am more comfortable with the idea. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t want more of The Tomorrow People just that this episode works so well as an ending and that the second series would probably have struggled living up to the consistency and quality of the first. So what does the finale do so well?
I’m not going to directly discuss plot points as I feel the finale is best watched and it would be very easy to accidentally give something away. By now after watching the previous episode you will know of the fates of Roger, the Founder and Jedikiah and the stakes which our protagonist’s face. It’s exactly what the series has been building to and it certainly lives up to the bill. The first of the conflict scenes is between the older generations. It is here where a lot of the material established in the flashbacks in the more recent episodes comes back up. The confrontation is rather short but has a large impact dictating the course of the narrative.
Character development has been one of the true highlights of this series and what this finale manages to do is tie off every character’s story in a sufficient way. Upon reflection each character ends in a satisfying manner for their portrayal throughout the series, and with the large cast that is no easy feat. Character relationships too end in a manner which leaves everyone with the person that feels right for them. That applies to all but one character, mostly due to that they undergo a significant development in this episode which certainly changes the landscape of the show. Unfortunately this is something we will never see expanded upon. Another minor complaint on character front is that Marla and Luca do not receive sufficient coverage of their reaction to events within the episode.
On to the narrative itself, and it is very strong. The situation is tense and things are desperate as the Founder’s plan kicks into gear. Also to its credit is the integration of several concepts that have been established throughout the series. The Annex Project for weaponising the Tomorrow People makes a return in a manner which you would not expect. Characters actions also come back to haunt them whilst some morals are dropped in the face of extreme circumstances. What this serves to do is giving the episode a sense of investment and rewards the viewer for sticking with the show until the end. Another aspect of the overarching narrative which becomes a heavy focus is that humanity and being human are not the same thing, and it is what a person does that defines them, not what powers they have. This is actually a strong message which will hopefully resonate with some viewers as a source for inspiration.
The resolution is a very important aspect to any series. Thankfully The Tomorrow People delivers to a satisfactory level. The dénouement is actually extremely interesting, but is prevent from reaching true greatness by its reliance on typical sci-fi clichés. We have the obligatory face-off between the main protagonist and antagonist. As it has been established beforehand the Founder is much more powerful than Stephen leading to an extremely tense, power heavy battle. Unfortunately this is where the cliché comes in with the introduction of a new concept which has hints of Deus ex machina about it. It’s actually not too much a problem in its initial use; however it comes back up again within the episode and makes for an all too easy resolution for the second time in less than five minutes. Again this is another reason I am glad that there will be no more stories as this development could undermine any of them.
As is typical with a lot of American series, the episode ends on a cliff-hanger intended to set up the next series. In this case, it is pretty agonising as it looks to be setting up what could potentially be an extremely interesting storyline. Our only hope at this stage is that another network will pick up the show for another run.
The finale is a near perfect conclusion to a highly entertaining and solid series. Being honest I wasn’t expecting much from The Tomorrow People when I first heard about it, but it exceeded all expectations and established itself as one of my favourite shows. My verdict for this episode corresponds with my verdict for the entire series. It is good then that the series went out with a bang. I haven’t really been mentioning it in my reviews each week, but the performance from the cast throughout have been top notch. The backdrop of New York City also adds to the scale and effectiveness of the series whilst the direction too has been excellent. I’m sad to see the series end as it has been a pleasure to watch and review it.