The Tomorrow People Season 1 Episode 4 – TV Review
I just assume that Jason Dohring comes crawling back to the CW every time he needs a paycheck.
Fingers crossed the Veronica Mars movie does well, then.
I gave it $100 (plus $10 shipping. US-centric elitist bastards), so it better.
TL;DR John has a cookie cutter “abusive foster home” background; he and Jason Dohring were in some Ultra experiments when they were younger that blocked their anti-kill instincts; Jason is a terrorist, so Jed wants him killed; John kills him.
With a gun. In a show where half the cast have superpowers, and John kills him with a gun. Fuck.
Last episode we had Cara’s backstory, this week it’s John’s turn. He grew up with an abusive, douchebag foster father. Jed somehow sought him out and brought him to Ultra, where Jed became a sort-of father figure to him. That went sour when he performed experiments on him to switch off the Tomorrow People’s innate “don’t kill anyone, yo” inclination. Jason was also a part of these experiments. Turned out it totally did work, and in the present day, John and Ultra (with Stephen running messages between) team up to take down an explosively homicidal Jason. But psych, Jed wants to kill John, too. Ignoring that, John simply kills Jason himself and declares war on Jed. Meanwhile, Stephen and his mum come to some sort of understanding with his work at Ultra (she thinks he’s an intern, not a superhero).
And Stephen is still oblivious to the fact that Ultra is trying to bloody kill everyone.
As pointed out, I was pretty gentle on The Tomorrow People last week. I still think that owes to my surprise at any improvement.
Why I hate this episode:
The Tomorrow People still hasn’t shaken that budget, empty feel. All the locations are a variation on “delapidated warehouse.” I get enough of that in Arrow. And Arrow has a hotter Amell. And Katie Cassidy. And cleavage.
Stephen is, yet again, fucking shocked that Jed is an evil bastard and doublecrosses John. I’m concerned for Stephen’s mental health. Or at the very least, his pattern recognition skills.
As a personal peeve, it’s annoying that they’d bring Jason Dohring in for one episode and then kill him off. Just when I’d opened up my Veronica Mars nostalgia vault.
The abusive foster home stuff shows how little effort has been put into the characterisation. Cara’s deafness/muteness was a nice twist, but even she had the token sexual assault. I appreciate that simple, recognisable backstories are effective shorthand for endearing the characters to us, but when everything else about the show is flat, it’s not a good time. Bates Motel had the finesse to pull off the uninspired domestic abuse backstory. The Tomorrow People isn’t there yet. Even Revenge did a better job.
Part of John’s backstory has him stealing menial food items to feed his foster siblings. Despite the fact that he can steal, like, you know, any-fucking-thing with teleportation powers. He’s shown driving a nice, stolen car. He needed to set his sights higher.
John also leaves his foster siblings in the dust when Jed comes calling. Ouch.
Jed’s car gets blown up. It’s a CGI mess with the effects. I thought The CW had a handle on car destruction?
Stephen’s mum is worried that working at Ultra will change Stephen in the same way it changed his father. But she allows it anyway. Maybe pattern recognition is a hereditary problem.
Oh, and John feels like Jed is an important father figure in his life. But later he bitches at Jed with a typical “you’re not my father” spiel. Inconsistency is so unattractive. That’s why my opinions are always rock steady and I’m never hypocritical ever.
But it’s not all bad:
For all his evil douchebaggery, Jed is pleasantly unrepentant. Obviously he negelcted to pass that consistency onto John.
With his very short time, Jason does get to ham it up and be evilicious. And I always kinda a bit wanted to kill Logan Echolls myself, so watching him get shot and buried was satisfying.
John apparently is so deft at teleporting that he can technically be in five (or more?) places at once. That’s pretty cool.
Young John listens to The Offspring in his flashback. And poor Cara got saddled with Metro Station.
Darcy is nice. She saves Stephen from getting fucked up by Jason. I like her.
Best line of the episode goes to Stephen’s little brother. Jed has come over for dinner, and Li’l Bro asks the question that’s been burning in all our minds: “What kind of name is Jedikiah? Are we, like, part Amish or something?” Omg ikr.
Oh, and John gets an angsty punching bag scene when he just needs to go off and have a manly think. Shirtless, naturally.