The Tomorrow People delivers a riveting performance in "A Sort of Homecoming," which makes last week's roller coaster of an episode look like the pony ring at a kiddie park. Man, oh man, is it full of surprises. Did you stop breathing during some of those sequences? This viewer certainly did.
The episode open with John musing remorsefully over shooting and killing Roger, his mentor and father figure, six years earlier. For the next 58 minutes, we look on aghast as Roger attempts to reconnect with his recalcitrant son Luca and the lair contingency, and John endlessly tries to make up for his terrible deed despite Roger's benevolent forgiveness.
Easter Comes for Papa Popsicle
Papa Popsicle sits up and gets dressed, surprisingly not at all alarmed to find himself incorporated once again. Maybe he's in shock and it will hit him later? Stephen and Marla hug Roger, who is sweetly started at how beautiful Marla is. Awwww.
Almost immediately, Roger launches into Stephen with the third degree. How'd you bring me back? Where is Jedikiah? Is the Founder still alive? Does my button-down shirt look out of date? You know, the usual resurrection concerns.
While listening to the answers, Roger looks beyond Stephen and spies John, who looks like he's about to pass out from the stress of this moment. Six years ago, he killed this guy who is now walking around like Jesus on the first Easter morn. It's time for John to face the consequences of what he did and he knows it. From John's glossy-eyed expression, it's clear he thinks he's in deep doo doo ... or maybe just that Roger is gonna hate him.
When John apologizes for killing him, Roger, true to good guy form, apologizes for having put John in that terrible position and all is well in the lair. Roger wants to get straight to business and go after Bathory. Marla, ever the mother and wife, tells him to take a moment and come see his son who is scheduled to wake up for school topside any moment. Marla teleports home, followed shortly by Stephen.
A Pissing Contest in the Lair
When Roger informs Cara that he's off to meet his son and spend some time with the family he's neglected for over 10 years, Cara asserts her authority with a "Like hell you are" response. Roger gently but firmly pushes back, and we can see a power struggle is in the works. John arrives. The impasse between Cara and Roger is evident, so John challenges Roger to a duel, which is apparently how the bylaws of Tomorrow Peopledom resolve stalemates.
Roger refuses to fight John, but John feels the need to be punished for having killed Roger, so the two duel briefly until Roger lands John on his back, then takes off for home.
A Traitor Among Us
Stephen and Tinker Bell -- err, Hillary -- exchange mental tweets and he tells her Roger is awake. She's clearly uncomfortable as she knows she's selling out her boyfriend to the devil ... but what's a poor girl without options supposed to do in a situation like this? Hillary, whom we are all feeling sorry for at this point because it's clear she feels like a turd for her desperate duplicity, assures Stephen she'll cover for him at Ultra and keep the Roger resurrection on the down-low. Listening in, Bathory commands Hillary to go get Roger and bring him back to Ultra. Hillary looks like she's about to puke.
Once Roger heads for home, John and Cara sulk, feeling abandoned by their savior. Their reaction seems presumptuous as Roger never said he wasn't coming back or that he wasn't in support of the cause and the search for The Refuge. The man just wants a couple of moments to get solid with his family. Is that so wrong?
However, their angst is justified because they are frightened out of their minds, and who can blame them? They are sleep-deprived, they have no idea what will happen now that Roger is alive, Jedikiah is MIA and the full force of Ultra could reign down on them at any moment. So we're cutting them a lot of slack at this point. Part of John's angst, of course, is still about his feelings of guilt over what he did. He also seems pretty pissed that it's looking more and more like Jedikiah and Roger used him as their pawn, allowing him to endure six years of agony and remorse over killing his father figure. Dang -- that was really harsh. Roger, a little more than an apology is in order, if you ask me.
Let's chock up Cara and John's angst to nerves and lack of sleep and see what happens next.
There's No Place Like Home
Roger goes back to the home he left 10 years earlier and not much has changed ... except Luca. He's totally not okay with the ginormously weird turns his life has taken lately. As if it will make everything okay, Stephen invites Astrid over as a buffer amid the awkward, and Roger makes chicken parmesan for the family. Just a regular Sunday evening with the fam around the hearth singing songs, right? Yeah ... uh ... not!
Hillary shows up at the door and gets invited to join the party if the eye-dagger'd Astrid doesn't shoot her and kill her dead first. Later when they get a moment alone, Astrid has a little come to Jesus talk with Hillary, making it clear Astrid will kick her little Tinker Bell fanny six ways to Sunday if Hill's just playing Stephen. Hillary insists she's in love with Stephen and walks off in a huff.
Leaving? So Soon? But You Just Got Here!
In the alleyway for a little man-to-man tete-a-tete, Stephen gets Roger to admit he's planning to skip town. He says it's for your safety and the safety of the Tomorrow People and it makes sense. Roger knows Bathory's psychosis and he knows The Founder will do whatever he can to get Roger back into that machine. So Roger has to lay low.
Hiding in the shadows and listening in to their conversation is Hillary who mind-tweets with Bathory, who asks for the go-ahead to capture and bring Roger back to Ultra. Hillary chokes and can't turn him in ... yet ... promising they will do it later. Hillary, you are earning our respect after all. Poor kid.
Cain (Jedikiah) and Abel (Roger) Reunite
Roger locates Jedikiah and an awkward reunion ensues. Rog thanks his older brother for taking care of his family while Jedikiah admits to enjoying the taste of power in Roger's absence. Jedikiah then brings Roger up to speed about Bathory's plans for Stephen and The Machine. The two teleport to Jed's house, where Jed hacks into Ultra's computer and steals footage from Stephen's experiences in The Machine.
The Truth About The Machine is Revealed
Disappearing as an Ultra tactical team arrives to capture them, Roger and Jed teleport themselves to the lair and call a meeting to show Stephen the video. Stephen watches in shock and denial as he's strapped into The Machine and another paranormal uses his power to explode a human being.
What? I did that, he asks. How, when paranormals can't kill.
They can when time stops and the human isn't technically "alive" is the answer. At least, that's what it sounds like the brothers are saying. As we hang from the edge of our seats, the scene cuts to commercial and we bite our fingernails for two minutes until the show resumes. Gahhhhh.
The next segment is even worse (meaning "even better" from an entertaining and excitement standpoint) and leaves us screaming at the screen when there's dissension among the Tomorrow Peoples' extraordinarily gifted and some of the TTTs take off on their own after hearing that The refuge is all a bunch of hooey and that Ultra has no intention of doing anything but taking out the entire human race.
The Two Faces of Hillary Cole
Moments later, Tinker Bell sidles up beside her man candy at Ultra (no, not Bathory -- that would be gross -- I mean Stephen) and notices he's watching some suspicious activity on the monitor.
Hillary lies about her double agency, but then caves partway and reveals that The Machine is being moved because Bathory is afraid Jedikiah (though she almost says Roger. Yowsa.) might attempt to destroy it. It is obvious Hillary is doing everything within her power to delay Bathory from capturing Roger and to help Roger and Stephen remain one step ahead of Ultra. I'm telling you, Tinker Hill, we feel you right now.
History Repeats Itself for John and Roger
The final shot before we cut to commercial this time is John confronting Roger as Roger and Stephen converge upon the freighter where The Machine has been relocated. And what does John do? He sticks a gun in Roger's face and it's deja vu all over again. What? This has to be a joke, right? Say it's not really John threatening to shoot Roger but another Psionic in a amazingly convincing John mask. Or say this is part of a scheme that the viewing audience just hasn't been let in on yet. Please. John turning on Roger is just not acceptable ... this can't be happening, people, right? Say it ain't so, Joe.
Of course, as the episode progresses, the commercial breaks get longer and longer and it's sheer torture for us viewers. Finally, we're back on the freighter with John menacingly pointing his gun at us -- um, I mean, at Roger.
John, or a monster that looks a lot like John, takes a shot. Thank god, though, because it ends up not being a bullet, it's a dart of some kind. Well, that's a relief, right? Wrong. Roger falls to the ground and John takes his duffel bag. Wait, has John just given Roger the power-stealing serum? At this point, anything could happen.
Hillary Reveals Her Folly and Stephen Freaks Out
Stephen looks at the monitor on the freighter and sees that John has overtaken his father. What the hell, John? What the hell, he expression-screams. John, obviously still in need of redeeming himself for killing Roger all those years ago, is planning to blow up The Machine and himself along with it.
Just as Stephen turns to run to daddy, Hillary cuts him off and pleads for his safety, telling him Papa Popsicle is a terrorist and she's trying to save Stephen ... besides, the Founder will still take him back into the fold if he just lets this happen. Remember, Hillary didn't see the video showing how The Machine can explode humans. Oh, Hillary. You are so screwed. It's all a trap, of course, and John is beaten to a bloody pulp and taken back to Bathory at Ultra, while Stephen and Roger escape.
Bathory Gets Radical When John Refuses to Comply
Silver-tongued as Satan himself, Bathory tries to seduce John into giving up Roger, but that dog just won't hunt. Finally, Bathory gives the order and the technician injects a bound and tethered John in the neck with the anti-power elixir. Stuff flies all over the room and the panels in the ceiling start falling as John screams and seizes and we all hold our breaths. Twice more, Bathory gives the command and the fallout gets worse and worse. When John finally collapses, the place is a god-awful mess and the two attendants are passed out on the floor.
Cut to the vertical window in the door where Hillary stands looking on, horrified by what she sees. Cut to commercial again, dammit, dammit dammit.
Astrid Promises to Help Hillary Atone for Her Sins
Astrid, sitting alone at a bar, is approached by a distraught Hillary, who makes her promise to call her in one hour. I've been bad, she confesses, and I gotta make it right. Oh no, what now? Is she tricking us? Is this another duplicitous plot orchestrated by Bathory? Call me in one hour on the dot, says Hillary Bell as the tears stream down her face. Deep breath in, soothing breath out, people.
Hillary Returns to the Seventh Circle of Hell
An hour later, we see Hillary walk into Bathory's office with a bomb strapped around her midsection. As Stephen breeches the threshold of Bathory's office, Hillary explodes. Did she kill Bathory as well? We won't know until next week because Bathory didn't appear in the brief promo video.
The Tomorrow People airs Mondays at 9pm on The CW.
(Image courtesy of The CW)