Rarely has a freshman season ended with such derring-do, such panache, such tight yet satisfyingly almost-not-achieved resolution as The Tomorrow People
does this week with "Son of Man." The loose ends are gathered and squared away in a manner any Boy Scout would be proud of. The story arc gracefully lands with a satisfying sploosh on the other side of the science fiction lagoon. And if this is the end, well, it's a mighty fine one and we can expect a whole slew of cartoon series to prolong the life of this marvelous TTP
"Son of Man" is well written and executed, and the story is assembled with all the right touches of mystery, romance, revelation and hope without leaning toward the mawkish or sickeningly sweet.
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I Like Mine Well Done
So well done is everything that one has to wonder if that last tidbit of celluloid wasn't held back as long as possible while the producers prayed to St. Clare of Assisi (Patron saint of television) for a second season. We could have done without it. We really could have.
I, myself, would like to pretend that the last 30 seconds didn't even happen. We Americans like happy endings. However, the magical fairies who birthed The Tomorrow People know full well that Americans -- and people of all manner of stars, stripes, block colors and tasseled flags -- appreciate a good deal of intrigue. Yes, we do. The Tomorrow People fairies want us to know that they have a lot more to offer the viewing public. Will the network bite? Time will tell, boys and girls. Let's hope they do. However, I hope they mess up John's hair a bit and let him grow some facial hair back before they do. I digress.
Let's get into our play by play of the finale episode.
We quickly learn that powers given to humans will fade. Since Jedikiah injected himself with Irene's DNA last week and empowered himself (pun intended), this was a key point. Jedikiah teleports to Ultra to find Roger in the activated. Roger convinces his brother that the only way to end all the suffering is for Jed to shoot him. If Jed was still empowered, he wouldn't have been able to do that. See how clever that was?
As Jedikiah cries out his apologies and takes aim, Stephen rushes into the room in time to see his father bleeding. Pulling him from the machine, Stephen tells his dad the typical lie we tell all dying people -- you're gonna be fine. Roger tells Stephen he believes in him and that he has more strength than he can imagine. This comes into play later on, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Strangely, Jed isn't looking as broken-up as you might think ... what is that all about? It's not until shortly later that Roger and Jed embrace like lovers, and Roger teleports the two of them to limbo and Jed pours his heart out as Roger lay dying in his arms. Before dying, however, Roger says he still thinks Stephen might be able to make it possible for humans and TTPs to live in harmony. Deranged thoughts of a dying man? We don't actually know yet.
Bathory appears on the scene and cackles maniacally that Stephen was too late to save his father and the machine already has everything it needs from Roger. The Founder then tasks Natalie and Russell "Judas" Kwon with delivering Cara and Stephen to him.
Another revelation even worse than the first about the temporary nature of super powers for humans: Bathory has been Annexing his goons with Delephonium-6, the stuff that gives paranormals the power to kill. Oh, snap!
Stephen returns to the lair and announces Roger's death at Jed's hand and the failed attempt to stop the machine.
If Not For Yourself, Do It for Astrid
John and Cara chat. John is a human now and will die along with all of humanity if that machine isn't somehow destroyed or turned off within the next two hours. John is feeling hopeless. Cara pulls the heart card: if you won't save yourself, do it for Astrid ... and chills run up and down our spines. At least they did mine. So John runs off to find the beautiful Astrid.
Tim the super computer says the machine is like a nuclear bomb which will kill all humans. They will stop in their tracks and cease to be alive. What exactly does that mean? Will people stand around like statues? Will they decay? Will birds eat them? Who's gonna want to live on earth with all that putrefaction in the air? Did the machine ever actually lead to wonderland in the first place? Lots of questions remain.
Stephen is Talked Off the Ledge and Russell Brings a Hail Mary
Stephen mentally steals the location of the Delephonium-6 from John's mind and gets himself some. Returning to his attic bedroom, he prepares to shoot up, but is then stopped by Cara.
Russell arrives at the lair with Natalie and a bunch of Annexed paranormal goons, and all is almost lost until Russell turns on Natalie and the goons, saving Cara.
John, Astrid, Cara, Stephen and Russell meet up at an empty restaurant and hatch a plan to destroy the machine. Fortuitously, Roger spilled to Russell (as he was being carted away as Russell's captive for Bathory) that there was a way to destroy the machine, but it would take lots of people, not just a few. They decide to storm Ultra and draw the goon killers out of the building so Stephen could get inside and implode the nasty thing.
Cara is Beautiful in Her New Leather Coat and Cat Pants
It has to be said that the black and white color blocking going on with Cara's new leather jacket is phenomenal. Her spandex and leather cat pants are to die for as well. Sorry, guys, but all us women are thinking it and I can't not say anything anymore. Why they chose to give Cara a splash of white isn't clear at first, but in the next scene it makes perfect sense ... watch and learn...
The Team Storms Ultra and Maximum Chaos Ensues
Cara and Russell arrive on the plaza outside Ultra. A million killer paranormals dressed all in black arrive and start to kick some serious patootie -- most of it Cara and Russell's. This is why Cara now has some white on -- so we can keep visual track of her while the poo is hitting the propeller out there in the battle field. Again, very clever.
Cara and Russell hold their own pretty well until they don't anymore. Then shots ring out from somewhere above. It's John and his lady love on a rooftop sniping at the big baddies until they are all gone. Yes! Tomorrow People, 1. Goons, 0.
Cara runs into Ultra and confronts Bathory, distracting him by mentioning his daughter, Cassie. Bathory has Cara in a stranglehold and starts soliloquizing like all nefarious overlords right before leaving the nemesis in a pit being circled by sharks or attacked by fembots with AK47's in their bra cups.
Cara mental-tweets Stephen, who teleports to the machine room to watch the Stargate glowing red. It looks like he's too late.
The Kiss of Death (Life)
Still on the rooftop, John and Astrid lock lips in a tummy-tingling embrace in what they think will be their last moment of life. It's a pretty yummy kiss, by the way. As the two-hour time limit for the machine ticks down, the machine starts emitting a jelly-like wave of time-stoppage that ends all human life. John and Astrid are caught in their kiss (not a bad way to go, actually) and another man stops mid-air. It's freaky, I tell you.
Bathory and Stephen tussle in the Stargate room and Stephen manages to elevate Bathory, shocking the poo out of the nasty villain. All kinds of light saber noises are emitted.
Eventually, Stephen is able to fight off Bathory, zap all of Roger's power out of the machine and into himself, and then throw Bathory like a rag doll right into the middle of the nasty contraption. All of a sudden, the room is empty. Boom, baby! The jelly-like time wave recedes and everyone is alive again. It sounds kinda silly written here, but it's surprisingly cool and feels very original. Maybe I just need to get out more? I digress once again...
Stephen Reverses Time
John and Cara see each other out on the plaza. Natalie sneaks up behind and shoots her dead in slow motion. Stephen comes out and does a Hulk-like scream, which miraculously turns time backwards -- much to Stephen's surprise and ours -- and we watch the bullet go backwards out of Cara. Stephen grabs the gun from Natalie before she can pull the trigger.
Cara then runs to Stephen and John looks deflated. Then Astrid comes along and it's a happy foursome -- they're all gonna be in each other's weddings and be god-parents of each other's babies and have houses across the street from each other, right? Satisfied sigh.
We Never Go Out Anymore
John and Astrid are on the subway on what looks like a date. Jed joins them and steals John away. Earlier, John caught Jedikiah watching old movies of John's youth. Jed calls John "son" so many times that one has to wonder if perhaps John and Jed might actually be father and son, though John is clearly oblivious to it. When the two men hug, it is quite obvious that they share the exact same hair color. Things that make you go "Hmmm," right?
Queen and King of the Tomorrow People
Cara tele-tweets Stephen to the lair. It's full of breakouts, all who have found their way to the lair to follow their leaders, Stephen and Cara. Then they decide to go live at the newly recovered Ultra building.
At this point in the show, everything has ended satisfactorily. Extraordinarily well, actually. So well that one has to wonder if The Tomorrow People has not been renewed for a second season yet because there's nothing left undone, unsaid or un-kissed. A sense of well-being washes over us and we're happy and proud of these wonderful actors who introduced us to their world. But then the ominous happens...
Jedikiah "Frankenstein" Price Resurrects John's Powers
Then Cara has phantom sensations where she was shot and asks Stephen what he did to save her life. He doesn't tell her. Then she senses John as if he were breaking out. She senses him yelling for her.
Jedikiah takes John home and shows him he's squirreled away a bunch of Roger's DNA, and wouldn't John like some so he can get his powers back? Jed looks completely crazy. That man never has enough, does he?
Apparently, since John had powers before, his body won't reject them as Jed's body did. Also, another nasty little surprise: Jed has figured out some way to erase John's memory of his past life, or at least his past friends.
Jed wants to start a new organization of paranormal super soldiers. John appears shaven and pristine in a black suit, white shirt and tie. He doesn't recognize any of his friends in the dossier Jed gives him. When he asks Jedikiah who those people are, he learns they are going to be their first recruits for the paranormal super soldier army. Oh, snap!
And so is born the possibility of a second season of The Tomorrow People. It will be a much different show. And this new cleaned-up John isn't nearly as sexy as the old disheveled one. I guess we'll have to see what The CW decides to do later on this month. I'll tell you this, though. I will certainly give another season a good shot because this group of artists together has some magic going on.
(Images courtesy of The CW)