Seriously, even if you don't care about Tomorrow People, watch this clip. It's exhibit A as to why Mark Pellegrino deserves a knighthood. And the look on Hillary's face as she tries not to smile upon hearing of someone's impending death is my new favorite thing. It's one minute of pure glory.
The other fantastic thing about that scene is that Jedikiah (Pellegrino) reminds us that he's not just a cardboard villain but that he believes he's doing the right thing — and his whole ideology is that Ultra is there to serve the human race. So when Ultra has to wipe out an ordinary human who's seen too much (as apparently happens pretty often) they feel really, really bad about it.
And really, last night's episode proved that Tomorrow People is at its best when it focuses on the human characters as well as the mutants. Call it the Vampire Diaries Effect: The more a show starts to focus entirely on characters who are superpowered, paranormal or otherwise superhuman, the fewer shits we start to give after a while. The focus on characters like Jedikiah, Astrid and Stephen's mom made last night's outing surprisingly watchable.
The human element really is what's going to make Tomorrow People more than just your average "tormented teen hero struggles with his super-awesome destiny OMG" story. The show has gone through insane plot gyrations to allow Stephen to stay at home with his family and keep going to school — that's the reason why he's a double agent at Ultra, since if Ultra was hunting him down, he would have to go into hiding. So if the show is willing to bend credulity to the breaking point, just to keep Stephen with his human family and friends, we damn well ought to see a lot of them.
Also, Astrid and Stephen's mom are now my two favorite characters on the show, and I totally ship Astrid/John. I'm Jastrid 100 percent of the way.
The episode's "A" plot (I guess) had to do with Stephen being a total jerkwad. (That's basically the theme of this show, at this point.) Stephen goes away on a camping trip with his brother Luka, his mom and his mom's new boyfriend Peter — and Stephen is convinced that Peter is up to no good because he apparently has psychic powers and also wants to bone Stephen's mom. So Stephen harrasses his wannabe stepdad, and finally throws him off a cliff — only to realize in the end that Peter doesn't have powers, Stephen's brother Luka does.
Well done, Stephen.
The look on Stephen's mom's face after Peter says he needs space is really super-sad, and just one of several emotional beats in this episode that are handled with a modicum of subtlety and deftness. You really feel for Marla, who's put up with so much shit since her husband told her he didn't love her and bailed on her. And now she finally gets a chance at a tiny sliver of happiness, and her evil son takes it away.
Meanwhile, because Stephen couldn't resist showing off his teleporting mojo in public to Astrid, his archrival Hillary now knows that Astrid is aware of the big mutant secret. Which means Astrid is due for the same fate that befell the kindly old newsagent guy who gave comics to John when John was a kid — only to see John use his psychic powers, and snuff it as a result. (Hard to believe the newsstand guy survived the end of Watchmen, only to get gunned down.)
John winds up taking the impending death of Astrid personally, thanks to the newsagent guy, and takes a bullet rescuing her. Leading to an insanely sweet hurt/comfort scenario that includes Astrid opening up to John — who actually is interested in her as a person, not just as a sounding board (ahem, Stephen). And then Astrid sings David Bowie to him, and a ship takes flight. Eventually, Astrid figures out how to get in touch with Cara, does impromptu quasi-surgery on John, and then gets to wield a machine gun in the best imitation of Rocket Raccoon I've seen this week:
All of which leads to Astrid suffering the fate that Stephen has thus far avoided: she's stuck underground with the Tomorrow People, unable to show her face without getting killed by Ultra.
You would think Stephen would have some 'splaining to do when he goes back to Ultra headquarters, especially since the Tomorrow People rescued his friend Astrid in broad daylight. But forget it, Jake. This is The Tomorrow People.