The Tomorrow People episode 12 review: Sitting Ducks

Review Ron Hogan 31 Jan 2014 - 08:12

Ron doesn't find much to recommend about this week's episode of The Tomorrow People...

This review contains spoilers.

1.12 Sitting Ducks

With every episode, The Tomorrow People seems to get dumber and dumber. The show, the premises, the characters... everything appears to be sliding farther down the intellectual scale, and there don't seem to be any sign of improvement on the horizon. Everyone, save the main antagonist, appears to have taken a double dose of dumb pills this week, starting with Stephen.

Stephen is suspicious of his mother's new boyfriend, which makes sense because Stephen is suspicious of everyone now that he's taken a job with Ultra. When you're part of a massive government conspiracy that has carte blanche to detain and execute American citizens, you tend to start seeing boogeymen everywhere. Everyone, from Astrid to Peter the boyfriend to Luca emphasizes how Stephen is being more paranoid than usual, but it's the fact that even Cara and John seem to think Stephen is being unnecessarily paranoid that's the first strike against the episode. Cara and John live in a sewer. If anyone should commend Stephen for realizing the difficult, dangerous situation he's in, it should be them, but it isn't. John agrees to protect Astrid, but not because she's an innocent person, but because he's had yet another flashback involving a dead friend.

While Stephen is off playing in the woods with his potential stepfather - by playing in the woods I mean Stephen is glowering impotently at the older man before throwing him into the river to make sure he doesn't have any powers by drowning him - John is left with the job of taking care of Astrid, of all people. It turns out that Hillary (Alexa Vega) is concerned that Stephen's generous sharing of last week's bust is all an act, and as a wholehearted believer in survival of the fittest, she's going to narc on Stephen about his pet human and get Stephen demoted and Astrid killed.

However, as we've seen throughout this season, everyone at Ultra who isn't Jed is possibly the worst at what he or she does in the entire nation. Hillary narcs (and threatens Stephen) in the most obvious way possible, so Jed has to correct her and tell her that killing humans isn't their goal; protecting humans is their goal, though they're not above killing to keep things quiet. Alongside that is the fact that every time Ultra storms a building, people get away. Cara walks right into a building on lock down. John teleports Astrid to safety after the show cruelly teases us with the idea that Astrid might die, only to spend the rest of the episode teasing the viewing audience about the possibility that John might die.

Granted, neither of those things happens. Instead, Astrid gets on her smart phone and Skypes over to where the Tomorrow People are, begging Cara for help. Cara, who is using her Acer Windows 8 laptop, I might add. (The product placement is so blatant that I can't help but think this is Dermott's choice and not a mistake. Astrid then gets to perform some rudimentary abdomen surgery on a gut-shot John, who is too weak to teleport them to safety.

That's another way Ultra is incompetent. One guy is door security. There are no extra layers of security hanging around by the door guy. The door guy is actually out in the open, visible, when Cara kicks the crap out of him. Cara sneaks up to where John and Astrid are hiding with no trouble and is able to take them away safety, one at a time. John might have gotten shot, but since he's fine and it will be forgotten next week, Astrid escapes with TP help when all she really needed to do was hold up her keys, throw them, and run. Ultra might be the worst, most dangerous organization on the planet, and it keeps dozens of prisoners from around the world. Ultra's agents are drilled into shape as we speak, and yet... and yet... nothing. They're stormtroopers in a suit and tie for all the good shooting and fighting games have done.

Long story short, there's not much to recommend in The Tomorrow People. I've asked around and most of the people I know that started with the show have wisely given up on the show. Fortunately the first season is past the halfway point for its particular run of episodes, so here's hoping, the next ten or so episodes pass by smoothly and without much in the way of incident if the program is going to continue to refuse to improve in quality. I mean no disrespect to Downs or writer Micah Schraft, as this episode simply continues to slide to pointlessness in spite of the efforts of all involved.

There's just too much pipe to clamber up to get back to an acceptable level of television quality.

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, Rumble, here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan is so very, very tired. Perhaps it was The Tomorrow People that put him to sleep. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

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