The Tomorrow People Season 1 Review “Smoke and Mirrors”

The phrase smoke and mirrors is used to describe a situation that hides and/or distorts the truth. It’s usually applied when talking about magic tricks, but it’s also an accurate phrase to describe situations we face in life. Sometimes it can be hard to see through the deception when the deceiver appears to be giving you the thing you want most in the world. In this week’s The Tomorrow People, I have a feeling that Stephen fell prey to the illusion.

After Jedikiah’s failed attempt to take out The Founder, he went on the run leaving the position of the head of Ultra vacant. The Founder stepped in and told everyone that it was going to be a new day at Ultra. He claimed there would be no more kill squads and no more hunting down tomorrow people to strip them of their powers. Hillary was anxious to find out whether The Founder was going to keep his word, so she asked if she and Stephen could go bring in a new breakout. The breakout was working as a street magician, and his powers were the central element of his show. Cara and John thwarted Stephen and Hillary’s mission, but Ultra found the magician later. They brought him in and it looked like The Founder was about to strip his powers, but he just implanted a tracker in the guy’s head, told him to stop using his powers so brazenly in public, and let the guy go. Stephen was both impressed and relieved, but that wasn’t all The Founder had in store. He told Stephen that Roger had been working on a machine to amplify his powers so that he could open the door that would lead the tomorrow people to their safe haven. The Founder said that the only person who could operate the machine is Stephen because he can stop time, and he asked Stephen to get in and power the machine. Stephen did, much to Jedikiah’s dismay.

Jed is really in a bad way. Usually he’s the guy who always looks cool, calm, and collected. Not anymore. Jed is on the run and he’s hiding from The Founder. He’s also trying to convince anyone who will listen that The Founder is bad news and if Stephen agrees to power the machine, it will lead to the destruction of the entire human race. He tried to tell Stephen, but Stephen refuses to listen. He actually refuses to even give Jed the benefit of the doubt. After Stephen wouldn’t listen to reason, Jed went to his house and tried to force Stephen’s hand by telling Luca the truth about Stephen’s powers. Jed figured that Stephen would be more inclined to listen if he was afraid Ultra was going to send a kill squad after Luca. That didn’t quite work out the way Jed planned either though because all it succeeded in doing was pushing Stephen farther away. After Jed couldn’t get through to Stephen, he went to John. He pleaded with John to convince Stephen that The Founder is not what he pretends to be. He also told John that he had a way to bring Roger back, but he needs Stephen to do it. He showed John where he was keeping Roger’s body and begged John to get Stephen to listen to him, but it was too late. Jedikiah looked horrified when he realized that Stephen was, in fact, powering The Founder’s machine.

I don’t really understand Stephen’s decision to side with The Founder. I get that he feels guilty about getting Cassie killed. I get that he’s desperate to get his father back. At the same time though, the last time Stephen made a deal with The Founder, The Founder didn’t keep his word. He said that if Stephen brought Cassie in, he wouldn’t send a kill squad after Astrid. He lied, and I don’t know why Stephen can’t seem to remember that. Not to mention that The Founder performed horrific tests and experiments on his own child in an effort to further his plan. The man has no soul. Nothing that The Founder has done in his interactions with Stephen would suggest that he’s the guy Stephen should trust implicitly. Yeah, he’s making some big show about a “new” Ultra, but that only serves his purposes. Stephen should remember that the only one who has kept his word (for the most part at least) is Jedikiah. So I’m very much perplexed as to why Stephen refuses to even give Jed the benefit of the doubt now. Yes, Jed has lied to him too. But at the end of the day, I get the sense that Jed really does care about Stephen beyond just how much Stephen is essential to his plans. Furthermore, Jed was right about The Founder the last time and Stephen would do well to remember that. Even if Stephen ultimately decided to side with The Founder, it would seem he wouldn’t do it so soon. I have a feeling that Stephen is going to quickly regret picking this side though. When I looked at how The Founder is placing tracking devices in tomorrow people’s heads, I was reminded of Magneto’s plan to use Cerebro to kill all the humans in X2: X-men United. The Founder looks like he’s headed toward a similar plan. Tag all the tomorrow people so that they will be safe from the effects of the machine, but when Stephen powers up the machine it will kill all the people who aren’t tagged. Essentially, The Founder creates the safe haven by killing all the humans in the city and taking over the island for tomorrow people. We’ll just have to wait and see, but I believe that’s where his plan is headed.

I don’t know that I trust Jed any more than I trust The Founder, but I am at least willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. For the moment at least, and it appears John is too. Jed and John have a very interesting relationship. John hates what Jed did to him, and he hates many of the things he did because of his desire to please Jed. At the same time, as much as John may protest, he still cares about Jedikiah. I don’t know whether it’s just that John feels indebted to him for saving him from a horrible childhood. Or whether John really does look at Jed as a father and, as such, cannot bring himself to completely cut ties with him. John wants to believe that The Founder is ushering in a new day for tomorrow people, but when Jed called him to talk, unlike Stephen, John was at least willing to listen. I don’t believe that he truly trusts Jedikiah any more either, but I think a part of him wants to. And a part of Jedikiah is heartbroken that he’s all but destroyed his relationship with John. I do believe that Jed looked on John as a son, and I do believe it hurt him deeply when John walked away. Neither of them will come flat out and say what they feel for fear that the other will use that vulnerability to his advantage. It’s really quite sad. Luke Mitchell and Mark Pellegrino play John and Jed’s relationship with so many layers and so much complexity that it’s difficult to know where they really stand with each other. That’s a very difficult line to walk, but both of these actors do a wonderful job of it. Their scenes together are always wonderfully done and add an emotional layer to the episode. Kudos for really good work.

I am pretty much done with Cara. I mean seriously. What is her deal? She’s with John, but she’s jealous when she thinks Stephen is in a relationship with Hillary. She loves John, but her feelings are hurt Stephen’s seeing someone else. She wants Stephen to be undercover, but she doesn’t want Stephen to be undercover. I’m really starting to get whiplash here. Cara’s behavior is not only confusing, it’s juvenile. Her childish behavior has blown Stephen’s cover, and that puts not just him, but his family and friends at risk. And why did Cara blow Stephen’s cover? Not because she was worried they’re losing him. Not because Stephen was in danger. She blew Stephen’s cover because she was jealous that it looked like Stephen was on a date with Hillary. I honestly do not get it.

This was a pretty solid episode, and I’m anxious to see how The Founder’s plan plays out. I will say that I’m kind of disappointed that Marla hasn’t played any more into the story. We found out in the mid-season cliffhanger that she’s got powers, but other than a passing mention of her, she’s been pretty much MIA since then. What was the point in revealing that she’s got powers of she’s not going to be around to use them? Stephen’s mother and brother have both been pretty absent from the story which is why I didn’t particularly care that Jed had told Luca about Stephen’s powers. Luca hasn’t really been involved in the story, so I don’t have an emotional investment in him knowing the truth. Perhaps he and Marla will play a bigger part later, but right now, I don’t really care. I’m not sure how I feel about Stephen and Hillary hooking up. I mean, she seems like the kind of girl who will use sex to manipulate Stephen and it’s pretty clear Stephen is easily manipulated. She may have been telling the truth about wanting to believe in The Founder and his new vision for Ultra, but I don’t know. I wouldn’t trust her either. We’re on a break for a couple of weeks, but when we get back it looks like things start to come to a head. So what did y’all think of this week’s The Tomorrow People?

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