The Tomorrow People Season 1 Review “Modus Vivendi”

Modus Vivendi is a Latin phrase that essentially means agree to disagree. Generally, I find that to be a good piece of advice, but I’m not so sure that’s going to work with the tomorrow people and Ultra. For one thing, in order for opposing parties to agree to disagree, they’ve both got to put all their cards on the table. In this episode of The Tomorrow People, The Founder told Stephen to let the tomorrow people know that he wanted a truce. He said that the war was over and all past slights would be forgiven. Stephen and most of the other tomorrow people were ecstatic, but Cara was wary. She sent Russell to talk to The Founder to find out whether he was on the up and up. Unfortunately, all it takes for Russell to believe you is some decent caviar, good wine, and a really nice watch. Cara still didn’t believe that The Founder was sincere, but then neither was she. She wanted to find out what Ultra was planning, so she tried to read Hillary’s mind. I get the sense that that had more to do with Hillary sleeping with Stephen, but I’ll let it go. Ultimately, it turns out The Founder isn’t being honest and he’s using Stephen as a means to an end. Like I said, modus vivendi doesn’t seem to apply to Ultra and the tomorrow people. Neither party was being straight with the other, so the truce was doomed even before it began.

Cara seems to have good instincts for once. She thinks the truce with The Founder is too good to be true, and she’s very wary of accepting anything The Founder says on face value. Although, I don’t know whether her distrust of The Founder stems from good instincts or from the need for the war to continue. I’m not saying that she wants people to keep getting hurt. She’s not that twisted. But without the war and the other tomorrow people in the lair, she doesn’t have anything. Not really. She can’t go back home. Her sister doesn’t want anything to do with the tomorrow people. She’s got nowhere to go and nothing to do. It’s quite sad actually. I suppose she and John could figure out how to carve out a life for themselves if the war does ever end, but that would be kind of hard when Cara seems to still want Stephen.

It’s really kind of bothering me how stupid they’re making Stephen. There is absolutely no reason that he should trust The Founder, yet he does. Nothing that The Founder has done would lead a reasonable person to believe that he can be trusted, yet Stephen seems to trust him implicitly. I’m not saying Jedikiah was exactly cute and cuddly, but he was fairly honest with Stephen. At least as honest as he could be about his plan. The Founder, on the other hand, has lied at every turn. And why is Stephen all of a sudden so trusting of Hillary. This is the same Hillary that not even a month ago tried to kill his best friend, and Stephen is good with that? It doesn’t make any sense to me that Stephen would believe that Hillary has all of a sudden made a complete 180. She shared a little bit about her past (which may or may not have been true) and now he believes she cares so deeply about him that she’s willing to risk her life to help him? I get that he’s a teenager and his hormones are raging, but with everything that’s going on you would think that he would play things a little bit closer to the vest. I guess I just prefer the protagonists to have more common sense than Stephen seems to have. It seems like the only reason Stephen’s trusting The Founder and Hillary is so the plot can move forward, and that’s not a good enough reason.

I’m also not digging how Stephen is treating Astrid. Stephen knows that Astrid is in love with him. Even so, he still seems to rub in her face that he’s free to sleep with whomever he wants. I’m not saying he’s necessarily doing it intentionally, but he’s hanging all over Hillary and/or Cara right in front of her. That just seems so very insensitive. Not to mention the fact that Stephen is hooking up with the girl who tried to kill Astrid. It just seems like Stephen is being a very horrible best friend. He doesn’t seem to bother caring about Astrid’s feelings. He doesn’t seem to respect the standing dates he and Astrid have had for years. He doesn’t seem concerned with how she’s dealing with almost being killed. He just doesn’t seem to care about her very much at all. That’s not how a best friend is supposed to behave.

I don’t know what to say about Jedikiah. He’s a desperate man trying to survive a dangerous situation, and he’s completely gone off the deep end. I am very wary of allowing myself to trust Jedikiah because he’s been so manipulative in the past. But a part of me is starting to believe that he really is telling the truth about Roger and the machine. I’m also starting to believe that Jedikiah’s heart isn’t actually made of stone. He was terrified when the Ultra agents located his hideout, but he wasn’t scared for himself. He was afraid of what he was going to have to do to Roger. He’s been saying all along that Roger sacrificed himself to keep The Founder from being able to power the machine, and Jedikiah’s refusal to abandon Roger demonstrates just how deeply Jedikiah loves his brother. Although, like I said, Jedikiah has been very manipulative since the beginning, so I’m not sure how much of this is actually about Roger and how much of it is about him. I suppose we’ll find out soon enough though. One thing that’s certain is that Jedikiah is on his own. He’s being hunted by Ultra; he’s alienated his family; and he’s severely strained his relationship with John. It’ll be interesting to see whether the tomorrow people decide to provide Jed with refuge after everything he’s done to them. I’m leaning toward no, but John seems to still have a soft spot for Jed. Maybe he’ll be able to convince the tomorrow people to let Jed stay as long as he’s helpful.

Thankfully, Jedikiah didn’t have to kill Roger to keep him out of Ultra’s grasp. Jed and John took Roger’s body back to The Lair. Stephen’s mother showed up to remove the bullet from Roger’s chest while Stephen used the machine to get to limbo and bring Roger’s consciousness back. It was kind of touch and go for a while there, but it looks like Roger is going to pull through. It’s none too soon because someone needs to shed some light on what exactly that machine does. It would also be nice if Roger could clear up whether Jed is telling the truth or not.

On a technical note, something that REALLY bothered me about this episode was the unnecessary and overabundant use of the shaky cam. It’s one thing to have shaky cam when you’re shooting an action sequence or when someone is running away from someone else. It’s a horse of a different color for the camera to be shaking like they’re filming during an earthquake while the characters are standing still having a conversation. It’s very distracting and extremely annoying. It completely takes me out of the action because I feel myself getting motion sickness from all the movement. I’m not sure who decided that shaky cam was a good idea, but they were sorely mistaken.

Despite the shaky cam business, I enjoyed this episode. I do wish they would write Stephen a bit smarter though and maybe more compassionate toward his best friend. It looks like Hillary might be having some second thoughts about her assignment, but she’s still gonna stab Stephen in the back. I don’t know what The Founder’s endgame is, but I have a feeling that he’s going to need both Stephen and Roger to make it happen. Maybe that’s why he hasn’t killed Stephen yet. Maybe Roger’s powers aren’t enough to power the machine. Maybe it required two people who could stop time. I don’t know, but I imagine we won’t have to wait long to find out. All in all, not a bad episode. So what did y’all think of this week’s The Tomorrow People?