The Tomorrow People: "The Citadel" Review: Candles Are a Girl's Best Friend

By theguylafayette

Jan 18, 2014

Somewhere buried deep within the characters of The Tomorrow People is a great television show waiting to be found. I wasn’t convinced of this early on in the season, but each week I keep coming back with a little more excitement about getting to watch the show again. While this week introduced an interesting concept in the form of The Citadel and we had a change in leadership among the Tomorrow People it still felt like there was something missing. Throw in the fact that the midseason giant cliffhanger was more or less wrapped up in the opening minute of the episode and I wasn’t too enthusiastic about this week’s episode.


This week started off where we left of at the end of the midseason finale as Stephen was being “killed”. This week we witnessed the resolution to this experiment as Stephen successfully communicated with his father. However, this resolution consisted of using a plot device that has driven me crazy in Sleepy Hollow the only words of wisdom Stephen received was in the form of a name: Simon Plame. This was eerily similar to the situation earlier in the season when Stephen only had a name to go on when he was searching for the professor who helped his father reach Limbo. I'm not sure how many more times the writers can rely on this plot device without it getting overly repetitive.

While John was onboard with the Roger is Alive bandwagon immediately, Cara was much more reticent and pushed further away from this idea after being unable to read Stephen’s Limbo experience. Tim was at least able to confirm that Simon Plame was an actual person associated with Ultra and that he had mysteriously disappeared around the time of Roger's death.

Back home there were some developments in the Jameson household as Momma Jameson had re-entered the dating world. So far The Tomorrow People has struggled mightily to justify and integrate the existence of Astrid, Momma Jameson, and Luca into the overall storyline of the show. In other words, if all three of these characters died or disappeared in the next episode it would have little to no impact on anything going on with the current story lines being presented. That's not exactly a good thing. I imagine that originally the role of Astrid that was pitched was for her to be the common trope as the human best friend to Stephen while helping him integrate into the Tomorrow People. Essentially the character that would make Stephen feel like being a Tomorrow Person was awesome rather than a disaster. We've seen the type of character succeed and fail in other shows, but something changed early on in the season and I think that idea was abandoned. Since then Astrid hasn't really had much to do beyond being mad at Stephen.

Similarly, I imagine the eventual plotline for Luca is that he will integrate into the Tomorrow People when he breaks out either later this season or in later seasons. However, until then he's a bit of a lame duck character at the moment. Just not a whole lot of screen time dedicated to him or Momma Jameson to really make them feel like a part of Stephen's life. I think that is the huge miss here so far - Astrid, Momma Jameson, and Luca do no feel like ESSENTIAL parts of Stephen's life. They just kind of exist on the periphery. Anyway, Luca was really pumped that Momma Jameson was playing the field.

Back amongst the Tomorrow People in the subway a new potentially weird triangle was set into motion with one scene.

I'm not sure if the intention was to thrust Morgan into the role of being John's new love interest, but the look Cara gave her in addition to what followed later in the episode suggested that this may be the case. Having John compete with his father figure Jedekiah for Morgan could get kind of weird really fast. Of course I could be making ASSUMPTIONS which can only mean that I am likely making an ass out of u and me. More important to the storyline though was that Cara was sending John on another guilt trip about keeping the fact that he had killed Roger a secret. He vowed to come clean to the rest of the Tomorrow People and see where everyone stood after his revelation.

This week's number breakout came courtesy of the Ultra research facility known as the Citadel where an inmate (Errol) managed to escape custody.

Meanwhile, Stephen tried to convince the Ultra AI known as Alice (played by Elizabeth Hurley....yes seriously, bc of course) that he had permission to check into Simon Plame, Naturally the AI called him out on his nonsense and immediately notified Jedekiah. Luckily, before Jedekiah could rain down hellfire on Stephen for doing something sketchy for the one millionth time since joining Ultra Errol popped up on his radar.

Errol was not handling his newfound freedom so well as he attempted to track down his wife. Errol escaped Stephen and partner rather easily, but more importantly we learned of a new super Tomorrow People skill - the ability to expel someone else from their minds. At least I think that was it, I'm not 100% sure. I thought telepathy just let you speak in someone else's mind not actually read it, but they made it seem like Errol simply preventing Stephen from speaking to him was just mindbendingly painful to Stephen. It wasn't super clear on what Errol was actually preventing from happening.

Back in Tomorrow Person town, the people were restless.

See what did I tell you. Anyway they were not particularly thrilled with the revelation that John could kill people and also that he had killed Roger. Brand spanking new character with an attitude Mark suggested they vote themselves a new leader. Rather than nominating himself he put forward Cara as a candidate, which was a pleasantly surprising development that only adds more intriguing drama to the mix that is the John-Cara relationship. However, the method by which the Tomorrow People voted left a little something to be desired (it was by using candles and telepathy).

Needless to say Cara was the victor and put into motion the plan of the week. After Ultra successfully captured Errol, Stephen would notify them so that they could free Errol and obtain the location of the Citadel.

The first part of the plan went smoothly as the Tomorrow People easily overpowered the Ultra guards and freed Errol. However, (smartly) they finally figured out that it might be a little obvious if Stephen came out scot free again after one of their interferences. Luckily, there was a simple solution at hand.

In short order the Tomorrow People used Errol to determine where the Citadel was located. However, (thank God for smart villains) Ultra figured out that Errol was so damaged that he was more or less useless to the Tomorrow People and that they must therefore be more interested in something else. Jedekiah quickly decided to keep Stephen out of action or warning the others by drugging him to the gills and knocking him out, but he did manage to get off a quick warning to John.

Jedekiah did manage to interrupt the escape attempt, but was foiled at the last minute by John and Errol. The Tomorrow People were unable to free anyone other than Errol's friend Charlotte and he paid the ultimate price to do so as he was gunned down by Jedekiah. Another reminder that on this show there are actual life and death stakes.



Cara was distraught by Errol's death and threatened to turn Morgan over to Ultra in retaliation before John stepped in. At Ultra headquarters Jedekiah pretty much called Stephen out for working with the Tomorrow People again and Stephen said that he was tired of the mistrust and demanded a reward for being a good soldier. One of the best things about this show so far is that the bad guys actually have working brains. There is, however, one truly glaringly bright exception and that is Stephen's work as a mole at Ultra. Every time something bad happens to Ultra or a breakout escapes - Stephen is involved. I understand the necessity for this to exist for the show to work, but to have the balls to just have Stephen act like he is the best agent ever who should be trusted when his success rate at doing what Ultra asks is like 10% was a little bit over the line.

Anyway, it turns out that Jedekiah had killed Simon Plame when he had attempted to steal Roger's body. Jedekiah then claimed to have cremated Roger's body. However, the Tomorrow People menfolk seemed to believe that this was a lie and seemed to brighten up a bit after talking it over (Cara being the one exception).

We wrapped up this week's episode with Stephen attempting to read the mind of his mother's new boyfriend unsuccessfully leaving us several questions.



Questions:

Is Momma Jameson's new boyfriend a Tomorrow Person who can "push" or was Stephen's mind somehow broken by Errol?

How is Roger's body being preserved and where is it? Will we ever see him in the living world again - brought back to life?

Is Morgan - John going to turn into a real thing or am I reaching?

What did you think of this week's episode and what plot are you most interested in at this point in Season 1?



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  • Katerine_M Jan 27, 2014

    ...Still struggling with what seems to me like the central paradox in this show:

    If you stop time, then you stop time. If you stop time while dying, then you're stuck in that moment. You don't move forward with the rest of the world. The rest of the world moves on without you.

    So is Limbo coexist simultaneously in All Moments? That's the only theory I can think of for Roger stopping time, and then continuing to exist in Limbo, even as time moves forward. But if that's the case, then why is Roger able to make distinct, and different, communications with Stephen at different times? Why is Stephen not seeing his own earlier, and later, visits to LImbo?

  • oberjuan Apr 28, 2014

    You realize that this whole thing is a remake, and the premises and rules go back to the early 60's. when folks were a lot less fussy about their sci-fi... But that also means previous generations have contrived excuses for believing them! Here is mine.

    My theory would be two-dimensional time. If there is a second time dimension, parallel to our own, that would allow for teleportation, because the time you need to cover the distance is spent there, but then you cannot remember spending that time, when you come back to this one.

    Since 'stopping time' is supposed to be related to teleportation, maybe it is taking you into that perpendicular time in a way that lets you remember doing it. You are free to move and have experiences, and to develop a timeline of your own, but physics and biochemistry are different -- things don't fall, you don't age, or finish dying.

    Letting force that would move things in one timeframe get dissipated in the other one also allows for telekinesis. Every action has a reaction, but if the action and the reaction play out in different temporal directions, you can just create force out of nothing and 'brace it' against stuff no one else is aware of.

    Then you can only share those experiences with other people who have also 'turned left' timewise and followed your trajectory. Meanwhile, you cannot turn back and move forward in normal time, or you will finish dying.

    Two dimensions don't just make contact at a point, though, they make up a whole space, where each point in each touches points of the other. So one could connect to the same points in the alternate time from anywhere in this one, as long as nobody moved backward altogether in both directions.

    Nothing extra-dimensional explains telepathy, but who can get anything done without instant long-distance communication? OK, well, now that is handled, but in the 60's...

  • seunyinkakehinde Jan 22, 2014

    I believe that the inclusion of Pete in the series is an attempt by the writers to 'include' Luca and the mother into the show a lot more.Take this concept:

    Pete could really be a Tomorrow's People, either working for Jedikah or just plain evil/villain..In attempts to read Pete's mind, Stephen was blocked out and due to his nature of anxiety, he will try again and possible get the same result. This could finally lead to Stephen seeing Pete as a threat and raising an alarm in their household, cause pain and discomfort for their mom. She would be that Stephen isn't happy for her and is finding an excuse to push Pete out of her life, in the defence of his father, while Luca would definitely be on his mothers side.

    This, in my opinion, is a possible attempt by the show's writer to inaugurate the minor characters a lot more into the series. Although I'm not sure where that leaves Astrid and whether Pete will eventually play a big role in the show, be a villain or even a possible ally to Stephen and the Tomorrow's people in the end!

  • marcusj1973 Jan 21, 2014

    Answers

    1. Also the possibility that since "narcotics have an interesting side effect", Stephen was still off after being drugged. I'm betting though on the most obvious solution that like Errol, Pete can "push" people out of his head, as opposed to just mask their thoughts.

    2. I sure hope not cause there are so many problems with Roger being re-incarnated that I don't know where to start.

    3. Not even a little bit of a reach. To the degree that I want to see the John and Morgan and Cara and Stephen love square develop. Cara and Stephen has been in the cards since 5 minutes into the pilot, but giving John somebody else before that "officially" happens...fantastic. Between being lied to, feelings for Stephen and pressures of leadership, Cara's all kinds of conflicted...toss a little jealousy in the mix and it could be a fun watch. And don't think there wasn't a teaspoon of personal feelings behind her wanted to hand Morgan over to Ultra.

    I don't know what the solution is, but I REALLY want them to fix the Astrid situation. Villains, love interests and side kicks...three needed aspects to any superhero story. That TTP has broken from the norm and divulged Stephen's powers to Astrid this early should be a great thing, but I don't think they know what to do with her. Her little crush on John at the party was one of those things that could have been fun to watch play out.

    "Buried deep within the characters of The Tomorrow People is a great television show waiting to be found."

    Absolutely! I just hope if starts to find itself before it winds up on the one and done pile at the CW head office (see Secret Circle). Don't wait till the final few episodes of the season to start getting really interesting.

  • MichelleHood24 Jan 20, 2014

    Great episode I love this show and all of it characters. I'm leaning towards shephens mind being broken but I'm open for that new guy being a evil evil man who needs killing. Might I say John is looking hotter than ever

  • Phoenix1781 Jan 19, 2014

    Really good review TheguyLafayette!
    For all it's flaw I like TTP.
    One question though... How did Stephen get away with rescuing all those people at the club with Jedikiah being there?

  • KGabby Jan 19, 2014

    Hmmm I hope they don't make a romantic thing with john and Morgan...but I do want to see them as being friends (which is how I interpret their scenes) with their connection with Jedikiah. It think it would be interesting to see. I think the bf will probably be a tomorrow people. And too be honest don't really care about Rogers body but it's probably being kept as an ice cube. I don't really like cara as the leader, as she's too emotional. But I'm looking on the bright side maybe it will give john a chance to have some fun and beware some without having to worry too much about the group.

  • MichelleHood24 Jan 20, 2014

    Friends would be better for John and Morgan and I think that's were they will go.

  • MarlboroMagpi Jan 19, 2014

    I loved the show but I have to be contend that TTP will always be a average show. It have more plot holes than Helix and people do not complain as much.

    My biggest question (beside all those given by others below) is what happened to Irene? She is suppose to be living with them and I do not see her voting?

  • bubujin_2 Jan 19, 2014

    Good summary theguylafayette! If the brain is psychically responsible for the physical power of telekinesis, then I think telepathy can be physical in a sense as well. Normally I think of the mind-reading aspect as rather passive. Granted, it is intrusive but a non-Tomorrow People (TP) person who might not be too bright or a TP person who is distracted or preoccupied probably won't notice a gentle mind reading. But communicating through telepathy is certainly intrusive and more physically active psychically as well. We haven't seen it demonstrated on this show yet but perhaps in the future it will be shown that some TPs have the ability to use something like the Jedi mind trick of manipulation (at least on weaker or non-TP minds). This would also be an intrusive and very active form of telepathy. What Errol showcased in this episode is an active defensive capability. He could sense even a gentle attempt at mind reading, raise his mental shield, and expel or push out an intruder.

    Now it will be interesting to see if ol' Pete is really a TP with this sort of telepathic ability or if Stephen's mental power in this regard was somehow put off kilter or wounded by his interaction with Errol. I suspect the former since Stephen was able to communicate with John after being mentally pushed by Errol earlier in the episode.

  • AlexSavage Jan 19, 2014

    good job, Theguylafayette! Loved the "time to call mr reese" and "obligated shirtlessness"

  • Panther927 Jan 18, 2014

    the boyfriend is definitely suspicious.i dont know why i disliked cara in this episode,she seemed so stuck up .The morgan and john thing would be like in ur face jedekiah(but eeeew,dont want to see that happening).I mean jedekiah is like a father figure to john, albeit a messed up one but still!!

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