‘The Tomorrow People’ Recap: The Origin of John Young

Discussing Season 1, Episode 4
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Kill or Be Killed Episode 4

The Tomorrow People — ‘Kill Or Be Killed’ — Pictured (L-R): Robbie Amell as Stephen and Meta Golding as Darcy — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW —
©2013 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Becca Ritchie
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Becca Ritchie
Becca Ritchie Becca Ritchie claims she's from Mystic Falls, but really, she lives in Atlanta where humidity is her greatest foe. She loves comic books, blue nail polish and Jonathan Taylor Thomas circa 1995. She frequents Twitter to dish about CW shows, and when she's not blogging, she reads too many YA and NA books. She's an Amazon Bestselling Author of the Addicted series, a New Adult Romance. Follow her on Twitter @Becca_Ritchie.

[Spoilers from episode 4 below]

Last night made one thing very clear. “The Tomorrow People” is not a show focused solely on Stephen, a kid just breaking into his powers. This is an ensemble piece with dynamic three-dimensional characters. As an “X-Men” junkie, I’m hesitant to compare the famous mutants to other realms of pop culture. “X-Men” is not just about powers. And “The Tomorrow People” made that claim last week and tonight. This show is not just about kids who can teleport and mind read. It’s about being “different” but also trying to be human in the face of severe persecution. The depth is blowing my mind, and it reminds me why I truly love comic books, origin stories, and great writing.

Let’s discuss the good, great and brilliant moments. Stick around for a poll at the bottom to weigh in on the episode!

The Good: The Annex Project. (Thank God for this secret!) I groaned a little when we first found out the tomorrow people’s weakness. They can’t kill — literally they begin to shake and spasm and then back away. So they’re the opposite of Green Arrow (who has no problem eliminating his foes) and they’re arguably the worst part of Superman (he’s morally against taking a life). When Killian McCrane — former Ultra agent — goes on a killing rampage, we find out that Jed once experimented on the tomorrow people to alter their inability to kill. McCrane was a test subject, and after he fled Ultra, he became a prime enemy, essentially free of the biggest weakness and now on the run.

The Annex Project, I clearly love. Even though the project is soulless and evil, its existence opens new complications and more room for the good guys to overpower Ultra. But Killian had no intention of being a good guy since he wanted to kill John Young. They both used to work together at Ultra, and when John escaped the organization, Killian thought he’d want to team up. Uh, no. John declined, and then Killian left him in a room rigged with over a dozen bombs. In super-speed mode, John disabled all of them, with a little help from Stephen. How cool was that scene?

Also a good plot twist: Jed went back on his deal with John and tried to kill both Killian and John at the same time. He failed. Jed is unfailingly selfish. He has this Magneto quality where he wants to protect his species above all, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish his goal. It’s scary, but it’s thrilling to watch. I hate him, but I don’t loathe him. And John’s childhood only made Jedikiah’s character even more complex.

The Great: John Young’s origin story. This was almost the most brilliant moment of the night. I am a sucker for a good origin story. Cara’s last week had my heart in knots. And John’s was equally as tortured. He grew up in the foster system, and he uses his powers for good, stealing food for his foster siblings. The whole episode focused on killing (“kill or be killed, son”), and John struggled with wanting to hurt his foster dad but not being able to follow through.

After Jedikiah brings John into Ultra (at a much younger age than I thought!), the confused and distraught boy returns to his foster home, proclaiming that he wants to go back and leave Ultra. He’s Jed’s brightest pupil, but that doesn’t matter to John. Something made him want to leave, and by that point, we’re not exactly sure what frightened him so much. His foster father isn’t as receptive to John’s homecoming. He beats him while John tries to fight back with his powers. And then Jedikiah shows up and shoots the foster dad.

For a second, I almost liked Jed. I was happy that someone saved John Young from the horrible abuse, and then I realized that Jed didn’t kill the guy to help John. Nope, he did it because the guy saw John use his powers. And no one can expose the tomorrow people, Jedikiah often exclaims.

Jed and John’s relationship has proved to be one of the most interesting facets of the show. “I am not your son,” John tells Jedikiah at the Noodle shop. But he also told Cara that Jed is the closest thing he has to a father. Gah, it’s so great.

The Brilliant: John can kill! What? Who saw that coming? I sure didn’t. “You want to know why I left Ultra? Because they turned me into you,” John says after shooting and killing McCrane. And John explains that killing destroys something in his soul that he’ll never get back, which is why he never wants to do it again.

“I hate you for what you made me.” — John

“I made you strong and perfect.” — Jed

Brilliant. Just brilliant. The “killing” weakness has a whole knew meaning. And take it from someone who hated that plot line — I now love it. Do you? Really, it adds a new dimension. The more John kills, the more soulless he literally may become. Which would explain why Killian was so dang evil.

Since the episode was all about the psychology of killing, I want to know your thoughts on the tomorrow people’s greatest weakness. Are you a fan of superheroes who truly eliminate their opponents — a la Green Arrow? Or do you prefer the moral compass like Superman?

Since I didn’t talk about this scene in the poll, a little reminder: Stephen teleported into an exploding car with Jedikiah behind the wheel. He saved him. Was that the right move? According to John Young, he should have let his uncle burn.

So now it’s your turn. Every week, your opinion will be heard. Vote on the weekly poll below!

Becca Ritchie

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