Last week gave us the first origin story for our heroes in Cara’s humble beginnings. It’s the second week in a row we get a spyglass into the history of one of our main characters in John Young, and the die is finally cast in the war between the Tomorrow People and ULTRA.
As a teen, John Young is living in a foster home with a vile, despicable foster dad. The use of his powers to provide food to his foster siblings puts him on ULTRA’s radar and Jedikiah, who comes knocking at the door. Flash forward to the present with Stephen and John spending some quality time together, working on the former’s teleportation skills. Stephen’s approaching things like ULTRA’s taught him—clinically—while John conveys to him the instinctual nature of using one’s powers. The session has bruised him up a bit and his mom catches a glimpse of it. Stephen admits that he’s working with his Uncle Jed, a revelation mom’s not too happy about, especially taking in his not quite normal behavior and Astrid’s conspicuous absence. To allay her fears, she tells Stephen to invite Uncle Jed over for a nice, peaceful family dinner.
At the base, John and Cara are watching news reports of several explosions across the county that, not coincidentally are moving east towards them. Cara asks if it’s Killian McCrane, a sentiment that Jed shares (at ULTRA) as he watches the same news reports at ULTRA. Jed doesn’t tell Stephen too much about McCrane, only that he was corrupted. Jed shuts down Stephen’s family dinner invite only to be saved by his nephew when a car bomb goes off as he’s leaving ULTRA.
When Stephen meets up later at the hideout, John wonders aloud why Stephen would have saved Jed; it would’ve made things easier. Stephen asks about Killian and John gives him a bit of history on the former ULTRA agent John had once been tasked to hunt. McCrane was a part of the Annex project, one designed to weaponize the Tomorrow People, to break through the “prime barrier” and allow them to kill. Every subject but McCrane died during the experiments and the toll drove him mad. Knowing that he can and will kill innocents, Stephen realizes the best bet for everyone would be stopping Killian before he’s able to do more damage. Similar to Cara, John shows a less than heroic initial reaction, brushing off concerns for potential innocents, stating “I don’t work for ULTRA anymore.”
There’s another flashback of Jedikiah speaking with John’s foster dad, requesting to take John to a special institution where his ‘gifts’ can be cultivated. He gives the foster dad an envelope full of money that satisfies the man’s greed.
ULTRA gets a hit on McCrane’s location and a hit team is sent to take him out. Stephen talks himself onto the team with Darcy as his handler. They run into McCrane, who wipes the floor with Stephen and, knowing they’re in trouble, Darcy teleports them back to ULTRA. Jed has a chat with Stephen, explaining to his nephew the tactics and experience necessary when facing such “dark, warped, cunning individuals”. He then relents to a dinner that night. When Stephen leaves, he tells Darcy to check the video cameras, surmising that McCrane didn’t want him dead.
Stephen stops by to see Cara and John. He gets a bit more about McCrane, including the fact that John and McCrane came up together. Stephen surmises that McCrane thinks John had betrayed him and the latter believes that the warehouse ULTRA discovered McCrane lurking around had a deeper purpose. Jed discovers McCrane’s was looking for information on John and he reflects back to his mentoring of John. After a bigger McCrane beats him in a sparring match, Jed feeds him the same line he’d given Stephen about the people of the world. “Kill or be killed” he tells him.
Stephen and John buddy up and search the warehouse for Killian, with John giving a bit more detail on his time at ULTRA and the horrors he faced. He admits that he’s trying his best to fulfill Stephen’s dad’s vision and Stephen quietly digests John’s words. They discover McCrane’s target is the Orchestral house next door and McCrane appears, taking Stephen out of the fight. He wants to know why John left ULTRA but, more importantly, wants John to join him in a revenge tour against ULTRA to start. He skips out, leaving the two to defuse several bombs, linked in a way that they all need to be cut at once. John shows his serious teleportation skills, cutting five and having Stephen cut the sixth.
Exhausted, John and Stephen return to the base with the former realizing that McCrane was only testing him. When Stephen leaves for the family dinner, John makes the decision that McCrane needs to be stopped.
We are given the final glimpse of John’s home life when, after exposing his powers to his foster dad, Jed kills the slovenly bastard. Speaking of home, Jed is grilled by Mrs. Jameson who what he has Stephen doing. Her true concerns are revealed when she brings up the changes she saw in her husband, Roger, when he was working with Jedikiah. “My gut tells me to cut you off,” she tells him but allows things to go on as they are family. When she leaves the dinner table, Jed asks if Stephen can contact John for a meeting, a joint venture to take down McCrane. John agrees though Cara is miffed by his acquiescence. It’s something that’s hard to explain, telling her that Jedikiah is the closest thing he has to a father. After Jed makes his case for a temporary cease-fire, John agrees to taken McCrane down but with no help. Jed agrees to give John a ten minute head start but once John and McCrane engage, Jed sends the kill squad (Alpha team) in to take both men out. John tries one last time to reach out to McCrane to no avail. As they fight, the kill squad arrives and John teleports the two of them out of gun fire and to a remote location. McCrane grabs the upper hand, intent on killing John when he gets a bullet in the chest. As McCrane’s life seeps from his body, John tells his dying friend he left ULTRA “because they turned me into you.”
John buries McCrane’s body and Stephen confronts Jed on his part in McCrane’s development. Jedikiah admits that finding a fix to the “one genetic weakness” of the tomorrow people is worth a few McCranes. John tells Cara and the others that Killian left, never to return. His actions impress Stephen and he tells Cara that John’s “a leader”. His final task at leader is putting Jedikiah on notice. “We’re not running anymore,” he tells ULTRA’s director. “We see you on the street, we don’t turn. We fight.”
“Kill or be killed.”
- Just when you think it can’t get any better, ‘The Tomorrow People’ add even more depth to an already strong show. We’ve gotten a good portion of John’s story though there seems to be more where that came from. His admission that Jedikiah is the closest thing to a father he’s had makes things even more personal between them.
- Speaking of Jedikiah, he once again shows both sides; the vicious, unrepentant killer and the visionary that can see how the world works. Though it seems fatalistic, much of what he told Stephen and a young John about the “dark, warped, cunning” individuals is so very true. Though he’s a bit hypocritical about using the tomorrow people, Jed is right in one regard; there would be some serious ramifications if the news got out.
- Though he looks to be the hero of the picture, I like the way they are slowly developing Stephen’s powers. He’s the strongest of the bunch but has a long way to go before he’s on Cara and John’s level.
- It will be interesting to see how John’s declaration of war to Jed will change things going forward. Also, when will John come clean about his ability to kill and, more importantly, will he have to do it again?