The past; it has a way of blasting into our present at the most inopportune times. On top of it all, we never truly know the things that have shaped those around us unless they willingly bare their souls to us. For John Young, the past is a terrible reminder of what he once was, and the fatherly relationship ripped apart by manipulation and lies.
Six years earlier: John is shown hooked up to the machines, a volunteer to partake in the experiment that grants a Tomorrow person the ability to kill. He’s confident and dismissive of the risks, despite Jedikiah’s open concern for his “best agent”. John tells him not to worry, “I’ll make you proud…” Jedikiah can only watch as the machine and John show complications and…
…Jed awakens from the memory; a cold sweat and he’s not alone. Morgan wakes up and comforts him. She distracts her secret paramour by regaling in their first meeting at Coney Island. She suggests they return to bed but Jed balks, knowing that if he stays, he’s putting them both in danger. Despite his threats to her in a previous episode, there is the exposed flesh of a true connection between the two. Connections are also the order of the day back at the lair where Stephen shares his memory of his dad with John, Russell, and Cara. He believes ‘Thanatos’ is some type of research program as his snooping for clues at ULTRA only brought him “redacted files and empty folders”. Understanding its importance, Cara believes they have no choice but to read Jedikiah’s mind, a bit of ‘Ocean’s 11’ (to paraphrase Russell) and John is thoroughly against the idea. He drops a snarky reply to Stephen, assuming he’ll fall in line with Cara but Stephen shows maturity, by responding to the need and not John’s petulance. “We all need this,” he tells them. “How can we walk away when we’re just getting somewhere.” Cara and Russell jump to the scene and TIM cuts the power long enough for the duo to get in. They infiltrate Jedikiah’s flat and Cara starts to read the sleeping ULTRA director, catching a memory of him with John. Somehow Russell causes a bit of a commotion and wakes Jed. Cara teleports out but Russell’s too slow and gets trapped by the dampening field activated when Jed hit the panic alarm. Jed starts to pistol whip Russell and it’s the closeness he needs and the two have a quick but brutal fight with Russell getting the upper hand long enough to deactivate the alarm and teleport back to the lair.
Of course, Jedikiah hops a ride back with him.
Well, that wasn’t quite the plan but Cara knows they won’t have many opportunities like this so wants to do a bit of questioning. When Stephen’s called away on an ULTRA Code Blue, the trio starts the interrogation. Jed tells them ‘Thanatos’ means “Death” in Greek before asking to speak with John in private. His subtle words hints at there being more than John’s ability to kill locked up in the past and…Everyone…meet The Founder…
…Jedikiah takes him to Safe House 46. “This is your first assignment as a newly enhanced operative.” He brings John to a very bad man, telling him to kill the guy. While John is able to kill on the biological level, there’s still the psychological barrier he needs to break through. “Show me you can go all the way,” urges Jedikiah. John does but it was nothing more than a test; the bad guy was another ULTRA agent. After passing, though, John gets handed the truth on his real first mission and when he sees the target he can only stare at Jedikiah, dumbfounded and responds “You can’t be serious.”
Cara and John converse though he’s vague on he and Jedikiah’s talk. Cara shares a bit more, telling John how Jed “loved [him] like a son.” John’s still bitter and wants none of it. Stephen finally arrives at ULTRA and meets the Braintrust, powerful psychics jacked into a Cerebro/Matrix hybrid assisting them in searching the city for Jedikiah. On top of that, he’s formally introduced to the Founder, one of the few initial surviving members of the founding partners for the organization and the man behind the voice he was taken to meet a few episodes back. Stephen teleports back and drops the 4-1-1 on the new search team, imploring her to let Jed go before the Braintrust succeeds. Again, she knows this is a unique opportunity and instead directs Stephen to stall by leading ULTRA towards Morgan. While Stephen works things on the ULTRA end, Cara and Jedikiah start in on some verbal jabs and the ULTRA director shows her she’s not ready for the big leagues, giving her a psychological breakdown that brings out the violent streak in her. John’s there in time to pull her off the now extremely battered and blooded Jedikiah but she doesn’t calm down that easily. She knows Jed as well as John are hiding something and tells her once boyfriend/maybe still boyfriend “I forgave you for lying to me once; but that is all.”
…John reads the order to kill the man that trained him. Jedikiah promises it’s necessary and that man has betrayed the organization…
On Operation: Morgan, Stephen is tasked to be the lookout and ends up catching Morgan when she tries to escape. She’s crushed, thinking Jed betrayed her and when she tells Stephen that she loves his uncle, he ends up letting her go.
Back at the lair, the trio starts interrogating Jedikiah, using their knowledge of Morgan to bend his will enough to get some information. ‘Thanatos’ was the name for Professor Aldus Kritt, an “unconventional” genius that conducted less than safe and sanctioned experiments with Roger and Jedikiah, who gave him the nickname of Dr. Death. He gives them the Prof’s location in Maine and Irene joins Stephen and John on their trek. At his cabin, he gives them a bit more insight into ULTRA. Evidently its original purpose was to protect Tomorrow people and prepare for their unveiling to the world. He hypothesizes that, along with jealousy, Jed was manipulated as well to change his agenda so much. The talk also reveals that Stephen’s dad could also stop time. More than a bit upset at the failure of the mission, the Founder eliminates a snarky member of the Braintrust and plugs himself into the Cerebro/Matrix.
Back at bunker, Russell’s keeping an eye on Jed who again starts throwing pinpoint psychological strikes at his captor’s weak spots. Once Russell is softened up, Jed feigns choking on his food and attacks when Russell tries helping him. Cara comes in when she hears the commotion and idiotically teleports in front of Jed despite having ample time to reach him without showing her hand. She tells John who knows if Jed gets out Stephen’s dead; Cara voices the unsaid, that Jed cannot be set free. The Founder is closing in on Jedikiah’s location so they have to hurry. “I know what I have to do,” he tells her before removing Jed from the lair and to a more out of the way location for the kill…
…John watches as Roger Jameson’s car explodes and he jumps before the explosion takes his life. John holds the gun to Roger and fires a single shot into the man’s chest…John takes aim at Roger
John still blames Jedikiah for losing so much that night, talking over Jed as his former mentor tries to explain things to him. John unloads the clip but not one shot kisses flesh. He drops a parting shot of Jed never being his father and tries to escape but the D-chips have already been activated. John’s surrounded but Jed orders him to be taken alive. He tries fighting his way out but is eventually overwhelmed and taken into custody. They drag his battered form through the cooridors of ULTRA and as he makes eye contact with Stephen…
…Roger makes him promise to find others like him and lead them to a new home, a Refuge for the Tomorrow people.
- This would have been a perfect midseason finale as John’s complete past has been laid bare. One can only speculate what Stephen and Cara will do, not to mention the others that call the lair home, when they find out John has known (or believed) all along that Roger Jameson was dead.
- So it seems Stephen shares another aspect of power with his father, the ability to stop time. It was quite the interesting explanation made by Professor Kritt. Will Stephen learn to control it more reliably than he does now? And was his father able to use it to fool John?
- Though it would have been nice to see a bit more of the Stephen/Cara thing, there were more important things going on. This show has a clear vision and does a great job keeping the characters on task while not dismissing the ancillary things going down in their lives. Bravo writers.