Review: The Tomorrow People – “The Citadel”

The mid-season premiere of The Tomorrow People answers the “where is Stephen’s father?” quandry, but manages to open a whole new can of worms- or literally speaking, prison full of breakouts- at the Citadel. Hence the name of the episode. Also, a new danger is threatening Stephen’s family.

***SPOILERS BELOW***

 

In the opening of the episode, we rewind a few steps to John, Cara and Russell trying to revive Stephen. Except this time, instead of sweating through the tension of seeing whether they can get Stephen’s heart started, we find out what Stephen saw while he was dead. And what he saw was his father in limbo. He gets to hug his dad and tell him the family is doing well. Then his dad tells him to find his body and a guy named Simon Plame. He also says to stay away from the Founder because he will try to use Stephen the way he used him, and that he’s trying to do something that will harm more than just the Tomorrow People.

Before he and his dad get to say anything else, the team brings him back from the dead. He tells them they interrupted his conversation with his father and that they can check his memory if they don’t believe him. But when Cara checks his memory, she doesn’t see anything. She concludes his visions of his father were purely halucinatory, but John is an instant believer. Which makes sense if you read the subtext: “Sure, I’ll take some redemption please. Nothing like bringing someone back from the dead to reverse the betrayal of your people and erase your biggest regret.” So now the mission is to find this Simon Plame- one of the original breakouts- and find out how he’s linked with Roger (Stephen’s dad).

When Stephen gets home, his brother says he looks like death. (He doesn’t, but whatevs.) Then he gets the news that his mother has found a new beau, just when Stephen is on the brink of locating her husband. He doesn’t react well to the news and he can’t even explain why. His brother points out that he’s scowling. (He isn’t, but whatevs.)

Next, we see Jedikiah’s love, Morgan, giving John a haircut, after which his hair looks exactly the same. I know hot-guy’s hair is a commodity and you need it to be consistent for scenes that take place in the past, but at least brush it differently or something. Anywho, Cara still doesn’t believe that Stephen really saw his father. But John- expecting to be face to face with the man he shot soon- is suddenly feeling the need to come clean with the group. Cara tells him it’s a bad idea (because it is), but he decides to risk it anyway.

The CitadelThen we see a facility with locked up breakouts. Errol, one of the prisoners, escapes by borrowing a fellow (completely insane) prisoner’s hand. His escape seems to… not upset, but perhaps perplex a young, levitating-girl inmate.

Meanwhile, Stephen goes to Ultra HQ for his answers about Simon Plame and gets narked on by Alice, the computer entity. Jedikiah comes in and tells Stephen to stop looking for Simon Plame because his father was insane and his search will get him nowhere. Before Stephen can argue, alarms go off notifying Ultra of a breakout from their prison/ research facility. And Jedikiah gives one of his creepy, sociopath smiles as he says “research facility.” Stephen goes to apprehend Errol, the escapee breakout, and finds himself faced with a super-powerful- but slightly unstable- telepath with the ability to kill. (Gotta love that Annex Project.) When he tries to reassure Errol telepathically, he gets powerfully and painfully “pushed” out of Errol’s head.

Back at the hideout, John is confessing to the group. And surprise, surprise! It ends up being such a bad idea, that they decide to demote him immediately and officially vote Cara in as their new leader. Since show of hands apparently isn’t “Tomorrow Person-y” enough, they vote by moving candles with their powers while voicing their vote telepathically. Which makes me wonder if the came up with this ritual on the fly, or if there’s a precedent. Do they have any other governing procedures? Is it documented? But I digress. Cara says she didn’t want this, and then apologizes. I don’t know why, since I feel like her appropriate response should have been, “I told you so!”

The CitadelStephen shares his experience with Errol, and John tells them he was being kept at the Citadel, a jail for breakouts where the Annex Project was born. Cara immediately proves herself to be a more proactive leader than John by deciding that they should track down Errol and have him lead them to The Citadel so that they can free everyone.

Stephen meets his mom’s new boyfriend, Peter, before he whisks her off on a date. To show he’s cool, Peter makes a… Ghost Busters reference? “Crossing streams.” Really? That was a reach. Anyway, angsty-hate-hate-hate, next scene.
 

Stephen wants to search for his father, but Cara tells Stephen to focus on the real, corporeal people they can save. Finding Errol and the Citadel is their priority, and Stephen reluctantly agrees. And for his loyalty, John shoots Stephen during the rescue. It’s all part of the plan, of course. And it’s only a shot to the shoulder. You know, the part with all those arteries and tendons, that pesky shoulder blade- nothing of importance in there! And yet, taking a bullet is not enough to stave off Jedikiah’s suspicion. He’s pretty sure Stephen’s injury is a misdirection in a bigger plan.
 The Citadel

Back in the hideout, Errol pushes Russell out of his head, leading John to suggest they cuff him because he’s unstable. Cara diffuses the bomb by telling Errol that Ultra isn’t hiding his wife. She remarried three years ago because she thought Errol was dead. He says it was worse, and Cara plays on his emotions to get him to join the effort in locating the Citadel and freeing the others. Before they leave, John pulls Cara aside and tries to warn her that Jedikiah will be laying in wait, but she won’t hear it. Instead, she puts John- the very sane and effective killing machine- on babysitting duty, assigning him to watch Morgan in case they need to use her as collateral. She rationalizes this by saying he used to make her- strong telepath, otherwise averagely gifted, unable to kill anybody- stay behind all the time. Apples and oranges, love.

Jedikiah- always one step ahead- figures out that expert-marksman, killing-machine John intentionally missed Stephen’s crucial bits when he shot him, and that the Tomorrow People are headed to the Citadel. And just like John said, he’s laying in wait for the Tomorrow People. Then he drugs Stephen so he can’t warn them. Luckily, those drugs only last about the length of a commercial break, so Stephen wakes up in time to call out to John telepathically.

The CitadelAt the Citadel, Errol can’t open the cells and Cara asks her people to risk their lives to buy her more time. She then focuses all her energy trying to free a little girl from her cell with a fire extinguisher. (All I’m saying is, when the zombie apocalypse comes, Cara is not allowed to make the decisions.) Cara finally frees the girl, but by then Jedikiah is there to kill her. Errol jumps in the way, sacrificing himself so they can escape, but for no discernable reason, Cara doesn’t leave. Jedikiah, in my opinion rightly, insults her leadership and calls her weak. Then John saves her and Jedikiah tries to shoot John as he jumps away, but isn’t fast enough. So I guess their father/son bond is officially over, then. Upon arriving at the hideout, Cara decides to kill Jedikiah’s girlfriend to prove to Jedikiah she’s strong, and John, very sensibly, talks her out of such foolishness. 

Stephen asks again about Simon Plame, but Jedikiah writes him off, saying he thinks Stephen was part of the Tomorrow People’s plan. But Stephen stands up to Jedikiah, saying despite all he’s done for Ultra, he’s gotten no trust in return. He demands to know who Simon Plame is and how he’s connected to his father. (Good job, Stephen!) Jedikiah shows Stephen the file for Simon Plame, which includes a picture of his dead body. He says that Roger was crazy and that Plame misguidedly followed him. Jedikiah claims to have cremated Roger’s body, but “Jedikiah’s lies tell lies,” and John calls B.S. Stephen and Russell agree, but Cara still chooses to be skeptical. (Whatever, Scully. The truth is out there!)

And finally, we come to the last scene. Now personally, my mother is not a fan of doughnuts and I would also be suspicious if I saw my little brother walking through the house eating one, but Stephen’s aversion to them seems a bit much, even considering he’s on the “hate everything the boyfriend does” track. Though it doesn’t help that his brother seemed to be trying to break the news of their mother’s relationship status in the most disturbing way possible. I mean, I have no relation to the woman and I’m disturbed. Stephen tries getting a read on his mom’s new boyfriend, but he pushes Stephen out of his head without even flinching. That’s a scary amount of power you got there, Peter. Uh-oh! During all this fun, we forgot about Stephen’s dad’s last warning about the Founder. But the Founder hasn’t forgotten about Stephen. And I’m guessing this “boyfriend” is a gift from him.

What did you think of the episode? Do you think Peter was sent by the Founder? Was Stephen hallucinating after all? Why do writers always choose the shoulder for character’s to get shot when it’s painful and needs physical therapy to heal properly? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments.

Catch this and past episodes of The Tomorrow People on The CW’s website.

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Post Author: Chelsea Banks

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