The Citadel marks the mid-season premier of The Tomorrow People. The previous episode had ended with a tremendous cliffhanger. Stephen had asked John and Cara to help him get as close to death as possible to see if he could re-enter limbo and speak with his father again. We had faded to black as the group struggled to get his heart beating again.
The Citadel opens with Stephen in Limbo and having a conversation with his father. he learns that he needs to find his father’s body and is given a lead in the name of Simon Plame. his investigation is interrupted on all fronts. In regards to the Tomorrow People, John reveals his perfidy to the group which provokes a challenge to his leadership. Ultra sees a breakout from their secret research facility and his family life is disrupted as his mother starts dating.
On to the review!
Watching the continued fallout from John’s revelation is entertaining. He reveals everything that has happened to the group at large with predictable results. We get to see how the Tomorrow People deal with leadership changes. I’ll talk more about this in the bad section, You’ll see why. The doubts that he has created in everyone’s mind insures that john is able to withstand any challenge to his leadership and Cara is given the reigns. I really liked seeing actions having consequences when this has not been the standard for this show.
The entire Citadel subplot of this episode is interesting. We have learned previously that Ultra does experiments on the breakouts that it takes in and that this research is not without collateral damage. It is very clear that this is not being done at their headquarters and the addition of the citadel clears up this mystery very neatly. Errol, the crazed escapee, givens an excellent performance as well. He has been tortured and experimented on and wants to find out what has happened to his wife. Unlike the rest of the one shot guests, He was a character I easily identified with and came to care about. I knew what was going to happen but it didn’t diminish the effects a bit.
Cara begins her tenure as leader by leading an assault on the Citadel. This gives another cool combat sequence between the Tomorrow People and the powered agents of Ultra. I find that we do not get enough of these in this series so when they do happen I am overjoyed. When they get into the Citadel, things go pear shaped. They are unable to open any of the cells to free the prisoners and an Ultra team arrives. The team struggles to free the poor little girl that features prominently in Errol’s memories. Cara is finally able to break Charlotte’s cell open bot be confronted by Jedekiah. In this standoff, Errol interposes himself between the women and Jedekiah. He shoots him in the head and it is like a punch to the gut.
There are two little Easter eggs that were also cute as well. Errol is able to escape with the help of a fellow inmate. The giggling inmate, Miggs, has ripped off his hand so that Errol could escape. I know, I know, it is stupid. This is all kinds of wrong but I liked the joke that it engendered and that he was called Miggs. There is also a very Star Wars moment when they are in the Citadel and things are going wrong and Russell answers a radio call in the prison’s control room.
Once again, we get another episode where Jedekiah is put in the power of John. He has just killed Errol and has Cara in his sights. John doesn’t take the shot and the reason is the moral high ground. This just rings so false with all that has been revealed about John over the course of this season so far. Each time this type of scene occurs I just wonder why he just doesn’t pull the trigger. There is no good reason for him not to take this action. We need to be given a more solid reason for Jedekiah to be kept alive or just quit putting him under the power of John.
We also get to see Stephen’s mother dating in this episode. his reaction is the expected “What about Dad?” His brother has to point out that it has been ten years and it is time for mom to move on. Really, the little brother has to be the one to point this crap out? Stephen knows that his father is trapped in another dimension and had been hunted by his own brother prior. There is absolutely no reason for him to begrudge his mother some happiness. On top of this, Her new boyfriend is obviously a powerful telepath which is even more annoying.
Lest I forget, The Tomorrow People handle voting using candles. The candles are lit by telekinesis and then each person stand before the two people who are up for leadership. They announce telepathically whom they are voting for and telekinetically move a candle in front of them. I’m sure there is someone that thought that this looked good on paper but it just comes across as pretty lame on the screen. It ranks right up there with the trial by combat of an earlier episode.
The whole limbo story line is pretty ugly. It requires a rare power to be able t o attempt to travel there. On top of the rare power, it requires the use of this rare power at right before death to enter. If you come back from limbo, there is no telepathic proof that you have even been there. It really seems like they are running with the idea that one can store their consciousness outside of the body under these freak circumstances hence the search for Stephen’s Father’s body. If it was just a side effect of the grief over losing his father, this wouldn’t be quite so bad. Sadly it isn’t playing out that way.
Still, I enjoyed the episode and think that it keeps getting better. I am looking forward to the next one.