Sitting Ducks follows the same three story formula that is present in the prior episodes. The main thrust is Ultra discovering that Astrid is aware of the Tomorrow People. The B story is a camping trip that Stephen’s family has to go on with his mother’s new boyfriend. The third story is more of a background piece giving the audience more of an understanding of john’s character as he relates to the trouble that has befallen Astrid.
More Astrid! I had been hoping for a story that dealt directly with Astrid and this episode is the answer to my dreams. In particular, I like how the action is foreshadowed in a manner that suggests that she may be a Tomorrow Person as well. There is a dream sequence that shows her going to an audition. In the audition, the people who are there to judge her are Ultra agents that shoot at her. She wakes up and discounts it as a bad dream. Cut to later in the episode and the scene plays out as per the dream with the exception of John teleporting in and rescuing her.
Unlike last episode, the tension is maintained for this story. The duo do not escape unharmed. John is shot and the two are force to hole up in a makeshift infirmary while the building is being searched by Ultra. Astrid calls for help when John finally loses consciousness and Cara comes to the rescue. I really loved it when she was unable to carry both of them out via teleport and chose to save Astrid. Saving Astrid forces Cara to find another way to get to john without revealing his location which leads to more bad-ass fighting from Cara and anther nick of time rescue. Very exciting!
Surprisingly a flashback finally makes into the good section of a review. When it began this episode I groaned inwardly and expected another glimpse of horribleness. Instead, we are treated to a story from John’s past where he had made a friend over comic books. He shows up at a news stand when new comics are delivered. We are shown that a nice relationship with the stand worker. The stand then gets held up while John is nearby and he uses his powers to save his friend. This indiscretion is discovered and Jedekiah forces John to watch as his friend is gunned down. Once again, the show gets good when it humanizes these characters. Instead of showing us how their powers easily make them monsters, this shows us how normal people are trying to make them monsters and they are trying to rise above it.
Wow, the story line revolving around Stephen and his mother’s boyfriend just sucks out loud. He comes across as paranoid, whiny and annoying. His father has been gone for ten years and he has reason to believe that there is no way for him to return.These are reason enough for him to behave differently at this point. Add to these things that he has reason to believe that his father can not come back due not having a body, Why freak out about his mother’s boyfriend. The excuse is that he seems to have powers doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. This episode illustrates clearly that he doesn’t and that something else is going on. This just makes Stephen come across as stupid on top of everything else.
This is a minor thing but it just pissed me off. At the end of the episode, Astrid is told that she has to stay with the Tomorrow People in order to stay safe. She has to call her family and lie to them to maintain her cover. She understandably upset by this but then puts all the blame on Stephen for her current predicament.
I could buy hysterics more easily than I could this response. She tracked him down and caught him using his powers. She tracked him down during a black op where there were lots of scary Ultra agents with guns. She is a very smart woman and would have known this was a possibility. To dumb her down at this point is just demeaning.
Despite the horrible ending, this was a much better episode than the last one. I know that there will some sort of plan to get Astrid back with her parents. I just hope it is something hokey that makes me want to claw my eyes out with a spoon.