I was not disappointed.
The main plot line is a that there is a paranormal that is going around and rescuing humans and leaving a red rose calling card. We get to see her rescue a kidnap victim in the opening of the show. I liked how they make it appear similar to Julian in that she stalks a man to his high-end apartment. The flip comes when she knocks him into the wall causing a closet to open and reveal the poor captured woman.
I know that this is a standard comic book trope but I loved seeing it here. It makes sense.
The “B” plot is relationship between Jedekiah and his girlfriend. She convinces John that she can get inside Jedekiah’s head and that it is worth the risk.
Finally, We have the “C” plot of the relationship between Stephen and his partner at Ultra. She is working the case to find the new breakout and constantly gets in the way.
On to the review!
One of the best things about this episode is that it is fun. We already have people with powers. It takes no leaps of logic to get to one of them taking on the role of a superhero. That it has taken this long in the show to finally show up is a little amazing.
We are treated to special effects laden fights between a masked avenger and glowering villains. The fights are well done and though the effects are still a bit weak their use here illustrates comic book style fights for those who may not be initiated into the genre.
We get another flash back in this story line but it is not as annoying as they have been in the past. We are shown Russel four years in the past. he is running tables in Vegas when another Paranormal comes up and ruins his run. He confronts her and learns that there were thugs that had orders to take him away if he had won that last bet. Thus begins a relationship of grifting that leads his new paramour, Talia, to take up the heroic life.
A flash back to something not horrible?!?! A novel concept and much needed in this show.
When it is revealed that it isn’t Talia I was very happy. They took a nice curve in the trope and had her be one of Talia’s proteges that goes out and fights the good fight. She tells Russell how she is honored to meet the person that helped get this whole venture started. This gets him to start helping her rescue the people in the way of crime boss that is up for trial. She and the Tomorrow People rescue a court full of people and escape the clutches of Ultra.
The newly discovered superhero decides to head out and passes on the mantle to Russell. He turns to find Talia and he asks her why she built him up to her followers. Her response is because she hoped he would become a hero. Sappy and awesome all at the same time.
The thing I liked about the secondary plot was the twist. Jedekiah’s girlfriend wants to help those that have given her refuge but has an ulterior motive. John and the audience is unaware that she is pregnant. She not only wants to get info in regards to how close he is to finding them but what kind of a father he would be.
John warned her that Jedekiah would sense her intrusion and he is correct. He comes to her rescue as Jedekiah is choking her out on the bed. He drops the bomb on him, “Would you kill your girlfriend…and your unborn child?” The range of emotions that crosses his face in that moment are immense and shows that Mark Pellegrino has some acting chops.
Once again we get to see Ultra be nothing but a group of bumbling Keystone Cops. Everyone is one step ahead of them. There is this whole idea that Stephen plays the inside man that keeps Ultra at bay. It comes across as a thin lie that doesn’t ever hold up.
We either need to see the whole agency grow some teeth or just drop it as the main bad guy and show it as a weak tool of Jedekiah and the Founder. Let them be the true power and Ultra be a front. I think that would work better but it is never presented like this.
There is also a point where our super hero points out that she has never heard of Ultra and that there are others of her in various cities. I had the idea that Ultra was some large conspiracy and yet it certainly sounds like it is centralized here. If it is supposed to some overwhelming force then new paranormals that show up should know about it.
The relationship between Stephen is pretty annoying. They are attempting to make come across as a complex character but it feels more like she is somewhat psychotic. The changes in her demeanor are whip-quick and lack authenticity. We get hear how her family was killed by gangsters and that she had hoped to rescue people much like the super hero. When the call comes in to go and take her down though she is off and running because this is her job.
I want to like her but I’m just not feeling it. The whole end scene where they are flinging double entendre about debriefing back and forth should come across as funny but it felt forced and sad to me.
Finally we are given both a fun and emotional episode. I loved it and hope we can expect more like it. I can not wait to see what they do about finding Stephen’s father’s body.