Tomorrow People
All Tomorrow’s Parties

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47 USERS: B+
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Live For Today.
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

We open at night. Stephen and Darcy teleport to an alley. They're hot on the trail of a rogue SUPE, who heads into a warehouse. When Stephen wants to charge ahead, Darcy stops him; they must wait for the Tac (tactical) Team. Stephen doesn't want their target to escape, so he disobeys a direct order and charges ahead. He's armed with what I believe is a stun gun, but is soon disarmed. Stephen finally grabs his target and is ready to deliver a stunning blow, when he realizes -- gasp -- it's a girl. He who hesitates is lost, Stephen. His opponent gets the upper hand, brings Stephen down to the floor and holds him in a headlock. Then all of a sudden, Uncle Jed is there calling "time" and flipping on the lights.

Oh, poor Stephen. He's going to be so embarrassed when he realizes he broke protocol during a simulated training exercise. Wait a minute. He doesn't appear surprised that this was just a drill. He doesn't look it. He doesn't sound it. And he doesn't say anything to indicate he ever thought this was a real mission. What the hell is wrong with this kid that he'd disobey a direct order, when he knows he's on a controlled training exercise in which he'll be observed and for which he'll be judged? Over in the show thread, TWoP member Imonrey offers that Stephen is a typical 17 year old, trying to prove himself. I'm not so generous. That was a dumbass thing to do, Stephen.

Anyhow, Uncle Jed and Darcy give Stephen what for about how many rules of engagement he broke, as well as his hesitation at the moment of contact. Stephen says, "She caught me off guard. I was expecting her to be... different." Darcy asks if he has a problem taking down a female. Stephen says, "No, of course not. I've just never had to punch one in the face."

The whole scene brings to mind one point where the character of Stephen suffers, because of his age, versus that of the man who portrays him: Robbie Amell. Stephen is supposed to be 17. Amell is about 25. Like Imonrey, I want empathize with Stephen's youth and inexperience. Since Stephen is 17, it makes sense that he's so rash, so wet behind the ears, and well…soft. He's a kid. Amell, although certainly not long in the tooth or anything, is a man, and what's more, he is manly. Now, I don't expect a decent 25 year old man would be any more comfortable punching a woman in the face. My problem: the reason I can't be as generous with Stephen as the character probably deserves, is that nothing about Amell reads like he's 17. I can't muster the same emotional response I would feel, were there an actual 17-year-old in the role.

Last season, Once Upon A Time had Jennifer Morrison play a 17 year old version of her character, Emma. I said it then (see the "Tallahassee" recaplet) and will say it now: after age 22 or so, most people cannot pass for 17. If this show gets future seasons, it might be worthwhile to jump ahead a few years in the timeline. Amell's character would certainly be better served. Given The Tomorrow People's downhill ratings trend (and the widening gap between it and lead-in Arrow), I'm likely wasting your time and mine, talking about future seasons. Sha la la la la la live for today.

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Tomorrow People

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