When last we saw The Tomorrow People, Stephen’s mom Marla revealed herself to be one of the super-powered folk — but has Jedikiah been in the know about her true nature all along?
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With a new episode airing this Wednesday (The CW, 9/8c), we took that burning question (and many more) to executive producer Phil Klemmer, who explained the extreme actions – like letting her own son think he was crazy when he started to get his abilities –Marla took to hide her identity .
Klemmer also previews The Founder and Jedikiah’s war over Stephen, Cara and John’s struggles as he moves above ground and the show’s chances for Season 2. Plus: You won’t believe where Stephen is getting some!
TVLINE | Marla is a Tomorrow Person. What’s her motivation for keeping it secret from her family all this time?
It’s a sad story. She basically had the most nightmarish version of a paranormal coming of age that you can imagine. As cruel as it might seem that she tried to impose a human life on her son even though it was fairly obvious that he was following in both of his parents’ footsteps, it was really done for the purest of reasons. She just didn’t want him to go through the trauma and the isolation that she had experienced. And it is tragic, because she was putting him on medications and sending him to doctors and trying to steer him away from the inevitable.
TVLINE | Does Jedikiah know about Marla?
Jedikiah does not. The bargain that Roger and Marla made when they got married was that she was disavowing her true nature, and that included keeping that secret from Roger’s brother… This is something that Jedikiah wasn’t aware of, and this has incredible special importance for Stephen [as a synergist]. We, generically, refer to him as The Chosen One in the pilot, but in the last run of episodes, we find out what that actually means, how The Founder plans on using Stephen and his abilities and why Roger had to disappear to keep that power from being abused by The Founder.
TVLINE | Since Stephen does have these abilities that are at a higher level, does Jedikiah come to suspect that both of his parents are Tomorrow People?
He does, but he discovers it only after it’s too late. The back half of the season, the big question is: Who is Stephen to believe? The Founder or Jedikiah? You have these two diabolical, dangerous, zealot guys. The Founder [is] 100 percent pro-Tomorrow Person, and Jedikiah [is] 100 percent pro-human, and Stephen, clearly, is the keystone to both of their shadowy agendas regarding both species. Stephen will gradually fall under the sway of The Founder, and the big question is: What does The Founder hope to use Stephen’s powers for?
TVLINE | Could Luca still break out?
He absolutely could. The reason I haven’t answered that question yet is because I think the more interesting question is: Will the Jameson family be a version of history repeating itself?… We haven’t revealed whether Luca is a Tomorrow Person or not [because] I want it to drive a wedge between the brothers, and I want it to be a point of contention. Anyone who’s had a brother knows the rivalries. For Luca, [he would] wrestle with the questions like, does he want to break out? Do I want to be like my crazy brother who’s caught up in this life-and-death shadow war? Or do I want to be like my creepy Uncle Jedikiah? That’s a question that I’m happy to leave unanswered for a while, but we’ll certainly get to it.
TVLINE | John and Cara are on the outs right now romantically and professionally, so to speak. How are they dealing with that tension between them?
Cara’s inheriting the mantle of running the Tomorrow People, in a weird way, has allowed her to understand John and the mistakes he made and the lengths that he went to to maintain tranquility and authority over them. So she gets to walk a mile in his shoes. At the same time, John, for the first time in his life, gets to breathe the air above ground… He gets to, for the first time, smell the roses and feel what it’s like to live life as a human. And the tragic consequence of Cara giving him the boot is that even when she comes around to maybe wanting him back, we have to wonder whether he’s going to want to come back. Because for the first time in his life, he’s living a life unburdened of all the crap that he’s had to carry for all these years, and we’ll see it bring him closer to people like Astrid.
TVLINE | When I talked to Luke Mitchell, he said that the love triangle’s on the backburner for the second half of the season. But with John and Cara having trouble, does that open up a door for Stephen and Cara to reconnect?
You’d think it would, but at the same time, Stephen is becoming more involved with his work at Ultra and The Founder’s increased influence. There’ll be a moment when Stephen becomes more invested in his work. Eventually, we’re working towards a version of a kinder, gentler Ultra, and part of that is, Stephen finding sex, if not love, within those walls. So he and Cara, he professes early in the season, are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t make a couple stops along the way.
TVLINE | How are you feeling about the chances of a second season?
I’m feeling bullish. I really do feel that, just watching this final run of episodes, regardless of what night we’re on, it demands a follow-up. Every episode feels better than the last, and there’s no reason to think that we can’t continue that progression in a second season. The don’t-look-back philosophy of the show is something that we would take a quantum leap with for a second season. I know there’s always numbers to be crunched, but there’s also quality to be admired, and the quality of our show, on every level, is improving. Every episode is better than the last, and how can you not want to see where that takes you?