May 05, 2014 7:00am PT by Philiana Ng
'Tomorrow People' Boss Promises 'Non-Stop Ride,' Finale Shake-Up (Q&A)
[WARNING: Some spoilers ahead for Monday's season finale of The Tomorrow People," Son of Man"]
It's come to this.
The war to save (or destroy) humanity on The Tomorrow People culminates in Monday's season finale -- and it's not looking good for the human race. With Roger in The Machine and Jedikiah topside wielding some serious powers, it's going to come down to Stephen to be the one to stop The Machine and the end of the human species (i.e. John and Astrid). As per usual, time is of the essence and Stephen's task proves easier said than done.
Executive producer Phil Klemmer talks to The Hollywood Reporter about the season closer ("It's not a fakeout," he reassures), whether Jedikiah has been evil all along, the John-Astrid silver lining and Stephen's nearly impossible mission.
We need to talk about last week's ending, when Jedikiah becomes even more powerful. Is Evil Jedikiah back or was he always there to begin with?
I don't think he's changed as the season's progressed. It's just been our understanding of Jedikiah, which has changed. I think he's still an idealist which is always a dangerous thing to be. He has lofty ideals but he's willing to make some really ruthless sacrifices. The ends always justify the means for Jedikiah. So yeah sure, taking Irene's powers -- the trail of bodies is long, but I've never imagined him as pure evil. By the time you'll get to the finale, your heart will break for Jedikiah. His season is like a tragedy. To me, he's the tragic hero of season one. It was a mislead, in my mind, that he was ever portrayed as the victim. The penultimate episode ends with him having satisfied his life-long dream of literally owning his brother's powers. In the finale, we'll see the flip-side of that. We'll see Jedikiah a man who has lost everything.
How dire are things for the human species?
It will have hit the fan early in the next episode. It's not a fake-out. We ended [episode] 21 with Roger in the Machine and that's where we're going to pick up in [episode] 22. We're going to see what that means for humanity. It's not going to be one of the episodes where we end on a cliffhanger and it makes up with "Just kidding! We stopped him!" This is very much a serialized two-parter. There's going to be no reset. It's a non-stop ride to the very end. The [way the] season ends it's very clear a lot of things cannot go back to the way they were. We really are blowing up our world in every sense, which is a little scary but also thrilling for what it could mean for season two because it's never going to be season one again.
How much is Russell's decision to side with the Founder going to affect him in the finale? Will he face major consequences?
He's absolutely to blame for Roger's predicament. That's what I find most interesting. He does something totally dastardly but it's justifiable in a way. He was watching his friends die and the Founder simply outfoxed him. The tragedy is that he didn't have to betray Roger. I really wanted to have a character whom we loved do something unforgivable and totally understandable. We played Russell for comic relief so many times, [so] just to play for outright pathos is really interesting to me because then hopefully the audience knows all bets are off. If you can turn your court jester into Judas in the series, then anything can happen. In the finale, we'll continue to do things that are not supposed to happen: killing people, decisions that they can't take back.
At the moment, it seems clear that John has moved on from Cara and that that chapter has closed, at least for now. How done are John and Cara?
If the Machine does what it's intended to do, then John is not long for this world. Even if should he survive, now they are technically different species and all of the telepathic closeness that they shared has been lost. We'll get to see this grim reckoning. I totally believe that John and Cara still love each other on a certain level but they've been turned into Montagues and Capulets, West Side Story's Sharks and Jets, because they're on opposite sides' battle lines. Their mutual love for each other is going to force a really tough decision at the end of the finale, which is what sets us up for season two.
Amidst this ongoing shadow war, a big point of the penultimate episode was the John and Astrid kiss. Was that a reaction to viewer interest in those two characters connecting or was it always in the cards?
I would love viewers to feel that they own that one, but from the second we met Madeleine [Mantock], we thought she was adorable and Luke Mitchell, you put him in proximity of anyone and he has a certain chemistry. The two of them together is just so unlikely that being human is this awful humiliating experience for John but to give him a silver lining of forcing him closer to Astrid is truly bittersweet. I don't think love is necessarily binary or mutually exclusively. That's what I really like. You can want things to be both ways. I know in television, people traditionally break down into camps but I'm totally fine with ripping your audience's heart in two.
Will Stephen's mother and brother play into the finale at all?
No. This was a coming-of-age story [for Stephen]. We started the pilot with Stephen very much a boy. By the time we've reached the end, I wanted Stephen to be alone. His search for his father -- he succeeded, but he hasn't succeeded in saving the world. By the time we get to the finale, it's all on Stephen's shoulders and I wanted him to feel the pressure of being a man and having to stand on his own two feet.
The Tomorrow People finale airs Monday at 9 p.m. on The CW.