'Tomorrow People': Sarah Clarke on Secret Powers and Getting In on the Action

Ahead of The CW drama's return, the actress talks to THR about the aftermath of the Feb. 5 reveal.
AP Images; The CW

[Warning: Some spoilers ahead.]

Stephen isn't the only one in his family with powers.

Returning after a three-week break, The CW's The Tomorrow People picks up Wednesday following Stephen's discovery that his unassuming mother, Marla, is a Tomorrow Person, too.

"It was something that developed halfway through [the season]," Sarah Clarke tells The Hollywood Reporter. "[Executive producer Phil Klemmer] alluded to me midway through that Marla knows a little more than we've been letting on. I liked the idea, but I had to really discuss with Phil at length as to -- if she had powers -- why she wasn't using them and why she was trying to suppress them in her son."

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She adds: "He came up with a really good explanation in the sense that Marla's first motivation to doing any of this is to protect her children because of what was happening with Roger and what he was doing with his brother Jedikiah. It's always been in the name of self-preservation and the preservation of her children."

In a chat with THR, Clarke talks about Stephen and Marla's changing dynamic, facing Jedikiah and what's next.

Now that Stephen is aware of his mother's powers, how does that change their dynamic? Is it a big move?

I think it is. What it does is it makes them even stronger and makes them even more allied in their common cause. Now, certainly Marla doesn't know the extent to which Stephen is out there using his powers with the Tomorrow People and with Ultra. But in terms of them finally being able to see each other as they are, it's comforting. It's something that Marla has had to sit on by herself and deny about herself for a very long time.

Hypothetically, how would Marla handle Stephen cavorting with the Tomorrow People and Ultra to the extent that he has?

It's one of those really hard steps that mothers have to do when their children grow up and they're taking responsibility. I have two small daughters who are 4 and 7, so I'm still very much the maker of their world. And as they slowly grow more independent, it'll always be a struggle as a mom. If I had a grown son who was going into some area that I haven't explored, there would have to be a level of trust that I've given him as many tools as I can, and I have to let him do what he's going to do. I think that's what the story is about. Stephen is becoming a man, more or less. He started off as a little boy, but now that he's been shown in this world and feels the responsibility of what he has, Marla's gotta let him take take that on and let him solve some problems.

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We saw at the end of one recent episode that Luca is starting to show signs of breaking out. Does Marla start to suspect that her other son is also dealing with supernatural powers?

I think there's a sneaking suspicion that it will start to develop, and maybe she's hoping that when it does -- it's almost inevitable that it probably will -- that she'll be better prepared having gone through Stephen. Certainly now that the dynamic has been revealed with Stephen, it may change. I don't know how that's all going to unfold yet! (Laughs.) Thankfully Luca is still too young, and he's not really breaking out fully yet.

Will we dive deeper into Marla's relationship with Roger's brother Jedikiah?

You have to. Up until this point, we circle each other but have never really spoken the truth. I also don't think that Jedikiah knows about her powers. I think it's something that if he did know, they would have a very different dynamic. I think he does truly think she is just a mother who doesn't know.

Is that a card that Marla can play later on?

I would think! Again, without any spoilers, I only know one or two scripts ahead of what we're shooting. At this point, I have to think that all the characters are going to have to cross paths and come to terms with who they are.

Is there a possibility for flashbacks with Marla and Roger?

We've shot different ones at different times, and they end up only eking out a little bit of information. I don't know, in terms of future shows. But it's ripe for so many stories. There is a lot to explore there, so I would hope that they would show more, in terms of what happened between Roger and Marla and how the separation came about and why. That's all very interesting. We certainly talk about it a lot. It'd be nice to show it.

Is there a character on the show who you'd like to see interacting more with Marla?

The Founder. (Laughs.) In the last episode, you see that there is some recognition between them, but I don't know if that will go anywhere. There is something interesting there. And Jedikiah. They're the two intersecting points between the worlds that it'd be interesting to see them all have to deal with each other.

Will there come a time when all the worlds mesh?

Marla has always been, first and foremost, the grounding agent. Honestly I can't see her becoming a Tomorrow Person with living underground and all that. But what does it mean? If Ultra finds out [about her powers], how will she cope with them? Those are good questions, and they haven't told me how it's all going to work out. I have faith that they will figure it out.

Give us one tease from Wednesday's return episode.

What's really great is how Stephen and Marla come to terms with what they both know about each other. Those were definitely some of the more dynamic scenes for me.

Watch a preview from the episode below.

The Tomorrow People airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.

Email: Philiana.Ng@THR.com
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