'The Tomorrow People': Why The TP Would Lost the Natural Selection Game
The Tomorrow People's powers might sound pretty great. They basically have it all, right? Teleportation. Telekinesis. Telepathy. They're like the X-Men, but with arguably more practical abilities. They're the next step in the evolution of people.
Except, of course, that they would never, ever make it to dominance, thanks to one literally fatal weakness: They cannot kill anyone. Last week, John (the only Tomorrow Person who can kill, just one of the many reasons he's the best person on the show) accidentally kind of, sort of killed a girl. This week, in "Smoke and Mirrors," Stephen, possibly the most boring and frustrating protagonist of all time, put his ability to kill to the test when he tried to choke out his (maybe) evil uncle Jed. Actually, scratch that: He didn't try to kill Jed. He tried to make Jed pass out. He said, out loud, that his intention wasn't to kill Jed, but to make him pass out.
And before a loss of consciousness even happened (which, by the way, should have been fast, if Stephen had been doing the rear naked choke he was attempting correctly), Stephen suffered a massive headache that forced him to release Jed. The mechanism that stops the Tomorrow People from killing seems to work exactly like the chip The Initiative implanted in Spike's brain in the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's pain aversion that's activated when the TP performs any act that could lead to the death of another. They're able to fight. We've seen them fight. But, since intention doesn't seem to be he prevailing factor in their ability to keep going when it comes to violence, we can assume that even their sparring would be limited, if they started to apply the kind of force that could kill someone if they kept going.
I know this is largely a plot device, to keep things interesting since the humans at Ultra would have no shot at being credible threats or villains if the Tomorrow People could kill (even if they preferred not to). But this is literally a fatal flaw in a new species. It's impossible for them to truly defend themselves, when it comes down to it. Yes, they can zap themselves away or fling weapons from people's hands, but if a fight between a humans and a TP had to come down to just one winner, it would always be the human. Every. Time.
Unless the TP is John. Because he's the best.
If Stephen really didn't intend to kill Jed (maybe the real trigger is that, somehow, Stephen's body new that he wouldn't stop at just unconscious), that means, logically, other possible accidents should be causing TP headaches too. Here are just a few.
1. The Tomorrow People are constantly flinging loaded guns from bad guys' hands using telekinesis. The not insignificant possibility that this could lead to wayward gunshots and innocent victims should make them at least get a brain freeze.
2. The TP also like to beat people against things like concrete. Sure, maybe slamming people into hard metal pipes or slabs of concrete (be it with brute strength or telekinetic powers) might not kill someone, but it also really might. I call headache.
3. Almost every single new Tomorrow Person is introduced to Stephen. And what on this show is a better predictor of death than that? Nothing. Cara and Russell's heads should have exploded by now.
My point? The no-kill rule negates the premise that the Tomorrow People are the next step in evolution. They're really more of a wacky mutation that natural selection is sure to swiftly do away with. Also, it's inconsistent. Commit, for goodness sake.
Image: The CW