Sorry for your loss has two story lines. The primary one is the death of Russell’s father and the trip across country to attend the funeral. The secondary is the mysterious new girl in town who turns out to be the sister of Stephen’s new handler.
John starts shaping up to be a real leader in this episode and this is good to see. Stephen and Russell are out hustling pool when they run into a mysterious woman that exhibits the abilities of a tomorrow person. They return, battered and bruised to learn from TIM of the death of Russell’s father. He is going to attend despite the rules stating you leave your human life behind. John gives the OK and goes with him to ensure both his and the groups safety.
I like this because it shows that John can see what has been working prior may not be working anymore. To continue to keep his people safe, he has to adapt of they will all suffer. Yes, there is plenty of teen angst in the decision but you have to take that in stride as this is still a show about teenagers with powers. It is nice to see that they are going to let them grow up a little bit in this first season.
The best thing about this episode is the second story line. The mysterious girl presents a nice moral dilemma for the Cara and Stephen. She is obviously being hunted by ultra but she also needs to know that her sister is in the city and the dangers that this poses to her. We are given a scene early in the episode where Stephen’s senior agent gives him a warning about Astrid. She lets it slid so that this doesn’t complicate his human life but does caution him that he needs to get some separation from that life. This makes Stephen’s suggestion to let the two sisters meet make sense. Instead of just blindly leaping to conclusions we have our hero actually thinking about his actions and this is a nice change of pace.
The meeting between the sisters goes predictably. The Ultra agent shows up and makes the plea to bring her sister in to be de-powered. Stephen makes the plea to spare her this fate when she knows the outcome. A pick-up squad is just moments away and she helps the two escape out the back. The squad arrives and begins questioning her about the minds that had been sensed as they arrived. We get see her resolve solidify and she makes the choice to buy them time to escape. She can’t kill but badly incapacitates some of the squad and buys the duo escape time with her life. This was definitely not what I was expecting and illustrated the stakes that are in play here.
Once again the show opens up showing the horrible life of one of the characters in the episode. This time it is Russell’s over-bearing father. Russell is at an audition and is performing admirably. The stress is so great that he begins his outbreak. When the audition is done, his father has nothing but criticism despite the auditors approbation. That Russell wants to attend the funeral makes little sense. When things degenerate on the trip and the two are being held by a local sheriff we get the rest of the story.
Russell used his abilities early on to cheat at gambling and took some very bad people’s money. When the time came to pay for his crime, his father bore the pain and Russell ran away. The trip is in some fashion a way of apologizing. The thing is that Russell doesn’t get enough screen time for me to care that much about him. He is treated mostly as stereotypical comedic relief. This whole story line makes me me like him a lot less. It also makes the tomorrow people seem to be a dumping ground for broken individuals who seem to not even be able to rise up when given a second chance by being given powers.
This where I get frustrated. The whole story with the sisters is pretty damn good. It just breaks down when the older sister dies. Why do two teleporters run out the back door? Why isn’t there a big chase scene across the city with the agent using the excuse that she lost the quarry somewhere in the city. The stand-off between the sister and the pick-up team in dramatic but loses something when you consider that this is just outside the bar and all three of these people can teleport. Arrggghhhh! If you are going to have a show where people have powers and remind us of these powers at the beginning of every show then damn well make sure you take them into account when you are writing.
Despite the bad and the ugly of this episode, I still enjoyed it. I hope that as the season progresses that we get writing that takes the powers into account more often rather than as a lazy plot device now and again.