Zap2it: After revealing Marla’s powers and kicking John out of the Tomorrow People lair, where do you go next?
Phil Klemmer: We haven’t even scratched the surface of our complications and our reveals. These decisions tend to have ripple effects. I feel like once you blow people’s minds, they kind of begin to become desensitized so you have to wheel out some bigger surprises and some bigger heartbreak. I feel like we’ve done all that. This season is kind of like an avalanche — it starts with a pebble, and by the time we get to the end of the season, the whole mountain is coming down.
It’s fun to do because there’s nobody saying no to what we’re asking to do. We have so much money that we’ve saved up and so much talent and so many sexy, romantic possibilities that we’re really getting to try everything. As the season concludes, it’s less about breakups and it’s more about the characters we love. It’s less about hiding and really about going to the streets and fighting for their survival.
By the end of the season, it’s not going to be about the diametric opposition between the Tomorrow People and ULTRA. The introduction of the Founder, that sort of third party with Stephen not knowing who he can trust between Jedikiah and the Founder, the notion that his father is the third point of that founding triangle — the only person he can trust is what motivates Stephen to try to find his dad and return him to life.
In uncovering the secret history of ULTRA, Stephen is going to realize that the dangers that sent his father into an early grave, they’re still alive. They still affect Stephen, and they still affect his family, they still affect the Tomorrow People, they still affect “people” people and the whole planet.
It’s no longer about survival, just a ragtag little band. It’s about them being forced to choose a side between these two species. It’s a question between whether evolution is inevitable and humans are doomed to go extinct, or whether the Tomorrow People can come to their rivals’ aid and save them. It’s totally different from the first half of the season, when it was about rescuing isolated breakouts. It’s much more about, the series has really turned into … It’s more like “Battlestar.” It’s sort of a war. It’s really about betrayals and battlegrounds. It’s really exciting.
What does this mean for the main characters in the final episodes of the seasons?
e prepared for … I’ll say that a couple die, that people lose powers and people get powers, and people sleep with people, and people betray people, and Tomorrow People turn on Tomorrow People. It’s literally, the world is turned upside-down where ULTRA isn’t safe, and the world of paranormals is much larger than what we’ve ever indicated so far. In searching for his father — as we found out at the end of the last episode — in finding him, Stephen has totally opened Pandora’s box.
It really is interesting, because in the season, we sort of tipped that it was about Stephen finding his father. By the time we get to the end of the season, it’s going to be a question of whether Stephen can become his father, whether he can become the hero, whether he can fulfill what his dad left unfulfilled when he took a bullet.
Which recurring characters are coming back?
Your old friend Julian comes back in the next episode [“Enemy of My Enemy”]. He was Cara’s nemesis, and he actually comes back on the side of Jedikiah, and he comes back with murder on his mind and Cara in his sights. So the bullets will start to fly, and the lair will be … ULTRA will be storming our castle before long.
Also, if you remember Cassie, the Founder’s daughter from “Citadel,” [she] will come back in episode 17. You’ll get to see Irene again, our little brainy psycho-scientist. You’ll get to see the love of Russell’s life in backstory and potentially in real time. We’ll get to see how John and Cara met in flashback. We’ll get to see the formation of ULTRA in flashback, back when Roger and Jedikiah and the Founder were all grad students.
How will Season 1 end, and are there plans for Season 2?
The way we’re leaving the finale, it blows out Season 1 in such a way that it makes it clear to anyone who sees it that the Tomorrow People aren’t going to be “underground” and that it’s really just the tip of the iceberg as far as paranormals go, that we’ve seen in Season 1. It’s not going to be a matter of ULTRA vs. our gang. The world is actually much more complicated and larger. It’s not going to be a question of survival anymore. It’s going to be a question of how they choose to use their powers.
By the time we get to the end of the season, all of our central characters aren’t on the same side. They aren’t all alive — and some are responsible for the deaths of others. We definitely end in a very fraught place. It’s sort of like “Empire Strikes Back” — it’s a bummer, but it leaves Stephen with. … Instead of going from boy to man like he did in Season 1, it’s the promise of him becoming a hero and a leader and sort of repairing this fractured world.
I might have some repairing to do with our fanbase once they see some of the changes. But I promise: Just hang with it, take a deep breath and when people sleep with people, people betray people, people take each other’s powers, kill each other, turn over to the dark side — you just have to keep watching, because I think everyone is true to themselves. And it’s not the people, it’s the impossible predicament that we’ve placed them in. Blame the showrunner. It’s my fault.
“The Tomorrow People” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW; it moves to Mondays at 9 p.m. starting March 17.