In a dark world where a mysterious organization is hunting down and killing children with powers, Russell (Aaron Yoo) has been The Tomorrow People's bright spot. But we'll see a new side to the fun-loving jokester of the Tomorrow People when Aaron discovers that his father has died on Wednesday's episode (9/8c on The CW), which dredges up memories from his past that he's kept suppressed for years.
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"As with a lot of comedians and funny people in general, humor is a coping mechanism to deal with a lot of pain," Yoo tells TVGuide.com. "Russell has a personal secret that has haunted him for years that he chooses to be the bon vivant because if he went to the dark place, he would have to remember the consequences of the choices that he made. It's like that moment where you make a grave mistake and decide you're going to give back to the world what you took away from it. Russell has that in his past and you'll find out what that might be."
In dealing with the passing of Aaron's father, we'll also learn much more about the Tomorrow People, particularly that once you leave, you cannot return. We saw as much last week when Cara (Peyton List) dosed a traitor Tomorrow Person with Ultra's cure serum, effectively kicking him out of their group. "They have their own civil system, and one of those systems is if you leave, you can't ever come back, so that's something that Russell deals with when he finds out his father dies," Yoo says. "If you decided that you didn't want to be a Tomorrow Person anymore, you know where the subway station is. We're not Ultra. What are we going to do? We couldn't kill you if we wanted to. There's a really interesting blood brother bond that everybody has in the subway station."
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But the arrival of Stephen (Robbie Amell) into the Tomorrow People has also raised some questions in the group since John (Luke Mitchell) has never really been challenged as the leader. "John has been able to keep everybody holding onto each other by force of charisma and by force of his own imposing presence as well," Yoo says. "Make them love you, make them fear you. Then Stephen comes in and starts asking all these questions. You're going to see the anarchic element that he brings into this group start to push people into different camps and separate ideas. We were all happy and fine living a miserable existence until someone pointed out that there's a better, prettier world somewhere else. That's one of the main storylines of the whole series."
What probably won't help is if the rest of the Tomorrow People discover John's secret that he can actually kill people, something Cara saw first-hand in last week's episode. "The question of whether we can kill or not is a question of whether that's a beneficial mutation or a limiting one," Yoo says. "I've learned through these episodes that this is one of the most identifying things about us; not that we can teleport or telepathically connect to each other. We hold preciously and defiantly to the idea that we can't kill, so there's something really shattering about discovering that someone has violated that most beautiful thing that you find about yourself."
The Tomorrow People airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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