THE TOMORROW PEOPLE: Mark Pellegrino Talks the Looming Face-Off Between Jedikiah and the Founder (2014)

"The Tomorrow People"
“The Tomorrow People”

This past episode of THE TOMORROW PEOPLE took Stephen (Robbie Amell) and John (Luke Mitchell) to the brink of nearly killing the Founder (Simon Merrells), only to allow him to live after hearing his plea that he did everything to protect them all from annihilation by the humans. That left Jedikiah (Mark Pellegrino) on the run the second he realized that the Founder still lived and that Stephen had betrayed him.

In an exclusive interview, star Mark Pellegrino talked about the tug-of-war for Stephen, Ultra, and the ongoing fight of the humans versus the Tomorrow People for worldwide domination and survival.

In this past episode, it ended with a cliffhanger with Jedikiah on the run with the Founder in hot pursuit. So are we picking up right on the heels of that?
MARK: We certainly are. Now Ultra is under control of the Founder. So a new boss is in town and it appears that he is going to start instituting some new rules, and these new rules really show that Jedikiah’s former administration was kind of a little amiss in the way he ran things. So the question is whether the Founder is really a benevolent leader or is he biding his time for something bigger down the road?

It seems like the Founder is awfully anxious to get his hands back on Jedikiah. But it does not seem like Jedikiah could survive for very long if the Founder really pursues him. How is Jedikiah going to survive?
MARK: If you think about it, Jedikiah has had to exist for years right in the territory of folks that could read his mind and who out-gunned him in just about every way. So he has had to be cunning. He’s got a few tricks up his sleeve that he’s kept secret that will enable him to fly under the radar for a time at least.

Is there someone that he’s going to turn to in his time of need that he may have had as a backup plan?
MARK: He definitely has to try to appeal to his nephew. But Stephen is perhaps convinced of the Founder’s benevolence. That maybe Jedikiah is the one that has been the problem all along, and there is a reason there is a rift between humans and the Tomorrow People. So he’s going to be a hard nut to crack. But Stephen is definitely the missing link to Jedikiah’s overall plan.

It appears that we haven’t seen from the backstory of the Founder, Jedikiah and Roger and what was entirely going on with their relationship. Are we going to find out what happened with the three of them?
MARK: You’ve seen in the previous episode that Jedikiah introduced Bathory to Roger thinking it would further their research and thinking that this was a giant leap forward because that is the way the Founder painted it. But there was a sticking point for Jedikiah: once humans knew that there was a superior species with these powers, there would be a tremendous rivalry that would be as deep as evolution itself; and in that rivalry, the humans would lose because they were simply not powered. So Jedikiah, of course, wanted this union to happen not just for the humanitarian reasons of bringing the Tomorrow People together and advancing research for his brother, but also to endow humans with these powers and bring them up to evolutionary speed, so to speak, and save the human race from extinction. That seems to be the rift between Bathory, who has entirely different notions about the way things needs to be; and Jedikiah thinks that these powers should also belong to human beings. Therein lies the problem. That there is two different ideologies that come head to head. That rift started early, before the formation of Ultra.

Roger seems to be the wild-card. In the flashbacks, it seemed like he was aligning with the Founder’s viewpoint — at least that is what we are led to believe — are we going to get a chance to see what Roger really believes?
MARK: Oh yeah. You will. Roger and Jedikiah, as young idealists, really bought into the Founder’s ideas and got pulled in very deep. For Jedikiah, he was a little bit over his head at times and as a result, this season, he’s had to correct some rather massive misjudgments and mistakes.

Who would you say is the greater threat between the Founder, Jedikiah and Roger?
MARK: I think Jedikiah believes that the Founder is the biggest threat to humanity that there is; and the Founder, of course, believes that Jedikiah is the biggest threat to everyone and he’s manufactured a conflict that doesn’t exist. That the Founder’s true intentions were to unite the Tomorrow People — not to destroy them, not to keep them down, not to control their powers, but to integrate them into the world. And Jedikiah has very different feelings about that. Jedikiah thinks the Founder has an overall plan that is very destructive to humanity.

They have some intense stuff going on with some of the family dynamics is swept up into it as well.
MARK: Oh yeah. In this episode coming up, Jedikiah being on the outside is very, very desperate since Stephen seems to be converted to the Founder’s side. So it’s hard to convince Stephen that the Founder’s side isn’t better because Jedikiah’s track record isn’t that great. He’s seemingly betrayed his nephew. He’s done a lot of bad things. So he doesn’t have his record working for him. It’s going to be a really hard for Jedikiah to try to convince Stephen otherwise.

There’s also going to be other people entering the picture who might shake things up. We know Leven Rambin is joining the series as Natalie and she’s going to be a wild-card too. Will that put everyone’s animosity for each other on hold?
MARK: She definitely is a wild-card. She comes into the mix and stirs things up quite a bit in a very interesting way. It doesn’t necessary cool the relationship problems between Stephen and Jedikiah. I don’t think Jedikiah has any relationships that are cool. All of his relationships tend to be caliente, if you know what I mean? It doesn’t take Stephen’s eye off the ball really, but it definitely throws a wrench into a lot of plans.

Since you’ve played this character for about a year now, what would you say people could learn from Jedikiah?
MARK: First of all, they could probably learn to not start an organization called Ultra, which is filled with people that have more power than you because you’ll get in over your head all the time. (Laughs) No, what I think they could learn from Jedikiah is loyalty. He’s got a sense of loyalty that goes far deeper than we know because we see him doing a lot of things that would be considered betrayals. But he’s in a difficult position as a politician-scientist, the politician side of him has to see down the road a million miles and that means that he has to do things in the moment for loyalty for an overall cause. Jedikiah said something in the last episode before he went on the lam that I thought was really cool: It’s not Stephen’s powers that saved him; it wasn’t Roger’s powers that saved Jedikiah, it was his humanity. Jedikiah is a great humanist. You don’t often see people touting the virtues of humanity or even defending humanity. Humanity in most shows out there is kind of a cancer and predominantly destructive. And here you have a guy that stands for it and is encouraging his nephew to hold onto that one molecule of it that is left inside of him, because that’s the thing that will make him love. And I think Jedikiah has said that in the past — that for him it is love that made homo sapiens survive and transcend most of nature — and that is the transcendent quality of humanity that I think he is trying in a lot of unfortunate ways to defend.

With those lofty and perhaps essential ideals tugging at Jedikiah’s conscience and heart, it will be fascinating to see whether Stephen is persuade to join Jedikiah’s crusade to save the human race. So be sure to tune in for an all new episode of THE TOMORROW PEOPLE on Monday, March 31st at 9:00 p.m. on the CW. The war has begun, but they may all need each other soon if they are going to survive.

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