07 February 2014

[The Tomorrow People] There's Something About Marla

Sarah Clarke as Marla in The Tomorrow People
Last week on The Tomorrow People...there was this fleeting shot of Sarah Clarke's character, Marla, that shook me up. She had this look. Her eyes triggered feelings of emotional damage in me I thought I've already gotten over.

Why? Let me briefly walk you through it...

Back in 2001, Sarah Clarke assumed the role of TV's biggest liar and deceiver by way of 24. As viewers began to fall in love with this show, they also started to fall in love with her character, Nina Myers, because she was easily someone they wanted to root for. Turned out, she played everyone. Me included.

In those final moments on the first season of 24, the revelation hit like a lightning bolt: Nina was the secret agent/traitor who also killed Jack Bauer's wife. It left me scarred. The betrayal was hard to process because it came at the end of the show, when I was expecting a happy ending.

This character's deception had a lasting impression on me that I couldn't really appreciate the actress in other roles after her time on 24 wrapped up. She was only Nina and I couldn't trust her. Years later, I briefly saw her on Covert Affairs playing yet another secret agent role. And guess what? She double-crossed someone again!

Forward to 12 years and Sarah Clarke is on a show I'm regularly following.

In The Tomorrow People, her part as Marla, the working solo-parent to two teenage boys, was pretty nondescript. She wasn't even in the other episodes. And up until last week, I was under the impression that Marla was just going to be a semi-regular who appeared, at best, with 7-10 minutes screen time.

But…these writers. They mess with viewers, don't they?

Marla's storyline progressed from being just a mother who occasionally talks to her kids, to someone who may be an important figure in the story. I should've known! The actress wasn't just going to play secondary roles like that.

So the other week, when I saw that look in her eyes in one momentary scene, it told me that Marla, like Nina, was hiding something.  The show lost no time in confirming my previous suspicions because in last night's episode, Marla did this:


Marla can stop time.

She is a Tomorrow Person! Everyone in their family is part of the Tomorrow People!!!


I knew she was hiding something!

Now the next question is --- is Marla with the good guys, or is she part of some other faction that's going to shake things up? How strong are her powers? How sharp are her killer instincts? Is she going to double-cross someone again?

Unfortunately, I won't know the answers until after the two weeks because TV season is going to be interrupted by the Winter Olympics. But I'll use this break to process what has happened and prepare myself for the possibility that Marla (who is Nina, who is Sarah) may be up to deceive someone again.

Do you watch The Tomorrow People? Did this revelation about Marla's powers shock you or were you expecting it?