'The Tomorrow People': Aaron Yoo previews Russell's backstory, and his 'buddy road trip' with John

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Image Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

The Tomorrow People has already taught us so much about life, with the main lesson being that even evolutionarily advanced individuals have problems. Actually, they seem to have more problems than the rest of us normal folk. And that lesson will only be reinforced in tonight’s episode, when Russell finds out that his father has passed away, and we get a look at the life he left behind before joining John and Cara underground.

We talked to Aaron Yoo about how Russell deals with pain, his upcoming road trip, and potential special powers:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The promo for tonight’s episode is all about this new recruit they find, who turns out to be Darcy’s sister?
AARON YOO: That’s a discovery that’s made during the course of this episode. Russell, being the anarchist that he is, drags Stephen up top-side to mess around, use their powers. Basically The Tomorrow People are on lock down. John has put everybody on lock down because of what happened in the previous episode, and I think Russell’s way of dealing with pain, as you’ll see in this episode in his back story, is running away from it and covering it with trouble-making that comes easily to him. I think Russell, the previous episode was such a harrowing episode, that he’s like, “I have to be topside.” If you’re stuck down there with the same however many people day in and day out, you can’t even tell when the sun’s rising, and you will go stir crazy, and then on top of that you have tragedy happen. Russell decides to take Stephen top-side and create some trouble, during which they accidentally run into a mysterious girl named Piper. And by mysterious, I mean she wears hoodies.

Speaking of tragedy, we know that Russell’s dad dies, and so John volunteers to accompany him …
Babysit him.

Or babysit him. They take a trip back to Russell’s home, correct?
It is a trip back home/down memory lane to delve into Russell’s past that even John and Cara don’t know. What’s funny to realize is having spent a few years down in the subway station together, we don’t know these things about each other. And everyone shows up in this sort of Lost Boys, Lord of the Flies camp, and there’s this unspoken agreement that we don’t talk to each other about, the rule of our fight club is we don’t talk to each other about our pasts, because everyone’s past is painful. We’re all runaways – part of what The Tomorrow People is is lost childhood and running away from home and people who are trying to grow up on their own. And [that is] where Stephen kind of throws a monkey wrench into our group. As the episodes go on, you’ll see that his introduction and the difference of his idea starts to really shatter what was like a comfortable miserable existence that we had before he showed up. So there’s a lot more strife, but there’s a lot more life that’s going on as well. And one of those things is because Stephen is like, “No, I’m holding onto my human life.” It starts to make all of us have to confront the fact that we all ran away from ours. So, with Russell, going home is not something that Russell wants to do because he very specifically ran away from his own past, and it’s something that’s scary to him.

How do we get into that back story. Is it like road trip bonding?
It is a road trip movie. It is a road trip buddy movie. We go on a buddy road trip and disaster ensues.

We recently saw John do some really impressive stuff with his powers. Does Russell have any special powers we don’t know about?
I don’t think that you find out that Russell has any special powers that you don’t already know about. You might find that out in the future, but if anything, the only special power that you discover that he has is the ability to ruin any seemingly safe situation. And it’s pretty much an undefeatable super power. I read scripts and go, “Well I screw this up pretty royally” pretty much on an episode-to-episode basis. There’s one point where I go, “Why do I keep suggesting that I’m good at sneaking into/infiltrating places? I get caught all the time!” But that’s some foreshadowing for later episodes. Some really good later episodes. In this episode, if anything, his best super power is trouble.

The Tomorrow People airs tonight at 9 p.m. on The CW.

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