Previously on Deadly Class: Joelle reviewed the pilot, which you can read here. For a further breakdown of what has happened: Marcus, an orphaned teen living on the streets of San Francisco (no, Karl Malden and Michael Douglas are nowhere to be found and yes, that was a very old reference) in 1987 after burning down his orphanage and killing everyone in it, is recruited by Saya to become a student at King’s Dominion, a school where teenagers are trained to become ‘creative problem-solvers, which is just a nice way of saying ‘assassins.’ His first homework assignment: kill someone and provide proof, which he ends up carrying out alongside fellow student Willie, a pacifist lying to his fellow students about being a hardcore gang member, and the two of them kill Rory, a homeless serial killer who regularly bullied Marcus. Saya has been recruited by Master Lin, headmaster of King’s Dominion, to look after Marcus and learn more about him and his strengths and weaknesses, including the fact that Marcus didn’t actually burn down the orphanage and kill everyone inside. What they don’t know, and what Marcus doesn’t seem to know, is that Marcus is being hunted by his former roommate, who left Marcus facially scarred and who also has a fondness for having sex with farm animals. Which is just another way of reminding us viewers that we’re watching SyFy, not The CW.
THE STORY SO FAR: The Legacy students of King’s Dominion are planning to attend the Legacy Dance, which Marcus, Petra, and all other non-Legacy students are warned not to attend when they’re not dealing with hazing rituals in the form of rat body parts being included with their lunch. Petra, to spite Brandy Lynn (a.k.a. what Kaitlin Bennett would look like if she didn’t carry an assault rifle everywhere and actually had good hair and makeup) who has threatened her about attending the Legacy Dance with Viktor, changes her mind and goes with him, only to realize that it was all a prank and he simply wanted to team up with Brandy Lynn and haze her as well. Marcus has grown tired of being friends with Willie behind closed doors and being ignored and disrespected by him in public, just to protect Willie’s reputation. Says and Maria hang out together for a girls’ night out and start some trouble. Master Lin must deal with Professor Denke submitting his resignation and wanting to leave King’s Dominion for good, despite the fact that death is the only way Professor Denke will ever be allowed to leave.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: Seeing Marcus, Petra, and the rest of the Rats take their revenge on Viktor, Brandy Lynn, and the rest of the Legacy students with some blow darts laced with a hallucinogenic called Mellow Yellow (and Brandy Lynn getting a head-butt from Petra to go with said dose of Mellow Yellow was a terrific bonus). Willie stepping up to Chico to defend Marcus and deciding that their friendship should no longer be a secret, right after Marcus makes it clear that there’s not much point in having friends if you’re not going to be there for them when they need it most. The fact that one of the combat instructors at King’s Dominion holds Chuck Norris and his film output in very high regard. Saya and Maria enjoying each other’s company away from Chico and everyone else and imagining what a life of normalcy would actually be like, despite the interruption of Chico and his need to smother Maria (figuratively, not literally) and also plant seeds of doubt as to whether they can really trust each other. The fight sequence between Lin and Denke, and Lin’s refusal to kill his friend so he can give him the head-start he truly needs to go on the run and hopefully avoid King’s Dominion’s grasp. And Petra finding some semblance of comfort in Lex’s arms as they slow dance to “The Lady In Red.”
WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD ABOUT THIS EPISODE?: Seeing rat tails mixed in with food, and all of the vomiting that takes place as a result, which is damn near in extreme close-up. The fact that Chico is still alive, and hasn’t gotten a severe ass-whooping as of yet. And the liquor-store owner was just doing his job and didn’t really deserve to have Saya kick an entire jar of pickled eggs(?) in his face so they could get away with their shoplifting. But then again, I’m watching and recapping a series about teenage assassins running amok amok amok, so what few morals I have can be left at the door while watching this.
IS NEGAN IN THIS EPISODE?: You’re clearly thinking of the other show that I regularly watch and recap with the help of whiskey, so…no. Negan is most definitely not in this episode or even this show. And if he were, I guarantee that either Saya or Master Lin would take Lucille from him and use it to split his head open like a piñata.
IS HENRY ROLLINS ACTUALLY IN THIS SHOW?: Yes, he is. He plays Professor Jurgen Denke, who teaches the students how to create poisons, and who is becoming more and more disillusioned with King’s Dominion and how it seems more concerned with giving more power to the powerful and not caring about anything else. He submits his resignation to Master Lin, and despite his belief that Jurgen would never betray him or anyone else at King’s Dominion, it is decided that he has to die. Which leads to Lin and Jurgen beating the shit out of each other in Lin’s office (and this fight sequence between Rollins and Benedict Wong is much more believable than the fight sequence between Rollins and Al Pacino in Heat)
WAS THAT REALLY FRENCH STEWART PLAYING A PROFESSOR IN THIS EPISODE?: Yes, it was. The fact that he’s now playing a professor who teaches the Fundamentals of Psychopathy reminds us that he’s come a long way since playing Harry on 3rd Rock From The Sun.
DOES PETER KAVINSKY SHOW UP?: No, he does not, and I’m sure if he did, he’d get his ass whooped and get laughed at just as much as Marcus.
HOW MANY F-BOMBS WERE THERE IN THIS EPISODE?: Quite a few. It’s a perk that SyFy is quite enthusiastic about taking advantage of, though there are of course limits, if only so you’ll never confuse Deadly Class with a stand-up special by Chris Rock.
ANY MURDER/DEATH/KILLS IN THIS EPISODE?: None
IS LANA CONDOR JUST AS AWESOME IN THIS SHOW AS SHE IS IN TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE?: She most certainly is, and it definitely makes up for the lack of screentime she got as Jubilee in the near-unwatchable catastrofuck that was X-Men: Apocalypse. You can also read this interview with Condor from the latest issue of Cosmopolitan, in which she’s not shy about letting people know that she is “a boss-ass bitch.” Which only gives me more reasons to react like this when it comes to Lana Condor…
TO SUM IT ALL UP: Another impressive episode so far in this show’s first season, as it leaves us wondering how several questions are going to be answered (Who is the student being paid to either spy on, hurt, or kill Saya? Who is the one paying this student to go after Saya? Will Maria finally break up with Chico and beat his ass while doing so, or will Saya be the one to send him flying out of a window while screaming “You don’t even exist to me!?” What will happen to Master Lin if or when Denke is found? What will happen if Marcus is found by his goat-fucking former roommate? How much after-work stretching and massaging does one need after being someone’s desk or bookshelf for twelve hours a day without any movement?) while also making damn sure that viewers are being entertained as these questions are being asked.
This episode of Deadly Class has been brought to you by “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston.
Header Image Source: SyFy