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The kids of Kings Dominion plan an assault in the penultimate episode of Deadly Class season 1

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We’ve talked a lot about the episodic tropes that Syfy’s Deadly Class is either falling into or subverting, depending on how you feel about the show. There’s been a House Party Episode, a Road Trip Episode, and a School Dance Episode. At first glance, “Kids of the Black Hole” doesn’t seem to fit a subcategory until you consider the arc of Marcus and Saya – it’s the “Acting Like an Idiot the Night Before Something Major Episode”!

Of course, the something major is the assault on Shabnam’s house, which the evil Fuckface is using to plan his apocalypse. Marcus and Saya learn of his location and plan an assault, but they’re gonna need some explosives. Who knows more about blowing shit up than the punk rockers? And so they bring the rocking love triangle of Petra, Lex, and Billy in on their plan, going to them to acquire some C4. But what’s really about to explode is the sexual tension between Marcus and Saya! (Sorry.)

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The dynamic duo is at a club where The Adolescents are playing (and they give the episode its title, which was also used for the second volume of the graphic novel). Marcus learns about the power of the mosh pit – which made this old-timer nostalgic for my own dumb youth in which being injured at a rock concert was actually a thing – and that adrenalin pushes him into the arms of Saya. He wakes up the next morning, half-naked, and deeply hungover. As he races to the comics shop – not only to do his job but because that’s where the explosives are being dropped off – he remembers that he has now cheated on Maria. Barely holding it together at Lost Innocence Comics, Marcus even shits his pants in one particularly gross scene. Ah, the folly of youth.

Deadly Class is a show that very purposefully moves at a breakneck pace – think of how quickly the subplot with Lin’s daughter has been moving – but it actually would have been nice to see the Marcus/Saya/Maria triangle play out a little longer. Marcus clearly has chemistry with Maria, but he seems happier and more intellectually satisfied with Saya. And there’s an interesting beat this episode in which we see Maria with a bottle in the background, implying that Marcus may care for her but that she’s just becoming too difficult for him, especially when there’s a confident, strong woman next to him in Saya. The love triangle is clearly not done narratively, but I almost wish they had delayed the sex with Saya a bit longer to create more “will they, won’t they” dramatic tension.

While these kids are playing around, Master Lin has a real issue of life and death in front of him. He knows that his evil sister is planning to destroy his life. Gao gave up her child to the league of assassins, but Lin hid his daughter, and, well, that’s just not fair. Lin suspects that Gao will seek revenge, and he orders Saya to guard his family while he goes and confronts Gao. Saya makes the decision to leave her post and go with Marcus and the gang to attack Fuckface’s compound. After what plays out, one can only imagine the trouble that will bring down upon Saya. And the guilt.

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Lin goes to confront Gao, who thinks that she has recruited Viktor and Brandy to her side. She has not. Sadly, a quick smile from Lin reveals that his students are really double agents and Gao gets to the advantage of starting the attack. When it’s done, she’s escaped, and Lin chases after her, knowing that his family is in extreme danger now.

When Lin gets home, he finds El Diablo, Chico’s dad, at his family dinner table. Remember, he used the lie that he had lost a child to talk Chico’s father into stopping what looked like more violence. Daddy is pissed. After a few tense moments, the fighting starts, and shots ring out. Diablo is pointing a gun at Lin’s daughter Nahia, but he hits Lin’s wife Shu instead. Lin escapes into the night with his child. He can’t run forever, and El Diablo knows where he lives and works. It looks like the season finale will feature two different parallel showdowns between master and student as Lin battles the man who killed his wife and Marcus finally confronts his nemesis. People are gonna die. It’s right there in the name of the show.

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Stray observations

  • What about Willie? Once again, we didn’t mention him much because his character has seemed mostly secondary this season. On advice from his new girlfriend Gabrielle, Willie packs up and leaves Kings Dominion and San Francisco altogether. We even see him not taking the chance to protect a family being mugged. Willie has always been a tough read but with a good heart. Something tells me he’ll pop up at just the right time when his friends need him in the finale.
  • The Adolescents music cue was the big one this week – “Kids of the Black Hole” – but we also heard a little Madness with “One Step Beyond” and the closer was “Taxi to Heaven” by Pray For Rain, which is from the movie Sid & Nancy. Once again, I have to give props to show composer Nathan Matthew David, who is constantly injecting music that sounds like it’s from the era but are actually his compositions. He’s tricked me a few times.
  • What do you expect from the season finale? And what do you need to keep engaged enough to come back for season two if you’re not yet convinced you want to?
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About the author

Brian Tallerico

Brian is the Editor of RogerEbert.com, President of the Chicago Film Critics Association, and a contributor to Vulture, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times.