In the penultimate episode of season one of Syfy’s Deadly Class, everything comes together in Episode 9: Kids Of The Black Hole. Willie leaves King’s Dominion. Lin and Gao fight over leadership. Marcus and friends prepare for the battle against Chester over Chico’s head. But most importantly, Love is made, much to Marcus’ chagrin and disgust.
I’m going to start with our boy, Marcus. He finally lets his guard down, and stops with the self-critical, greater than thou attitude thanks to our girl, Saya. It’s refreshing to watch him enjoy the moment… even if it turns out to be a huge mistake (at least, Marcus thinks so, I don’t). It’s a mistake I think most of us have been rooting for, in a moment that comic fans have been waiting on for a long time.
As a standalone episode this one was good. With a wide emotional tone that mixes the longstanding drama of Gao, Diablo, and Chester’s revenge stories, with some much-needed humor, surprising character anecdotes, and even moments of redemption. Also featured, are some epic musical numbers, including an ‘Adolescents’ slam dance taken straight out of the 80s. It’s an episode that is messy in a good way which executes on the show’s strengths of character, nostalgia, and surprises.
But what really makes this episode great is that it truly ties the season together. Every experience the characters have gone through manifests in these final conflicts: Marcus’ addresses Lin’s hypocrisy as the school benefits only the rich, Lin tries to protect his family, especially from his sister, Maria’s status with Diablo and Soto Vatos is figured out, Saya teaches everyone that despite being perfect in everything she’s really just a girl who wants to have fun, and even Lex, the resident douche of the rats, finds a way to be helpful.
Overall, this episode does a good job summarizing what this series is about. There’s a little bit of everything in this one, and the final seconds really hits hard. My only issue is that Willie seems to be entirely separated from the story, and doesn’t seem to have an organic place in the gang anymore – which upsets me, as he’s my favorite character.
FINAL SCORE: 9.3/10
THE GANG PREPARES FOR BATTLE
At Shabnam’s house, in one of the funniest openings to the series, Chester’s cousins hold a hootenanny, and Chester showcases his musical talents in dedication to his friend, Dwight Shandy. Minutes later, we see Mr. Shabnam locked in a cage like a dog. He makes a break for it when Chester goes to change his diaper, but doesn’t get far, and is impaled by one of the many booby traps set outside the house. In the distance, we see Saya taking notes and scoping out the joint.
She passes a ‘rally the Vegas crew’ note along to Marcus the next day during AP Black Arts class. Master Lin finds Marcus reading Saya’s note, and so he swing’s at Marcus’ face with his stick, but Maria intercepts the blow with her fan. It’s obvious to the class that Maria cares about Marcus. He ends class with a warning:
“Emotions betray you and leave you exposed. If you are willing to die for someone… then you surely will.”– Master Lin
After class, Marcus calls Lin a hypocrite. One who pretends to empower the outcasts but is really exploiting the younger generation. Marcus uses master Jurgen as an example of his hypocrisy and then points out what bothers Lin about Marcus is that he is what Lin used to be.
At the comic book shop, Saya shows the intel she gathered. She confirms Chester is holding Shabnam’s parents hostage and has Chico’s head, which will get Maria murdered if Diablo finds out. Saya also thinks someone is giving intel to Chester, which Marcus decides to investigate later. Together, the group decides they should heavily arm themselves and strike first. This causes Willie to leave.
Outside, Marcus follows Willie and asks him again to join their cause. Willie states he still doesn’t want to kill anyone, and judges that Marcus is just trying to get himself killed. Marcus claims, “Pretending to be a hero is better than admitting we’re not one”. He then reminds Willie that they’re friends. Willie still refuses, uncertain if he wants to remain friends with Marcus if this is the kind of life they’re living.
Marcus goes back inside to tell them Willie’s out. Saya admits that the compound is fortified. The only way in is to blow a wall open with C4 but only one person they know has it.
At King’s the gang talks to Lex. He’s hesitant to join their cause after Maria nearly killed him during sparring. It’s Christmas break and he wants to go home, but they admit that Fuckface is a real bad serial killer, and if Lex really wants to make a difference, he’d help them. Lex admits he knows someone.
At his dorm room, Marcus returns to look for clues about how Chester is getting his intel and finds Shabnam. He asks if Shabnam has said anything to his parents about him, which we know from episode 8 is the case. But before Shabnam can answer, he is interrupted by a visiting Maria, who kicks Shabnam out – the two no longer trying to hide their relationship to him.
Maria asks Marcus what Lex said and he replies that Lex is down. Expecting an apology but not getting one, Maria is upset that Marcus never told her about Chester. He said he wasn’t sure she could handle it. She gets angry that he thought Saya could. In his defense, he admits Saya knew about the boys’ home already, which irritates Maria further, but she shrugs it off saying she trusts him. She then asks Marcus to stay the night with her as she doesn’t want to be alone on what might be their last night together, alive.
Later in the hallway, Saya tells Marcus that Lex found a weapons supplier, and to meet at a concert show tonight to make a deal. Marcus tells her he can’t, and to have Lex store the explosives at the back of the comic shop. Saya asks why he isn’t coming, and he admits that it’s problems with Maria, as she’s upset. Saya tells him to straighten her out as they need Maria in full form. Marcus says thanks for all the help. Saya says she had no choice as he’s her pledge, but if he screws this up, she’s the one stuck with paying the price. Marcus gets to Maria’s room and peaks inside to see her drinking with a bottle, crying.
At the show, Saya meets with the rats to make the weapons deal. Lex gets angry Marcus isn’t there, but seconds later, he shows up, to the surprise of a now smirking Saya. She asks him what changed his mind. He didn’t feel right leaving it all on her shoulders.
Inside, after Lex and Billy debate the history of punk, Lex meets with Cactus Jack (Phillip Mitchell) to purchase explosives. Lex asks for the cash, but Petra is hesitant he’ll blow it on drugs and booze. They reluctantly trust him anyway. Saya tells him to stash the explosives at the comic shop.
Finished, Marcus wants to head home, but Saya calls bullshit, as the ‘Adolescents’ are playing. She tells him to have fun as it may be their last night alive. Marcus notices there is slam dancing though, and he’s against it, but Saya tells him to stop being judgmental, as the act is more about comradery. She convinces him to join and they dance along to the song ‘Kids Of The Black Hole’ which is also the episode title.
Marcus and Saya have a really good time. Marcus confesses someone even picked him up after he fell. Saya says they’re lucky no metal heads or skinheads joined in, and that she’s glad Marcus got to experience it. He smokes a cigarette and she bums one off of him. Marcus says Saya never tells him anything about her, and asks her to tell him anything at all about herself. Saya grabs him and then passionately kisses Marcus, as the two start to make out in an alleyway.
NEVER SAY I LOVE YOU
Marcus wakes up in the middle of the woods with a terrible hangover. He notices ‘her’ hair smells like snow… then looks over and realizes, that’s not Maria. He acknowledges that he just cheated on his girlfriend with a deadly Japanese assassin: Saya.
Pulling out his watch, he realizes its noon and the comic shop was supposed to open two hours ago. He gets up and gets dressed and Saya asks him where he’s going. Marcus admits he needs to run to the store as it was supposed to be open and is full of explosives.
Marcus runs to the shop, still drunk from the night before. He grabs someone’s breakfast burrito and eats it, and then throws up on the street along the way. The whole time he reminisces about having sex with Saya. Then he feels guilty, thinking about Maria weeping in her room, admitting that he’s become the guy he hates. Still, Marcus never experienced anything like Saya. He says that her eyes burned into him, like she really seemed to know him and could fix everything. Take on the chore of being with Marcus. He thinks she could make him whole again and help him get free. Then he remembers, during sex, saying the words:
I love you.
This causes Marcus to have quite a dramatic reaction. He hates himself for being weak and needy, and regrets what he said, but also, is worried that he really meant it. Marcus remembers something Maria once said: “The difference between old friends and new friends is that new friends just haven’t let you down yet.” Maria said everyone let her down except Marcus. He admits that all he could think of was, “Give me time.”
Saya returns home after being out all night with Marcus but is reprimanded by Lin for violating her curfew. He says that he promised her father he’d protect her, and that during her training, she’s become one of the most fearsome warriors alive – one well on her way to becoming Valedictorian. However, her sword is in his service, so he gives her an assignment: tonight, Saya is to go to an address and guard it with her life. Saya hesitates, as tonight’s also the night the group is supposed to fight Chester. Lin tells her to honor her obligations to him as he has for done for years to her.
At Lost Innocence comic book shop, Marcus opens the store to a crowd of very angry customers. He checks that the C4 and the explosives are there, and they are. A young kid named Mike, keeps asking Marcus to fulfil a promise, of drawing Sabertooth fighting Spider-Man for him. Marcus remains hungover for hours, as people keep buying and haggling at the shop. He hates the banter, as well as the strange pain in his stomach. The burrito he ate on his run over. Mike is still nagging about his drawing, and with no way he can hide his fart, Marcus decides to fart right into Mike’s face. However… there was no fart.
Marcus accidentally shits himself, describing the sound as a Broken Slurpee Machine – a torrent of hot liquid soaking down to his shoes. He leaves Mike in charge then runs inside the storage closet, gets completely naked, and tries washing off what little he can. The door suddenly opens to find a shocked Maria, and the whole gang and store, surprised at Marcus’ nudity. They kick everyone out as the gang prepares for this evening. Confused, Marcus asks where’s Saya? Petra figures he’d know, as they lost track of the two of them after the show. Upset at this, Maria looks angry at Marcus.
Honoring her obligations, Saya waits outside of Master Lin’s house, unknowingly guarding his family. She looks impatient and is tempted to help her friends.
Outside of Shabnam’s house, the gang arrives with a truck filled with explosives. They guess that Saya isn’t coming, but as they open the backdoor to the truck, low and behold Saya’s there waiting. Marcus is incredibly happy that she’s joining them. Maria looks jealous. The gang then disembarks ready for the fight of their lives against Chester and his cousins.
WILLIE FLIES AWAY LIKE PETER PAN.
Before they left for the weapons deal, Saya visited Willie in his dorm room. He was packing his bags and admitted to Saya, how his mother used to call him Peter Pan, and sent him to King’s Dominion to grow up. Saya gets on his case about leaving when they need him, and how he owes Marcus for what he did for him. Willie admits the first murder helped him out, but then reflects on the second one committed. He confesses that he doesn’t like how the school is changing everyone for the worse. Saya says they love him, but if he leaves now, he’ll regret it for the rest of his life. Willie replies he knows one thing about Peter Pan: he doesn’t become a pirate.
Later, Willie talks with his girlfriend, Gabrielle, and admits he is running to LA to live with his sister and make a fresh start. He asks her to join him and she agrees. At a gas station, the two buy supplies on the drive out of town. They observe a gang of thugs mug and beat an innocent man. Gabrielle tells him to report it when they get away to a phone. Willie drives away leaving the man behind, though it obviously upsets him.
Lin tells his wife that Gao knows about their survival. She wants to know what Gao will do, and Lin admits his sister was always vicious. We then see Lin’s animated flashback:
Lin talks to his father and questions if his sister is ready. His father says she’s been ready for centuries and that her bloodline belongs to the guild. His father admits to grooming Lin to become headmaster at King’s, and says there’s nothing more to say about his sister. Lin goes over and tells her China will be a great adventure. She leaves, saying it’s been an honor to have been chosen, and then is given a knife to take with her from her father. Gao promises not to disappoint her family.
Back in the present, Lin’s wife admits Gao lost her only son to the temple and so doesn’t think their daughter will be able to walk away. Lin says he will do what he must to protect the family. He later calls on Saya to guard his family while going to a meeting with Gao.
At Gao’s office with her furniture servants, Lin is shocked to find an armed Brandy and Victor with her. Brandy admits that Lin sent them there to kill her. To have them secretly get close to Gao so that when the time is right, they could kill her. Gao admits, at least the students know when to change teams, and though she respects her brother, she is disappointed that he’s resorted to sending students to kill her.
A faint smile passes on Lin’s face. Suddenly, Brandy and Victor attack Madame Gao but she catches the double cross seconds before, and flips in the air, kicking them both just before they land their attacks. Lin comes at her with his sword and Gao also barely dodges his attack, counters, and then escapes through the tiny door and locks them in the room. The furniture servants arm themselves with sticks and get ready to fight Lin, Brandy, and Victor. They kill all the furniture people. Lin then chokes out Victor thinking he betrayed him, but Brandy says Gao was looking right at him, and that maybe she caught wind of the ambush. Lin has Victor help him force open the small door, then Lin rushes out, letting the door crush Victor’s fingers. Locked inside, Brandy questions whether they bet on the right side. Victor outright says: nyet (no).
Lin rushes home and doesn’t find Saya at her post. He goes inside and finds Diablo, eating dinner with his wife. Lin tells him Gao can’t be trusted. Diablo points a gun to Lin’s family, admitting that killing Lin’s wife and daughter won’t bring Chico back, but still wants him to suffer, as he does. Lin confesses he didn’t tell Diablo about Maria as losing a daughter too would compound his grief. Diablo calls his lie, saying Lin did it to preserve his position. Suddenly, Lin’s wife breaks free. Her and Lin proceed to take out the guards one by one. It’s going in their favor, until Diablo pulls out his gun, and shoots Lin’s wife pointblank in the head. The others grab their guns as well, so Lin grabs his daughter and runs.