REVIEW: ‘Deadly Class,’ Episode 2 – “Noise, Noise, Noise”

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The pilot episode of Deadly Class left me impressed; not only was it a well-made piece of television, but it was also a pitch-perfect adaptation of its source material. But can it continue that momentum in its second episode?

We pick up with Marcus (Benjamin Wadsworth) after the events of the pilot; he had just killed Rory, the bum who had made his life a living hell and let fellow student Willie (Luke Tennie) take the credit to protect his reputation. What should have been a simple arrangement slowly starts unraveling as Marcus is haunted by the image of Rory and how murder weighs on his conscience. Further complicating matters, Master Lin (Benedict Wong) puts Marcus and the other students through a hellish assignment involving poison gas, as he is disappointed with their inability to bring back evidence of their kills. “The weak do not belong in my school,” he snarls, slamming his cane down on a student’s desk. Wong continues to prove why he’s one of the best parts of this show.

Marcus’ troubles don’t end there, his Poisons teacher Mister Denke (the legendary Henry Rollins) warns him that his instinct to seek justice makes him a target for the other students. This proves rather prophetic when he stands up for nerdy student Shabnam (Isaiah Lehtinen) who ends up inviting Marcus and a few friends over to his house for a party. “A few friends” soon turns into “nearly the entire student body of Kings’ Dominion”, and for once the students have to deal with normal things like teenage hormones, rather than the art of assassination.

The best thing about this episode is how it plays off the established character relationships. As a “rat”, Marcus has managed to strike up a friendship with fellow students Billy (Liam James), Petra (Taylor Hickson) and Lex (Jack Gillett). Here that friendship is slowly tested, both by Marcus defending Shabnam and Billy struggling to express his feelings for Petra.

We also get to learn more about Willie’s home life, and why he is a pacifist-a heart-wrenching story underscored yet again by Deadly Class’ co-creator Wes Craig’s illustrations. Saya (Lana Condor) and Maria (Maria Gabriela de Faria) are also fleshed out a bit. Saya is struggling with her duties to Master Lin and her growing feelings for Marcus while Maria enduring a sinister night out with her psychotic boyfriend Chico (Michel Duval,) who is the closest thing the series has to an antagonist thus far.

Rick Remender continues to guide the show with a steady hand, as he once again returns to writing duties for this episode. The best part of Remender’s script occurs toward the end when Master Lin takes Marcus to Rory’s funeral. There Marcus unleashes all the pent up feelings inside of him and Lin then congratulates him, telling him “You made the world better.”

It’s a fine piece of writing, elevated by Wadsworth and Wong’s performances. That’s not the only major development; another character from the comics, F***face (yes that is his name) shows up and he has quite a few axes to grind with Marcus. Overall, Deadly Class continues to be a top tier adaptation; I highly recommend adding it to your TV schedule.

Deadly Class is back on SyFy January 30 at 10:00 EST

Deadly Class Episode 2
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    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

It’s a fine piece of writing, elevated by Wadsworth and Wong’s performances. That’s not the only major development; another character from the comics, F***face (yes that is his name) shows up and he has quite a few axes to grind with Marcus. Overall, Deadly Class continues to be a top tier adaptation; I highly recommend adding it to your TV schedule.