Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Class 1x03 Recap: “Nightvisiting” (Time for Nightmares) [Guest Poster: Stephanie Coats]

Original Airdate: April 29, 2017

It’s unclear if, in its freshman season, Class is purposefully trying to give me nightmares for the rest of my life. But they’re pretty close to succeeding. After first introducing us to yet another deadly Doctor Who universe creature that can lurk in the shadows, last week Class skinned a few people alive with a space dragon. Now the dead have come back to life with a freaky alien plant growing out of them.


Everything starts out so sweetly. We see Tanya’s parents meeting, falling in love, and happily raising their family. But as we already know, her dad died suddenly two years ago and this day is the anniversary of his death. Which is why, when he shows up sitting in her room that night, Tanya assumes he’s a manifestation of her grief. Except he knows details about her and her father and doesn’t appear to be anything sinister despite the vines connected to his back.

Dad explains the vines are part of the Lankin. As he and other dead folks explain, the Lankin just want to shepherd our souls safely to heaven — or at least a place where the souls of everyone we know go. In return, the Lankin benefit from using the perpetual energy of souls. For a soul to be harvested, it must be freely given, which, in this case, means taking the hand of the dead person before you.


While Tanya struggles to determine if the creature before her is really her dad, Ram gives up calling her and Skypes April instead. This turns out to be a very smart move, because a few minutes into their conversation, Ram’s definitely dead girlfriend Rachel appears in his room. Ram wisely sprints out of the house and calls his dad, who doesn’t pick up. As he runs through town, Ram sees the vines are everywhere and they heal themselves instantly when damaged in any way. He also sees how the Lankin snatch up anyone who takes the hand of their dead loved one. At some point, poor Ram is going to stop being the one who sees the horrifying death first each week, right?

Over at Charlie’s place, the once and future prince is entirely unaware there’s any threat to his friends. He and Mattheusz are upstairs consummating their relationship and confessing their love for one another. That was quick. Haven’t they only been dating a few weeks? But then again, they are high schoolers and one of them is an alien so maybe not.

While Charlie is busy, Quill is confronted with a Lankin version of her sister. Quill isn’t stupid — she knows the spiel about saving souls is a trap. When her sisters offers the gun that was damaged by the Shadow Kin, Quill is a little more interested. That’s when Charlie finally wanders downstairs, thereby putting himself in danger and allowing Quill to take down her sister. After a quick interrogation, it’s confirmed Tanya is in immediate danger. Charlie finally emerges from his love drunk haze to call April back.


April and Ram have been busy figuring out the Lankin on their own. While out trying to learn about the latest alien threat, the two grow closer as friends (and maybe something more). April reveals her father was a folk singer and an alcoholic who tried to kill himself with her and her mom in the car. He went to prison, April’s mom was paralyzed from the waist down, and April got therapy. But she hasn’t let that incident or her father determine the rest of her life. “What he did... it's important, but if it's the thing that rules, then he gets to keep doing that to us every day forever and I won't have that.”

Touched she opened up to him and maybe a bit impressed by how secretly amazing she is, Ram softens towards April. They kiss briefly, which is super sweet. But also leads me to wonder why we’re always entrusting the fate of the world to teenagers who put saving lives and their loves lives as equal priorities. Hello, there’s a freaky alien plant impersonating the dead and snatching up living people. Maybe kiss later?


Ram and April do remember their actual reason for being out and see the plant is coming from the time and space schism at Coal Hill. One large vine is stretching the direction of Tanya’s house, which is where the friends run toward. They burst into Tanya’s room but are quickly tied up by the vines. Ram begs Tanya not to take the Lankin’s hand. She does it anyway and proves yet again that she’s the brains of their group. She feeds the Lankin her anger, not her grief, and weakens it enough that it lets her go.

Outside Tanya’s house, Quill drives a double-decker bus through that large vine, causing the Lankin to retreat through the schism. Anyone in town who was tied up by the vines wakes without any memory of the incident. Charlie returns home with Matteusz in tow, having offered him a place to stay since his parents have thrown him out. On her own, Quill stares determinedly at her still broken gun.

Final Thoughts: 
  • The theme of Class right now is grief and closure and it’s doing a superb job examining the intricate ways these both manifest. April’s line about her father was particularly poignant, as was Tanya yelling at the Lankin: “You don’t get to have my closure!”
  • April: “Holy mother of Kanye.”
  • Ram, echoing my feelings exactly: “Alien shadows will kill me. Alien tattoos will kill me.”
  • “No one disgraces the memory of my sister by making her nice.”
  • “I've spoken to a few, none of them seem to remember anything, which seems really convenient.”
  • “Oh, this is sounding suspiciously sentimental. Exactly the sort of nonsense that would lead one of these ridiculous humans into a trap.”
  • Tanya: “We all do. We beat it together. Finally, we did something as a team.”  Quill: “My God, I'm going to vomit.”


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