Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Class 1x05 Recap: “Brave-ish Heart” (Yes Queen) [Guest Poster: Stephanie Coats]

“Brave-ish Heart”
Original Airdate: May 13, 2017

Although Class is a Doctor Who spin-off, possibly the show closest to its DNA is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A group of teens from different social circles is brought together to unite in an unending fight against otherworldly beings that often show up in their town as well as in and around their school, which is an epicenter for such activity. But in “Brave-ish Heart,” a comparison emerged between April and the character Fred from Angel, which is itself a spin-off of Buffy.

Fred was a small, quiet, sweet woman who showed surprising depths of strength, endurance, and tenacity when protecting herself, her friends, and the world. At first glance, Fred seemed too frail to do much of anything and the same could be said of April. But in the opening scene of “Brave-ish Heart,” April saves Ram in the Shadow World and tells him her master plan is to kill the Shadow King.

A few small hang-ups, however: First, April thinks their trip to the Shadowkin world was one way; she doesn’t know the way back. Second, while Ram’s presence is appreciated, he’s not a whole lot of help. April doesn’t want or need a knight, though he protests he just didn’t want her to be alone during this fight. He credits her with helping to “bring him back” after Rachel’s death and he wants to offer the same service to April now.

That mostly manifests as supportive words while April goes one-on-one with Corakinus. It’s a pretty even match because each has a lot to lose. If Corakinus is killed, April will become the new king; if she loses, he’ll attack Earth and probably wipe out the human population.

It’s not hard to feel bad for April’s mom, who is stuck behind on Earth with legs that suddenly work-ish, her ex-husband, and a band of April’s new friends. Tanya explains April and Corakinus’ shared heart and the story around it but mom isn’t buying it. But there’s an added benefit to whatever April did to her mom at the end of the last episode. Their hearts and linked and the connection is such that April can cut a portal back to Earth.

April and Ram’s dads jump through just as April gets the upper hand on Corakinus. Though she could kill him, her dad equates that action with when he tried to kill himself. It was pure selfishness. He begs her not to be like him. She spares Corakinus, not in the least because in simply defeating him, she’s now the king. Since their hearts are still linked, April has him locked away in a tomb for now. When she, Ram, and their fathers step back into Earth, they find the petal problem from last week has progressed to deadly proportions.

While their friends have been off on a Lord of the Rings adventure, Tanya, Charlie, and Matteusz have been struggling with a plan to stop the carnivorous petals from overrunning the town and eventually the planet. Of course, new head teacher Ames has already come up with a plan. She wants Quill to convince Charlie to use the Cabinet of Souls to kill all of the petals. There’s seemingly no other way to kill them.

This plan suits Quill just fine because she gets to lecture Charlie about his refusal to seek justice/revenge for the death of their people. While I don’t know if I agree with using the Cabinet, I do think Quill should have a say in its use. Her people were killed right alongside Charlie’s. It seems almost cruel to lord over her that the power to use the Cabinet lies in his hands alone. Ames knows this and asks Charlie to save Earth and he responds, “No.” The flowers are smothering and killing people but he refuses to use the weapon and proclaims he can’t be forced.

Oh Charlie, you sweet summer child. Matteusz is standing right there and Ames has a gun. Forcing you will be easy. But the real decision is whether to use the Cabinet on the petals or the Shadow Kin. Quill urges Charlie to take revenge for their planet while Ames threatens to kill Matteusz unless Charlie wipes out the petals. Matteusz comes up with a pretty decent compromise wherein they somehow convince the Shadow Kin to attack the petals and then use the Cabinet on them. But Ames dismisses this suggestion for some reason.

As Charlie begins activating the Cabinet, Matteusz gets the drop on Ames and knocks her out. No longer being forced, Charlie gives in to Quill’s urging and decides to kill the Shadow Kin... until he notices something. Unbeknownst to him, April is using her new standing as Queen to order the Shadow Kin to kill the petals, which they do without incident. Amid Quill’s protests, Charlie deactivates the Cabinet. Later, Ames tells Quill that Charlie would’ve only needed to use one soul to kill the petals because the creatures shared one soul among them. That would’ve been pretty persuasive, so I don’t know why she waited until after to share that information. In any case, since Quill still held up her end, Ames offers to remove the arn as they’d agreed.

Peeved that a mere mortal girl is now commanding his people, Corakinus severs the strong link between himself and April, robbing her of her additional powers. She still has the strength of character to ask her dad to leave, though there’s less hostility in their interaction this time. Reversing her mom’s paralysis still worked as well and, with April’s help, her mom takes a few tentative steps.

Final Thoughts: 
  • Ram: “April, wait. Listen.” April: “Don't say it.”  Ram: “Don't say what?”  April: “Don't say that you love me.”  Ram: “What? I wasn't. I've known you, like, a month.”  April: “You totally were about to say it. I wasn't. You were because I was gonna say that we've only known each other for, like, a month.”
  • Quill slaps Charlie for always having the power to kill the Shadow Kin and not using it. Then she gets a massive dose of pain from the Arn: “It was worth it.”
  • “This planet, it never ceases to stop talking about luck and fate and destiny. Well, I believe in none of those things. I believe life tries to kill you from the moment you are born, and the only proper response is to fight back at every moment.”
  • “Oh, hell's bells. I'd forgotten how up themselves the Rhodians were.”
  • Charlie: “You are heartless. Like all Quill.” Quill: “No, I am grieving, Prince.”


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