Class S01E08 “The Lost” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Six days after Quill had her Arn removed, and she’s still in a coma, heavily pregnant.
- The kids are still sulking with each other, though Matteusz calls on Charlie to say he’s prepared to give things another try (but since he’s spent the week sleeping in his cousin’s car he may have an ulterior motive…)
- The Shadow King appears and kills Ram’s dad then Tanya’s mum. Does he have a problem with diversity quotients?
- A distraught Tanya goes to Charlie’s but Charlie isn’t there. Quill is now awake, and opens the door to her. Amazingly they start to bond, especially when Tanya says they must force Charlie to use the Cabinet Of Souls to wipe out the Shadow King. Soon Quill is training Tanya to fight; they also move the Cabinet Of Souls to the school assembly hall.
- The Shadow King appears again, this time to Charlie, April, Ram and at Matteusz who have gathered at April’s house.
- The Shadow King wants April to return to Underneath with him so that he can keep watch over their shared heart.
- She refuses and so he puts a shadow on Charlie’s heart; now Charlie will die too if the Shadow King is killed. The Shadow King says he will continue killing (Matteusz will be number five), and is awaiting April’s response. He then vanishes.
- Charlie and Matteusz visit headmaster Dorothea in her office to demand to know what the board knows about the return of the Shadow Kin.
- Dorothea consults the Board, which, she tells Charlie, is preparing for “The arrival”. She doesn’t elucidate.
- The Board admits it has made some mistakes which have lead to the creation of multiple tiny tears in space/time around Coal Hill, which the Shadow Kin are exploiting to use to travel to Earth.
- Ram prepares to scarper, but April leaves him a phone message, finally admitting she loves him. He heads back to the school.
- The others have also gathered in the school assembly hall, where the Shadow King reappears. April agrees to go with him if he agrees to stop killing. He does so but then their minds connect again and April realises he is lying – a Shadow Kin invasion is underway and they plan to kill everyone on Earth.
- Cue the invasion and Ram running through the streets, trying to avoid being killed. He should be getting good at this now.
- Back at the assembly hall, April begs Charlie to shoot her.
- He does so just as Ram arrives.
- The Shadow King and April both die (shared heart, y’see) but oddly Charlie doesn’t.
- Oh well.
- However, this does mean he can now use the Cabinet of Souls to kill all the Shadow Kin and destroy their planet.
- Well, hurrah except it makes Matteusz all scowly. Seems genocide could be a relationship-breaker.
- There’s one soul spark left and it looks like it’s going to take Charlie’s life (and indeed, by this point, he welcomes death) but instead it slams into Ram, who survives the experience. So what was all that about?
- Dorothea reports back to the Board. They are not happy that Charlie used the Cabinet when Dorothea had assumed he was too moral ever to do so. They tell her she will never now see the “arrival” and a Weeping Angel appears to kill her.
- Back in the Assembly Hall the body of the Shadow King sits up… but April’s voice emerges from his mouth, asking why everyone is staring at her.
Honestly, guys, when we captioned that pic of Law Hell last week (“We’re pretty sure this image has nothing to do with Weeping Angels, but hey, this is how rumours start…”) we had no idea of the big twist coming in this week’s episode. But now we’re wondering… is there a connection between the statues in Law Hell and the Weeping Angels? Will Class (if it gets a second season) reveal more about the origins of New Who’s most celebrated new villains? Whatever the case, the introduction of the Angels was a brilliant WTF? moment and gave the series an entirely new dimension of intrigue.
And that’s just one of about a zillion questions that this season one finale leaves us with. We’re seriously hoping that the show was guaranteed a second season before it went into production (something which would not be certain based on the viewing figures alone which appear to be less the 185,000) because there was little sense of closure here, emotionally or plot wise, just a whole load more questions:
- Why didn’t Charlie die?
- How come April is in the Shadow King’s body?
- What did that soul spark do to Ram?
- What will Quill’s hybrid Law/Quill baby be like?
- Will Ram ever smile again?
- Will Matteusz ever forgive Charlie?
- What the hell is the Board up to with the Angels?
So while “The Lost” offered up an incident-packed, revelation-rammed, fast-paced, visually spectacular season finale – and there were lots of really fun moments, exquisite character exchanges and big dramatic gestures to savour – it was also a frustratingly vague viewing experience. It didn’t feel like a climax so much as prologue. It’s great to leave the audience wanting more, but not only because it doesn’t feel like you’ve given them enough.
The odd thing is, going by the evidence of the first season, any answers we may get if there is a second season will probably only multiply into more questions anyway. The show doesn’t seem much concerned with details. There’s a chance we may never learn why – after such a big deal was made of the Shadow King placing a shadow on Charlie’s heart – Charlie doesn’t die, other than one thowaway exchange: “You will die too.” “I did a moment ago.” Erm… what? So metaphor is now plot point? As for the Shadow King’s explanation as to why he’s King again (these things happen, deal with it seems to be the basic gist), well, who needs a proper explanation anyway?
There’s also a continuing problem that we mentioned in our “Detained” review – we’ve never properly seen these guys working alongside each other as a team, so it’s difficult to care about them falling apart. Tanya’s sudden transformation into ass-kicking revenge queen would have had more resonance if we’d seen more of Tanya and Charlie getting along as mates, boding, having fun taking out aliens. Instead, with the relatively short run this season has had most of the characters’ arcs have lurched from point A to point B to point C, usually hand-in-hand with some on-the-nose self-analysing dialogue.
Having said that, there are some lovely character beats in “The Lost”, especially April finally admitted to Ram that she loved him (let’s hope he was more interested in her mind than her body, eh?), Matteusz’s continued attempts to be Charlie’s Jiminy Cricket and Quill becoming quite motherly (in a very Quillish way) with Tanya. Sure, the training scenes were hilariously misjudged but the idea of Tanya becoming Quill’s padawan is enticing indeed.
It’s difficult to deny, though, that the revelations about the Board and the Weeping Angels were the episode’s ace card. If Class doesn’t get a second season, this is a whole new plotline that fans will be demanding is addressed in Doctor Who.
- The twist with the Angels made the show about 100 times more intriguing.
- This kind of thing is always going to be a matter of personal taste, but here at BUZZ we liked the folk tunes (even if the fact that the lyrics conveniently reflected the themes of the episode was a tad cheesy).
- The Shadow Kin invasion was pretty damned impressive on the show’s limited budget.
- Great final scene – it was supposed to be funny, yeah?
- Charlie choosing to shoot April just as Ram turns up was a great piece of sci-fi melodrama.
- Fady Elsayed playing Ram’s reaction to his dad’s death is a terrific piece of acting. He’s not holding back, is he?
- April’s phone message to Ram is really sweet (and his voicemail message is hilarious).
- Quill is just amazing, isn’t she? She looks bad-ass even with just a chair leg.
- “You’re pointing a gun at me.”
“You’ll get over it.”
- “We do these things because we have to, but who are we when we’re done?” and, “Please don’t go where I can’t follow.” Two lines from Matteusz that prove he’s still the most human and grounded of these increasingly extreme characters.
- And this shot. Lovely.
- And the prize for the most unconvincing fight training sequence ever goes to: Quill and Tanya. We’re supposed to believe Quill can turn Tanya into a ass-kicking warrior in a few minutes? Then again, this is the show that had April easily beating the King of the Shadow King a few episodes back. Seems Coal Hill breeds combat-ready Amazons.
- The destruction of the Shadow planet had a real mid-’90s videogame feel to it. Also, considering the Cabinet’s one-soul-for-another MO, why the feck would the planet implode?
- Two slow motion, “Nooooooooooooooooooo!”s in one episode? Oh dear.
- There was some very creaky, unnatural-sounding dialogue from some of the teen leads this week. When Doctor Who came back in 2005 Russell T Davies made a big deal about Rose speaking naturalistically for a youngster in the 21st century, but Class occasionally lapses back into an oddly formal mode of dialogue that Doctor Who used to favour before. April, for example, saying, “I can’t leave my mum unprotected,” when, “I’ve got to stay and protect my mum,” would be better. Or Tanya’s, “I may have been 14 when I started this year but I am 100 years old now,” which should definitely have been workshopped into something less clunky. It’s not terrible dialogue, it just sometimes feels like a writer speaking rather than a teenager.
- As discussed in the main review, the lack of clarity surrounding why Charlie didn’t die isn’t just confusing, it’s irritating.
And The Random:
- The teeth of key to the staff room door are the Roman numerals for 1017. Not much exciting happened in that year as far as we can tell (we doubt the Board and the Angels care much about Cnut dividing England into the four Earldoms of Wessex, Mercia, East Anglia and Northumbria) but a little extra Googling reveals that 1017 is considered an “Angel Number” but New Age-y people into that kind of thing
- While the song by the folk singer who follows April on stage is credited (“Black Is The Colour” written and performed by Jim Moray) oddly the song “Lost” which April sings does not get a credit. However a bit more Google-Fu uncovers that it was co-written by Jim Moray and the show’s writer Patrick Ness, and Sophie Hawkins did indeed sing it.
- Quill’s a stunningly good hairdresser, isn’t she?
- The Board Of Governors really shouldn’t buy second-hand jigsaws at the school jumble sale – there are always pieces missing…