One would think that admission to assassin high school would put you on a different level when compared to those of us who attended high school as regular students. For those of us who didn’t take poisons class or had homework where we had to kill a bad person who deserved it, high school had its highs and lows. For many of us, we had the stresses of fitting in, grades, love interests, and all those hormones running wild. But surely, students being trained to be assassins would be above all the typical high school drama. These are soon to be killing machines who can’t allow emotions to interfere with their studies. How can an assassin have time for the petty dramas of a regular high school student? With its second episode, Deadly Class makes a point of showing us that these kids are just that… kids. Even though they’re at Murder Hogwarts these students have the same problems that you and I would have, and this episode helps to ground them in reality. Yes, the school they’re attending is bonkers but the emotions they’re dealing with are not.
What makes “Noise, Noise, Noise” work so well is that it helps flesh out the other characters around Marcus. Episode one was a whirlwind as we were exposed to King’s Dominion for the first time and tried to comprehend the fact that this school even exists. Through that whirlwind, we learned the most about Marcus and the other characters were almost dress setting to the craziness of King’s Dominion. Willie seemed to be all talk, Saya is working in the shadows, Maria has got some serious issues, the outcasts like to smoke and talk, and Chico is a bad dude. Not that these characters were fleshed out poorly but they weren’t the focal point. Our experience was through the eyes of Marcus as he adjusted to this new opportunity at life.
“Noise, Noise, Noise” cleverly uses Marcus as our conduit to learning about the other students. Marcus is in a unique position in King’s Dominion, as he’s the new kid, but also looking for a place to belong. This allows him to kind of wander the halls of the school observing all the different groups. We see that there’s tension between Willie’s gang and Viktor’s Russian jocks, Brandy (the white supremacist) is head of the cheerleading squad showing us the social structure of the “popular” kids and the fact that even assassins need cheering. Chico and his gang clearly want Marcus dead. And then there’s Billy, Lex, and Petra the other outsiders. These are the subdivisions of the school that we’ve been allowed to see through the unique lens of Marcus… the new kid who seems to be connected to them all.
Marcus is by no means perfect. He’s pretentious, moody, violent, and just as lost as anyone else but walking around listening to Smith records (ugh) gives him this false sense of entitlement that he can judge the others. It’s his judgment that opens the window to a number of different characters allowing us to get a real glimpse of the type of people who fill the hallways of this insane school.
Let’s take Willie, our pacifist, whose reputation is also built on a lie. We learned last week that Willie has problems with killing and very frequently throughout this episode he’s quick to take credit for the murder of Rory. The bum that Marcus killed last week. This puts a certain level of fragility to the relationship of Willie and Marcus. Marcus knows he’s lying and can only take so much of the fake bravado that Willie is displaying as he brags about the murder. It gets to the point where Willie actually comes clean about his entire reputation and how he’s responsible for killing his father. Accident as it may be that’s something that has haunted Willie his entire life. Luke Tennie is fantastic here as he adds a real sense of vulnerability to Willie, making him go from fake thug to the kid you just want to hug. I fully expect the Willie and Marcus relationship to continue to grow as the two are sort of dependent on each other.
Billy, Lex, and Petra seem to be the group that Marcus belongs with, and he even has problems with them. Marcus gets into it with Lex, who he dubs a bully, as Lex displays he clearly can’t handle his liquor. We eventually learn that all of Lex’s crass commentary towards the other students is a wall set up to protect the fact that he’s a no one. He has no reputation. No family members who were important underground members. He’s just a rat. Another broken student just looking to belong, much like Willie.
Billy and Petra, who are not only wonderfully cast (Lian James and Taylor Hickson) but literally jump from the page to the screen. I couldn’t have pictured casting anyone else in these roles, as Billy comes on a bit strong when declaring his interest to Petra, who in turn runs away with Viktor upstairs. The scene is brutal to behold and helps to mold both characters. Billy as maybe the purest character at King’s Dominion and Petra as one who isn’t able to confront her emotions.
Everything that isn’t character specific in “Noise, Noise, Noise” is just that…noise. The house party gives us a more genuine look at the cast of characters as the show helps to remind us that they’re just kids. Kids who are good at murder and poison, but kids none the less. It also allows us to meet potential class president and Marcus’s future roommate, Shabnam. Another character looking to be recognized by his peers to the point where he allows them to trash his parent’s house just for the popularity points.
Look at Saya and Maria, roommates, who I’d instantly watch a spinoff of. Saya, who is clearly working with Master Lin giving up all of Marcus’s deets, is playing some sort of dangerous game involving Marcus’s emotions. She thinks seduction is key to the answers she needs but we just don’t know what answers Lin has her looking for. Maria, on the other hand, seems to be genuinely interested in Marcus, even though she’s playing coy about the whole thing, despite using him as a pawn to kill Chico. Chico who knows allllll about that plan, and after a very strong message, proclaims his undying love for a very scared Maria. Everything we learn about them is because of Marcus. This new student who has somehow become the spoke that the King’s Dominion wheel spins on.
Some other quick notes before I leave you-
- Henry Rollins in the Snape roll here is everything.
- Pay close attention to Shabnam… that’s all I can say.
- Who was the guy at the end of the episode with the farm animals? Well, I can tell you his name is F**kface and he’s the worst. Like, serious danger alerts here.
- Master Lin is a mastermind. Wong chews up his scenery and delivers such a fantastic performance. Lin has things in motion at all times, but can he be trusted?
- A lot of relationships to possible ship here. Marcus/Maria, Marcus/Saya, Billy/Petra, Viktor/Petra… get busy!
- Oh, Maria, if you had just waited another moment you probably could have let Chico die from the poison and things would be all types of better.
- As a massive fan of the comic series, I couldn’t be happier with the way this show is coming along. With that being said, as a comic fan, there were tons of foreshadowing in this episode. Prepare your emotions. They’re not ready.
There you have it Geeklings, what did you think of the second episode of Deadly Class? Is Marcus the key to King’s Dominion? Which characters are you relating to the most? What is Lin and Saya up to? Sound off in the comments. If you’d like to talk more Deadly Class, comic or show, you can find me on Twitter @iamgeek32. I’ll see you all back here next week with a new episode review. Until then, here’s to the future disrupters of America.