Where “Reagan Youth” might’ve left your head spinning with the rapid introduction of characters and cliques, “Noise, Noise, Noise” delves into the relationships and personal plot-lines of the core cast.
The episode opens on the morning after Marcus does Willie’s hobo homework and the aftermath isn’t pretty. He doesn’t sleep, expecting some sort of karmic retribution.
We get a pile of philosophical voiced-over musings as he makes the movements through the day, attending his classes in a stupor, suffering from the lack of inebriating substances available at King’s Dominion and seeing hobo ghosts as a side-effect of his sobriety.
When his plan to kill Reagan gets outed in Poisons Lab, it leads to a little tête-à-tête on the smoke bench in the garden with Professor Denke (Henry Rollins, Z Nation), one of the most succinct discussions of the evils of the Reagan era ever while spotlighting why Marcus is our protagonist.
D: “Changing the world is hippy bullsh*t. People like Reagan, they never see the guillotine anymore.”
M: “So what, you do nothing? Hating what’s wrong is easy. I’m going to do something about it.”
D: “You have the thing this place is supposed to nurture. And they all see it. And that’s why they’ll try to destroy you.”Denke and Marcus
I always had my favourite teachers in school. Denke is easily my favourite among the faculty of King’s Dominion.
AP Black Arts kicks it up a notch after Willie delivers the testimonial on his homework. As he was the only one to get it done, Master Lin decides a “pop quiz” is in order to cull out some of the chaff in his school.
The entire class except for Willie is booted into the hallway where they are immediately poisoned with an air-borne toxin and told to make their way to the botanicals room to find the antidote using a riddle with a five-minute “dead”line.
Marcus makes his street-rat skills available and picks the lock to get them out of the initial hallway. He then quickly burns his cred when he triggers the trap in the next hallway and the class has to fight their way through a couple of monk guardians before the doorway shuts.
Meanwhile, Master Lin and Willie are watching their struggles on a closed circuit (one assumes) television feed. Willie looks mildly uncomfortable while Lin asks him about his homework.
The six students we’ve gotten to know best make it to the Botanicals classroom. Saya, Viktor, and Brandy pass out. Marcus solves the riddle and identifies the antidote plant but Chico beats him down only to pass out himself. That leaves Maria to grab the plant, eat it, and shove it into the mouths of her classmates. When she hesitates over Chico, there’s a clear internal struggle between saving the whole group and being free of him forever. Tricky.
And then it’s suddenly lunchtime and we meet Shab (Isaiah Lehtinen, Van Helsing), Marcus’ ticket to some chemical relief. Shab’s clique wasn’t even cool enough to be mentioned in the premiere — the kids of bankers, mafia accountants, and NASA (?) — and he is delighted when Marcus basically doesn’t beat on him like everyone else does. Even gives him a mix tape to rock his vote for class president.
When Shab brags that his “parental units” will be away for the weekend and there may be a bottle of Amaretto to be shared, Marcus spins it into a house party for the school.
After the “pop quiz,” the most surprising reveal of the episode is the close relationship between Saya and Maria. It’s ironically heart-warming that a school that fosters future assassins (aka “creative problem-solvers”) can still be the breeding ground for pretty normal besties.
Chico interrupts their chat to take Maria out for dinner, nixing her plans to join their classmates at Shab’s party. Saya’s a bit sarcastic about the balance of power in their relationship but she and Chico are at an impasse ultimately.
Their dinner would be quite romantic if the conversation isn’t centered on Chico and his world-view of hate for everyone he doesn’t love or who doesn’t love him. He’s intense and driven and has their lives together planned out.
There’s a bit of exposition here. They’ve known each other a LONG time. Maria’s from a small Mexican village. An assumption can be made that Chico’s family’s cartel controls the village and Maria is probably the assurance the village provided since her family probably wouldn’t have the means (or the reason) to send her to King’s Dominion.
Just as Maria’s settling into her happy place where Chico isn’t bat-sh*t crazy, they’re joined by an acquaintance of Chico’s, Emilio (Michel Issa Rubio, Snowpiercer). After dinner, Maria and Emilio get into the back seat of the chauffeur-driven car only to have Chico turn around and shoot Emilio dead, splattering Maria with his blood.
Turns out the whole evening was a bit of a leash pull for Maria as Chico knows that she tried to get Marcus to take him out for her. “I needed to remind you who I am, baby,” he tells her as he cleans some of the blood off her face.
In a truly terrifying scene, he makes it very clear that she will NEVER be rid of him and if she tries again, he will make her life unbearable without ever harming a hair on her head.
Shab’s inadvertent house party seems like a success by 80s standards. The place gets trashed and at least one person ends up naked. In the impressive parade of guests stars, Brian Posehn (The Big Bang Theory) makes an appearance as Dwight Shandy, stoner mentor to the Hessians.
It is, however, a party full of the typical high school sad stories. Billy can’t pull the trigger on his feelings for Petra and, catching wind of it, she runs off with Viktor (see above note on naked guy).
Saya makes an appearance which is apparently a rarity and which gives Marcus some hope although we know that it’s because Lin has told her that Marcus, as her pledge to King’s Dominion, is her responsibility.
Of course, that doesn’t stop her from getting a bit tipsy and inviting a kiss in the bathroom.
Viktor and Brandy make fun of Shab, setting Brandy’s price at $20K to have sex with him. Shab immediately heads out and returns with the money just in time for the police to raid the party.
The sad tale I was least sympathetic to was Lex’s unhinged, screw-the-world, misanthropic B.S. Not much to say beyond he’s displays a fine array of jerk colours.
The animation device used to illustrate the characters’ backstories gets a crack at Willie and his pacifism. More shocking than Marcus’ perhaps, he grew up in a gang environment and his first use of a weapon ends in tragedy.
He only shares his story with Marcus because Marcus becomes frustrated with Willie’s constant retelling of Rory the Hobo’s killing. He shares to emphasize the point that in their world, reputation is everything.
Look, Marcus, don’t ever call me out in front of my people again. You survive your way. I’ll survive mine. ‘Cause if I ever lose my rep… If they ever find out, I’m dead.Willie
And that brings it all back to Marcus’ reputation. He came into King’s Dominion carrying the deaths of the children in his boys’ home. However, Rory is actually his first kill and, somewhat ironically, he doesn’t get to own that.
Master Lin takes him on a field trip to Rory’s funeral and Marcus gets to lay the ghost to rest with a few brutally honest words. Rory’s estranged daughter doesn’t appreciate it but Marcus seems more at peace.
Like the premiere, this episode has Saya and Lin meet up again to discuss Marcus. This time, she reveals that Marcus didn’t kill the boys in the home and that causes Lin to wonder who did.
Cut to a cop investigating a disturbance at Mother Goose Fun Time Petting Zoo and an apparent goat molester with a badly burned face looking for Marcus.
Now, that’s one way to make your ending memorable.
Deadly Class airs Wednesdays on Syfy at 10/9c
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