Deadly Class season 1, episode 6 review: Stigmata Martyr


Things get spicy and wild for Marcus in the latest episode of Deadly Class.

In the last episode, the King’s Dominion crew went to Vegas to blow off steam and kill Billy’s dad, and ended up killing Chico, Maria’s boyfriend, as well. This could only make things more complicated back at school, and it sure has. Rick Remender, writer of the Deadly Class comic and executive producer of the show, wanted to show the class war struggles of high school in an intenser light, and he certainly has done so with the first handful of episodes thus far.

The elitism and snobbery of the higher-ranking students from the established groups (Yakuza, Dixie mob, Latin cartel, KGB, etc.) is in full effect throughout the series, raining down abuse upon the “rats” (kids from the streets or independent families) that, while extreme, is evocative of many people’s educational experiences. Minus the assassin school stuff, of course.

Added characters build suspense, but not necessarily confidence, in Deadly Class

After interrogating the crew about Chico’s disappearance, Master Gao (Olivia Cheng) inserts herself into the student’s classes, sitting in on an Atypical Combat Skills class, where she challenges the grade instructor Zane gives to Brandy after she, Maria, and Saya defend themselves from ninjas. She and Master Lin discuss discipline, and later on she fights Zane and lets Brandy carve her preferred grade into his forehead, which seems extreme, even for the premise of assassin school. It is later revealed that she is the sister of Master Lin, which is not canon to the comics.

Personally, the addition of this character doesn’t really bring anything to the table except more intrigue, which is nominally fine, but it seems like an unnecessary choice that was only made to fluff up the story, which already has plenty of source material to pull from.

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Mental health is important in Deadly Class, whether it be good or bad

Maria and Marcus are secretly a thing now, and while they have fun, keeping it hidden from the rest of the school proves to be a chore. Marcus makes her a mix-tape for their one-month anniversary, which is sweet and exactly the kind of thing kids used to do back in the day. Maria is acting intense, which causes Saya (Lana Condor) to talk to her in the girl’s room, where Maria confesses that she stopped taking her bi-polar medication. Saya warns her of the dangers of that choice, but Maria ignores her, getting progressively more manic. Marcus gets a job at a comic book shop, thanks to Willie, who has a hard time being nice to girls, but after a pep talk seems to pull his act together.

After a manic episode on the rooftop with the gang, Maria cries in her room while having a flashback (done through animation; each episode has one such scene) to her family being killed by Chico and his family, ending with them crucifying her father and taking her to work for them. Maria stabs a pencil into her hand, invoking the title of the episode.

Big secrets abound in Deadly Class

Maria and Marcus end up doing the horizontal tango after she shoots an arrow at Marcus’ head, only to have it snatched out of the air by Saya while she and Marcus are talking about Maria’s bi-polar disorder.

Chester (Tom Stevens), the burned boy who set the fire that created the reputation that got Marcus into King’s Dominion, has taken Shabnam’s parents hostage and learned all about Marcus’ love affair, and after following the gang to Vegas and finding Chico’s body, begins to play a deadly game with Marcus, telling him that if he doesn’t find Chester in three days he’s going to send Chico’s head, which is on ice, to the school with the full details of everything that has transpired. Chester is doing a great job at being a crazy guy, fully in line with the comics.

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At the end of the episode, after Master Lin reveals that he and Master Gao are siblings, he opens a secret passage and leaves the school, heading to a house where he greets his daughter and his wife, although he has told both Marcus and Master Gao that his family was killed. This is also not canon, and seems like more unnecessary intrigue. We shall see. All in all, another wildly successful episode. Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.