“Emotions are a chemical mirror that will betray you…leave you exposed.”
As Marcus and the gang gear up for the upcoming war with Chester, Lin must deal with the true danger Gao presents to his family, and the depth of feelings between Marcus and Saya are finally revealed.
Knowing that the time Chester allotted to Marcus and the gang before he tells all about Chico’s death, Marcus and is ‘Vegas crew’ must strap up for the inevitable confrontation with the burned face psychopath and his hillbilly crew. Thanks to Saya’s intelligence-gathering, the crew knows they need some help to storm the castle, so to speak. Using one of Lex’s contacts, they get their hands on some C-4 and, while Willie bows out of the fight (ready to head to LA with Gabrielle), they gain the services of both Lex and Petra. But it’s not the preparation itself that is of note, rather what happens leading up to it that throws a spanner in relationships and will have horrible consequences for more people than expected.
Since the beginning, there has been a lingering spark between Marcus and Saya that has begged to be explored. While not on the lustful and tumultuous level of his relationship with Maria, the Marcus/Saya dynamic has always come across as a more intimate portrait of two people fumbling towards the ecstasy of love. “Kids of the Black Hole” emphasizes that when and while post slam dance partying, Marcus asks Saya to tell him one thing about her. She replies with a kiss; finally giving into that lingering desire to be close to him. Make no mistake, it’s more than a physical union they share.
The next day, hungover and rushing to get to the comic shop (to prevent anyone else from seeing the C-4 acquired by Lex) Marcus reminisces about him and Saya’s night together. Not only did they consummate their relationship, but Marcus said those three magic words—I love you—and though he doesn’t get a chance to explore what that means, there’s no doubt that it will have lasting consequences for all involved.
Speaking of consequences, Master Lin suffers his own when his plan to kill Gao goes awry. Despite being his sister, Lin knows that Gao’s knowledge of his wife and daughter still alive can only spell doom for them. Tasking Brandy Lynn and Viktor to infiltrate Gao’s trust, the trio is unable to end Gao. After escaping, she leaks the information to El Diablo who wants nothing more than to enact revenge on Lin on the headmaster for his perceived role in Chico’s death. That confrontation at the dinner table—expertly choreographed and cut in slow motion—is one of the better action scenes in the entire season. But just as it seems that the Lin family will escape unscathed, El Diablo takes aim at Nahia and it’s only because her mother Shu takes the bullet that Lin is able to retreat from the scene with his wailing daughter in hand.
It may have taken nine episodes to get here but we’ve finally been given the resounding force of what Deadly Class had promised to be. Though the core of this episode dealt with the Lin family and the Marcus/Saya pairing, there were several moments touching on the disconnect between what King’s Dominion is versus what it could (or maybe should) be. That first scene where Lin monologues on how family, love, and attachment is a detriment to the assassin rings hollow to Marcus as Lin’s first words to him framed the school as a bastion of hope for the downtrodden and powerless. Lin’s spiel about how an assassin “must discard friends and ideals” in order to survive summarizes the assassin’s way…in a perfect world. But there is no such thing and, with people, removing emotions or ideals muddles what we should be fighting for. Marcus makes this exact claim, going so far as to call Lin out for his hypocrisy and the fact that he let Marcus live because his young student was “who [Lin] used to be”. The poignancy of this conversation plays out in a more dire way at the end when Lin’s family—the thing he loves most in this world—is torn apart by a single bullet. Now he finds himself on the run with his daughter, desperate to protect her from the monsters of this world and no doubt willing to die for her. And from his own words, “If you love someone enough to die for them…then you surely will.”
Hopefully, his words don’t prove to be prophetic in next week’s season finale.
- As a major fan of the Marcus/Saya connection, it was satisfying seeing the pair finally throw caution to the wind and begin what I would think could be a truly powerful relationship. Sure, it may not have been the best time considering he’s technically with Maria, but it seems that Marcus is finally realizing that Maria is not good for him. She has issues that go beyond her bipolarism and her chaotic persona will do nothing but bring Marcus down with her, let alone the fact that it seems Marcus sees himself more as Maria’s white knight, there to save her from her won foibles than he is because he loves her. While Saya may be a Yakuza legacy and assassin-in-training, the connection between the two is the healthiest thing in Marcus’s life and Saya’s focus and heart is exactly what Marcus needs.
- With that said, Lin’s arc signified the most accurate depiction of what Deadly Class is. The philosophy that attachments will ultimately cause you nothing but pain and most likely your own life preaches to a way of life that is wholly unnatural. Humans as social creatures not only crave these bonds, but we require them. Though Lin may preach the superhuman will to shun these things, he himself is guilty of this same ‘weakness’ he teaches against. In this, “Kids of the Black Hole” could not have ended any other way than for him to watch helplessly as one of the two more important things in his life is violently ripped away from him.