Class: Brave-Ish Heart Review

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Class was back at it again this week with “Brave-Ish Heart” putting us just past the midway point of this season. Unfortunately, I think because of that, this episode feels like it’s there only to set up important details necessary for future episodes. “Brave-Ish Heart” doesn’t really concern itself so much with how much it works on it’s own as an episode instead acting as a springboard for the final three episodes yet to come.

April and Rarm arrive at the Underneath, the Shadowkin planet, and she is on a mission to kill their king, which will also kill her since they share a heart. Hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to get reclaim her heart. Now that they are so close in proximity the connection grows stronger and she is able to see where he is and has access to his knowledge, but that link works both ways. April isn’t able to open a gateway back to Earth for Ram and she is very blunt in telling him that she meant for this to be a one way trip. She cannot get him home, however after healing her mother in the last episode with shadow, there is a link there and April’s chest begins to glow with a bright white light. April confronts Corakinus and they begin to battle when the bright light happens again. She can feel her mother, who is desperately thinking of her daughter’s safety and is able to open a gateway back to Earth. Instead of Ram going home though, Ram’s dad and April’s dad leap through the tear and join their kids in the Underneath. With a way back to Earth for the others established, April is ready to kill Corakinus and end her own life. After a quick yet emotional speech from her dad, April realizes that she doesn’t have to kill Corakinus, the Shadowkin have seen her defeat their king and so she is now king. She orders Corakinus to be locked away in a tomb, kept alive, and jumps back through to Earth.

Image Credit: BBC

I do like how Class hasn’t used the damsel in distress plot for either Tanya or April. In fact, April was very much the proactive fighter in this episode with Ram often hanging out in the back, she is clearly a strong character and doesn’t need Ram to swoop in and save her. The episode ends this interaction quite nicely with April stating “I think I need saving…” but of course now she is talking emotional support and well-being, which is a great way to add a little more depth to both her and Ram. If there is one thing Class has excelled in every episode it’s been the raw emotion in the characters that really drives the stories forward.

Back on Earth during all of that, Quill and the new principal, Dorothea are having quite the conversation about Charlie and the Cabinet of Souls. Dorothea has told Quill that she is with some mysterious organization called The Governors, and that if they can get Quill’s help with the flesh-eating petals issue, she will help remove the creature in Quill’s head that keeps her enslaved to Charlie. The catch, Quill must help convince Charlie to use the Cabinet against the man eating flowers to save the entire human race or The Governors will not help her. Charlie, Matteusz and April’s parents head to the school (originally to discuss April and Ram disappearing to the Underneath) where the principal warns them of the flowers and tells them to stay inside. Shortly after that Tanya shows up with Ram’s dad in tow, who is also not happy about his son disappearing off to an alien world. Quill accosts Charlie about The Cabinet, she is furious that he not only lied about it but that he could take revenge against the Shadowkin and avenge not only his own people, but hers as well, except he refuses to. Charlie refuses to use the cabinet against the petals or the Shadowkin, not wanting to lose all of the souls he is supposed to be caring for or commit genocide.

Image Credit: BBC

Time is running out, as the petals are now devouring entire human bodies that happen to be caught outside, so Dorothea has to resort to threats of violence to gain Charlie’s attention. She threatens both Charlie and then Mattesuz with a gun, to try and force him into using the Cabinet. With the petals about to take over the entire town, Charlie starts to use the weapon but with Quill’s rant going on in the background Charlie hesitates over who to use the weapon on, the petals or the Shadowkin. Mattesuz, who had already told Tanya that the Shadows would destroy the petals, knocks out Dorothea and throws the gun outside. With April having just jumped back to Earth and realizing what’s going on, as Shadowkin King she summons the shadows to wipe out the petals, allowing Charlie to deactivate the weapon completely. Quill becomes enraged with Charlie again, as he had the opportunity to end their common enemy and didn’t. Corakinus is able to partially sever the connection between him and April, taking away her awesome “super powers” and she has the Shadowkin destroy the path from the Underneath to Earth on their way back.

The episode ends with another conversation between Quill and Dorothea, where we learn that The Governors expected this outcome the entire time and admitted that they probably only would have needed to use a single soul from the Cabinet to wipe out the entirety of the petals if it came down to it. The whole episode was like a mock trial for Charlie and how he would react with Dorothea even stating “now we know quite a lot more about young Charlie and about The Cabinet than we did before.” Unfortunately, Charlie almost being forced to used The Cabinet, doesn’t quite hit home for the viewers, against the petals it feels like a super powered weed killer. Circling back to the raw emotions of characters, that is where this episode does work. The conversations between Quill and Charlie have been the best Class has seen yet. Quill in particular, when that anger and rage comes out, is actually a pretty defining moment for her character and what motivates her. The emotional pulls of each character is where this episode held it together, everything else felt like random motions that had to be done in order to set up a bigger end of season story line. Though the actions were necessary, the episode lost sight of the emotional moments that had value in favor of showing the boring pieces of the plot that needed to be moved forward. Definitely not the best episode of Class but when boiled down to the emotional responses of each character it shows us what the best of Class can be.

Be sure to catch me after Class, so we can review this week’s assignment and tweet along during the episode with #ClassDW !

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Michelle Harvey