Class: Detained Review

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In theory, nothing about “Detained” should actually work; the entire episode is contained to a single location, detention is a pretty generic plot for a school setting, and featuring a not quite tangible villain. If anything, this episode looked like it was going to be just random filler, something to take up space and slightly move the characters forward while not really being able to stand up to the episodes surrounding it.  Boy was that assumption wrong, “Detained” hands down has been the very best of Class yet and even could be grouped in with some of the best that Doctor Who and Torchwood had to offer. “Detained” works so well because it plays so well to the strengths we’ve seen of Class thus far in the amazing talents of the entire cast and crew. This episode doesn’t try to be super intricate in the plot, it doesn’t have to be.  It’s actually quite a basic story line that builds upon the raw emotions of these characters and turns this into the most intimate episode of the series. “Detained” provides a wonderful showcase for the younger cast members to show off their acting talent, showing they can hold their own and completely rock it, without one of the more experienced actors having to be in the scene. This group of young actors perfectly hit not only their own characters and interactions, but play off each other with such genuine ease. Each one of them was able to deliver their confession speeches with a reverberating dramatic weight.

You have to expect with teenagers, there will be hormones and emotions bouncing around, but Class hits the rawness and hearts of our Class-mates on the nose every single time. Teenage hormones aside, there is a real energy to this episode, a kind of static buzz that bounces off the confined space and each character and creates a moody, dramatic and slightly terrifying feel.

Image Credit: BBC

Quill has decided that it’s detention time for our main crew as she has something important to go deal with. Leaving April in charge, the kids are left with nothing to do but wait for this punishment to end. However, in grand Cole Hill Academy fashion, a meteorite comes flying through the rift located at the school and slams into the classroom the kids are in. The force of this causes a mini explosion, but even worse, sends the entire classroom into blackness. The kids aren’t just out in space, or even in a different time, this meteorite has literally sent them into nothing, a place outside of both time and space, with no real idea on how to get back.

As tensions seem to rise between the Class-mates and what their next actions should be, Tanya notices that they aren’t actually alone in the room, the meteor is stuck in the wall. That meteor, though likely dangerous, could possibly hold the key on at least where they are or how they got there and maybe has the capability of helping them get back to Cole Hill. Matteusz decides to pick the meteor up which gives him a sudden urge to tell the story of his coming out to his grandmother back in Poland, he also blurts out though while he is deeply in love with Charlie, he is also scared of him. April knocks the rock out of his hands and he admits that he had no control over saying any of it, he was compelled to speak the truth. However, once the truth has been spoken, the other Class-mates can ask questions that the meteor then answers through whoever is holding it. This forces each of the Class-mates to have to interact with it in order for enough information to be gathered to help them get home. Though it doesn’t seem like such a hard task, each member admitting their deepest truths and secrets ends up taking a huge toll on the kids and just being in the presence of the meteor not only puts them on edge but also makes them increasingly angrier at each other. To top it off, Charlie also suffers with a fear of being trapped in a confined space and suffers a panic attack because of it, which puts the other Class-mates in a rush trying to figure out a way home.

Image Credit: BBC

One by one the kids take turns holding the rock while the other students ask questions, through this we learn that the meteor is alien in nature, that it is sentient and that it does want to use the kids. If you hold it for too long, your brain will be fried, and that it is a prisoner who did something very bad. Because each Class-mate can only interact with the rock once, nobody wants their brain fried after all, everyone has to take a turn holding it, which again just increases their fear and anger at the situation and one another. As each Class-mate holds the stone and speaks the truth, they feel the prisoner gaining strength and feel as though he wants to murder them all. Through this we learn that Tanya doesn’t think any in the group are truly her friends, she is like a kid sister who just annoys the rest of them. Ram reveals that he is in love with April and that he is terrified that she doesn’t feel the same towards him, nor will she ever. April reveals that Ram is correct, he does love her more than she cares for him and that isn’t a fact she sees changing. Charlie, decides to switch things up before picking up the stone and admits his deepest feelings and secrets to the group before touching it. He admits that he wants to use the Cabinet of Souls against the Shadowkin and kill every last one of them, he is so angry at losing his entire race that he is willing to give everything up to satisfy that revenge. He knows he will lose everything and everyone, including his love Mattesuz, and that he sometimes hates Mattesuz for being a reason NOT to use the cabinet. Upon touching the stone, having already spilled his deep anger, he proved to the meteor that in his heart, he is more guilty and the stone then breaks sending the kids back into reality and back to Cole Hill.

Because the prisoner recognized Charlie as being so guilty before it broke, (on his planet even if you think something or feel it in your heart it counts as true, so the fact that he wants to use the Cabinet means that the meteor saw him as the mass murderer of an entire race) an alien is now in the classroom and trying to force Charlie into the stone because he is the guiltiest of the Class-mates and the meteor must hold a prisoner. Quill rushes in, with noticeably longer hair and a deep scar over her left eye, shoots the alien with a gun and prevents Charlie from being taken. All the Class-mates, minus Charlie and Mattesuz storm out, still reeling and angry with each other over the harsh truths they just had to face. Charlie questions how Quill was able to use a gun and she announces that the creature in her head binding her to Charlie has been removed and now that she has regained her freedom, things are about to change.

Image Credit: BBC

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