Class: The Metaphysical Engine Review

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Class went in a completely opposite direction from last week with “The Metaphysical Engine: Or What Quill Did” for this week. This episode shows us the other end of the extreme spectrum and runs concurrently with “Detained.” That episode was based only with our younger Class-mates and in a single, isolated location, “The Metaphysical Engine” is completely opposite of that, following Quill and set on multiple off plant environments. After locking the kids up for detention, Quill sets off to see about having the Arn creature removed from her brain. She knows that this will be dangerous and that she might end up dying in the process. After the tension with Charlie not using the cabinet on the Shadowkin she’s had enough and will stop at nothing, even death, to regain her freedom and her revenge. Though “Detained” I think is the stronger episode, this is probably the closest to Doctor Who that we will see Class get. Including a metaphysical engine that allows for travel to places that technically don’t exist and inside of a much larger on the inside little capsule.

At some point today, should everything go according to plan. There will come a moment, when you start to believe.

Image Credit: BBC

Quill meets with the principal, who under the direction of the mysterious Governors, has been granted permission to help her remove the Arn from her head, thereby freeing her from Charlie. In the gym of the school, Dorothea and Quill wait for the 3rd team member for this adventure, Ballon. Ballon is a shape shifting alien who is currently stuck in a human form because of the Governors, but if he helps remove the Arn from Quill then he will also gain his freedom. The three of them are transported to a metaphysical reality, basically so long as a place is or can be believed in, then this engine can take you there. They’re visiting the birthplace of the Arn creatures, though they are really just lab created, because the Arn believe they were born on this stunning planet, thanks to the metaphysical engine, Quill is able to visit. Ballon hunts down an Arn for study and the three are on their way to collect another necessary item.

Image Credit: BBC

Up next is a little trip into Ballon’s idea of hell. He is a shape shifter who is stuck in human form. Only with the blood from his devil will he be able to unfreeze his hands and have the ability to perform the necessary surgery for Quill. This planet is a little more interesting and with a more difficult task, Quill didn’t really seem to believe in the metaphysical engine on the “homeworld” for the Arn, but Ballon expresses his fear of being in his hell and possibly being stuck there frozen forever in a way that Quill can’t really ignore. They develop a bond here; both being soldiers, both fighting for their freedom, and in this instance, Quill is able to step up to the plate and help collect some blood from Ballon’s “devil”.

Image Credit: BBC

The final metaphysical location hits a little closer to home for Quill, as they end up in what would be considered heaven for all of the Quill race. They are in the very first Quill nest, with the very first Quill goddess getting ready to have the very first litter of Quill ever. At first Quill isn’t buying this, she knows that none of her race have believed in this myth for years and why would they? Where was the Quill goddess when her race was being murdered and eventually wiped out completely? Before we know it she is being attacked by the goddess, and she is attacking back, taking out some of her pent up anger and frustrations at being the last of her kind. Ballon steps in and is able to kill the Quill goddess so they can remove her brain for study. With all the items necessary in hand, our trio takes back off to the gymnasium at the school to prepare for Quill’s surgery.

After Ballon confirms that he can indeed remove the Arn from Quill, using both specimen from their metaphysical adventures earlier, they get set to work right away. Quill is finally staring to believe that removing the Arn will work, which means that the Arn is beginning to attack her from within. Ballon is successful, but leaves a long scar over her eye. Nothing that Quill can’t handle though, she is happy to carry that scar in exchange for her freedom. Quill and Ballon are now starting to realize that there might be a stronger connection between the two of them than felt upon their initial meeting, and the two end up in a steamy scene together. Hey, the Class-mates can’t be the only ones getting some action at Cole Hill right?

Image Credit: BBC

The two fall asleep and upon waking realize that Dorothea has played them both for fools. After leaving from the first Quill nest, they didn’t go back to Earth like imagined. Quill’s surgery was actually performed in just a simulation of the gym at Cole Hill and they’ve actually been in the Cabinet of Souls. Only one of them will make it back to Earth, the metaphysical engine can’t handle a trip for both of them, and the Governors have decided that the two of them can work out just who that will be. Dorothea is now only there in hologram form to deliver the bad news, suggesting that the two decide quickly because time moves differently inside the cabinet. After their intimate bonding session, how can they chose one to live and one to die when they both have been fighting so hard for their freedom? Ultimately, and in a bittersweet end, Quill is left standing at the end of the day. She ends up just crawling out of the Cabinet, which basically defeats the whole purpose of Ballon having to die, but I digress. Quill is now back on Earth, Arn-free, and in her own home. Exhausted after the day’s events and saving Charlie from the prisoner during their detention, she ends up passing out and Charlie takes her home. Later on, as he is continuing to check on her he is surprised to see that she is visibly pregnant!

This was a very different episode for Class and that kind of makes it hard to review, the acting was phenomenal, as was the script but because it’s so far on the extreme end of everything else we’ve seen thus far, it makes it hard to compare it to the other episdoes rounding out season one. I definitely think that the idea of the metaphysical engine could have prompted enough material for this to be a two part episode, especially with something as important as the Arn being removed and Quill regaining her freedom back completely. We don’t really learn much else about exactly who Dorothea is or this board of Governors that she works for. But with the season finale this coming Saturday I expect we will learn just enough about them to leave it very open and immensely frustrating.

Be sure to catch me after the Class Series Finale and tweet along during the episode with #ClassDW !

Official Class Twitter Page

Official BBC America Twitter Page

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Michelle Harvey