Greetings, Coal Hill students! Class amped up the sentiment tenfold this episode. We saw a mysterious tree-like alien infiltrate London, each “branch” disguised as someone’s long-lost loved one. Of course, members of our very own merry band of supernatural fighters were privy to an audience with said alien, known as the Lan Kin. There was action, romance, comedy and plenty of drama. Shall we dive right in, friends? Reminder that spoilers can take root anywhere like the Lan Kin, so exercise caution.
We open with a montage featuring Vivian (Natasha Gordon) and Jasper (Kobna Holdbrook-Smith), Tanya’s parents. We see how they met, a beautiful wedding ceremony, the birth of Tanya and moments from various familial events. Unfortunately, this culminates in the death of Jasper, who we learned in the previous episode died of a stroke two years prior. Tanya (Vivian Oparah) is silently weeping as the paramedics cart her father away. Fast forward to the second anniversary of Jasper’s passing: the remaining members of the family visit his grave. Later, Tanya escapes to her room. She is staring intently at a photo of her parents when her father appears. You know, the one who died two years ago. That’s not disconcerting whatsoever…
Meanwhile, Tanya and her Might-Not-Be-Real-Father have a conversation on whether he is really with her, or some figment of her imagination. Jasper claims to have traveled across all Time and Space to be with her. He even refers to her as “Puddle,” the nickname the real Jasper bestowed upon Tanya when he was alive. Jasper tries to persuade Tanya to take his hand. He can help her with her pain. Don’t do it! He’s obviously an alien that crawled through the rip in Time and Space!
Later, Tanya leaves her room to take a breather and collect her thoughts. Of course, seeing a deceased loved one no longer deceased can be quite jarring for anyone. In Tanya’s room, we see a tree root is attached to Jasper’s back. Said root extends through the entire neighborhood, leading all the way to the tear in Time and Space at Coal Hill Academy. I was right! Do I win a prize?
Meanwhile, Matteusz (Jordan Renzo) shows up at Miss Quill and Charlie’s residence. Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly) answers the door, in her typical surly alien guardian fashion. She tells Matteusz that Charlie is upstairs. When the door closes, we see a snippet of a tree root extend toward the closed door. Uh oh. Time for more unexpected visits from the dead! Matteusz informs Charlie (Greg Austin) that his parents kicked him out.
Then, Ram (Fady Elsayed) tries to video call Tanya, who is not answering. He decides to video call April (Sophie Hopkins) to inquire about Tanya’s supposed disappearance…and to ask after April’s answers to their Physics homework. Oh, Ram. Sometimes you fit the stereotypical jock archetype – but at least you’re lovable. We see that April was playing a piece on her violin called “Night Visiting,” which also happens to be the title of the episode. Score (pun definitely intended)!
Later, Matteusz tells Charlie what happened and how the argument escalated to his parents removing him from his own house. Charlie, of course, welcomes him to stay as long as he likes. Gosh, they are pretty freaking adorable together.
Meanwhile, Miss Quill is reading The Hunger Games and questioning the validity of the source material. Did the events laid out in Panem really happen? I personally think we’re currently in a dystopian novel, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, Miss Quill is my favorite and she should be yours too. Suddenly, someone knocks at the door. Miss Quill answers reluctantly, to find not a soul on the other side. Hmm. Then, the knocking happens again, but at the opposite end of the house. This is shaping up to be the horror movie from my nightmares.
Then, we see April and Ram video chatting about their Physics homework. There’s a knock on Ram’s window. Someone’s about to get a night visitor of their own…
Meanwhile, Miss Quill waltzes back into her sitting room to find a blonde woman (Anastasia Hille) who addresses the former as “Andra’ath.” We finally know Miss Quill’s real name! Honestly, I think it’s way cooler than her Earth name. Anyway, said mystery woman is revealed to be Orla’ath, Miss Quill’s long deceased sister. Initially, Quill is unaware it is her sister, since the woman is disguised as a human.
Later, Tanya pokes her head in her mother’s room to see if the latter is awake. Unfortunately, we see that her mother is enveloped by a large tree root, the very same root that is snaking through all of London.
Then, Ram sees his deceased girlfriend Rachel (Anna Shaffer) hurtle through his bedroom window, a large tree root jutting from her back. Ram bolts for the door, utterly terrified.
Meanwhile, Tanya wonders why Jasper has sought her out and not her mother. Apparently, he reached out to whoever missed him the most – Tanya’s grief was like a beacon calling him home. Tanya’s mother had already let Jasper go, but Tanya herself is struggling with moving on.
Then, through a split scene between Tanya/Jasper and Miss Quill/Orla’ath, it’s revealed that the deceased beings are called the Lan Kin. They are “soul collectors,” who seek to reunite loved ones with those they’ve lost. Souls are also a great energy source (probably high in protein), replenishing the Lan Kin so they can continue to be good Samaritans. Mutually beneficial. Jasper again tries to persuade Tanya to hold his hand so he can ease her pain. Their souls connect, and then once Tanya dies she can find him in the Great Beyond. Sounds sweet, right?
Meanwhile, Ram is outside, fleeing from the Alien-Formerly-Known-as-Rachel. He notices the thick tree roots crisscrossed around his neighborhood. Ram cuts a root with his pocket knife. Said root splits, then immediately stitches itself back together. So, man made weaponry is out of the question.
Later, we see Matteusz tell Charlie he loves him (awww) and wondering whether love means the same thing on Rhodia as it does on Earth. Charlie kisses him passionately, further solidifying the answer to that question. They have fun sexy times. Yay for fun sexy times!
Meanwhile, Orla’ath reveals the Lan Kin have never gathered the souls of the human race until “cracks” started appearing around Earth. She tries to make their work sound like martyrdom, whereas Quill has her Bull**** Detector Goggles on and sees right through the ploy. Yes, this sounds like something the sentimental humans would fall for…
Then, Ram is witness to a reunion between a deceased mother and her son. He takes his mother’s hand and immediately vanishes. Well, that didn’t end well. We see Jasper react to the event, saying the Lan Kin have never encountered a species as messy as humans before.
Later, Charlie reveals to Matteusz that love does indeed mean something different on Rhodia – it is a business practice, a practical union between two beings. No feeling, no sentimentality. Thankfully, Charlie has been on Earth long enough now to “catch feelings” for Matteusz.
Meanwhile, another spliced scene between Tanya/Jasper and Miss Quill/Orla’ath occurs. This time, both of the deceased beings are attempting to convince their live partners to take their hands. Miss Quill doesn’t take the bait. Tanya, however, seems to be on the brink of succumbing to Jasper. She asks him the story behind her nickname, “Puddle,” which he recounts with perfect detail. He then confesses that he’s missed Tanya a great deal, and we see a change in our favorite Sailor Moon lovin’, UNIT hacking student. I say again, don’t do it!
Later, Ram sees people strewn about the streets, entangled in the bulbous tree roots of the Lan Kin. They appear to be unconscious at the least…or maybe dead. He enters a convenience store and encounters the same situation – poor, unaware customers trapped by the deadly alien invaders. Ram immediately calls April.
Meanwhile, Miss Quill wonders whether the Lan Kin are chameleons of some sort, changing shape to adapt to their surroundings. She thinks they might be hiding something.
Then, while Charlie and Matteusz are in the throes of passion, a tree branch snakes its way inside Charlie’s room. Oh no, not my precious Charlie!
April and Ram reunite outside. While Ram is under the impression the world is ending and the dead have come to claim them for their Zombie Kingdom, April tries to think of another approach. Ram accuses her of being “sensible” all the time. April retorts that the world they live in isn’t sensible, which means she has to be the moral compass.
Meanwhile, Miss Quill reminds her not-sister that if she ever saw the latter again she would rip her heart out. Orla’ath presents Quill with a gift, a method of making sure her promise comes to fruition – a gun. Now, Quill can’t handle weapons, but this just took an interesting turn.
Later, we see Ram and April sitting away from the chaos. April reveals the heartbreaking story of her abusive dad and how her mother ended up in a wheelchair. Both are apparently turned on by tragedy, as April kisses Ram. The latter definitely welcomes the kiss. It’s a moment between characters I could never picture together, but I dig it.
Meanwhile, Charlie and Matteusz wake up after a post-coitus nap. Charlie briefly glimpses visions of his dead parents due to the Lan Kin, but they disappear. Matteusz asks Charlie if he always sees his parents after sex. I like this guy. He’s clever.
Then, April and Ram follow the alien roots to their source – the tear at Coal Hill Academy. April also takes note that the main, larger root is heading in the direction of Tanya’s house. Both make a break for their friend’s flat. More running!
Later, Orla’ath continues to tempt Miss Quill with the gun, as a ploy to get the latter to touch her. Charlie and Matteusz return from their “love nest,” as Quill calls it, so she can finally get to the bottom of who the Lan Kin are. Quill high kicks Orla’ath, who tumbles to the ground. She steps on the alien’s wrist to keep her pinned while the gun dissipates on the floor. Quill instructs Charlie to grab her two very big knives. Looks like Quill’s gonna have a bit of fun.
Meanwhile, April and Ram arrive at Tanya’s house. April explains that “Night Visiting” is the name of a folk piece, detailing a story of the dead coming to visit their loved ones in the dead (heehee) of night.
Charlie returns with a screwdriver, which doesn’t thrill Quill but she makes do with it. She instructs Charlie to stab Orla’ath in the hand with said screwdriver. He does just that. Ick, talk about painful. Charlie then calls April, who informs him she’s at Tanya’s house.
Then, Quill pokes a hole in Orla’ath’s defense. She informs the boys that the Lan Kin is a “person,” not a “people.” Quill thinks Orla’ath is just the “tip of the tongue,” and not the major threat itself. Orla’ath disappears after revealing the Lan Kin has found a “grief” more powerful than anything they’ve encountered so far – Tanya. So, the trio runs to Tanya’s aid.
Meanwhile, Jasper tries desperately to grab Tanya, straining himself as much as the tree root he’s attached to will allow. April and Ram reach Tanya’s house, and call her name. Tanya wonders why her mother didn’t open the door for them. Finally, the duo bursts into Tanya’s room and rushes to defend her. Jasper knocks them aside like playthings.
Outside, Miss Quill, Charlie and Matteusz begin hacking away at the thick nest of roots that are obstructing the entrance to Tanya’s flat.
Inside, Ram and April are trapped in their own cocoon of tree limbs. Tanya makes Jasper promise to let her friends go and in return she will join him. She finally grasps his outstretched hand. No! Bad Tanya! But wait…
We see her struggle against Jasper, who cries in pain. Tanya is slowly being swallowed by the tree roots as she screams that he is not her father. Suddenly, the roots release her and she falls backward beside Ram. Jasper turns a sickly shade of green, accusing Tanya of poisoning him. Tanya retorts that she gave him her anger, which is much stronger than her grief. Unfortunately for Jasper, grief is the only thing the Lan Kin feeds on. Unexpectedly, Jasper rises to his feet, claiming while Tanya did weaken him, it wasn’t enough to destroy him.
Meanwhile, Miss Quill turns the corner outside in a bus, with every intention of driving it through the nest of roots. A bus, people! This woman is my hero. The bus slams through the root keeping Jasper alive, which knocks him out of Tanya’s window. He dissolves on the pavement. We see the remainder of the Lan Kin return through the tear in Time and Space. Bye, Felicia!
Outside, we see people roaming the streets in confusion, not sure where they are or how they got there. Our heroes reunite in triumph on Tanya’s doorstep. Go team, go! Miss Quill, who is immediately turned off by any mushy displays of team affection, heads home. You and me both, sister.
Later, Ram walks April home. I smell the start of something new (starts singing High School Musical). Ah, young love.
Meanwhile, Charlie assures Matteusz he can stay as long as he needs to. I’ll say it again: ah, young love.
Then, we see Tanya and her mom bond over the photo Tanya has of her parents. It appears that Tanya is getting the closure she needs, and it certainly ain’t from no creepy tree alien.
While this episode of Class was not as action-packed or gory as the previous one, I appreciated it for other reasons. For one, its exploration of the grief process and how that affects people differently. Closure is important for growth, and as Tanya told Jasper, nobody gets to be privy to your closure process but you. Miss Quill continues to be my favorite with her quips and take-no-prisoners attitude. I liked the brief glimpse into her backstory and that we finally learned her name. April and Ram’s sudden romance took me by surprise, but I’m all for it.
Do you think we’ll see more of Charlie’s past life as a prince? Will the Lan Kin ever return? And, will Corakinus try to take April hostage again, for her heart? I believe that last question might get answered next week. Until then…
Class airs Saturdays at 10pm on your BBC America affiliate.
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