The heroes of Coal Hill Academy become more connected in ‘Nightvisiting.’Tanya in ‘Nightvisiting’ (credit: BBC)
*** This review contains spoilers. ***
The third episode of Class, ‘Nightvisiting,’ opens with a powerful tearjerker of a montage. It presents the backstory of Tanya’s father, Jasper, from his early relationship with her mother, all the way through to how the family is still coping two years after his sudden death. In an unexpected switching of gears, the tone jarringly goes from sorrowful to creepy when he appears to Tanya in her room as she is mourning on the anniversary. This intense ride all takes place before the opening credits even begin.
Tanya rejects his attempts to convince her that he is actually her father. It is then revealed that she was right to do so because he is actually connected to a system of incredibly long tentacles running all over the city, originating from a tear in Coal Hill Academy. They are part of a being called the Lan Kin, which harvests souls and feeds off of their grief for energy. I suspect that “Lan” is a play on words for LAN (Local Area Network). In any case, the creature uses copies of people’s deceased loved ones as bait for the living. It is unclear whether the Lan Kin is using dead people’s souls, as it claims to do, or it is telepathically getting all of its information from its prey. Either way, in this ruse, a victim has to lovingly touch the bait voluntarily in order to be absorbed. Soon after, Miss Quill’s sister, Orla’ath, and Ram’s girlfriend, Rachel, also appear as part of the collective. (By the way, we learn that Quill’s real name is Andra’ath.) Charlie’s bond with his parents was not strong, so they only dimly appear for a second.
While Tanya and Quill are highly skeptical as they interact with their respective “family members,” Ram and April learn something of what the Lan Kin are by witnessing what they do to people. Quill, Charlie, and Matteusz get rid of “Orla’ath.” All five then fight their way to Tanya’s flat, where her family is being held hostage by the Lan Kin. Ram and April become ensnared, as well. Tanya’s “father” promises to let them go and take away her pain if she joins him. She takes his hand, but instead of giving in, she poisons the Lan Kin with anger, forcing the bond to be broken.Matteusz and Charlie in ‘Nightvisiting’ (credit: BBC)
The tentacles reattach when cut, so Quill steals a bus and drives it into a mess of the tentacles, forcing “Jasper” out of the window. Defeated, the entire Lan Kin goes back through the tear. Those who fell for the trap are fine, but have no memory of what happened. While this sort of memory loss is a common one in science fiction, a reason for it is actually guessed at in this episode — that wiping people’s memories makes it easier for the Lan Kin to return to feed again.
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As a subplot, Matteusz’s religious family kicks him out of the house for having a boyfriend, Charlie, whom he then goes to visit. They take their physical relationship to the next level and confess their love for one another. It is decided that Matteusz will move in with Charlie and Quill. The attitude of Matteusz’s family is illustrative of the nuance that homophobia can sometimes take on. They barely tolerate his orientation when he is not involved with anyone, but it becomes real in their minds, and therefore totally unacceptable, once he is in a relationship.
Also, April and Ram form a deeper bond when she tells him the story of how her father ended up in prison after causing her mother to become paralyzed. April shows that she is stronger than people realize.
The defining line from this episode is uttered by Matteusz. He states that, “Teen angst is a pejorative phrase.” In other words, it is not fair to teenagers to always write off their feelings.
As for Quill, she acts disgusted when the students are happy and relieved to see each other, but she actually seems quite lonely, as she expressed in ‘The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo.’