Class: The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did

January was, let’s face it, an incredibly poor month for this blog. But thankfully, the work thing which stopped me finding time to watch an episode a day has finished for the timebeing, and this watch-through will be done and dusted by the time it’s back. Hopefully I’ll be able to blitz through the rest, and the finish line being in sight is definitely what’s motivating me at the moment – I feel like the desire to watch an episode of Class on a Saturday night is more down to moving a step closer to home than it is to do with actually wanting to watch Class.

Still, Katherine Kelly (who will always be Becky McDonald from Corrie to me) is by far the best actor in the show, so a Quill-only episode seemed like a good prospect. For the most part it lived up to it – it’s certainly the most visually interesting and impressive episode yet, which I guess explains the need for an accompanying bottle ep. It’s clear where the budget went, although there are still some telltale signs of stretched resources, such as a knife fight with the devil itself taking place off-screen, portrayed to us via the headteacher’s reaction shots.

But kudos is due for being able to realise so many different off-world environments within one episode, and for each of them being sufficiently distinct. It was a strange premise – hopping from one imaginary world to another in order to gather impossible items pertaining to alien brain surgery – but it worked. I wasn’t terribly keen on either of Quill’s cohorts, and the dynamic between the three was pretty stilted, but the quest was a noble one, so I went with it.

The removal of the Arn was utterly disgusting, but the shape-shifter man using his powers to heal Quill was a nice ending to the story, allowing her to go straight off to pursue her revenge. Except the story didn’t end when it should have done, leading to some unnecessary rumpy-pumpy, and a weird, hitherto unexpected war game scenario whereby the mysterious Governors forced Quill and her new boyfriend into a battle to the death, for no particular reason.

The boyfriend got bumped off due to the old back-firing gun trick, so that Quill could be sad and then vow to seek revenge, but it all felt tacked-on and superfluous. We were already on her side, and we already knew she was going to be “war itself” with her freewill back, whatever that means. The whole thing was slightly redeemed, however, by the final twist reveal that Quill has returned from her ordeal heavily pregnant, which at least gives a narrative reason for the earlier impromptu bonking on the gymnasium floor, and sets up an intriguing finale.

RATING: 6

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