(1 episode, s01e06, 2016)
Confessions, frustrations, and an uncertain future.
As four objects fall through space toward a rift, Miss Quill tosses the Coal Hill defenders into detention. She claims to have other things to do as she locks the door. Once she leaves, April unlocks the door just in time for one of the asteroid pieces to slam into the classroom. The event knocks the classroom out of sync with time and space, effectively trapping the students in detention.
Charlie realizes that Miss Quill isn’t to blame. After all, if she murdered him, the arn in her head would kill her. They note that they’re all getting more aggressive, that Charlie is experiencing extreme claustrophobia and paranoia, and that the meteor is lodged in the wall. It may also be radioactive. Matteusz grabs the meteor and tries to toss it outside of the classroom, but he’s immediately entranced, recalling the day that he came out to his grandmother. He also reveals that he’s afraid of Charlie.
April knocks the meteor from his hand and it bounces against the open doorway. As it lands back in the classroom, the defenders realize that they are truly trapped.
As the team ponders their situation, Charlie and Matteusz discuss the revelations. To calm Charlie, Matteusz talks about a place called Narnia in a book that he read. In that book, Susan judged her friend based on a single bad thing that she said, and Matteusz questions whether or not Charlie complains about his friends. Meanwhile, the team grows more aggressive and Charlie more panicky. Tanya tries to learn more about the rock and picks it up, revealing that she feels like the team doesn’t really like her.
The meteor apparently makes people tell the truth, and the team is able to discover that the rock contains a prisoner and is dangerous to them. Ram knocks the meteor free and the team takes cover to discuss this new information.
Charlie tests the boundaries of the room and demonstrates that the room is the prison. Ram picks up the rock next and reveals that he loves April more than she could ever love him. As April struggles to deny the claim, Ram passes out. When he comes to, he reveals that the prisoner is a murderer and wants to kill them all. The prisoner is one of four and its consciousness is spilt among the pieces of the meteor.
April holds the rock next and confesses that Ram’s assertions are true. She doesn’t love him as much as he loves her. She also makes the prisoner disclose that the classroom is outside of space and time and that they are all trapped there until they kill each other, unable to age or die naturally.
Everyone continues to get more and more aggravated. Charlie picks up the rock, believing that it does not have the same effect since he hasn’t been feeling aggressive. When he engages with the prisoner, he realizes that he’s more guilty than the prisoner as he culturally believes that his desire to kill the Shadow Kin is the same as actually doing it. His reactor to the prison is due to feeling that it is for him, and his guilt actually kills the prisoner. The classroom returns to Coal Hill Academy.
But Charlie introduces one last complication. The prison requires a prisoner and his guilt draws him toward the prison cell. As the rock tries to welcome him, Miss Quill enters and shoots her gun at the rock. The rock is destroyed, but as the team leaves the classroom in frustration, Charlie and Matteusz stay to ask about Miss Quill’s newfound ability to use a gun.
She now has a scar over her eye and longer hair. She has had a stressful day and the arn has been exorcised from her head.
Miss Quill is now free.
The ending and its uncertain future for the team aside, this episode does double duty in exposing schisms in the team while also forcing them to confront their inner conflicts. Unfortunately, this feels like a step backward from the last adventure since the team ends the story fragmented once more.
The confessions are important, but it feels like these characters can never be happy or in a cohesive team. Are they destined to survive through constant sorrow?
Rating: 2/5 – “Mm? What’s that, my boy?”
UP NEXT – Class: The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did
The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.