Loads of character development in a two-hour adventure.
Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart
Far across the universe in the halls of the Shadow Palace on The Underneath, Corakinus receives word that his servants can make his heart whole again. Unfortunately, his attempts to sever the attachment to April only strengthen the connection. On the other end of that connection in Shoreditch, April gasps in pain before picking up the sword of the Shadow King.
The next day, a strange petal dances on the wind before landing on April’s window as she practices her violin. April breaks a string and cuts herself, but the power of the Shadow King allows her to heal quickly. She also shares some bad news with her mother Jackie: He father has recently been released and made contact with the family.
Ram is feeling better after connecting with April. Meanwhile, Charlie shares the truth about the Cabinet of Souls with Matteusz. Everyone heads to school where Miss Quill watches as Mr. Armitage‘s name is added to the memorial and meets Dorothy Ames, the new headteacher sent by the Governors.
Later in class, April challenges her teacher during a lesson about warfare and the Dunkirk evacuation. As she literally breaks into her locker later, it’s apparent that the Shadow King is bleeding into her psyche. After ignoring a call from her father, she asks Ram for help. While they chat in Ram’s car, several more petals fall on the city and April’s father Huw MacLean shows up. His appearance is a violation of a court order, but all he wants is the chance to apologize. When he presses the issue, April manifests as the Shadow King and scares him away.
They are confronted by Ms. Ames for their truancy and Ram is encouraged to take April home while the headteacher is bitten by a flower petal. As Ram and April talk in her bedroom, the Shadow Kin locate Earth and plot an attack. April and Ram turn from talking to romance, which has a similar effect on the Shadow King 9,000 years of space travel away. Unfortunately for him, the Shadow Kin are disgusted by the thought of intimacy during sex. Afterward, April and Ram are discovered by April’s mother.
Charlie and Matteusz discuss the Cabinet of Souls and the prince reveals that the cabinet could transfer the souls into the bodies of another race. The cabinet is a powerful weapon capable of genocide. Miss Quill is angered by the discussion and storms away.
Later on, Tanya confronts Charlie about how he lords over the team. Matteusz chimes in occasionally while also being bitten by a flower petal. In fact, the petals are growing in number. Meanwhile, Miss Quill requests time off to deal with something at home, but Ms. Ames calls her into a meeting. The new headteacher also has a file with Charlie’s true identity on paper.
Jackie confronts the two teens about their relationship. Ram acts with respect toward her, but after he leaves, Jackie expresses her concerns about Ram and the parallels with April’s father. Ram calls Tanya and tells her that April is in trouble, which is a call that Huw overhears as he lurks nearby. On the ground is a squirrel, bloodied and killed by the flower petals.
Ms. Ames shows the petals to Miss Quill, remarking that there haven’t been many squirrels or birds around. One drop of blood causes the petals to multiply rapidly, and Ms. Ames asks Miss Quill to help solve the problem. She offers to remove the creature from Miss Quill’s head and free her from the contract.
April leaves the house to make up with Ram, but her departure is interrupted by Huw. After her parents argue, April is attacked by the Corakinus and the two personalities begin to merge. The Shadow King’s servant amplifies the effort but April resists as she attacks her father. Ram arrives just as April is about to execute her father with the Shadow King’s swords. April spares his life as she returns to lucidity. The rest of the team arrives just as April turns on her mother and heals her with the Shadow King’s power.
The act displaces enough energy to reveal Earth’s location to Corakinus, so April takes the initiative and slices open a rift. She dives inside, headed toward The Underneath, and Ram jumps in after her.
Ram races through The Underneath as a Shadow Kin chases him. He is saved by April and her scimitars, joining her as she makes her way to the Shadow Palace. She reveals that she cannot open a rift back home, so the two of them may be trapped there permanently. Back on Earth, Tanya reveals the truth of April’s condition to her parents, and they accompany Charlie to find help. Tanya finds Ram’s father and brings him into the team.
Meanwhile, Miss Quill and Ms. Ames continue their discussions. Ms. Ames asks for her thoughts on genocide, linking her plan back to Charlie and the Cabinet of Souls. They meet up with April’s parents and Charlie and Miss Quill confronts the prince over the cabinet. She’s angry that all of the people who slaughtered her people are still alive. Ms. Ames and the Governors want to use the cabinet’s power to destroy the petals.
April and Ram make their way through a cavern that reminds the Shadow Kin that they must defeat the universe or be crushed by it. They believe that they are a mistake of the universe and destined to live as shadows beneath everyone else unless they can overpower the universe. Ram discusses his Sikh heritage with April, proclaiming that doing good for the sake of doing so means getting closer to his god. They are interrupted by a telepathic link to Corakinus. He knows where they are.
Ram’s father and April’s parents argue about their children’s relationship while Tanya talks them down. As April gears up for war against the king and his army, Jackie’s heart glows. At the Quill/Smith home, Ms. Ames, Miss Quill, Charlie, and Matteusz debate the merits of using the cabinet to save the planet. Since only a Rhodian can operate the cabinet, Ms. Ames threatens Matteusz’s life to force Charlie into action. Tanya escorts everyone to the headteacher’s office as Matteusz sends her a text message. Apparently, according to Ms. Ames, shadows can kill the petals. But bringing the Shadow Kin to Earth is a non-starter even though the petals are now consuming humans.
April engages Corakinus in a one-on-one battle where the victor becomes the new king. As they duel, the connection between Jackie and April intensifies. Using that connection, April opens a rift and she is joined by her father and Ram’s father. April finally defeats Corakinus. Huw talks her out of killing the king, and April declares that defeat is enough to depose Corakinus. The newly-crowned king has Corakinus locked away before she returns to Earth.
Under duress, Charlie decides to use the cabinet, but Matteusz is able to ambush Ms. Ames and throw her gun away. He stops short of committing genocide when April opens a rift and dispatches the Shadow Kin against the petals. Once the threat is obliterated, April orders the shadows to return home and destroy the path along the way.
Inside his cell, Corakinus severs the link that his followers created. April’s powers are gone, but they still share the same heart. Fortunately, the actions she took with the powers remain, including her mother’s ability to walk again. Her family is healing, but she needs Huw to stay away until the MacLean women can forgive him.
Meanwhile, Ms. Ames reveals that the Governors foretold all of this. The offer for Miss Quill still stands.
This should have come a lot sooner in the series. There is so much character development in this pair of episodes and it is a shame that we had to trudge through two really thin and slow plots to finally reach it.
I love seeing the weight on Charlie’s shoulders as a deposed prince, the last of his people, and the pressure placed upon him by his former enemy now turned indentured servant and protector. Miss Quill is hungry for revenge for her people and she’s willing to make a deal with the devil to get it. These two living under the same roof is delicious tension, particularly as Matteusz tries to tread the thin line of armistice between them.
We got a glimpse of Tanya’s leadership last week, and this week brings it back as she wrangles the personal conflicts between April and Ram’s parents while trying to save her friend. April and Ram continue to develop their new relationship, and they both show intense boldness alongside brilliant empathy. April’s personality tempers her heart – a most appropriate weakness for her empathy – with her wisdom, making her my favorite character of the bunch.
I also love that she’s practicing “Night Visiting” on her violin. A follow-on from that previous story, it’s a song inspired by legends about the spirits of deceased loved ones. Those spirits would knock on their living relative’s windows at night and appear as either warnings of danger or as an escort to drag their living relatives to Hell. It seems to have stuck with April, especially since she’s a student of folk songs.
Finally, in a neat bit of trivia, Charlie’s last name is Smith. Presumably no relation to the other Smiths that we know, either Time Lord or journalist.
Rating: 4/5 – “Would you care for a jelly baby?”
UP NEXT – Class: Detained
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