Assassins live by a certain code of conduct. They resist love, resent attachments, and, most importantly, they avoid any personal vendetta. But, what an assassin avoids the most usually transforms into his/her only conflict, which is often explored in a plethora of films and series centered around their lives, and “Deadly Class” is no different. But what is irritating about the entire series is how its narrative and its characters easily confuse the words “revolution and revenge.”
In the beginning, “Deadly Class” promises to work on a large scale where assassins would probably bring about a change in the world, but it falls back into the league with revenge at its core. The entire first season deals with aimless teenagers acting as bloodthirsty assassins who deal with their teenage problems in a violent way. Deadly Class isn’t something that we haven’t seen before, or maybe it is worse because of its un-inspirational narrative and one-dimensional characters who are all dealing with a single issue: childhood trauma.
The series tries every possible gimmick to lure the audience but fails to create an impact, which probably might be the reason why it is canceled after Season 1, and though the season ends on a cliffhanger, it will be soothing to say that it isn’t coming back. Hence, without exploring the possibility of any further season, let’s track down the events of Season 1.
‘Deadly Class’ Season 1: Plot Summary
Set during the 1987 America, the series loyally focuses on its central character, Marcus Lopez Arguello (Benjamin Wadsworth), an orphaned teenager whose parents were killed by a suicidal schizophrenic named Barbara Salinger. The current prime minister, Ronald Reagan, cut funds to mental health facilities that released hundreds of mentally ill serial killers into the streets, among whom Barbara was one. When Marcus was just a preteen, Barbara jumped off a high-rise tower and fell directly upon Marcus’ parents, killing them on the spot. Like Batman, Marcus saw his parents murdered in front of him and was later sent to a corrupted orphanage, Sunset Boy’s Home, that toyed with his mental health further.
As the series begins, Marcus is accused of burning down his orphanage and killing each and every student and staff member inside it. He is wanted by the police, and therefore, Marcus lives on the streets, where he faces torturous circumstances and is bullied by the most violent creatures of society. Marcus blames Ronald Reagan for all his woes and vows to exact vengeance on him when the heavens suddenly hear his cries. A headmaster, Master Lin, who runs a boarding school for assassins named King’s Dominion, tracks down Marcus with the help of his most salient student, Saya Kuroki.
Saya and other students bring a drugged Marcus to King’s Dominion, which is a storied building in San Francisco, disguised as a Chinese street corner. When Master Lin offers Marcus a chance to channel his anger and find a purpose in his revenge, Marcus finds the idea farcical and walks out. He doesn’t want to trap himself in another institution and thus decides to end his miseries by killing himself, but suddenly Saya, who pledges to Master Lin to bring back Marcus, stops Marcus from killing himself and convinces him to join the academy.
Master Lin reveals to Marcus that the academy was founded by his great-grandfather, who wanted to give the peasants, or outcasts, the power to dethrone their corrupt masters. But as Marcus joins the academy, he soon realizes that it is divided into different student gangs run by the children of ruthless crime families. Again, Marcus fails to find his affiliation and is labeled as a rat who is bullied by the students. For Marcus, the academy is the same as his orphanage or the streets, but his desire for a family and a sense of belongingness influences his decision to stay. The series further explores a love triangle between Marcus, Saya, and Maria Esperanza Salazar that fuels further conflicts, until finally, Marcus’ past from the orphanage springs up to take revenge on him.
What Happened to Marcus, Saya, and Maria? Who Killed Chico Salazar?
When Maria was just a child, her father, who stole from Chico’s father, El Alma Del Diablo, the leader of the Soto Vatos gang, torched her entire family to send out a message. Diablo wanted to kill Maria as well, but at that moment, a young Chico convinced his father that Maria could be useful for their gang. Diablo took Maria under his care, where she always felt suffocated, and her only escape was Chico, whom she loved dearly, but as they grew up, Chico’s obsessive-controlling nature plagued their relationship, and Maria yearned for an escape.
At present, when Maria saw Marcus, she was infatuated by his wild spirits and believed that he would be the one who would save her from Chico and his family. Thus, Maria started flirting with Marcus, who envied Chico and fueled an enmity between him and Marcus. Chico wanted to slay Marcus, but killing him under the school premise would violate the rules, and thus he was looking for a chance to take his revenge discreetly. He finally found one when Marcus and others decided to take a field trip to Las Vegas to help Billy Bennett kill his abusive father, who worked as a corrupt cop for drug lords.
In Las Vegas, Chico found Marcus and his friends off-guard and tried to kill Marcus when Maria attacked Chico and killed him. The students left the spot, leaving Chico’s body behind, but as soon as they returned to King’s Dominion, Master Lin conducted an official investigation to find out about Chico. Chico’s father, Diablo, threatened Master Lin to find his son’s killer. Everyone believed that it was Maria who killed him, but they had no evidence to prove the theory. The fear and guilt of killing her first love further traumatized Maria, who sought comfort in Marcus, but Marcus was slowly drifting towards Saya, who made him feel complete. When Marcus slept with Saya, he felt guilty about cheating on Maria and wanted to confront Maria about his feelings towards Saya, but Maria already knew the truth, and that led to the rivalry between Saya and Maria. During the ending sequence, though Saya helped Marcus to deal with his arch-nemesis, Chester Wilson, she backed down in the last moments and refused to help Marcus or Maria any further. She believed her best friends were draining her emotionally and mentally, like ticks, and she was better without them. She walked out soon after.
What Happened To Master Lin and His Family?
The bloodline of Master Lin belonged to a guild in China for centuries. The guild-trained assassin in the Green Temple and Master Lin’s ancestors swore an oath that all of the family’s children, except the firstborn son, would be given to the Temple. Master Lin’s only sister, Madame Gao, was sent to the guild by her father when she was just 8 years old. She also lost her only son to the guild, because of which she held a serious resentment against her own family and particularly against Master Lin for not protecting her in childhood.
As per the rules of the guild, Master Lin was required to hand over her daughter, Nahia, and thus to protect her, he fabricated a story about his family’s death. While Master Lin painfully narrated the deaths of his daughter and wife to convince everyone to find purpose in their revenge, in fact, he had none. His whole character and its ideals became null and void as soon as the revelations came out, and at the end of the series, it just amounted to one thing alone: protecting one’s family instead of bringing about a revolution in the world.
As soon as Madame Gao took charge of the academy after Chico’s murder, she took an active interest in Master Lin’s personal life and instantly found out about Nahia. She blackmailed Master Lin and threatened to reveal his lies to the guild, and thus, Master Lin tried to kill her, but Gao escaped. Later, Chico’s father somehow found out about Master Lin’s family and tried to shoot Nahia in front of him to take revenge on Lin for lying and protecting Maria. Master Lin’s wife, Shu, sacrificed herself to save Nahia and help Master Lin escape with her. After a life-threatening run and chase sequence, Master Lin finally brought Nahia to the King’s Dominion, where Madame Gao was already waiting for him. She didn’t listen to Master Lin plea any further and took away Nahia, probably to hand her over to the guild. Deadly Class Season 1 ended without revealing the fate of the brutally injured Master Lin and his daughter.
‘Deadly Class’ Season 1: Ending Explained
Marcus earned the reputation of a deadly assassin in the academy because everyone believed that he had flamed his orphanage to take revenge, but only Master Lin and Saya knew the truth. Saya knew that Marcus wasn’t a ruthless assassin and definitely not a child killer, and thus she wanted to protect Marcus at all costs, but things got out of hand when Marcus’s nemesis, Chester Wilson, a psychotic serial killer and Marcus’ roommate from the orphanage, showed up.
Chester knew about Chico’s murder and tried to blackmail Marcus over the telephone. He had also captured Shabnam’s parents, and through Shabnam, he got all the information about King’s Dominion, and probably it was through Shabnam that Chester knew about an ongoing investigation into Chico’s murder. Marcus and his friends tried to put an end to Chester and decided to ambush him at Shabnam’s house, but Chester had it all planned already. It led to a brutal fight between the assassins of the King’s Dominion and Chester’s delusional psycho killers, which eventually led to Chester’s death.
Much like all other assassins and serial killers, Chester, too, suffered from a traumatic childhood where his father compelled him to sexually assault a dog when he was just a young boy. In his rage, Chester killed his father and was later sent to the Sunset Boy’s Home by his aunt, where he met Marcus and bullied him for food. Marcus, suffocating daily in the orphanage, planned an escape and designed a needle bomb with the stolen items that he used to kill the guards, but the bomb also left a defaced Chester. Later, after Marcus escaped, the scar triggered Chester’s psychotic tendencies, and he burnt down Sunset Boy’s Home in his madness. Throughout the series, Chester was hunting Marcus to take revenge, but when he found out that Marcus used his reputation to get an admission to King’s Dominion, he decided to film a documentary to get back his fame and honor as a child killer, as he yearned for love and attention. In the ending sequence, Marcus used Chester’s desire against him, but ultimately he was killed by a dog whom he had assaulted to the core. During the end fight, Marcus released a dog trapped in a cage who attacked Chester and killed him slowly, leading to a painful death.
After Chester was killed, Marcus took Chico’s head from the refrigerator and tried to win back Maria when suddenly they were confronted by Chico’s father outside Shabnam’s house. Diablo had come to kill Maria for taking his son’s life, but when he saw Chico’s head in Marcus’ hand, he knew that he had to end them both. Suddenly, one of Marcus’ friends, Lex Miller, came out of the house, and Diablo’s hitmen pulled the trigger and killed him to raise the bars. Marcus and Maria’s rescue would be possible if Petra and Billy were still inside the house, and save them from Diablo by creating a diversion for them to run away. But we don’t know any of it because the show has been canceled.
It can be surmised that if the series had continued, then in the upcoming season, Master Lin could have formed a team of allies to take revenge for his wife’s murder from Diablo and his men and later rescue his daughter from the clutches of Madame Gao. Maria might have been killed in the next season to clear the path for Saya and Marcus’ love story further after they had bridged their differences. But these characters might not see the light of the day again, and their presence will merely be felt further on the pages of the original comic books.
“Deadly Class” is a 2019 action thriller series created by Rick Remender and Miles Orion Feldsott.