Warning: Deadly Class spoilers ahead.
Mid-December was a very good time for 2018 sweetheart Lana Condor. First, Netflix put all of our gossiping to rest and confirmed its Condor-starring breakout rom-com To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before will officially get a sequel. Less than 24 hours after the streaming service’s big announcement, Syfy went and dropped the premiere of Condor’s first-ever major TV series, Deadly Class, for all to stream on YouTube. The cable network is so confident in the bloody coming-of-age drama, about a secret school that trains teen assassins, Class’ surprise December 20 pilot debut arrived nearly a full month ahead of its original scheduled 2019 premiere date of January 16.
As buzz around the actress’ murder-flavored series skyrockets, you’re probably wondering what Syfy's Deadly Class is actually about — the synopsis of “hidden school trains teen hit people” only creates more questions — or who Condor is even playing. The images of the star’s tatted-up, bob-sporting new character, Saya Kuroki, are certainly a far cry from the scrunchie-loving, hallway-ready platform boot styles of Lara Jean Covey.
We watched Class’s big premiere, “Reagan Youth,” to investigate your new television obsession. Keep reading to learn everything you want to know about Condor’s killer new gig.
Why does Deadly Class look so very retro?
Because it’s a 1987, San Fransisco-set period piece executive produced by Marvel’s Anthony and Joe Russo. The Russo brothers love attention to detail. If they can direct Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, they can find the right leather jacket for a Syfy show.
So this takes place in the Marvel universe?
Nope, Deadly Class is based on a graphic novel series by longtime comic author Rick Remender. The series began in 2014.
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Last night, we wrapped shooting season 1 of @deadlyclasssyfy. It was the most chaotic, vibrant, sleek, undeniably magical experience of my life. Here I am watching my beautiful costars and friends act in their finale scenes... and I’m in awe of their talent and bravery. As I have been since the very first day I met them. I love you guys. We did it!!! || Premiering Jan. 16th @syfy... it’s going to be a rush ⚔️
Okay, what’s going on with the teen murderers?
Within the first 20 minutes of the pilot, Deadly Class’ audience surrogate, newbie would-be assassin Marcus Lopez (Benjamin Wadsworth), learns the origin story of King’s Dominion, a private school dedicated to crafting the minds of tomorrow’s leading killers. Apparent headmaster Master Lin (Doctor Strange right-hand man Benedict Wong), reveals his great-grandfather arrived in America expecting a land of milk and honey. He found “a nightmare of indentured servitude and abuse.”
In response, great-grandpappy Lin learned how to kill people. Namely, the powerful, who created the oppression he faced. Then Master Lin’s ancestor founded a school to teach other people how to do the same. That school has since grown into the King’s Dominion we see in Deadly Class, which boasts courses like AP Black Arts, Poison Lab, and Hand-To-Hand Combat.
All of these classes will hopefully create the perfect assassin, which explains Deadly Class' seriously dark attitudes. Lee Harvey Oswald is credited as a class of (19)57 grad.
So it’s a high school? A specialty murder high school?
Yes, and Marcus gets a very Mean Girls-esque explanation of his new school’s social hierarchy. Instead of sexually active band geeks and “desperate wannabes,” King’s Dominon has mob kids and federal agency legacies. The big men on campus are the children of Mexican cartel leaders, the legacies are the children of other criminal organizations or government officials, the preps are CIA and FBI children, and Condor’s Saya is a member of the Yakuza kid faction. Also there’s a bunch of Southern Nazi kids, and at least one of them has no problem licking her own blood off of her fingers.
If you can’t tell, most of the teens at King’s — save for a handful of “loser” non-legacies like Marcus and punk rocker Billy (Liam James) — were sent to the school because that’s where their parents went (and their parents before them, probably).
You mentioned Saya, what’s going on with her?
Billy describes Saya as “part valedictorian, part prom queen.” That is, if your high school’s queen bee rocked a fantastic lob and a full sleeve of intricate tattoos. Saya, a daughter of Japanese organized crime, is clearly a badass as she rides a motorcycle in “Reagan,” kills a panel of lights with the flick of a few ninja stars, and ends up kicking off a major mystery by the end of the pilot.
We see Saya enter Lin’s office, where he slides her a photo of Marcus with a token on top of his face. This signals Marcus is still part of Saya’s unknown “assignment.” We’ll likely learn what that assignment is during the rest of Deadly Class’ 10-episode first season.
Is Marcus special for some reason?
As we slowly learn throughout “Reagan,” Marcus hates the episode's titular president because he decreased funding for mental health facilities, which caused those facilities to release hundreds on mentally-ill individuals onto the streets. One of those patients killed Marcus' parents, leaving him at the mercy of the state. Marcus ended up at an abusive group home.
Tidbits throughout the premiere suggest Marcus burned the facility down and the police believe he also massacred many of his fellow wards. The latter murderous detail is what piqued King's Dominion's interest in the homeless teen in the first place. But, we're meant to wonder, is Marcus actually the killer everyone believes him to be?
Does anyone else’s photo have a token on their face?
Yes. The previously-mentioned Billy has been targeted, along with the surprisingly tender-hearted Willie Lewis (Luke Tennie), a Black student and suggested organized crime legacy, and an unknown Asian student.
Should I watch this show?
Trippy 1980s visuals, an aggressive distrust for The Man, random beautifully animated sections, and Lana Condor kicking butt on a motorcycle? No duh, man.
Then when will Deadly Class season 1 begin for-real?
Wednesday, January 16 with weekly episodes premiering after that. It's time to get weird.