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Episode Recap: Snake Pit
Marcus navigates a prank war between the Rats and Legacies, as everyone prepares for the big dance.
Marcus has a gift for making friends, and a gift for making enemies. With the Legacy
dance on the horizon, it’ll be hard to tell which is which.
The week leading up to the dance is the traditional time of year for Legacy kids - the
Soto Vatos, Kuroki Syndicate, Dixie Mob, etc. – to haze the Rats. Ever since Marcus
“finished” Willie’s “homework” for him, and Willie confessed to being a pacifist, the two
have been close. But when Marcus approaches Willie in the hall in front of his clique,
the encounter gets tense, quick. Marcus knows it’s part of the facade Willie is
cultivating, but he doesn’t care. He won’t stand fair-weather friends, and lets Willie
Marcus had come to tell Willie that something was up with Professor Poison, aka
Jurgen, who warned Marcus to keep his head down and pick his battles - advice which Marcus takes after the Legacies serve rat stew to the Rats. Lex and Billy fight back, but Marcus stays away from the battlefield.
Viktor, a Legacy kid himself, invites Petra to the dance, assuring her that she’ll be under his protection since they hooked up at Shabnam's party last week. And besides, as a Soviet and Communist, he maintains that class doesn’t matter to him. At first she rebuffs him, but when Brandy, queen of the neo-Nazi Southern belles, threatens violence if Petra shows her face at the dance, she has no choice but to piss the racist off and accept Viktor’s invitation.
Saya has no desire to go to the dance even though she’s “allowed” to, but Maria
convinces her to have a girl's night. Really, Maria needs a night away from Chico, who
scared the skin off her on their date: a romantic dinner followed by a guy’s head getting blown off inches away from her. She desperately wants to leave the relationship, but she’s too afraid to say or do anything about it.
While the students vie for social status and dodge very real threats of violence, Jurgen
hands his resignation to Master Lin. Meeting Marcus, and seeing how unfairly the
school treats Rats, reminds him of why he wanted to tilt the balance of global power and how badly he’s failed to do so.
Lin warns him that his resignation amounts to a suicide note, given the nature of his
employer and the rules that govern the school. He tries to convince his longtime friend
to stay, but Jurgen is steadfast. After a visit to a mysterious woman surrounded by
naked devotees propping up bookshelves and desks with their stone-still bodies, Lin is
reminded that he has no choice but to kill Jurgen himself.
Back in his office, he invites Jurgen to share a glass of wine, but the poison master’s
trained nose sniffs out a toxin and he drops the glass. This leaves Lin no choice but to
take Jurgen down with his bare hands. The two are evenly matched, but Lin lands
Jurgen on his back and strangles him. Just as Jurgen draws his final breath, Lin
releases his friend and warns him that the shadow assassins of King's Dominion will
find him - so he’d better run fast and far.
At the dance, Chico makes a surprise visit to Saya and Maria, neither being one drop
happy that he did so. He tries to drive a wedge between the friends, but his attempt
backfires, and the girls leave the auditorium to go find some off-campus adventures.
Petra, who slowly allowed herself to enjoy being on a date and learning how the
“normal” half lives, giddily follows Viktor to a private spot. As soon as they’re out of sight of any authority figures, however, the Dixie Mob show up and Viktor turns coat, siding with the Legacy crew. The dumb belles wrap Petra in a garish yellow dress, slap
clownish makeup on her, throw a blonde wig on her head and parade her in front of the
whole school as “Miss Rat 1987”. The humiliation sends her running from the dance to
the hideout on the roof where the rest of her Rat crew is commiserating.
Seeing the misery in Petra’s face, Marcus knows this is a battle he has to pick. He and
the Rats grab some hall monitor-type robes, the dart guns from a class earlier that
week, and some of the poison from another class. As they slip into the dance, they take out the Legacies one by one - not killing them, mind you: just injecting them with a
substance that makes them hallucinate their greatest fear. Petra makes a point of
tagging Brandy herself.
Everything is going swimmingly until Chico spots Marcus under the brown hood of the
robe and starts to smash his face in. Marcus is caught unprepared and will surely go
under - until Willie shows up and defends Marcus. Chico is about to make light of the
secret pacifist, but Master Lin catches them and drops Chico where he stands. Later,
Willie and Marcus play video games, like friends do - and the right words are said to
heal their friendship.
Although Petra is grateful for her true friends, she finds herself wandering back to the
auditorium to take in one last breath of normalcy. Billy, despite the rejection of last week and the humiliation of this one, still really cares for Petra and seeks her out. He turns on a slow, romantic song, and the two dance cheek to cheek in the empty hall.
There’s justice in that wing of King's. But on another part of campus, a classmate of
Saya’s returns to his dorm room to find a box full of cash, and a picture of Saya at the