‘Deadly Class’ 1×06 Review: “Stigmata Martyr” & Its Portrayal of Bipolar Disorder

Deadly Class’ “Stigmata Martyr” made me cry in a way that I haven’t in years.

Let me explain.

I’m bipolar. Newly diagnosed and on the way to finding the medicine that works for me and the fire that goes on in my mind every single damn day. It isn’t easy. Thought it would be in the beginning, that if I took the right pill, everything would be rainbows and butterflies. But it isn’t. It’s hard work, stumbling and getting back up over and over again, and facing the darkest parts of yourself to stop yourself from hurting others.

I saw all of this and more when I looked at Maria in “Stigmata Martyr.”

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Maria thought that her demon was Chico. That if she got rid of him, everything would fall into place and that there would be nothing grand to worry about from here on out. She was wrong. Chico was a demon of hers, one that she had slain, but her mind is still a beautifully complex kaleidoscope of bipolar needs that need to be addressed and taken care of with friendship, self care, and medicine.

It hurt to see Maria go off her meds. It hurt to see her highs, where nothing mattered but having a good time and dancing the night away. And we were all witness to her lows when she tried to kill Marcus, knowing that Saya would save him, because she was jealous. This back and forth with Maria in “Stigmata Martyr” was classic bipolar and even hours later I’m still shook AF because of how real it felt.

I’ve been where Maria is at. Before I started therapy and taking my meds, I had manic episodes that happened all the time. I had manic high episodes where everything seemed grand, wonderful, and like the world couldn’t stop me. And then I had those manic lows where self harm, drinking, crying, and believing the fire that was my brain was normal, especially with all the lies it told me about myself and those around me.

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Cuz your bipolar mind is a liar sometimes. It makes you doubt those around you, makes you feel like you are all alone in this great & crazy world, and leaves you feeling like there is no one you can depend on but yourself. And dear lord, does it hurt when you pull back and out of a manic episode and everything is clear for minutes, hours, or days.

That’s where Maria is right now. She’s gone off her meds and is being lied to by her mind. Her mind is telling her that Saya doesn’t love her, trust her, or actually have her back. Her mind is telling her that Marcus is a kind play thing that maybe she can mold into someone who feels what she feels. It’s not fair, and it’s all sorts of fucked up, but you can see it in the way she switches to forgiveness and bargaining after being caught trying to kill Marcus. Manipulation and bargaining at its finest!

All of this and more turned me into a weeping mess that had to take a break and watch One Day at a Time for my own mental health and sanity long after the screen went black on Deadly Class. Maria Gabriela de Faria absolutely killed it in “Stigmata Martyr.” The Deadly Class writers absolutely killed it in “Stigmata Martyr.” And creators Rick Remender and Miles Orion Feldsott killed it in “Stigmata Martyr.” EVERYONE ABSOLUTELY KILLED IT!

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Because of this I want to say thank you to everyone at Deadly Class. You have given me one of the strongest and most heartbreaking episodes focusing on mental health that I’ve ever seen in my life. I saw Maria and then saw myself in her in this beautifully crafted episode. And if this is any indication of how they deal with bipolar disorder, then I’m here for it.

Cuz it isn’t easy, it’s all sorts of fucked up, and I love that it’s taken such a different show to address something that has been plaguing my mind, body, and spirit for years.

I can’t wait for more.

Favorite Moment from Deadly Class’ “Stigmata Martyr”:

It’s these small funny moments in between all the calamity that I find comfort in.

https://jordanbakers.tumblr.com/post/182958676856/deadly-class-2019

Deadly Class airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on Syfy.

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