I’m so glad you’ve all finally seen Killjoys! It’s been like knowing what’s in all those wrapped-up Christmas presents and being threatened with having them returned if you tell anyone. There was honestly nothing in this pilot episode that disappointed – and from what I’ve seen, the upcoming episodes just keep getting better.
This show has everything I like – an interesting premise, likable actors, and layers and layers of plot and mystery. Who is Dutch? This will be a huge part of the ongoing plot. At the end of the episode, D’avin asks John,
“How’d you two meet anyway?”
“Dutch? She caught me stealing her ship and offered me a job.”
“It’s a hell of a ship. How’d she afford it?”
“I didn’t ask.”
“Where’s she from?”
“Not around here.”
“Where’d she train?”
“I don’t know. Got a point you want to make?”
The point is, we don’t know much about her. We do know that she was raised to be a killer by a mystery man named Khlyen (played by Rob Stewart, who also has a role in Dark Matter), and that he called her “Yalena.” And that now, she won’t take a Level 5 – kill – warrant. And that she’s been brought back into that world, with a new mystery red box left for her.
D’avin’s a mystery as well. John and Dutch both want to know why he’s on that slave freighter, fighting his way across the system. Who took the warrant – a kill warrant, level 5 – out on him? Why?
When D’avin starts asking Dutch about her background, she turns it around: “We’re sharing now? What do you see in those nightmares? And why does someone want you dead?” Good questions. It’s not all battle brain – D’avin has some serious issues in his past. And John, while he won’t admit it, is conflicted about bringing his brother into his great partnership with Dutch – he wants to help his brother, he wants to reestablish a relationship – but will this put him on the bottom of the trio? How long will D’avin stick around, and what nasty problems fly in his wake?
All kinds of new world plots and mysteries – who are the “scarback” monks? “Our pain is your redemption. Let us suffer for your sins.” And what’s their involvement with the unrest brewing on Westerly? As the monk tells Dutch and John, “War is what they call it when the big dogs win. I want a revolution.” We get some references to clashes between the classes; Dutch and John talk about the landowners having shares of “The Company” based on the size of their holdings (you’ll learn much more about this in the next few episodes!); and there are slave ships floating through space – all components of a major inequity between the rulers and the ruled. Where does the RAC fit in?
The RAC – there’s a good start to a premise. The RAC officer, Turin (Patrick Garrow) gives us the basics:
We are a single body with no allegiances to anyone but ourselves. We offer one simple service to our clients. We will cross contested jurisdictions for you. Find who or what you’re looking for and bring it back in the condition requested. Simple. Elegant. No one knows who hires us, but everyone knows they can trust us to get the job done. And we can guarantee that. Because our agents are guided by one principle, one code. The warrant is all.
In our conversation with the Killjoys, they talked about inhabiting a world with definite rules (as opposed to Firefly, which this show really brings to mind) – yes, the RAC has rules, and the Killjoys have to work within those rules, but they’ve already demonstrated a willingness to work around the rules as well. All isn’t strictly legal in their world, and that makes for some exciting possibilities. Just because they got D’avin’s warrant cancelled doesn’t mean that all is now happiness and light – someone still wants him dead. And yet, Dutch and John aren’t free agents – they have restrictions and boundaries that they truly believe in, and they aren’t trying to escape or get kicked out of the RAC. So one of the conflicts we’ll see this season will be how can they accomplish their personal goals and still adhere to the spirit, if not necessarily the letter, of their Killjoys oath?
The chemistry between the actors is obvious – D’avin and John have a lot of relationship repair to do, but they’re definitely brothers. And Dutch is scary good – at everything except managing her personal demon, Khlyen. Hannah John-Kamen, Aaron Ashmore and Luke Macfarlane talked a lot about the chemistry between them when we chatted earlier this week – with many shows, you don’t always see a gelled partnership at first, as the actors get to know each other and settle in to their roles, but the partnership between John and Dutch feels comfortable and established.
D’avin’s going to be a disruptive influence and will take some time to figure out his place with them, and it’ll be fun to find out how he unbalances Dutch and John. He’s already started, in the first episode – the looks between D’avin and Dutch are smoldering and appraising; and he really has no idea who or what John is at this point, after years apart, so he falls back into the default big brother mode – “Little brother, little gun,” he tells John. “That’s a thing?” John grumps back at him.
Friday is shaping up to be my favorite TV night this summer, with Dark Matter and Killjoys back to back – can’t ask for more fun than this! Let me know how you like both shows – I’ll be reviewing both, and Tom Gardiner will bring you any and all “extras” we can find for both.
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