You know what I like better than a good old cliffhanger of a season-finale? A season premiere that embraces that finale and drives you head first into a wild start to a new season. That’s what we got in the season 3 premiere of “Killjoys” on Syfy.
Episode 301, “Boondoggie,” picked right up where season two finished and delivered an episode that had a lot going on, but didn’t toss you from the saddle in the process. Dutch’s call for war on the Hullen at the end of last season gets ramped up in the season 3 opener, and the episode delivered more than a few twists and turns throughout the hour. I like that sci-fi has gotten a little grittier, a little darker without losing the vibe that makes it such a joyful genre to get wrapped up in. I think it makes those moments of humor that spring up in the good shows (and this is one of them) more effective.
As noted in my preview, I’m new to the “Killjoys” world, but after catching old episodes and the current screeners, I see plenty of what I currently value in sci-fi shows flowing nicely through this show. I’m suspecting that’s why the show has developed such a wonderfully enthusiastic following after two seasons.
I’m going to hit some of the high points I thought were interesting from here on, but certainly not going to give you every plot point that’s involved. I like to pick a few things out, talk about them and let you enjoy the whole episode with still enough mystery involved to make it enjoyable. So, I offer some “takes” on episode 301 of “Killjoys.”
First, let’s answer the question I’ve been posing on social media for a few weeks – Where’s Johnny? Well, turns out Johnny has been doing some wandering – and some recon work for Dutch – while on walkabout with Clara. When we find him, though, Clara is missing. Johnny is seeking information on his Hackmod companion when he runs into another Hackmod who lends him a life-saving hand…er, arm. Johnny, meet Ollie (Played wonderfully by Tommie Ambier-Pirie), who just happens to have Clara’s modified right arm attached to her. How and why she got it are a mystery and that means she’s going to join Johnny on his continuing quest for Clara’s whereabouts.
The two end up on Rat City in a Hackmod dive bar (Pub? Social House?) looking for info. You see, Johnny is faking a little Hackmod action and when he’s outed at the bar, Ollie suggests he enjoy a little modification to join the club. The fun here is he gets a cool little finger modification that gives him a laser – which he’s delighted with.
I enjoyed Ollie’s arrival on the scene as someone who eventually draws Johnny out emotionally a bit. He’s missing Dutch and while the two communicate at times, you can tell there’s something still gnawing at his insides. Ollie, the newcomer, probes a bit and gets Johnny to open up about people leaving him. And why finding Clara matters so much. For her part, Ollie admits she’s enjoying her time with Johnny because she has nowhere else to go.
It’s the “dark talk” that Ollie refers to, which is something we’ve all probably experienced in life. It was a good moment to sort of read into Johnny’s motivations moving forward and Ollie’s loneliness.
I like this pairing a lot. I think they’ve got a good vibe together (Not in a romantic way) and play off each other entertainingly. And of course, when things look dire for Ollie later in the episode, Johnny shows up out of nowhere to put one through the head of a potential killer….then discovers (thanks to his laser finger) that the Hullen are far closer than thought. There’s a nice twist on the old adage of being “two-faced” here.
But back to Dutch’s declared war on the Hullen and their seeming endgame to turn humanity into a parasitic puppet race.
She, D’Avin and the crew (Turin, Pree, Alvis, and Fancy) attack a Hullen “hive” only to find a single being there with a message – “Not all Hullen in the Quad were Hullen born.” I don’t know why, but it was kind of at this point that I felt this episode was really “on.” You get the sense that the Hullen issue is far more wide-ranging than perhaps we thought in season 2. There’s more going on here with the Hullen incursion and their desires for humans long-term than we may have thought – and that’s scary. Dutch would later admit to being terrified by it all.
Oh, the hive invasion arc had a lot of good one-liners, but my favorite was delivered by Pree, who while running in the snow toward the opening doors, delivered this gem, “This better be worth the chafing.” I could only nod in humorous agreement.
Turns out, Johnny isn’t the only other Killjoy out there that’s gone missing. An emergency meeting in Dutch’s RAC offers testament to this – 437 local agents have gone missing, without traces of foul play. In short, they are, like Johnny, considered AWOL. It is startling news and in its aftermath, the RAC is essentially put under the cloud of investigation. Fortunately, Dutch is having none of this nonsense. She has a war to organize and staff and that’s going to take up most of the rest of the episode. She, D’Avin and Turin have a sit down at the bar and plans are hatched as Dutch reaffirms her intent. “I am starting a war here, not a bloody book club for people who don’t read,” she declares. Oh yes, oh yes, preach it, Dutch.
To make that happen, we visit the Veluvian Steam Baths of Leith where Dutch kidnaps a young many named Pippen Foster. A friendly, talkative type, it turns out Foster is also a master black market operator with the nickname, “The Mouth.” He becomes key to getting this war started properly. Dutch and D’Avin use Foster’s skills and contacts to help drawn out the Hullens. I won’t give you all the plot details, because you need to enjoy the episode’s surprises on your own, but suffice it to say that after a little leg-work, a trip to the Westerley – Parallax Zone to meet with a delightful character called Sweet Janet, and an encounter with the border control folks over Foster’s alleged illegal dealings, we are set up for some good old fashioned interstellar bad-assery.
Why? Because our border control folks are more than they appear.
Now, I’ll confess something right here – there are few things I like better than a good old fashioned interrogation scene between two women who are cool as cucumbers in an ice bath while practically hissing threats through their teeth at each other. Dutch and her antagonistic jailer enjoy a passive-aggressive discussion about the object in Dutch’s possession at the time of her capture and the object lesson of a monster tale she’s sharing.
The buildup to what’s coming is glorious. And when D’Avin and the crew break out of their cell and begin cleaning out the facility, we find the truth – the trap to lure out a nest of Hullens has succeeded. The good guys win and Dutch gets to put the icing on the proverbial butt-kicking cake with a chair through the throat of her persecutor. I chuckled with contented satisfaction.
The upshot, of course, is that Dutch and her ambitions needed more plasma killer black goop, something they couldn’t manufacture without more Hullens. Well, that’s been taken care of now. Her end game is to recruit more RACs to the cause and drive the Hullens from the Quad.
There’s a snag, though. And you knew it was coming because, after all, it is only the first episode.
Turin calls D’Avin and Dutch to an isolated patch of snowy, icy ground to reveal something startling – there are 37 cloaked Hullen ships sitting reading and waiting. Now this is scary stuff and the goal becomes to discover what they are waiting for. But that isn’t the really interesting part. It’s what D’Avin does a little later.
I’m not going to tell you because you need to check it out. Killjoys season 3 is off and running — fast.
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