Killjoys: A Walk Through Family Dynamics – Review, EP. 408

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With all that’s going on in the Killjoys realm, episode 408 gave us quite the deep dive into the Jaqobis family dynamics. And while there was plenty of humor in “It Takes A Pillage,” there was also more than enough somber revelations and personality discoveries to conjure up a serious dish of sympathy for Johnny and D’Avin. I mean, really, their dad — piece of work. And not a masterpiece, right?

D’Avin’s plan to take Jaq back to his home world seemed somewhat doomed from the start as the Hullen were hot on their trail. But things got a bucket-full of interesting when “Dad” turned up at the family bunker. And though off the sauce for some time, you got a good look at what ultimately drove Johnny and D’Avin away just as fast as they could.

I have to give kudos to Ron Lea for his turn at Marris Jaqobis, a man I found alternately funny and wholly unlikable. Now that’s a double-header that keeps on giving, doesn’t it? Marris was one of those characters that for all the talk about improving themselves or overcoming their demons, demonstrated an impressive lack of self-awareness.

KILLJOYS — “It Takes a Pillage” Episode 408 — Pictured: (l-r) Jaeden Noel as Jaq “The Kid”, Luke Macfarlane as D’Avin — (Photo by: Ian Watson/Killjoys IV Productions Limited/SYFY)

And as D’Avin and Jaq first step through the doors of the bunker, that lack of self-awareness and hints of narcissism started to kind of pop out. I have to note, that as a son who heard his father say “I did the best I could” on more than a few occasions, hearing Marris said it to D’Avin at the end set off some interesting emotions in me.

D’Avin’s reply of “No you didnt” truly resonated — as I”m sure it did with others of you out there faced with family issues like that. Just a good episode that tugged at my heartstrings a bit as many of us have lived that moment.

Fortunately, Marris’s redeeming quality was the ability to say the wrong thing at the right time, or simply demonstrated a dumb-luck kind of quality that made you think this guy could be something more than what he apparently has been to this point. But man, he wasn’t much of a listener, was he? And in the end, it cost him when he was captured.

This episode of Killjoys was pretty straightforward with two strory arcs going with a limited amount of characters involved. And it worked well. Kudos to writer Derek Robertson, who penned EP. 408 and delivered an episode rich in backstory, interesting family drama, and plenty to enjoy. Well done, Derek.

D’Avin, Johnny and, to a lesser extent, Dad, were trapped in the bunker by the Hullen, then dad gets captured because he acted like an arrogant, impulsive fool, then the inevitable prisoner exchange that featured a nice little bit of betrayal, escape, rescue and redemption. All-in-all, a good time was had by all.

KILLJOYS — “It Takes a Pillage” Episode 408 — Pictured: Jaeden Noel as Jaq “The Kid” — (Photo by: Ian Watson/Killjoys IV Productions Limited/SYFY)

A nice little twist with Johnny’s old home planet flame dropping into the fray. Boy, Johnny and D’Avin were certainly dealing with a truck-load of emotions as they took stumbling walks down memory lane on their home turf. Honestly, I had some suspicions about Johnny’s ex-flame early on and as it turned out, they were correct.

And in the end, she betrayed them to the Hullen — for money. Of course she did. She’s stuck on the rock and Johnny is out there doing what they had dreamed of doing together. Yeah, you could see there was something going on behind those pretty eyes almost from the get-go.

Yes, the Jaqobis homecoming was quite a little story arc, wasn’t it. Luke Macfarlane and Aaron Ashmore delivered just the right amount of angst, humor and confused annoyance during their interactions with Dad. It was funny, but also carried some emotional weight and I appreciated that.

As I said last week, this show, at its core, is really about this big, varied, and multi-dimensional family trying to keep their world safe from The Lady. In this episode, we got to see some of the ugliness that a family often has to overcome to be healthy, or simply find some degree of normalcy. I think it was well done from start to finish. The truth behind D’Avin’s leaving all those years ago was a great story. Again, tugged at the family heartstrings. And many of us have been there.

While the Jaqobis were around the campfire singing Kumbaya and battling the Hullen, Dutch and holographic Zeph were working on their own particular problem — keeping the compound healthy. And to do that, Dutch had to create enough G-force to separate the molecules in the compound so Zeph could do her sciency/nerdy/cool stuff to keep it from decaying.

KILLJOYS — “It Takes a Pillage” Episode 408 — Pictured: (l-r) Aaron Ashmore as John, Luke Macfarlane as D’Avin — (Photo by: Ian Watson/Killjoys IV Productions Limited/SYFY)

First off, I love me some Zeph. Secondly, I really love it when Zeph goes all mega-science on something’s molecular ass. And in this episode, I got all I could ever want. Was I satisfied after the fact? Oh, the afterglow was something very special.

I’ve noted this before, but the addition of Kelly McCormack’s Zeph has been a delight over these last two seasons. Sure, she doesn’t always get the killer dirty jokes or references (Zeph, you need to work on your innuendo game), but she’s somewhat new to the genre. And with Pip laid up, the amount of “thinking” she’s available to enjoy may be dulling her antennae a bit. Let’s hope that gets back on track soon.

What I enjoyed here was the interplay between Dutch and Zeph. McCormack just slays her role as Zeph and if I  haven’t said a lot about the work of Hannah John-Kamen from review to review, it’s likely because her work is always so on-point, so stellar that perhaps I’ve taken it for granted. Well, for the record, her run as Dutch and then Aneela is killer stuff. Again, the ability to play two characters so well, and imbue them with such different vibes, is the mark of a true craftsman. And her run with Zeph in this episode was good stuff.

Once again, as the story arc plays out, we see the familial ties that bind grow a little stronger. Dutch shows unbelievable trust and confidence in Zeph to “science the shit out of it,” and in return Zeph, even as a holographic image, finds a way to not only save the compound, but save Dutch as well.

It was creatively done and, when it was over, we got a nice little emotional look into two people who care about each other and those around them. The Zeph-Pip relationship (Did we settle on Zep or Piph?) matters more than we probably thought originally. That’s fun.

KILLJOYS — “It Takes a Pillage” Episode 408 — Pictured: Luke Macfarlane as D’Avin — (Photo by: Ian Watson/Killjoys IV Productions Limited/SYFY)

So, when it was over, the boys (and Jaq) were back aboard ship, Dutch had recovered from her G-force struggles, the compound was saved, and Dutch and D’Avin would seem to be mending their respective relationship fences. It was funny to see Jaq all excited about not only using a technique Dutch had taught him to get out of his binding, but also drop a Hullen in the process. The kid has some very interesting skills and that ability to foresee things is both interesting and a little scary.

But he sure was proud of his accomplishments and you couuld see Dutch was proud of him, too. Again, family stuff. To that end, D’Avin seems to be loosening the reins on his son as he ventures deeper into the bonds of parenthood. So the family is back aboard and headed back toward the rest of the family.

So, what do we make of Dutch’s final moments where the pain comes back and a strange symbol is apparently burned into her back shoulder? Obviously, Aneela is suffering greatly at the hands of The Lady in the green, But what does that symbol portend? Is the plasma pool (or as Dutch noted, an escape hatch) getting close to finality? Will The Lady actually breech the entrance and arrive in this world? And if so, what kind of chaos will ensue?

And what of Jaq, will he really make a run for Delle Seyah and what he perceives as protection? Still much to be examined and sussed out as we head toward the final two episodes of this season. Stay tuned and fly right.

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John Baker