At long last, Team Awesome Force is back, along with a plethora of our favorites in the Killjoys realm, are back. The return of Killjoys for its fifth and final season began with an episode titled “Run Yala, Run,” and by the end that’s just what’s on the menu for our heroine. But the return of our wonderful band of misfits is a bittersweet moment to be sure. The show we love is back at last, but we already know that this is the final swing. Killjoys will be no more in 10 episodes and I, like many of you, find that a sobering thought.
However, if we’re gonna go out, let’s go out with some fury and fun. And judging by the going’s on in Episode 501, the ride is going to be wild, indeed. I’m up for it, how about you? Good, then we’ll enjoy this little trek together and when it’s over, we’ll sit back and utter these words, “What the hells, that was awesome.”
So, here’s your SPOILER ALERT. If you haven’t seen this episode and you fear the SPOILER, slowly back away from the screen. However, if SPOILERS don’t bother you in the least, or you’ve seen the episode, feel free to press on. We’ll talk Killjoys 501.
The Lady made it out and the reality for everyone on Westerley is changed dramatically. There’s the “Factory,” which seems to be the centerpiece of the local work world (Note the green smoke spewing from its stacks), and just about everyone has taken on a new role, a new life, within the lady’s mass brainwash. A quick review: Dutch is now called Yala and is married to Johnny and they own the bar.
Their son is Jaq, who has a warrant out for him that is being served by D’Avin, who interestingly enough is the only one with the same job. Zeph is a street waif who retains her brilliance, though she thinks she’s nuts. Gared has a girlfriend, but you can tell he and Pree have something going on. Oh, as for Pree, he’s the leader of the local RAC and he looks roguishly rough and rugged with the shock of black hair and scruffy beard.
Let me say this, quickly. From blonde-headed warlord to balded singing barkeep to raven-tressed RAC overseer, Thom Allison has delivered a Pree that is the best kind of chameleon. I mean, he looks “good” all the damn time. And in Ep. 501, we once again see him in a different light. He doesn’t just own this new look, he doesn’t just kill the look, he dominates this new look. He’s a “Look Dominator.” Yeah, I coined that phrase, feel free to use it. Pree (through Allison) is a “look dominator.” Whew, I feel better now. Onward!
I love the little clues that are sprinkled throughout the episode, mainly having to do with the decon showers and the rain that arrives at the same time twice a day. There’s the constant reminder to shower through speakers in Old Town and those rain showers going on, and the bracelets that supposedly show when you’ve been contaminated. So what the hell is going on with all this and how are our heroes going to rediscover reality?
That’s where we find ourselves early on as Johnny and Yala (Dutch) struggle with a marriage that saw Jaq “taken away.” They are living their lives – Johnny helping at the bar and working at the factory, Dutch manning the bar – when D’Avin shows up looking for Jaq, who has reportedly run away from his boarding school. D’Avin, of course, is being used by The Lady to hunt down Jaq. But that starts the ball rolling.
A slight finger touch between Yala and D’Avin during a fact-finding retinal scan produces a flashback, a hot and naughty flashback with D’Avin. A later kiss with Johnny produces another, less positive one. Then, a Khlyen box with a piece of Dutch’s past finally gets the memory-recall bug rolling.
Her bedroom door mysteriously locked, Yala cannot get to the Decon shower when the bracelet goes off. Panic ensues and then – she’s out. Eventually, we learn the decon bracelets are really a device to measure anxiety levels and push people back into the showers. Why? Because they are part of the brainwashing mechanism The Lady has in place (Thank you, Zeph). Yala can’t get to one and she eventually becomes Dutch once again.
That’s where this episode really starts to get fired up. Dutch knows she’s now awake, but doesn’t know much else except that they lost the last battle with The Lady. She spots Zeph (Remember this phrase, “Stinky Raincoat”) and chases her down. While Zeph is under the influence, some of her natural tendencies continue to show through and she seems to realize that this version of Yala, this Dutch version, is the one she should trust. Also, Zeph and Dutch have some great lines together. Really funny (Booty call, anyone?).
Personally, I’ve adored the Zeph character since she entered the show and I think that Kelly McCormack really has this character locked down – oddness and all. The fact she’s developed her little hideout, her lair, her bat cave, in the midst of The Lady’s deception is incredible. She’s part of what’s happening, but she’s also got this part of her that needs explanations. Why is the oxygen level dropping, the climate changing — why? The reason, we find out, is sinister and lethal.
So we’ve got Dutch back in the game, Zeph in the game but not sure what the game is, and the troika of Dutch, D’Avin and Johnny back together in this odd sort of dysfunctional three amigos kind of way. And the barbs fly fast and furious. It’s fun.
They are going after Jaq and find out where he might be through a Delle Seyah Kendry connection. What we soon discover is that Delle Seyah and Jaq have been monitoring Westerley themselves. They are not affected by The Lady’s mind-control and are planning and plotting their own little rebellion. Both are wonderfully cool as they go about hijacking information (Jaq) and putting guards out of commission (Delle Seyah).
And let’s face it, as much as we love Pree rocking the new looks, Delle Seyah’s new look was dynamite stuff. And who knew she was such a badass killer, butt-kicker, dead-pan comedic talent? Mayko Nguyen has been great as Delle Seyah throughout the series, but her entrance and how she so coolly went about things in this episode were a load of fun. And the new all-black Hunger Games outfit is on-point.
When she calmly zaps D’Avin and doesn’t break stride as she looks down at him on the floor and says “co-parenting is hard,” it just slayed me. I love the new look, the new Delle Seyah and will be curious to see what she and Jaq are up to – note the Dutch fingerprints and DNA acquisition. Interesting, that. Perhaps we haven’t seen the last of Aneela?
While Jaq gets away safely, it’s only a matter of time before Dutch decides she needs to wake up more people. She and Zeph (“I just realized I’m really not crazy”) need allies and the three most likely recruits are D’Avin, Johnny and Pree. She calls them to the bar and tries to shock their system with memories of the past – for Pree it’s a vid of him singing, for Johnny it’s the wedding ring from his one-day marriage to Pawter, for D’Avin it’s his dog tags and the story of killing his men – which seems to work. But it doesn’t.
Why? Because even as Dutch tries to shock the boys back to their true reality, Zeph is struck by the need for a “fail safe.” Every intelligent system needs a fail safe, she says and then realizes what The Lady’s is – the rain. It’s the reinforcer of the lie that falls like clockwork twice a day – literal brainwashing, as it were.
Unfortunately, Zeph’s insight is a little too late as the boys, bracelets going off, have walked out into a rain shower. And when it’s over, Pree and D’Avin turn on Dutch with guns drawn. Fortunately, Zeph does a little “late but still effective” maneuver with a flash-bang grenade of some type and is able to get away with Dutch. The Lady knows Dutch is awake and she’s changed the game. Everyone in Old Town is now hunting Dutch (and Zeph). It would appear that waking folks up is going to be harder than anticipated.
It’s interesting to see Zeph make that connection between the rain and the brainwashing just as D’Avin, Johnny and Pree step into the rain. You feel that there’s something coming over them, so there’s a bit of tenseness there. I could tell even as Dutch was pleading with them to awaken, that this wasn’t going to end well. It certainly did not. And now the hunt is on.
You know, there are so many wonderful dynamics in this show – the brothers, Dutch and the brothers, Delle Seyah and Dutch, and certainly Zeph and Dutch. Obviously Dutch feels pain for what happened with Pippin, something I’m sure will be part of Zeph’s return to normalcy down the road, but in Episode 501, there was just this wonderful, caring, needing vibe between the two.
And as a whole, there were simply too many great lines of dialog to try and write down. The writing, as always, is wonderfully paced, it’s entertaining and funny without losing the intensity and brevity of the situation. Killjoys Writers Room, the actors, showrunner and all opened Season 5 with an episode loaded with information and good stuff. I do enjoy the alternate reality concept and how they all fit, however strangely, into the new roles and relationships while retaining elements of the old. Good fun.
Dutch and Zeph, now on the run, get in an alley firefight and Zeph is wounded in the abdomen. Somehow (don’t you love TV) Dutch gets Zeph to the underground lair and lays her out on a table. The wound looks nasty and since there’s now no one Dutch can trust, we know where this is headed, right? Dutch will soon become Dr. Dutch and go in for some bloody healing. I’m sure Zeph will guide her, but that should make for some interesting banter.
Episode 501 culminates with Khlyen in chains aboard The Lady’s ship. While The Lady assured Khlyen there’s nowhere for Dutch to run and wonders how Dutch was able to wake up, Khlyen assures her that underestimating his “girls” is folly and eventually utters the episodes title when he quietly says “Run Yala, Run.”
Some things to note here are that he is still alive and obviously found a way to get that box to Dutch – the one that keyed her anxiety and ultimately freed her from The Lady’s mind control. Additionally, he senses fear in The Lady, which seems exactly the reaction he was looking for. Additionally, he says “girls” and I’m pretty darn sure that inference means Aneela may not be as “gone” as we might suppose.
I thought Episode 501 was a really good springboard into this, the final season of Killjoys. I thought there was a ton of information given, the plot has been kicked off nicely, and now the race is one to “wake up” the masses and begin the final showdown with The Lady. Honestly, I couldn’t quite believe how much went on in just under an hour. So much to process, so much to look forward to, so many great lines of dialog.
And when we talk terra-forming Westerley, my guess is that tentacled creature we got a quick look at is a big part of that. If the terra-forming isn’t for the humans, then for whom? Are those creatures children of The Lady or her people, perhaps? Time is ticking down, it would seem.
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