Sitting in the emotional aftermath of the final episode of Killjoys, I was struck by how powerfully one aspect of this show hit me early on, then grew as the series progressed. It’s the reason that the Khylen voice-over in the final episode’s opening moments really resonated with me. I’d been thinking those same thoughts the past two seasons. For me, this show was, and has always been, about family.
Yes, yes, there’s adventure, action, shooting, stabbing, alien ill-intent and all that, but when I boil down my feelings about Killjoys, it keeps coming back to family. The family you’re born into, the family you create, the family you need, the family that drives you crazy, and the unlikely places and faces that family develops from. KIlljoys, to me, is all about the power that family, a family that loves and cares about each other, no matter what odd origins it may spring from, has to make things right – or save the Quad.
And while Killjoys may be terrific sci-fi that’s brimming with intriguing characters and interesting story arcs, the themes of belonging, acceptance, tolerance, love, sacrifice, devotion, and togetherness are as relevant today – in the here and now of today’s climate – as they are in the imagination of the show’s creator, writers, actors, set designers, wardrobe folks and more. Yeah, for me, Killjoys is all about the importance of finding a family that will not only fight for you, but die for you, no matter how much you may not have in common.
And in the end, that sense of family amongst this diverse and unlikely collection of people proved lethal to an alien life form that had ill-intentions toward the Quad.
This wonderful, unique, inclusive creation that Michelle Lovretta dreamed of, brought to the screen, and nurtured into this powerful force, as well as the writing and acting (and other aspects of the show), screams at the top of its lungs – sometimes family is going to be where you find (or create) it. And it is a powerful force. By series end, our diverse collection of folks formed family and won the decisive battle, though as we see there are still skirmishes to be be had as the hatchlings have scattered.
But that’s my take. When the smoke cleared and the day was won, Killjoys is family. And for all that got us to this point, this wonderful, exciting, fulfilling point, I’m grateful for that. It’s a message that we keep needing to hear. While my psyche aches at the thought this show is done. I’m buoyed by a hopefulness that the many lessons that came across the screen for five seasons are worth implementing in the fandom’s hearts and minds. And with that, they grow. Maybe that will be Killjoys lasting legacy?
In the end, the episode titled “Last Dance” was a bit of an outlier on some levels in that this grand plan that Dutch and the boys came up with sort of came together pretty well and worked. I mean, usually their plans go through 3-4 amendments, but not so here. They used Khlyen as bait to lure The Lady to a desolate stretch of some God-forsaken moon or planet and managed to trap her in the cube. There were fakes and feints going on, enough to lure The Lady and her armada into different areas, thereby exposing the “mother ship” to the wily machinations of a small band of “body killers.”
While Khlyen and Dutch (Once again, Dutch is willing to sacrifice herself in pursuit of success) are being forced into a deadly dance, which The Lady seemed to take a perverse joy in, Johnny, D’Avin, and the quite resourceful Jaq (Dude, make sure the guard is dead before you turn your back. Oh, hold it, you’re a quick healer. Nevermind), with the help of Lucy and Zeph, find the chamber that holds The Lady’s origin body. Some quick thinking and some intuition by Jaq, along with a pissed off Aneela dropping by for some healthy butt-kicking, leave The Lady flash frozen, then barbecued in her own juices. There was animosity enough for everyone.
As that happens, The Lady in the cube loses that connection and suddenly becomes the young girl she was originally, destined to be trapped in The Cube for the foreseeable future. Once again, the plan was elaborate, and included Aneela and Delle Seyah taking control of Q’Resh (bow to your queens. Gads, Delle Seyah is so badass delightful) and their weapons systems for another diversionary fight. As I said, a lot going on here with the sole purpose of getting The Lady out of the ship so our hit squad can kill The Lady’s original body. And it freaking worked. Do you like her dress now?
Look, if you’ve seen the episode you know there’s just too many good moments, great lines, and interesting arcs to cover all of it. As a final episode for a series, it’s both emotional and thrilling, and I thought wrapped things up pretty darn well. You can tell that there was plenty of thought and planning that went into this thing and the work of all involved was on-point from start to finish.
With that, I’m not going to rehash everything here, but instead touch on some moments of the finale that struck me as interesting. The first is the dance scene on the Herk Supermax. You know, the good guys have won and “there’s a party going on right here, a celebration to last throughout the year” (That’s right, a Kool and the Gang reference). And while everyone is making merry with the Denny Terio dance moves, did anyone notice Fancy Lee’s ‘get down?’ Because he doesn’t get down.
You have this room full of dancing folks and in the middle is Fancy whose dance moves range somewhere between the rusty robot and the Fonzie. He’s groovin’, but hardly movin.’ For some reason that just struck me as hilarious and so very Fancy Lee – I loved it. A man who walks (and cooks and reads) to his own beat. And that includes the statue in the midst of flailing arms and hips. So very cool.
“Yeah, I got my space right here and I’m gonna dance by not dancing…because I’m Fancy Lee and that’s how I roll.” I don’t know, a small moment that every time I see it brings a chuckle. Sometimes, you’re just THAT cool. And it appears Fancy Lee is. Sean Baek, you gave us a Fancy Lee that’s something quite special. Well done, sir.
I have enjoyed the work of Alanna Bale as The Lady since her inception. The little twitches, the slow descent into humanity madness, the affection building for Khlyen, and then to see her defeated and return to the young girl that she was originally (with still a hint of The Lady rumbling around inside of her). I thought she took a role that could have been cookie-cutter alien body snatcher and made it something of depth and fuzzy edges. I’ve seen some negative comments about the character on social media and I just don’t buy it. I thought she was a great addition and did great work. Now she’s trapped in the cube…with a rag doll, courtesy of Dutch.
Speaking of Dutch, I want to say again how impressed I am by the work of Hannah John-Kamen in her dual roles of Dutch and Aneela. She gave us two distinct and interesting characters with only the hints of sameness that were needed. It was brilliant work by an actor who really has the chops to deliver it. I particularly enjoyed seeing Aneela and Delle Seyah. HJK and Mayko Nguyen are wonderfully fun together in a kickass, queen bitch, “I’ll just dominate you now” kind of way. Their scene on Q’Resh where they ascended to the throne was a masterpiece of badassery.
It reminded me of the scene in Tombstone where Kurt Russell emasculates an obnoxious Billy Bob Thornton at the faro table. Delle Seyah and Aneela just owned their snotty contemporaries and it was marvelous. And again, in the theme of family, here’s two people that could easily have been alone, but in each other they found a connection and love that empowered them both. And now that they are sharing “the green,” they get to rule for a while. Can you imagine?
Again, that family theme of love and devotion permeates this episode, but is something that has been building for quite some time. Zeph discovers an alive Pip in a freaky pod and in her terror at losing him again, it’s Pip who reminds her that it’s the time they have together that matters, not the time they might lose. Johnny is going on walkabout after a little hatchling hunt on a planet, and it’s a great example that sometimes love means letting those you love go and find their own answers.
Dutch and D’Avin will let Johnny step onto the trail of self-discovery and worry about him and await his return (Lucy will no doubt make sure of that) while they work through their own relationship that now has both admitting their love for each other.
From the crustiness of Turin to the joy of life that is Pree, the innocent simpleness of Gared, and the unique belonging of Lucy (Tamsen McDonough, you are marvelous), this large, weird, fun family demonstrated grew and morphed and demonstrated so eloquently (well, not without some bitching and moaning) that the sum of the whole is greater than the individual parts. And let’s face it, Pree as the Governor of Westerly is a pretty interesting development. I keep seeing these social media posts for spin-off series and I think that speaks so well of the writing, acting and vision of this show that as it ends we want to see more, learn more, be part of it more.
I could extoll the joys of Thom Allison’s Pree for many a moon, but what’s there left to say except he etched this character indelibly on our collective souls. What a marvelous talent to share with us, Thom. Many thanks.
Killjoys has put its stamp on the fandom’s heart and soul and that’s a testament to the men and women who delivered this to us. Thank you, Michelle Lovretta for imagining the many possibilities of this world, and the lessons it could teach us for the here and now. You, the cast and crew matter. Killjoys matters and I can give no higher compliment to a creation such as this.
So, there’s a new RAC mission, there are hatchlings to hunt down and kill, a world to rebuild, relationships to figure out and a family that knows its members will answer the call if needed. So many have come so far in such a short amount of time. But what a fun ride watching it all come together, eh?
The work of Aaron Ashmore, Tamsen McDonough, Luke McFarlane, Rob Stewart, Patrick Garrow, Gavin Fox and a host of others was superlative. There’s just so much to miss about this show, and the characters that were singular in their ability to draw us in and make us love them. All-in-all, as we bid Killjoys goodbye, we leave things in what we wouldn’t describe as a perfect state, but the building blocks of something new in the Quad have been laid. Now it’s up to the family, this strange collection of unique characters, to build upon it. And that’s a good way to bid Killjoys a fond farewell. The family is all!
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