In the latest episode of Killjoys, , our heroes take on a new warrant to exchange hostages. When they drop onto the planet, things go spectacularly wrong when they’re shot down and their prisoner escapes.
Last week, I spoke about how this show is what we’ve been waiting for since Joss Whedon’s Firefly, which drew some mixed reactions. I don’t mean that this show is a literal copy of the former, but there’s some parallels: all human society, distressed worlds, a crew of people making their way in the universe, and so forth. It’s these elements that I think the SyFy channel has been missing, that sort of serialized pulp scifi action adventure. You could equally say that this archetype is what people have been waiting for since Andromeda or Farscape. Syfy is clearly taking notes from these shows, and they’re trying to pick out the high points that people really wanted. So far, the show is by the numbers, but hey, I like those numbers.
Yet, Killjoys isn’t any of those above-mentioned shows, even as it draws influences from them. This latest episode indicates that they’re willing to play with some pretty dark stories. The episode opens with them tracking down a salt smuggler. Witty banter ensues as Dutch beans the guy with her helmet and they drag him in.
In the aftermath of the first episode, Dutch, John and D’Avin have been cooped up on their ship, and they face a problem: D’Avin wants to go, while Dutch and John also don’t want him on the ship. The only thing holding them back from kicking him off the ship is that he doesn’t have papers to live anywhere in the Quad.
While they’re sorting this out, they get a new warrant. A mayor’s daughter, Veena, has been kidnapped by a local warlord in Sugar Point, Ryo. The Company hires out our Killjoy team to make a trade: Ryo’s brother Simon is a company prisoner, and they’ll exchange the pair.
Flying over Sugar Point, John paints a grim picture of what the Company is willing to do. The place was a mining town, and when they rose up demanding higher wages and better living conditions, they were bombed out. The only people living there are desperate scavengers, and as they come in to land, they’re shot down in the really bad part of town. As they try and get their bearings, Simon slips his bounds and escapes into the slum. With the ship damaged, John stays behind to repair their only ride out, while Dutch and Dav both head out after Simon. Catching up with him, he tells them that his homecoming isn’t going to be pleasant: when he’s handed over, Ryo will kill him.
Ryo’s soldiers catch up with them, and they’re captured. While she’s out, Dutch goes back to her past, which we saw a bit of last week: she’s part of some weird assassin’s order, and she’s supposed to kill an assigned target. When she awakens, they find that the scavengers have cut him open on a table near them - they’re looking for something. Slipping their own restrains, Dav tells them that they need to retreat: Dutch tells him that this isn’t a time to think like a soldier. They chase off the guards, and discover that Simon had something implanted - he was carrying something that Ryo wanted. While their warrant is dead, they still have something to trade.
Meanwhile, back at the ship, Lucy is losing power on the ship while scavengers are closing in on the ship. Lucy tells him that her power is draining faster because of the increased security protection on the ship. They come up with a desperate plan: With the scavengers still trying to get into their ship, John lets them slip in and gets out behind them, sealing them in the ship, while Lucy vents the ship’s atmosphere, giving him some more breathing room. He grabs their own power supply and waits.
Back in the field, Dutch and Dav make their way to Ryo’s headquarters, a rundown tower. They learn that they’re carrying missile codes, and Dav tells her that they really do need a soldier’s perspective to get their mission completed. While they talk, Dav lets slip that he’s looking for a doctor to help him, but doesn’t elaborate. He shoots at at several of the scavengers, telling her that it’s a message from Ryo. She confronts them, bringing out her own prisoner and demanding the exchange. The scavengers catch up, and provide them enough cover to escape with Veena.
John reenters the ship and finds the intruders dead on the floor from the lack of oxygen. He starts to boot up the ship again, only to find that one of the intruders had found a spacesuit. They fight, and John gets his ass handed to him, before frying him with a plasma torch, and heads off for his brother and captain.
Ryo catches up with them, and is about to kill them. She has a missile, and the codes that she’s got will allow her to strike back at the company. John appears and stops them from pulling the triggers, and they escape. As they do so, Dav mentions that he made some modifications to the launch codes. When Ryo’s men try and launch it, it explodes in the launcher.
As the episode wraps up, John confronts Dutch about the increased security on the ship, which she had put into place after finding a red box in the ship - a gift from her former mentor. They reconvene in the bar, with Dav now holding a temporary pass to get him off the ship. Dav’s still looking for a job, and he tells them that he’s willing to join the Killjoys force. Dutch sneaks out with the knife from the box, and puts it through a man’s hand, asking her why someone wants him dead. Cue credits.
Killjoys is exploring some darker territory than we’ve seen in some episodes, and they’re playing with the world little by little. The Company is clearly bad news for the people they rule over, and they’re willing to blow up entire cities to maintain their hold over them. The people living in Sugar Point are desperately trying to etch out a living, and it’s clear that they’re willing to go to their own extreme ends to make their points known. Clearly, there’s more that we’ll see about this.
When it comes to the characters, this was Dutch’s show, and we see a bit more into her past. Her former mentor is still around giving her orders, but it’s clear that she’s no longer with him, and it’ll be interesting to see where that goes. Dav also gets some nice airtime, and it’s clear that there’s considerable back story with him as well: why does he need a doctor? Clearly, his time as a soldier really affected him, and it’ll be interesting to see where that particular thread leads.
In the meantime, we’ll wait for next week to get some more questions, and hopefully a couple of answers. Despite the paint-by-numbers approach, this show is proving to be quite a bit of fun, and it’s starting to sink into its own skin a bit.