Though 'Killjoys' took a heavy swipe at our minds, its foot never lifted off the action gas-pedal—Dutch and Sabine's fight in the snow was excellently choreographed, and brutal in every way.
Tori Anderson's Sabine has been an absolute honour to watch.
Bellus is back! I think she knows more than she lets up. She must know more about Dutch's past.
The Dutch/Sabine sequence in the snow—was that Hannah John-Kamen's best performance yet?!
I'm still not terribly convinced by D'Avin's central role into this level six/Black Root mystery, for it could've been Dutch's solo story-line. We had season one to unravel his Winter Soldier story—a lot more screen-time could've gone to Dutch this season so far.
*Chants* More Fancy Lee!
We can always count on ‘Killjoys’ for a rollicking ride but in this season of clever world-building, ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ soared high and above as the pieces of the jigsaw slowly start slotting together.
With episode six leaving us on quite the cliff-hanger with Sabine (Tori Anderson) bleeding green plasma all over D’Avin (Luke MacFarlane), it provided the perfect set-up for this episode’s mystery. Long gone are the days of serialised mission-of-the-week, and rapidly we’re beginning to dig into Dutch’s (Hannah John-Kamen) history.
However, whilst Dutch clearly doesn’t care for Sabine, she’s essential to the plot. Consequentially, the level six and Black Root mystery expands. Meanwhile, Johnny (Aaron Ashmore) continues his rogue mission behind the team’s back. And it gives an excellent path back into the show for the no-nonsense Bellus (Nora Mclellan). His and Pawter’s (Sarah Power) struggle against the Company is aptly summed up by Pawter herself:
Why is trying to outsmart your family’s evil Mega Corp so hard? – Pawter
But the big story stayed with Dutch and Sabine. In holding her hostage, using her to find other level sixes and neuro-linking with D’Avin, we were treated to glimpses of answers. Certainly for Dutch and the mirror-box, which turned out to be crafted for her. By Khlyen (Rob Stewart).
It offers up answers and a whole new world of questions. What’s the deal with Dutch’s ‘twin’? What exactly are the Black Root? Was D’Avin right about Khlyen not necessarily being the enemy? And who is ‘Aneela’?
It’s messy heads galore.
Though ‘Killjoys’ is always reliably action-packed (see: Dutch and Sabine’s epic fight sequence in the snow) this episode messed with everyone’s heads. And perhaps that’s the most dangerous thing to do. In literally delving into D’Avin and Sabine’s minds as the Killjoys tried to investigate the past that provided a neurological top-layer. But if we dug deeper, we’d feel the inner turmoil Johnny is undergoing. We’d understand the distinguishable difference between D’Avin and Dutch’s outlook on Sabine—with D’Avin being far more sympathetic to a brain-washed soldier (sound familiar?) than Dutch was.
But most of all, and rightly so for an episode titled ‘Heart-Shaped Box’, this was heavily on Dutch and Khlyen. John-Kamen has always been brilliantly consistent yet somehow ups her intensity in this episode. In this episode she’s going through so much that she’s like a nuke-hit and we feel like we’re drawing closer and closer to ground-zero. Dutch may be trying to hunt for answers partially for D’Avin’s sake, but as the plot fizzles in this episode, it’s clearly not about him. It’s about Dutch. It always has been. There’ll be a dozen questions for her lying ahead. Who’s Aneela? Can she messily trust Khlyen? Will she find out about Johnny and Pawter? Has Khlyen always trained her to be a killer…to kill others, or to protect herself?
Johnny and Pawter’s honourable but hugely dangerous mission looks like it’ll get them both—possibly—killed.
Johnny and Pawter’s impossible mission was only made even more difficult with the hefty return of Pascal Langdale’s excellently slimy Jelco. Perhaps reeking a little of humiliation since Pawter dumped an explosive in his chest, he’s not going lightly on the Killjoys. Especially when Johnny’s caught breaking and entering into his office—and is imprisoned by the smarmy Company officer. It’s been a gripping B-storyline from the start, and we wonder how it’ll inevitably converge with Dutch’s. Pawter will most certainly be drawn deeply into this, but as we’d mentioned with the heavy mind-games before, this is big. This is Johnny going behind his oldest friend’s—his sister, really—back. How is that relationship going to nosedive, moving forward?
It may prove essential, too. We know the Company’s corrupt from the top, and somehow Khlyen and the Black Root are connected to that very top. For some reason, Khylen maybe rebelled against the Black Root—whoever they may be—and could they be the ones overseeing the Company’s tyrannical rampage? Whatever lies ahead for us, we know one thing for sure: it’ll hit us hard. And it’s fulfilling, knowing that this story-line could full-well be central to Dutch’s and Khlyen’s. But most of all, it keeps everyone huddled in the middle for the surely epic play-out.
“I’m not anybody’s puppet”: The exploration of humanity and what it means to be robbed of it.
‘Killjoys’ has toyed with the aspect of humanity a few times this season. For this episode, we know Sabine had no choice in being a level six once we got the neurological explanation behind the sixes’ emotional blank. She had no free will in reverting to her level six self—and no free will in being plucked of many to be one. Yet Sabine is so poignantly human in the glimpses we see of her before she ‘goes away’. The true her.
In previous episodes we had the robo-fied Clara (Steph Leonidas) whose escape from capture was simply because the Company didn’t class her as human due to her many mods. But from what we saw, Clara was every bit as human as the next. She felt. However, in standards set by top-gun humans themselves, she wasn’t regarded as one.
Lastly, we had yet another story in San Romwell (Keon Alexander). Unable to even dream of a normal life, Romwell’s existence confined him. He was an eternity masked behind a young, handsome face. And we can’t help but think that this’ll merge with Dutch’s bigger story. She’s always fought for her freedom; her choice. She’s always sought the answers herself. Her connection with Alvis (Morgan Kelly) is gorgeously human—and she’d round-house kick your head off before you took it from her.
But has Dutch always been in peril of that? In losing who she is, just as Sabine had? Romwell? Clara? And does her heart-shaped box and Aneela have anything to do with that threat?
Final Verdict: In conjunction with all the previous episodes—always enjoyable—’Killjoys’ absolutely bested itself with its usual witty and quick script, but it was the overwhelmingly satisfactory pay-off of plot threads conjoining that lifted this episode above the rest.
Perhaps it’s Michelle Lovretta’s enthralling, joyous script that entrances us so. Every episode of ‘Killjoys’ leaves us with a grin but Lovretta’s world-building and the mounting plot this season has been excellent to watch unfold. It’s still incredulously fun. It’s still fabulously ‘Killjoys’. But we’ve been boosted by the over-arching plot this season, and we cannot wait for everything to spew out in typical ‘Killjoys’, messy, engrossing, whizzing way.
April Mullen’s direction—especially in the opening sequence with Dutch and Alvis—was smooth and slick. Not once did ‘Killjoys’ feel cheap or bumpy. If anything, this season’s graphics and cinematography has rocketed up (its use of music is grand as ever). But this episode is surely the start of a huge and stunning climax that must guarantee ‘Killjoys’ a season three. We simply cannot leave this world behind. Surely, neither can Syfy and Space.
Questions and Comments:
- Did anyone get a closer look at all the belongings within the box Khlyen had kept for Dutch? Were there any further clues?
- Is Aneela Dutch’s sinister twin she keeps seeing? Or is Dutch glitching somewhat? Will we find out who—or what—Dutch may be?
- And has Khlyen prepared Dutch for this all along, with this heart-shaped box? We’ve always seen Khlyen as Dutch’s cool, calculated tutor—but all along, has he been trying to protect her?
- Johnny and Pawter are in such a deep mess.
- What a welcome return for Jelco, though! Alright, I didn’t necessarily want to see him being his slappable self, but Pascal Langdale’s strutting portrayal hooks us like Jakk.
- Additionally, a standing ovation for Tori Anderson’s Sabine. Absolutely stunning.
- Any theories?
- The green plasma? A literal well of the green goo? Something to do with the Scarbacks? Simply a place?
Catch KILLJOYS on Space and Syfy at 9l8c.
Killjoys Review [2×07] “Heart-Shaped Box”