Killjoys started out as a action packed, pretty much straight forward, space opera with a hint of back story and mystery. As the season progresses, the action has not been dialed down but the backstory has shifted into high gear and moved into first place as main motivator for the show’s storyline. Khylen who remained in the shadows, emerged to become an issue and this episode reveals that Dutch’s former tutor and protector is either better than she has given him credit for, or worse.
By the end of the episode the killjoys learn that nothing is what it seems. Khylen is not the “big bad” he first appeared to be, the killjoy trio is disbanded, RAC may be a cover for something else, D’Avin and Johnny get separated from Dutch, and there may really be a level six.
While Enemy Khylen was intense, thrilling and had one great reveal, there were several stand out moments, lines of snappy clever dialogue and a reference to the nanites/torture episode and “red 17.” These back references, there are more than just red 17, show that Khylen has been doing a lot of behind the scene orchestrating. When Dutch asks him why he suddenly showed up after so many years, he responds that it was her taking of a level five warrant, a kill warrant.
“You proved you were done running,” he says. For those who can remember, the level five was taken in episode one so Dutch could save D’Avin, Johnny’s brother who had a kill order placed on him. The first in a, presumably, long line of coincidences (not) that run underneath the main storyline of each episode. The reference to red 17, which should have shocked us as much as it did D’Av, (unless the rest of the viewing audience are much cleverer than I am) was the piece of information that fired off an epiphany.
Once again, looking back at a previous episode A Glitch in the System, the reference to a seemingly unconnected bit of information appears to have much significance. Turin (Patrick Garrow) interrogates D’Avin and asks about red 17. The older Jacobi is surprised and then suspicious. How does Turin know about what was written on the prison ship’s wall in red?
*Sidenote* What was the significance of Dutch’s naming Lucy’s program Freebird? The first thing that springs to mind is the epic ending to Rob Zombies House of a 1000 Corpses sequel, The Devil’s Rejects. The 2005 horror film has the trio, Baby, Otis and Captain Spaulding drive to their deaths with the Lynyrd Skynyrd anthem playing majestically as backdrop. The killjoys are a trio…is this a “nudge nudge, wink wink homage to Zombie’s film and its ending? A hidden message? Answers, not on a postcard please, but in the comment section below.
Hidden messages, or homages, aside despite the intense reveals this week, i.e. that seemingly everything that has happened thus far has somehow been orchestrated by Khylen, the series’ humor continues to impress.
From the very first episode, Johnny Jacobi has been a smart-arse who will quip at the drop of a hat. “Coming in here took big balls,” says a villain at the start of episode one, “There is some chaffing,” replies Johnny. Although things were a bit tense in Enemy Khylen, both Johnny and D’Av took some time to compete for the “best line” award of the episode.
D’Av’s Groucho Marx-ish quip to Turner who wants answers from the latest addition to, and now divorced member of, Dutch’s team at the end of their Q&A session:
“You got nothing,” says D’Av. “I got a stick that goes zap,” Turin replies. “Yeah and a fine set of hair. After you’ve just got rumors and theories. Sad.”
Johnny’s line after copying Khylen’s voice “I am Khylen the evil a**clown.” The magic of this line has to do with the a**clown finish. Not evil a** clown, but a**clown… his variation of a**hat and it works beautifully. (For those who do not get the difference, meet me at the comment section, I will explain further.)
D’Avin does get more than his fair share of chuckle worthy lines though. Earlier, at Pree’s establishment, he tells Alvis (Morgan Kelly) during their little conversation about Johnny, what he really thinks of the monk. “We [Johnny and Alvis] spent some time together in the Black Rain. He, uh, seemed into sacrifice,” Alvis says. D’Av looks at Alvis and is a little lost for words. “You’re a creepy little dude,” D’Av finally says. “Thank you,” Alvis whispers.
Plot lines this week deal with who Khylen really is, or at least what he claims to be, and the resistance that Alvis and his people are helping along. The two merge at one point, D’Av keeps the “Little Commander” a targeted pulse grenade that provides further comic relief later in RAC headquarters.
D’Av sets the “bomb” off and lays it on the floor. Dutch and Johnny have a little freak out and all three move away from the device, fingers in ears. The pulse grenade flashes blue and makes a clicking noise. “Anyone else think that would be cooler,” asks D’Av. Nice touch of humor before the climatic second half of the show.
The last of the show deals with Dutch heading up to level 71…The place where Khylen, as a level six (he says) hangs out. With the show’s reference to red 17, it is obvious that Khylen is a part of all this. 17 is 71 backwards and vice versa. The connection is there for all to see and it seems that his “surrogate” father is a bit like “that man behind the curtain” in The Wizard of Oz. Not just smoke and mirrors but someone who really is the” great and terrible Oz.”
He tells Dutch, as he puts her in the escape pod, that their team are still together, “you’ll need each other for what is coming up,” he says.
Here is that bad undercurrent that has been running underneath the good old fashioned action oriented show from day one. Something pretty awful is coming to Weatherly. By the end of the episode, it seems as though it has already arrived.
Pree is turning out to be a lot more than the guy who pours the drinks. He tries to help Alvis and this is just the latest task this bartender sets himself. What will he do next to help the killjoys? Stay tuned to see, as his role in the show’s verse gets bigger.
Despite Pree’s best efforts, Alvis is beaten in the street. Turin, who managed to survive having a sword run through his stomach manages to put on a good show, accusing Khylen of doing something naughty up there in level 71.
“I know who you are,” he says to Khylen, “I know what you do up there.”
“Really,” replies Khylen as he bends down, grabs Turin’s collar and drags him across the floor,
“Let’s chat about that, shall we?” Cue an involuntary shudder and the feeling that Turin will not survive his second encounter with Khylen.
The feeling at the end of Killjoys is a mixed one of relief; it really does look like the trio are back together, and trepidation. Khylen may not be what Dutch thought he was but this is one dangerous individual with enormous power at his fingertips. While there is something bad slinking its way to Weatherly, Khylen may still prove to be worse than the predicted “dark days” ahead.
Killjoys is part of SyFy Fridays and fans of science fiction should be watching this brilliant blend of action and mystery…and clever, witty dialogue.