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TV Review: Killjoys (Series 3, Episode 4)

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After going slightly off task in the last two episodes, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Warlord’ finally rights the course of this season’s narrative.

For those who, like myself, were wondering how Johnny had gotten away with potentially murdering a member of the Nine without facing any consequences, this is answered in this week’s episode.

It turns out that the RAC is not immune to slow bureaucratic processes and thus, a black warrant for Johnny Jaqobis has only just been approved. Ironically enough, the Killjoys out on this warrant crash the party just as John is being initiated for his level 5 upgrade, which would finally give him authorisation to take on kill warrants. This was not before the celebration had already been dampened when Johnny learnt from Turin that Dutch had been blocking his upgrade.

After one of Killjoys’ signature bar fights, Dutch, Johnny and Pree escape whilst D’avin stays behind to hold off the RAC agents, setting up a good opportunity for Johnny and Dutch to reconnect after his time away. Pree, ever resourceful, suggests they seek refuge with the Farren, outlaw mercenaries who have defected from conflicts with which they didn’t agree - who, it is revealed, used to be led by Pree himself (under the name of Varek).

Pree’s background is finally fleshed out, after two seasons of hints about his past. It’s made to fit into the overall season arc wonderfully, as it provides an ally army against the Hullen, and finally redresses the storyline to head towards the major battle that’s coming. Furthermore, Pree’s fiery romance with the new Farren leader, Lachlan, essentially makes a homosexual relationship Dutch’s saving grace in the upcoming fight - for it is doubtful that Lachlan would have committed the Farren to a stranger had he not trusted Pree’s judgement.

This is an important moment, for homosexual relationships are rarely represented in science fiction television. The episode cleverly channels the viewers’ existing love for Pree and transfers it to the Farren by association; this makes us emotionally invested in them so that, despite having only been introduced to them for one episode, when the fighting begins, it will broaden the scope of the war beyond just Dutch and Aneela.

This is important because in season 3 thus far, Killjoys has kept bringing in new subplots and new characters, without delving very much into the relevance any of it has to the main story arc, making the scope of the story too large and without depth. At this rate, Killjoys is at risk of losing the essence that viewers fell in love with. Thankfully this week’s episode goes some way towards resolving the problem.

‘The Lion, the Witch and the Warlord’ skilfully weaves insights into Pree’s backstory with moments of conflict and reconciliation between Dutch and Johnny, as they work through their issues through a series of three challenges as they fight, in proxy, for Pree’s life. Their relationship being the essence of the series, these moments serve as an important reminder of all that’s changed and been lost over time.

The most beautiful aspect of their relationship had always been the openness they had with one another, which has gradually been lost over the seasons. With the help of a truth serum, the barriers they had been putting up are torn down, and Johnny tells Dutch that it’s not his job to always be the angel on her shoulder, and that she is the only one able to stop herself from becoming like Aneela. Whilst Johnny had represented every ‘good’ that Dutch strived to be before, now the reality has become far more complex, and the scene acknowledges and addresses that the dichotomy between the two heroes is blurring.

Meanwhile D’avin seeks Zeph’s help to prove that Delle Sayeh Kendry is alive, and been turned Hullen, in order to void the black warrant put on his brother. It’s still unclear what Delle Sayeh’s motives are, as we discover that she issued the warrant behind Aneela’s back, which Aneela then had to withdraw from within the RAC. This raises another troubling issue concerning her reach within the hierarchy of the RAC, as we are still discovering the scope of the Hullen insinuation into the power structures of the J.

Zeph thus far has not been easy to love, and her cold aloofness does not draw sympathy for her character or story. However, in this episode she is seen growing somewhat closer to D’avin, as she helps him help Johnny. Then when she, alone in the lab, succeeds in opening Khlyen’s Remnant with a mixture of his blood and green plasma, her reaction only to then quietly close it again and supposedly hide her discovery is deeply troubling. This does add a layer of interest to her however, as now every time Dutch and her team make an advancement in the war, the viewers still feel wary and on edge about a potential betrayal or defection on Zeph’s part.

Season 3’s fourth episode did a lot to redress the course of the story, and rooted the viewers back into the core of the show - Dutch and Johnny’s relationship - whilst subtly evolving it in more complex ways.  

Killjoys airs on Tuesdays at 9pm on Syfy.

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